Álamos Update: 6-7-15

an old mill site just a block from Casa de los Santos, alamos, sonora, mexico.  Horses take care of the mowing.  The photo was taken from the city street with the graceful 'Marrs (Candy family) mansion' in back of the photographer.  It was restored by them in the 50's, built by an 18th century silver baron and ironically, now owned again by the owner of the huge new silver mine which produces more than 100 million annually.   They are from B.C., Canada. photo by jim swickard.  

Just another old world day in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

The sounds of countryside and village blend into a leisurely symphony
The photo is of an old mill site just a block from the Hacienda. Horses take care of the mowing. The photo was taken from the city street with the graceful ‘Marrs (Candy family) mansion’ in back of the photographer. It was restored by them in the 50’s, built by an 18th century silver baron and ironically, now owned again by the owner of the huge new silver mine which produces more than 100 million dollars in silver annually. They are from B.C., Canada. Photo, possibly, by unknown Casa de los Santos guest.

casa de los santos, alamos, sonora mexico. The largest fountain which was originally the sugar mill's 'Mill'.  It had oxen and a stone wheel to crush the sugar cane.  The operation went into bankruptcy in 1710 and we are the second owner's of record.

Listen closely and one may hear the past come alive in their imaginations.

If you are in the moment this could be the center of the universe
This is the largest fountain which was originally the sugar mill’s ‘Mill’. It had oxen and a stone wheel to crush the sugar cane. The operation went into bankruptcy in 1710 and we are the second owner’s of record. Photo by local photographer Tomas Escalante.

Mt. Cacharamba (Mayo for 'hole in the ear' due to a hole in one part of the flat topped mountain).  All of the original Spanish mines are below it and slightly to the left.  Coronado was within 10 miles of it in about 1540, however it was not found until about 150 years later. photo by Jim Swickard, Casa de los Santos, Alamos, sonora, mexico

A landmark of another era and today and tomorrow.

Miners and merchants came from around the world in search of silver
I took this photo from my T206H airplane a few years ago and it’s a view of Mt. Cacharamba (Mayo for ‘hole in the ear’ due to a hole in one part of the flat topped mountain). All of the original Spanish mines are below it and slightly to the left. Coronado was within 10 miles of it in about 1540, however it was not found until about 150 years later. It’s visible from a hill top a block from the Hacienda. Photo by Jim Swickard.

Macohayui mission,  circa 1610, outside of alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by jim swickard.

Macoyahui mission, early 1600’s, built by Mayo Indians with master mason’s guidance.

Off the beaten path
I ventured up to the Macohayui mission two weeks ago for the first time.  I have flown over it more than a dozen times.  Visiting the mission was a real treat and visiting with a man gathering firewood added to the experience.  There’s a home very near the mission which impressed me greatly and I should have taken pictures.  According to the man it dates to the missions beginning which makes the home over 400 years. It’s in good condition, considering, however won’t be for long since the owner died last year and no subsequent generation to live there.  I plan to return.

As the crow flies the mission is only about 15 miles from Álamos.  Due to its location on the west bank of the Mayo River one has to drive about 40 miles to get to it. If the river is at its lowest of the year one can get there nearly direct but there are are dozens of turns on a goat trail and it’s really necessary to make one trip from the north to know where its located. Photo by Jim Swickard

Summer 2015 Casa de los Santos Update

The hurricane is missing us by more than two hundred miles, however we are hoping for some rain. It’s the pre-monsoon season here and a little overcast today which I prefer for walking Cholula our ‘Puggle’. Election day in Mexico, with the required ‘dry’ weekend, so the village is uncannily quiet, however they will make up for it next weekend. ( The PRI party won both the gubanatorial seat and locally the same. It’s beautiful here today since we had our first monsoonal rain last night, 6-7-15.  With any luck more rain this evening. )

The Hacienda goes back into a construction mode in July with some remodeling work on the sugar mill property to create a true, and long awaited, gift shop adjacent to the Cafe Agave. A new Spa will be ready to open in the Fall and the present spa. We hope to have three totally new Master Suites for next season, plus two inner connecting Hacienda Guest Rooms for families. Our total room and suite count will be 32 for next season. We will have some exciting news this summer about some international recognition for Hacienda de los Santos… Jim Swickard

To see it as it is today visit Hacienda de los Santos Resort and Spa.

To see the Hacienda in 1993

Álamos residents share Álamos Today in words and photos.

Bishop Reyes Cathedral

Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral takes up the entire southern side of the Plaza de las Armas in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. Its three tiered belfry towers above town and touches low passing clouds. Along with multiple daily services the church is also a religious classroom. Religion speaks of yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows. It speaks of better days and better places. Religious followers are asked to endure and conceptually, eventually, benefit from their days of survival and struggle on this small planet.
Photos and editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music from “Camino Songs” by SonicAtomics.

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

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©2015 Jim Swickard, Casa de los Santos and Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos 1900 – 1949

This page is under construction

The 1900’s started out with revolution and assassinations.
Álamos was in the middle of it all. The railroad came in 1908 and left in 1931.

portales in Álamos, Sonora, mexico plaza.  photo by anders tomlinson

The early 1900’s would be troubled times in the Plaza.

1904
The Sud Pacifico de Mexico plans to extend its rail line south of Guaymas.

1905 – 06
The Richardson Construction Company invest in 650,000 acres south of the ¥aqui river for agricultural and irrigation development.

1905 -06
John Hays Hammond, associated with the Richardson Company and Boer war hero, is given permission from President Dias dictatorial government for developing and reopening Aduana mines in the Álamos District. He operates the Promontorio and Minas Nuevas mines. He built a smelter near Navajoa and invested heavily in mining equipment. The wealthy have reached a peak of prosperity.

1906
Worker unrest escalates with a strike at the consolidated Copper mines at Cananea.

1907
May, railroad reaches Navajoa.

1908
Railroad from Navajoa reaches Álamos.

1908
Area population estimates included Álamos 3,000 plus, Aduana 1,000 plus, Navajoa 1,000 plus, Promontorios 1,000, Minas Nuevas 1,000 and Camoa 1,000.

1908
Humboldt noted in his records that he “passed a train of over one thousand mules loaded with bars of silver from the Aduana mines on their way to the City of Mexico.”

1910
Report on the Alamos – Promonitos District mines in the Mining and Scientific Press.

1910
One of the Aduana mines reaches a depth of 1500 feet.

1911
January, Francisco Madero,leader of the Reform Movement, arrives in Álamos. Benjamin Hill is a leader in the Reform Movement. The Aduana mines shut down because of the Madero revolution. The rise in quick silvers prices, used in the reduction process, also made mining unprofitable. Álamos Perfecto Francisco A. Salido denied Madero the ability to speak in a public area. Don Miquel Urres invites Madero into his home to meet with powerful Álamos residents.

1911
Minas Nuevas mines are taken over by Amos J. Yaeger. Later, he would shut the mine down and sell mine machinery and smelter for scrap.

1911
Northern and central towns are under attack by Maderistas. Benjamin Hill captures Navajoa. He begins to move on Álamos but is ordered to stop and repair telegraph and railway lines damaged in battle.

1911
November, Madero becomes Mexico’s president.

1912
Early, Pascual Orozco, in Chihuahua turns against Madero, is former ally. Soon Orozco, and an army of 1400 soldiers, crosses into Sonora.

1912
August 21, an Orozquistas column reaches Álamos which is defended by 650 federal and national guard troops. Álamos defenders attacked the Orozquistas outside of town at La Aurora.

1912
August 22, 10 a.m., the Orozquistas retreat from La Aurora. Fighting continues through the day and the Orozquistas leave supplies and over 100 dead men on the ground. The Orozquistas had stopped earlier at Hacienda de Cedros and Rancho de la Uvalama where they had indulged in aguardiente – tequila?, which they had taken with them as they approached Álamos.

1913
President Madero is assassinated. General Victoriano Huerta becomes President. Sonora revolts against Huerta led by Alvaro Obregon, Plutarco Elias Calles, Adolfo de la Huerta and Venustiano Carranza. All four of these men, three from Sonora and Carranza from Coahuila, would become Mexican presidents. Álamos sides with Huerta. Sonora, Chihuahua and Coahuila states take up arms against Huerta.

1913
April, Benjamin Hill occupies Álamos as the Huertistas surrender. He takes money from wealthy Álamos citizens and captured Huertistas to support his troops in Sinaloa and repair damaged rail lines.
he forced the poor to take down the sandbag barricades in Álamos and return the sand to the surrounding arroyos.

1914
August, Carranza becomes head of government.

1914
General Pancho Villa, and thousands of his troops, fought against Carranza in southern Mexico. Carranza’s troops won several battles and Villa headed north into Sonora. Villa forces lived off the land and terrorized all who they came across. Mines and ranchos were abandoned.

1914
April 8, Maria de los Angeles Felix Guerrean, the famous actress, was born in Álamos. These were turbulent times for the region. Yaquis and Mayos were joining forces with Obregon and Villa’s armies. Venustiano Carranza became the third Mexican President in two years.

1914 – 15
Wars between Sonoran Governor Maytorena and his military leaders. Well armed and trained Yaquis and Mayos Indians join Obregon and Villa’s armies who sided with Maytorena.

1915
Pancho Villa is entrenched in southern Sonora.

1915
May 12, 500 Pancho Villaistas attack Álamos. Major Felix Mendoza has 30 troops and 50 citizens to defend Álamos against Villa’s troops. The five hour battle is waged in the plaza and on Loma de Guadalupe. 25% of Mendoza’s troops are dead or wounded. He orders the survivors to surrender and he himself commits suicide.

1915
April, General Angel Flores’ Expeditionary Force of Sinaloa regains Álamos in a month.

1915
September, the Constitutionalists control southern Sonora. Villa returns to Chihuahua.

1916
Indian uprisings create ghost towns in Sonora. Álamos old families remain in ancestral homes.

1916
The United States sends the American Punitive Expedition into Mexico after Pancho Villa and his troops had entered New Mexico.

1916
Yaguis and Mayos felt they had not be given benefits that had been promised them go on the rampage throughout Sonora. Farmers, ranchers, towns and villages were attacked. Baroyeca becomes a ghost town.

1920
September, Obregon becomes Mexico’s president. Recovery from wars begins. Renegade soldiers, bandits, Yaquis and Mayos continue raiding, plundering and killings.

1920 – 30’s
Sonora re-establishes schools, roads and farming.
Life in Álamos stabilizes. It is now a small mexican town forgotten by many and home to old families. Mansions, neglected by war and neglect, turn to ruins. But Álamos does not become a ghost town.

1929
Maria de los Angeles Felix Guerrean’s family lived in Álamos until they left for Guadalajara. Soon Maria Felix’s beauty would be nationally recognized.

1929
Last Yaqui uprising ends in total defeat for the Yaquis, they have lived in peace with the “Yoris” since then.

1930
One train a week from Navajoa to Álamos.

1930
Planning begins on the Mexican link of the International Highway.
Some thought the highway may follow the old El Camino Real through Álamos to El Fuerte and south. Eventually it is routed through Navajoa and south bypassing Álamos, which is to the east.

1931
Railroad from Navajoa to Álamos disbanded. Traffic to Álamos was on an old narrow dirt road

amos j. yaeger grave in minas nuevas, sonora mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

Amos J. Yaeger grave in Minas Nuevas.

1932
Amos J. Yaeger dies at the age of 59.

1933
Álamos city has an estimated population of 1,000.

1937
500,000 hectares of public lands, “ejidos” are allotted to the Yaquis.

1940
The Álamos region had a population of 5,369 men and 4,848 women older than six years.

ruin of the house where actress maria felix was born in 1914.  alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

Ruins, like this birhtplace of Maria Felix, are bought and sold.

1948
William Levant Alcorn, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer, arrives in Álamos and bought the Almada mansion on Plaza de Armas and restored it as the Hotel Los Portales. Alcorn helped publicize Álamos and had a successful real estate business buying and selling ruins and property.

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♦ Other Álamos, Sonora Mexico timelines:

1500 – 1599 timeline

1600 – 1699 timeline

1800 – 1849 timeline

1850 – 1899 timeline

1900 – 1949 timeline

Geologic timeline

History videos

Álamos population history

La Aduana mining 1910

Conquistadors, silver and gold

Álamos and Horses

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©2015 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos History Directory

alamos, sonora, mexico seen from atop sierra de alamos.  spring 1996.  photo by anders tomlinson

Álamos and surroundings seen from the Sierra de Álamos, spring 1996.

Take a Walk Back in Time
Álamos, Sonora, Mexico was a stepping stone along the El Camino Real. Álamos played a significant role in the settling of the southwest, including San Francisco, Monterey, Los Angeles, southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.

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Here are pages related to Álamos events and occurrences through history:

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1500 – 1599 timeline

1600 – 1699 timeline

1700 – 1799 timeline

1800 – 1849 timeline

1850 – 1899 timeline

Geologic timeline

History videos

Álamos population history

Sonora Population history

La Aduana mining 1910

Conquistadors, silver and gold

Álamos and Horses

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This is a work in progress.

An introduction to a Short History of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.
“Here is something Special”, Spanish explorer Vasquez de Coronado noted in 1540 as he headed north, passing by tall white rocks on Alamos de Sierra. This is the opening chapter to “A Short History of Alamos” written, filmed and edited by Anders Tomlinson. Narrated by Bruce Miles. Soundtrack by SonicAtomics and Estudiantina de Alamos.

Alamos shares a strong maternal bond, steeped in history, with all the Southwest.
Juan Batista de Anza arrived and departed from Alamos in the spring of 1775 with silver, and local families, to settle “Monterey and the Californias”, including San francisco. Another expedition, five years later, left Alamos to settle Los Angeles.

The conclusion to a Short History of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico embraces the Sierra Madre.
Here, Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral in the Plaza, a three-tiered belfry, shines gold in morning light. Here, looking east, one’s imagination is stirred by the forbidding beauty of the Sierra Madre Occidentals. Together, they shape the Alamos experience.

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

To return Home

©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos Palacio

06… Friends, and morning sun, converge outside the Palacio Municipal…

The Federal, State and Municipal government offices are all here.

This busy building has a large open courtyard and stage that are used for public political
and cultural events. Theater presentations, dances and concerts are common.
The Palacio was built of brick and stone around 1899 in the style of medieval Spanish
fortresses. A semicircular arch is a central axis gateway opening into a large
courtyard surrounded by offices on three sides.

The opposition party leader walks to his seat on stage during the State of the City address.

Dr. M. Alfonso Valenzuela Salido addresses a half full Palacio with what his administration
has done, is doing and plans to do. Meanwhile, around town people go about their business
making Álamos what Álamos is. Here is a list of Presidentes from 1937 to the present:

2012-2015… Ing. José Benjamín Anaya Rosas
2009-2012… Dr. Joaquín Navarro Quijada
2006-2009… Lic. Ruth Acuña Rascón
2003-2006… Ing. David Corral Valenzuela
2000-2003… Prof. José de Jesús Carballo Mendívil
1997-2000…
Dr. Humberto Arana Murillo
1994-1997… Dr. Alfonso Valenzuela Salido
1991-1994… Dr. Baldomero Corral Valenzuela
1988-1991… Prof. Enrique Ibarra Álvarez 
1985-1988… Sr. Manuel Ruiz Arzaga
1982-1985… Sr. Humberto Franco Terán
1979-1982… Prof. Darío Villarreal Valenzuela
1976-1979… Prof. José Jesús Gil Vega
1973-1976… Sr. José Reyes Amarillas
1970-1973… Sr. Rosendo Venegas Reyes
1967-1970… Sr. Baldomero Corral Álvarez
1964-1967… Sr. Diódoro Valenzuela Piña
1961-1964… Sr. Lauro Franco Franco
1958-1961… Sr. Marcelino Valenzuela Bustillos
1955-1958… Sr. Maximiliano Couvillier Atondo
1952-1955… Sr. Raymundo M. Robles
1949-1952… Sr. Martín B. Salido
1946-1949… Sr. Marcelino Valenzuela
1943-1946… Sr. Juan de Dios Urrea
1941-1943… Sr. Leopoldo Acosta
1939-1941… Sr. Carlos G. García
1937-1939… Sr. José María Palomares

president addresses public in the palacio, alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

El Presidente presents his state of Álamos speech.

Dr. Joaquin Navarro Quijada is the man walking across the stage. He lost a bitterly contested election in 1994 with Dr. M. Alfonso Valenzuela Salido. The Palacio was shut down for weeks by protesters. Eventually, Joaquin was given his own office in the Palacio and municipal life went on as normal. In 2009 he was elected Presidente Muncipal. Perseverance is a virtue.
To see more of what the local government is doing visit Municipio de Alamos, Sonora

palacio municipal of alamos, sonora, mexico is decked out in bunting celebrating independance day.  photo by anders tomlinson.

Patriotic bunting adorns the Palacio for Independence day celebrations.

September 16 is Mexico’s Day of Independence. Government officials will speak from the Palacio’s balcony at night as fireworks go off around town in celebration. The long day begins with a parade through Centro Álamos that ends with a large public gathering in the Plaza. The bunting’s green symbolizes Independence, the white symbolizes religion and the red symbolizes union.
To see more visit Day of Independence Parade

A Magical moment in a Magical Pueblo.  Photo:Joel Gasteum

A magical moment in a Pueblo Magical. photo-Joel Gastélum

The photo above is from the closing ceremony at the Palacio.  The theme of the festival was “100 years of Maria Felix” and Miguel Castillo is singing “Maria Bonita” with Maria Felix’s eyes projected onto the screen behind him.  After he finished singing we played the movie “Yerba Mala” which was filmed in Alamos two years ago.  There were 700 seats filled in the Palacio for the closing ceremony.

palacio, alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

Keeping the Palacio clean is a job for many.

People come and go throughout the day conducting business and dealing with all issues a local government faces. And the Palacio is a community center for events throughout the year. This is the official Álamos heartbeat that is kept alive by all people that are Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

The prime venue for the Álamos Film Festival is the Palacio.

In the hearts of many, Alamos is the center of the universe.
Independence day starts early in the morning with a municipal parade through the town’s colonial center. Alamos school kids, the first high school in the Californias started here, and the entire city government take part. In 2010 the students added their own uniformed marching band to the parade. From children to government, Alamos continues.

Alamos shares a strong maternal bond, steeped in history, with all the Southwest.
Juan Batista de Anza departed Alamos in September 1775 with silver, and local families, to settle “Monterey and the Californias”, including San francisco, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles.

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

To return Home.

©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos 1850 – 1899

The 1800’s were turbulent time for Mexico, Sonora and Álamos.
The faded heydays of Álamos silver and trading wealth were in the past.
Confrontation was at the forefront along the northern frontier.

Governor's mansion on Calle Comercio. alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

Time marches on as haciendas’ portals and the Cathedral’s belfry stand tall.

1850
Hermosilo connected to the port of Guaymas.

1850’s
Military colonies and settlements are encouraged on the northern border to help stop marauding Apaches. Free border land was offered to Mexicans and anyone else except for Americans and Indians. These plans were not successful. The government also was offering a bounty for Apache scalps.

1850 – 1880
Population estimates of 5,000.

1853
December – “Tratado (Treaty) de Mesilla”, the Gadsen purchase was signed between Mexico and the United States. Sonora was paid ten million dollars for land including having its northern boundary cut back to its present border. This allowed the United States to build a southern transcontinental route.

1854
The Gadsen purchase is ratified by Mexico and The United States.

1854
Charles D. Poston, was shipwrecked in the Gulf of california and visited Álamos. He would become known as the “Father of Arizona.” He recalled his visit in an account told to J. Ross Browne: “In about a week from the time of leaving the seacoast we reached the old city of Alamos, famous in Spanish times for its wealth and commercial enterprise. The cathedral is very fine, and yet bears the Royal Arms of Spain over the grand entrance. The merchants of Alamos used to import directly from China, and had a large trade with the smaller towns of Sinola and Sonora, but its principal source of wealth was the rich silver mines in the spur of the Sierra Madre, which were worked with great profit when cheap labor could be obtained from the native Indians under the system of peonage adopted and endorsed by the Spanish government.”
Álamos seemed like ” a quiet old town” to Mr. Poston.

1855
The Centralist’s reign came to an end with the fall of dictator Santa Anna. “Church against State” remains a political contention in Álamos.

1855
The school Seminario Angol-Español changed it name to Liceo de Sonora.

1855 – 1861
“The War of Reform” was a civil war against the “Ley (Law) Juarez” and other reform laws initiated by Benito Juarez and supported by Liberals, reform party members, that took land and power away from the church. The reforms were opposed by the Conservatives – church party members. War took place in across Sonora and into Sinaloa, Álamos was in the middle of many events.
The Conservatives were led by Don Jesus Gandara. The Liberals were led by general Ignacio Pesqueira and were attempting to uphold the new federal laws.

1857
August – General Pesqueria becomes Sonora’s Governor.

1857
Late in the year Gandara led an southern attack along with the Yaquis that was met by troops from Álamos. Gandara was defeated and retreated to the Yaqui river. From here he continued attacks in the north.

1858
Pesqueria stops in Álamos on his way south to help the Liberals in Sinola. Pesqueria gives Álamos special authority in case of emergencies. He also recruits men in Álamos and El Fuerte to join his cause.

1859
Apaches from the north reached the Álamos district. Haciendas and villages are left in ruin.

1859
Álamos mayor, Manuel Salazar, bargains a peace treaty with the Indians and there is an ensuing calm for a short period.

1860
Álamos floods.

1861
Professor Gregorio Almada leaves Liceo de Sonora for Mazatlan and the school is closed.

1861
August – Conservatives under the command of Don Antonio Esteves advance from El Fuerte on the El Camino Real and defeat National Guard troops and armed citizens from Álamos some of whom join the Conservatives. The conservatives march untested in a welcoming Álamos. Don Toribio Almada, the 21 year old son of Don Jose Maria joins up with Don Antonio Esteves, becomes second-in-command, and vow to defeat Ignacio Pesqueira.

1861
October 15 – Pesquiera defeats Esteves / Alamda in Hermosilo.
Pesquierq and General Placido Vega punish Álamos citizens supporting the Conservatives. Vincente Almada, a son of Don Jose Maria was put to death. Toribio Almada escapes to Chihuahua.

1861
Álamos is retaken by Liberal General Plácido Vega.
Governor Pesquiera returns to meet with Vega in Álamos. Pesquiera feel many Álamos citizens were major supporters of the Conservatives and he takes their property as punishment. He has a captured Toribio Almada returned to Álamos to be executed in the cemetery by firing squad.

1861 – 1862
December – January – French troops land on the coast of Vera Cruz. Mexico taxes the country to raise money to fight the French. Most of mexico was against the French invaders but some Conservatives became French allies. Governor Pesquiera prepares to defend Sonora from the French by building his National Guard. he also had to fight the Apaches who were now stronger because American troops in the southwest were now involved with the American Civil War.

1862
May – A club is formed in Álamos to raise money for the federalists to defeat the French. At the same time there are those with 1mperialistic leanings in support of the French. news from the south was of interest to all of Álamos.

1863
Apaches reach the edge of Álamos and kill people and ruin property.

1863
June – Mexico City falls to the French.

1864
Maximilian is made Emperor of Mexico.

1864
Another mint opens in Alamos which produced silver and gold coins and closed in 1895. (Note, a later statement contradicts the 1864 date and uses 1861.  1861 probably is correct since there was a failure of Alamos to report to Mexico City during the days of Maximillian by most of the mints in Mexico. (Information from ‘The Mexican Mints of Alamos and Hermosillo’, by A.F.’Pradeau, 1934)

1865
Early – French troops land in Guaymas.

1865
August 28 – French troops from Guaymas take over the plaza in Álamos. Colonel Jose Tranquilino Almada was put in command and had an additional 1500 Yaquis and Mayos join his forces. Álamos saw an increase in wealth as several mines were operating again and there was a business boom. But this would not last for long. During the French reign Sonora was divided
into three Imperial Departments with capitals in Altar, Urea and Álamos.

1865
September 22 – General Antonio Rosales, with less than 500 troops, leaves El Fuerte to recapture Álamos from the French Imperialists. Rosales forces met Colonel Almada’s larger forces
in a three hour battle on Guadalupe Hill. Rosales and many of his men, possibly a third, were killed. Rosales was buried in the Álamos cemetery. His body was later moved to Mexico City.

1865
Emperor Maximilian declares Álamos capital of the department of Álamos.

1866
January 7 – Álamos is attacked by General Angel Martinez. Colonel Jose Maria Tranquilino Almada leads the Imperialist and retreats to the plaza where he is defeated and escapes to the mayo River. Second-in-command Antonio Anselmo Alamda is one of many Imperialists to die in the battle. General Angel Martinez, a ruthless veteran of wars, plunders all the precious metals in the church and wreaks havoc on the town taking what he wanted and leaving little behind except for strong troops to hold the town.

1866
Don Jose Maria Almada dies. He was married twice and had at least 31 children.

1866
May 31 – Colonel Almada attacks Colonel Adolfo Palecio troops in Minas Nueva. Colonel Almada is defeated.

1866
August 28 – After holding Álamos for a couple of weeks Colonel Almada is forced to abandon city by Colonel Adolfo Palecio.

1866
September 14 -15 – The French garrison on Guaymas is abandoned after several defeats in central Sonora. Governor Ignacio Pesqueira, low on money, Indians and enemies on the attack and floods, now had to attempt to unify Sonora.

1866
September – Sonora returns to the republic of Mexico.

1867
February – French troops leave Mexico.

1867
June – Emperor Maximilian is executed.

1867
July – Mexico is again independent. President Juarez returns to mass celebrations in Mexico City.

1869
October – 50 people died and over 100 homes in the Alameda section were destroyed by floods at daybreak. All of southern Sonora were effected by the Yaqui, Mayo and El Fuerte rivers overflowing their banks. (There are other accounts that indicate the flood was in 1868.)

1870’s – 1880’s
Yaqui Cajeme, ( Jose Maria Leyva), leads Indian raids and highway robberies.

1871
“Plan de la Noria” proclaimers occupy Álamos. They were opposed to President Juarez and favored Porfirio Diaz. They collected $45,000 peso and recruited troops to join them as they headed north. They would lose.

1872
Early – Governor Pesqueira’s troops visit Álamos enroute to Sinoloa. As most advancing forces did, whether headed north or south, Pesqueira demanded, and received money to fund his campaign, in this case he withheld funds intended for Álamos.

1872
Ignacio Pesqueira is reelected Governor of Sonora. álamos, which for the most part did not like Ignacio Pesqueira stage civil unrest – “the Plan of the Promontorios”.

1872 – 1873
There are hostilities between Sonoran legislative and executive branches over the new state constitution. Álamos District has many citizens opposed to Governor Pesqueira.

1873
November – Carlos Conant, leading the “the Plan of the Promontorios”, with 400 men and opposed to Governor Pesqueira, takes over Álamos. He receives $36,000 pesos from local merchants. He creates problems for Sonora for couple of months.

1875
Álamos leads Independents in revolt against Pesqueira.

1875
Colonel Jose J. Pesqueira, nephew of Don Ignacio, was elected Governor of Sonora in a controversial election where ballots from districts that voted against Pesqueira were discarded by the legislature. Several areas of the state, along with Álamos, revolted and a civil war started.

1876
February 8 – Governor Jose Pesqueira occupies Álamos. He demands $72,000 pesos and creates harsh laws and demanded loans from wealthy citizens, loans he had no intention of repaying. Many citizens fled for safety in Sinaloa. Pesqueira jailed people who did not obey his wishes. Travel in and out of Álamos now required passports. People were upset and rebelled.

1876
March 1 – The Federal government had General Vicente Mariscal land troops in Guaymas to restore order. He arrived in Álamos to confer with Governor Jose Pesqueira in the Plaza de las Armas. Pesqueira left Álamos on March first and returns to Hermosillo.

1878
April – More controversy in the Sonora legislature: Governor Mariscal and Vice-Governor Francisco Serna are in opposition to each other. each has their own factions.

1879
February – Francisco Serna, in opposition to Mariscal, invades and controls Álamos. Serna, while in Álamos, is declared Governor by his faction in the legislature. Mariscal, deciding against more civil war in Sonora leaves Hermosillo before Serna returns.

1881
Primary education became compulsory where schools existed.

1882
Mayos are on the attack. They are joined by Yaquis. Navajo is deserted with many leaving for protection in Álamos. Navajo is now a military outpost. The National Guard arrived to fortify Navajoa.

1882
There was a major battle outside Navjoa at nearby Rancho Capetmaya. The battle was a stalement with the Indians retreating to the hills and rivers and the National Guard seeking protection in Álamos and surrounding towns.

1882
Railway connects Nogales with Guaymas. The State of Sonora is raising money to benefit public education.

1883
Álamos is preparing for Indian attacks. Álamos merchants ask that more federal troops be stationed in Navajoa for protection.

1884
13 mining firms are operating 15 mines which employ 750 workers.
Many old mines are shut down and others are in bad repair.

1885 – 1886
Cajeme leads 3,000 to 4,000 Yaquis and Mayo warriors.

1886
Telegraph is connected to Álamos. A new city jail is built on Loma de Guadalupe and the Plaza de las Armas is renovated.

1887
April – Cajeme is captured and executed.

1887
A hospital for the poor is donated to Álamos by Justina Almada de Urrea. It will continue to operate until 1946.

1888
Sonora is improving mining and agricultural districts roads. Estacion Baramotal near Guaymas is connected by stage line to Álamos and the old stage line from Álamos to El Fuerte.

1888
Vice- Governor Ramon Corral, born in the Álamos district, comes to Álamos for a monthand appoints a public education committee of 15 and provides provide state money for Álamos public education.

1895
December – Governor Ramon Corral attends the opening of the new Álamos water system. The city now has access to running water.

1897
Early May – A peace settlement between The Indians and non-Indians was negotiated and agreed to. The peace treaty signing was a festive event.

1899
The peace settlement between Indians and “Yoris”, whites, was broken by the Yaquis. Mexico’s President Diaz had federal troops push back at the Indians to allow the State of Sonora to function with more peaceful times. Yaguis villages were burned and the federal troops kept pressure on the Yaguis and drove many across the border into Arizona. less fortunate Yaguis were sent to Yucatan slave camps.

More to come…

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1600 – 1699 timeline

1700 – 1799 timeline

1800 – 1849 timeline

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Álamos 1800 – 1849

The 1800’s were turbulent time for Mexico, Sonora and Álamos.
The faded heydays of Álamos silver and trading wealth were in the past.
Confrontation was at the forefront along the northern frontier.

Columns and window details, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson

End of day’s sun illuminates a classical column of another time and land.

1800
2000 silver bars serve as remittance to Mexico.
Population estimate 9,000.

1800’s
Mexican colonists becoming dissatisfied with Spaniards.

1800’s
In the early 1800’s mines in La Aduana were reaching the depth of the water table.

1803
Father Camilo Sanmartin, (San Martin?), finishes church. He is paid 40,000 pesos for his efforts. Another account states the church was finished in 1804 under the reign of Charles the Fourth.

1804
Yaquis resume plundering raids on the Spanish.
Opatas, Seris, Apaches and Pimas over the coming years would also advance in the central and northern districts as Spanish troops were moved to head off the battle of Independence.

1808
Famed German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt visits the area of Álamos and La Aduana mines.

1808
Population estimate is 7,900 inhabitants.

1810
September 15 – Miguel Hildago y Castilla gives his nighttime “Grito de Delores”, (Cry of Freedom), and the quest for Mexican independence begins. Most of the Sonora, assuming this includes Álamos, were in favor of Imperialists and Spain. During the next 11 years Sonorans, for the most part, stayed out of the war. During this time they were fighting local Indians.

1821
Heavy war tax on quicksilver, used in mining, increases from 80 – 90 to 240 pesos.

1821
9-27-1821 – General Agustin de Iturbide, Spanish rule ends and Mexico becomes an independent nation.

1821
Sinaloa and Sonora remain together in the early years of Mexican

1824
Sinaloa and Sonora are offically joined in the new constitution of Estado Interno de Occidente.

1825
Juan Banderas, (Juan Jusacamea), leads Mayo and Yaquis revolt. Indian prisoners are put to death in Álamos.

1825
population estimate of 5,000 – 7,000.

first printing press in sonora, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Civilization mature and expand with the introduction of printing presses.

1827
Indians sue for peace. The Sonoran governor agreed to forgive and forget. He had little choice fearing civil unrest and faced with diminishing funds.

1827
Álamos is declared capital of Estado del Occidente, a newly created state.

history medallion for first publication in Sonora, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Being the first in Sonora meant being the first in the Californias.

1828
Governor Jose Maria Gaxiola makes Álamos his official residence.

1828 – 1829
Don Jose Maria Almada, owner of Quinterra and Balbanera mines in La Aduana, is off-and-on Provisional Vice – Governor. he and his brothers also own many haciendas in Álamos which remains the wealthiest town north of Guadalajara.

1828
The first mint in Alamos was established by D. Leonardo Santoyo, with a concession or grant, obtained from the federal government, permitting him to coin only copper coins.  Coinage was produced only in 1828 and 1829 since the copper coins were not accepted by the people. (Information from ‘The Mexican Mints of Alamos and Hermosillo’, by A.F.’Pradeau, 1934)
 
1831
March 15 – A separation decree reconstitutes and Sonora as separate states.

1832
Álamos incorporated into Sonora. The citizens of Álamos voted in favor of joining Sonora and the Federal Congress agreed.

1832
Yaquis revolt again. Their goal is to drive the “Yori”, (whites), out.

1838
Petty civil wars involve Jose Urrea – Federalist and governor of the State: favored self government by the states.
Manual Maria Gandara – Centralist and Commandante General favored states become departments of federal government. Centralists were the church’s party of choice.

1838
General Urrea enters Álamos with 700 men and demands 50,000 pesos.

1841
Capilla De Zapopan is built on Calle Hidalgo by Don Ignacio Almada y Alvarado for Doña Juana Mallen.

1846 – 1848
Mexican – American war. It is a time of more taxes, disrupted business and Álamos men called into the army.

1847
Beisbol was introduced to Mexico in 1847 by American soldiers during the Mexican War. Americans overseeing railroad construction also encouraged Mexican workers laying track to play beisbol.

1848
Álamos is selected as one of two places to have primary and secondary education. Professor Gregorio Almada, European educated, was the founder and director. The school was first named Seminario Angol-Español.

1849
January 15 – Disastrous battle. Álamos troops pursue Apaches. Álamos, Ures, and Hermosilo are each taxed 7,000 pesos.

1849
Population estimate 4,000 – 4,300. Trade has shifted from the El Camino Real to the ocean ports.

1849 – 1851
Severe cholera outbreak. Hundreds die and hundreds leave town.

The 1800’s continue with the 1850 – 1899 timeline

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Álamos 1700 – 1799

An A stands for Alamada over a gate on Calle comercio, in alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

An “A” for Almada over a gate on Calle Comercio.

1700
Camino Real extended out of Culíacan through foothills, northward through El Fuerte and Álamos

1709
Quinterra mine opens up in La Aduana. There is also a reference to Almada but I do not understand the connection.

1732
March 14 – Álamos is no longer part of Nueva Viscaya and is now part of the Sinaloa and Sonora province.

1735
Don Pedro Gabriel de Aragon becomes Parish Priest – reconstructed old church, La Purisma Concepcion

1736
Inventory of sacred vessels and religious objects in church is done by visiting Bishop Martin de Elizacochea Dorre Echeverria.

1736
July 1736 – Juan Bautista de Anza was born, more likely at Cuquiarachi, Sonora, Mexico, to Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Maria Rosa Bezerra Nieto of Fronteras, Sonora, Mexico. He was their youngest son and grandson of Antonio de Anza, a pharmacist, and Lucia de Sassoeta of Hernani, Guipuzcoa, Spain. He was also the grandson of Captain Antonio Bezerra Nieto and Gregoria Gómez de Silva of Janos, Chihuahua, Mexico. His father, Juan Bautista de Anza, senior, was killed by Apaches on May 9, 1740, when he was not quite three years of age.

1737
War between Spaniards and Yaquis and Mayos

1737
Fiesta of Nuestra Senora de Balvanere in La Aduana.
This celebration begins with Indians seeing a maiden on top of a tall cactus. The Indians rolled rocks to the foot of the cactus but the maiden had disappeared. They then noticed a silver outcropping where one of the rocks had been. The Indians believed this young beautiful maiden had shown them that there was silver here. A church was built on this site and cactus grew out of a wall ten to twelve feet above the ground.

The Bishop of Nueva Vizcaya, in 1737, changed the celebration date from September 8th to November 21 so pilgrims from Álamos could use the arroyos to go to La Aduana and avoid the summer floods.

1740
Calixto Muni, Yaqu leaders burned Camoa, Baroyeca. Took Spanish women and children as captives. 6,000 strong Indians advanced on Álamos. Miners hold them off.

1741
Spanish reinforcements arrive, 3,000 Yaquis and Mayos die on the Hill of Bones

1741 – 1744
Drought

1747-1750
Devastating three year drought.  People and indians reduced to eating roots and roasted maguey plants.

( It is possible these two references to drought could be actually describing the same event. History has a way of slipping one way and another. )

1748 – 1749
King Charles III of Spain responded to the disaster by sending Inspector General of the Interior Don Jose Rodriques Gallardo reports that Álamos has no jail, Municipal buildings or squares. Orders given to layout streets, align houses and build a jail. A new Alamos street-grid was designed with houses that had adjoining walls to keep squatters out of Centro Álamos.

( There is some confusion about these dates. Did Gallardo arrive in response to the plague in Álamos or before? )

1750
Jesuit Juan Jacobo Baegert wrote “in poplar trees I’ve seen women dressed in Golden Velvet”

1750
6,000 die in Álamos from a series of plagues.
Another account states a plague of smallpox and measles which caused the death of 8,000 Indians and Mestizos

1760
Bishop of Durango, Tamaron y Romeral, visits Álamos and observes that Álamos maybe more important than Culíacan in Nueva Viscaya.
He wrote, ” It is a parish with a clergyman and vicar… there are usually five or six priests in residence as aids to the rector. In this real there are many good silver mines, and their principle workings are two leagues distant, in a place called la aduana… it has 800 families and 3400 people.”

1761
Antonio Almada y Reyes is born in Leon Spain.

1765
Don Pedro de Aragon requested in writing, from Álamos, that a presido be built near the Yaqui to hinder the Apaches, Seris and Lower Pimas who were resisting the northward bound Spaniards.

1767
End of jesuit era after sustaining missions for a span of 150 years

1767
July- Jesuits, guarded by 50 soldiers, pass through Álamos on their way to the port of Guaymas.

1769
La Alameda, today’s business district, laid out. Old houses were torn down to make room for a poplar tree lined promenade.

1769
Royal Treasury is established in Álamos. Inspector Don Jose de Galvez remained in Álamos and managed the public finances, sooth relationships with disgruntled Indians, and remodeled missions. He would later become the Marquis of Sonora.

1770
A flood wiped out much of the newly constructed Alameda

1774
January 8, 1774 – Juan Bautista de Anza leaves Tubac Presidio, south of present-day Tucson, Arizona. His expedition had 3 padres, 20 soldiers, 11 servants, 35 mules, 65 cattle, and 140 horses.

1775
January – de Anza, in Mexico City, begins to organize his expedition to to colonize San Francisco.

1775
March – de Anza begins recruiting colonizers in Culíacan, Province of Sinaloa, Mexico.

1775
April 5 – de Anza is recorded as being in Culíacan

1775
March, April, May – de Anza continued recruiting in the villages of Sinaloa and El Fuerte in the Province of Sinaloa, and Álamos, in Sonora. 30 citizens from Álamos, more than any other community, had joined the expedition, now more than 250 soldiers and colonizers.

( Here is a comment from Joan Powell )

“From my research, I see that Anza was in Alamos for some period in May 1775, but it appears that the only Alamos citizens joining the 1775 expedition are Vicente Feliz, his wife and 6 children. A couple of other sources mention 1 or two other members who may be from Alamos, but I haven’t found any Calif. mission records or Alamos baptismal records to support those claims. Alamos was important as the place Anza got funds, supplies, and had to report his accounting of costs and expenses to.

The Rivera Expedition in 1781 had a much larger Alamos contingent. I haven’t added them up, but 30 seems like about the right number.

Also, FYI, apparently he referred to himself as “Anza”, not “de Anza” ( when the Anza Nat’l park guy was here in Alamos a couple of years ago he told us this bit of info. )”

1775
May 1 – de Anza is in El Fuerte.

1775
May 13 – de Anza, Espinosa and six presidial soldiers meet up with Moraga between Álamos and Horcasitas.

1775
June 22 – de Anza in San Miguel de Horcasitas

1775
July 22 – September 13 – diary notes indicate de Anza was in San Miguel de Horcasitas, Terrenate, Cocóspera, Mission San Ignacio… During this period of time the Apaches were restless.

1775
September 29 – de Anza’s expedition leaves Horcasitas, just north of Alamos. From Pedro Font’s diary notes.

1775
October 16 – de Anza arrives in Tubac from Horcasitas in mid-and continues preparations there

1775
October 23 – de Anza’s expedition left Tubac on with some 300 people and 1000 head of livestock. There were no wagons or carts. All supplies were loaded on pack mules every morning and unloaded every night. The expedition was headed to the SF Bay Area following reports of a great river flowing into the bay.
The goal was to establish a presido, mission and San Franciso settlement.

1776
March – de Anza arrived in Monterey, California.

1776
March 28 – Mexican Captain Juan Bautista de Anza, Lt. Jose Moraga, and Franciscan priest Pedro Font arrived at the tip of San Francisco. De Anza planted a cross at what is now Fort Point. They camped at Mountain Lake and searched inland for a more hospitable area and found a site they called Laguna de los Dolores or the Friday of Sorrows since the day was Friday before Palm Sunday.

1780
Álamos is at its peak in terms of population and wealth. The mid 1700s was an era of mansions being built and furnished with the world’s finest items. Philippine galleons brought rich silver and the best of the Orient. The silver mines were exporting silver bars and the wealthy business community was importing the best Europe had to offer. During this period Father Baegert wrote, ” even during times of fasting, and when they come to us in confession… such finery among the women as I scarcely ever saw in Mexico… For with astonishment and pity I have seen many a woman dressed in velvet cloth of gold.”

1780
Pope Pius V1- looking for info. (I believe it relates to the new Bishop) Also, in 1780 Pope Pius VI verbally and quietly approved of the Jesuits’ existence.

1781
King Carlos 111 orders a new Bishopric for Sonora, Sinaloa and the Californias. This order separated these provinces from the Nueva Viscaya provinces.

1781
February – Ramoñ Laso de la Vega comes to Álamos to recruit settlers for Los Angeles. He will leave with 11 settler and 17 soldier families. Several of the soldiers were married in Álamos. Ramoñ Laso de la Vega is under the command of Fernando de Rivera y Moncado who is leading a group of 42 soldiers.

1781
Fernando de Rivera followed the de Anza trail north through Sonora to Arizona and then west towards Los Angeles. He had kept 30 some men to stay with the livestock and the rest of the men went with him. He is killed on this day, along with his men, before reaching the San Gabriel Mission.

1781
September 4 – Ramoñ Laso de la Vega arrives in Los Angeles. His party had gone from Álamos to Quaymas and then sailed to Loreto, Baja California. From there they marched up the Peninsula. The official record states that 11 families of settlers from Sinaloa and Sonora along with four soldiers and their families founded Los angeles. Other accounts record 46 people from Álamos settling Los Angeles.

1783
Franciscan Antonio de los Reyes is the new Bishop and intends to live in Arispe

1783
Antonio Almada y Reyes arrives in Álamos, His uncle, Don Antonio de los Reyes is the Bishop of Sonora.

1786
Official records indicate Don Juan Ross was paid $11,250 pesos as the first contractor on the cathedral that stands today.

history medallion in high school walkway, alamos sonora mexico, photo by anders tomlinson.

A cathedral begins construction, today it still the town’s centerpiece.

1787
What is now La Casa de los Tesoros restaurant and hotel was built by Fr. Juan Nicolas Queiros. He lived here for 60 years.

1791
Jose Maria is born to Antonio Almada y Reyes.

1794
Frey de los Reyes starts to build a new church and the first public school in Sonora.

1794
Cemetery opens

1799
Royal Treasury is established in Álamos. It is the largest producer of silver bars in all of Spain

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Álamos 1600 – 1699

sunset and cerra cacharamba, alamos sonora mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

Cerra Cacharamba towers over a land rich with silver.

1608
Captain Diego Martinez de Hurtaide and his Spanish soldiers venture into Mayo lands. He and the Mayo agree to a military alliance against the Yaquis and any other waring Indians. The Mayos and Yaquis did not get along.

1610
Defeat of Yaqui, peace to all in Cáhita land.

1613 – 1614
Jesuits enter Mayo territory. 1614 – Padre Pedro Méndez leads a group of missionary priest into Mayo lands. It is thought that the Indians believed having the priests on their land would protect them from the diseases that were killing off the indigenous populations.

1613 – 1620
Missions are established around Álamos in southern Sonora.

1617
First Yaqui missions. The Yaqui were converted by Fathers Andrés Pérez de Ribas and Tomas Basilio. In spite of suffering from uprisings, revolts, torment and murder the conversion of Sonora was faster and more entrenched. For the seventeenth century the jesuits expanded and founded the mission of Yecora Maycoba and in the southwestern part of what were known as Chinipas.
(Father Andrés Pérez de Ribas wrote a book ” History of Our Holy Faith Amongst the Most Barbarous and Fierce Peoples of the World.”)

1621
Padre Miguel Godinez founded the missions of San Andrés of Cornicari and Asunción de Tepahui.

1678
Father Juan Ortiz Zapata with 30 Spaniards – Piedras Verde mining camp

1682 – 1821
Spanish Colonial period.

1683
La Aduana silver. Promotories “La Europa” – Almada. There was already mining in the region, Real de Minas de Nuestra Se´nora de Guadalupe, 15 miles northwest of Álamos on the Río Mayo between Conicarit and el Tabelo. Spanish troups protected the miners and the plan was for this to be the town for both the La Aduana and Conicarit mines. The reasoning was it would easier to protect one town than two. Miners would learn the La Aduana mines were richer so many moved to what would become present day Álamos and settled between the Arroyos Aduana and Escondida. These miners were fined by the Spanish givernment because they had disobeyed orders not to move to Álamos.

1684 history medallion, Escuela Paulito Verjan, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Alamos has become an official city as western colonization expands.


1684
Álamos begins to grow in size.

1685 – 1686
May 1985 to August, 1686 – Bachiller y Licenciado Pedro de Barcelon was acting curé. He would continue to serve as an assistant to the priest.
In those days a priest was responsible for both civil and religious administration.

1686
08-28-1686 – First recorded date and entry in the Parochial Register by Father Francisco de Carissa, the first Álamos parish priest, reads “Book in which are entered the Baptisms, Burials and Marriages started by me on the 28th of August, 1686.”

1686
10-22-1687 – Second recorded entry, Father Carissa writes that his headquarters have moved to Álamos of the declining population in Real Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

1687
February – Father Kino stops in Álamos for two days Alamos to raise money for new mission construction in Sonora and the Californias missions. He successfully established a chain of mission in northern Sonora and southern Arizona, no doubt with the help of Álamos silver. On his first visit he wrote, Wealthy gentlemen and merchants are building at the scene of the rush a real, or mining town, with casas reales, church and residents ranged around the plaza.”

1687
Tarahumare Indians revolt. Álamos becomes headquarters of Spanish operations against Indians.

1688
General Andrés de Rezábal with Spanish soldiers, Mayo and Zuaqui Indians end the Tarahumare uprising.

1689
General Andrés de Rezábal has a watchtower built on “Cerro de la Compana” – Bell Hill. If Álamos was threatened by Indians a bell would be rung to warn the town.

1690
Assay office established. Headquarters for long pack trains, as many as 1000 mules, hauling silver bars to Mexico city two to four times a year depending on weather.

1695
Real de Guadalupe is seat of all civil – military authority.

1695
First assayer was Spanish Juan Salvador Esquer.
( This is marginal information )

1697
Base for Military operations in the Tarahumara rebellion.

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Álamos 1500 – 1599

pond on sierra de alamos during the summer. alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson

This was then and this is now on Sierra de Álamos.

♦ Before the Europeans

Calimaya, as it was known by the Yaquis and Mayos, was the region surrounding Alamos. The Yaquis, proud and warlike, and the Mayos, friendly and peaceful, both spoke Taracahitan language dialects. The Alamos basin was the land of the Mayo, Warihio and Basiroa. The Basiroa Indians may have had camps in La Aduana and Agua Escondida arroyos. There were as many as 115,000 indigenous people in Sonora and Sinola before the Spanish slave traders arrived. These Indigenous people, speaking one of 18 Cahita dialects, were the largest Indian group in Northern Mexico, and lived along the lower reaches of the Sinaloa, Fuerte, Mayo and Yaqui rivers. The Spanish called these agriculturalist Indians, spread out across the region in small groups, “rancheria people”.

♦ The Spanish are Coming, The Spanish are Coming

1517
Diego de Velázquez, governor of Cuba, sends two ships owned by Bizkaian Lope Ochoa de Salcedo and led by 
Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, the first European to visit Mexico, to explore the Yucatán peninsula. They sail along the Yucatán and Gulf of Mexico for six months collecting gold worth over $20,000 pesos and encounter a wide variety of cultures and lands proving it is a major land mass and not another island. Local Indians killed fifty and captured several more Spanish explorers. Córdoba’s report, on his return to Cuba, makes Governor Diego de Velásquez decide to have Hernán Cortés command a larger, stronger force back to Mexico. Cortés, like all early explores, hopes to discover a route to Asia and its immense riches in spices and other resources.

1519

February, Cortés sails from Cuba on 11 ships loaded with over 450 soldiers, 16 horses and a large number of supplies. Cortés arrives in Yucatán and takes control of the town of Tabasco. Here the Spanish learn of the Aztec empire ruled by Moctezuma II. Dismissing Velasqué orders, Cortés goes on and founds the city of Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico directly east of Mexico City. Cortés begins his famous march inward into Mexico, using the strength of his forces to form an important alliance with the Tlascalans, enemies of the Aztecs. Cortés’s also traveled with an entourage of 400, including capture Indians and a woman translator Malinche, who becomes Cortés’s mistress.

1519
November – Cortés and his men arrive at Tenochtitlán where they are welcomed as honored guests by Moctezuma and his people due to the Spaniard’s resemblance to Quetzalcoatl, a legendary light-skinned god-king whose return was prophesied in Aztec legend. Cortés takes Moctezuma hostage and controls Tenochtitlán.

1521

August 13: After a bloody series of conflicts–involving the Aztecs, the Tlascalans and other native allies of the Spaniards, and a Spanish force sent by Velásquez to contain Cortés – Cortés finally defeats the forces of Montezuma’s nephew, Cuauhtémoc (who became emperor after his uncle was killed in 1520) to complete his conquest of Tenochtitlán. His victory marks the fall of the once-mighty Aztec empire. Cortés razes the Aztec capital and builds Mexico City on its ruins; it quickly becomes the premier European center in the New World.

The above entries. 1519 to 1521,  are from A History Timeline of Mexico

1519
Mexico’s Indian population was estimated to be as high as 25 million in 1519 and as low as 4.5 million, most living in the great valley of Mexico. For more info visit Cambridge Mexico population study, and in particular Population estimate table

1520 to 1580
Fully 80 percent of the ships making voyages between Europe and the Americas are either Basque-manned and/or owned by Basque commercial interests.

1523
The Indian population in Mexico may have been reduced to 16.8 million

1529
December of 1529, Nuno Beltran de Guzman, once a lawyer, led an army of 500 Spanish and 10,000 Tlaxcalans, Aztecs and Tarascans into Sinola.

1531
March of 1531, Guzman defeated 30,000 Indians and founded what is present day Culíacan. Many that survived were captured and enslaved. Later, Guzman’s Amerindian army was wiped out by epidemics and hunger. His was a reign of terror. Spanish colonialization was approaching Alamos.

1533
Diego de Guzman, nephew of Nuño de Guzman, walks through on well-trod Indian trails. He was looking for Indian slaves. He may have been the first European to walk through present day Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. He went as far north as the Yaqui River before being stopped by hostile Yaquis.
Some accounts mention the Spanish being turned back by an elderly man in black robes who drew a line in the sand. Others talk about the vastly outnumbered Spanish turning around to avoid combat with the hostile Yaquis warriors.

1535
The Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza, begins hearing of Guzmán’s atrocities in 1931 involving the Indians and, urged on by Franciscan Father Bartolomé de las Casas and Bishop Zumárraga, he has Guzmán arrested in 1535.
Mendoza returns Guzmán to Spain in 1536 where he dies in obscurity in 1544.

1530’s
Alavar Nuñez Cabeza de Vasa may have neen the first european to reach present day Arizona. He too probably walked through Álamos along Indian trails headed towards Culíacan

1536
Cabeza de Vaca arrives in Mexico City with news of the even Cities of Cibola and its plentiful gold and silver. Viceroy Don Antonio de Mendosa listened with great interest and decides to fund an expedition north.

1539
Franciscan priest Marcos de Niza was appointed leader of Mendoza’s expedition. Estéban the Moor, who had traveled with Cabeza de Vaca, was the guide. They left Culíacan March 7, 1539. The expedition was forced back to Culíacan with little but talk of cities of gold and silver. Estéban had been killed by Indians

1540
Vásquez de Coronado with a large military expedition left Compstela, Navarit and traveled through Sinola and Sonora. de Coronado is thought to have camped on Guadalupe Hill in Alamos. The camp site was called Real de los Frailes, Real de la Limpia Concepcion de los Alamos and Real de Guadalupe

1543
Cristóbal de Oñate makes the first mining strikes in Nueva Galacia: Silver at Espíritu Santo, Guachinango, Xocotlán and Etzatlán – and gold at Xaltepec. The strikes are small, but they encourage new settlement in the area

There are some who think members of Guzman’s expedition, slave traders or Indians, had mined silver near Álamos as early as 1543.

1544
The first book published in the New World is written by Bishop Zumárraga. Titled Doctrina Breve, it instructs the Aztecs, in their own language, about Catholicism

1548
The mexican Indian population may have been reduced cut to 6.3 million by 1548.

1564
In my notes I had a reference to Francisco Ibarra and 1564. I do not know why. As I go through my notes it may become clearer. I did research on Franciso Ibarra and found these entries in a timeline of Basques in New Spain:

1549 — At the age of 10, Francisco de Ibarra comes to the New World to join his uncle Diego de Ibarra.
1554 — Francisco de Ibarra leads his first expedition at the age of 16. At age 17, he leads the first authorized exploration north and west of Zacatecas. Between 1554 and 1574, he and Juan de Tolosa conquer the area of northern Mexico.Northern Mexico is now comprised of the present states of Durango, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Sonora, and some parts of Zacatecas, San Luis de Potosí and León. In the 1560’s Ibarra carries out extensive exploration, conquest and settlement of the unknown lands north of San Martín and names the area Nueva Viscaya after his homeland in the Basque Country.

1572
Jesuits arrive in New Spain.

1580
The Indian population continued to decline in 1580 with an estimated 1.9 million survivors

1583 – 1584
First settlements north of Culíacan in an attempt to bolster Spanish control of northern Sinola.

1590 -1591
Jesuit priests Gonzalo Tapia and Martin Perez establish a mission in Culíacan.

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♦ Other Álamos, Sonora Mexico timelines:

1600 – 1699 timeline

1700 – 1799 timeline

1800 – 1849 timeline

1850 – 1899 timeline

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This is a work in progress.
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