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.

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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.

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.

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

May, railroad reaches Navajoa.

Railroad from Navajoa reaches Álamos.

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.

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.”

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

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

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.

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.

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.

November, Madero becomes Mexico’s president.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

August, Carranza becomes head of government.

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.

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.

Pancho Villa is entrenched in southern Sonora.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

One train a week from Navajoa to Álamos.

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.

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.

Amos J. Yaeger dies at the age of 59.

Álamos city has an estimated population of 1,000.

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

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.

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:

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
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.

Hermosilo connected to the port of Guaymas.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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 f ederal laws.

August – General Pesqueria becomes Sonora’s Governor.

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.

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.

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

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

Álamos floods.

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

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.

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.

Álamos is retaken by Liberal General Plácido Vega.
Governor Pesquiera returns to meet with Vega in Álamos.
Pesquiera felt 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.

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.

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

June – Mexico City falls to the French.

Maximilian is made Emperor of Mexico.

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)

Early – French troops land in Guaymas.

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.

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 force 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.

Emperor Maximilian declares Álamos capital of the department of Álamos.

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.

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

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

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

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.

September – Sonora returns to the republic of Mexico.

February – French troops leave Mexico.

June – Emperor Maximilian is executed.

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

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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
Sonora for couple of months.

Álamos leads Independents in revolt against Pesqueira.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Primary education became compulsory where schools existed.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

April – Cajeme is captured and executed.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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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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.

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

Mexican colonists becoming dissatisfied with Spaniards.

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

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.

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.

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

Population estimate is 7,900 inhabitants.

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.

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

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

Sinaloa and Sonora remain together in the early years
of Mexico.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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)

March 15 – A separation decree reconstitutes and Sonora
as separate states.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

War between Spaniards and Yaquis and Mayos

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.

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.

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

1741 – 1744

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? )

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

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

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.”

Antonio Almada y Reyes is born in Leon Spain.

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.

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

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

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

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.

A flood wiped out much of the newly constructed Alameda

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.

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

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

April 5 – de Anza is recorded as being in Culíacan

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. )”

May 1 – de Anza is in El Fuerte.

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

June 22 – de Anza in San Miguel de Horcasitas

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.

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

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

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.

March – de Anza arrived in Monterey, California.

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.

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.”

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

Jose Maria is born to Antonio Almada y Reyes.

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

Cemetery opens

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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

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

1682 – 1821
Spanish Colonial period.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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 Álamos. The Yaquis, proud and warlike, and the Mayos,
friendly and peaceful, both spoke Taracahitan language dialects. The
Álamos 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

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.


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.

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.


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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

Jesuits arrive in New Spain.

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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