Thursday, August 19, 2004

Go White Boy!

The statue of Father Garces. Posted by Hello
Photo courtesy of The San Joaquin Valley Digitization Project

So, I started doing some research on this Graces guy. Who is he and why does he insist on causing so many car accidents? According to the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, he “was the first white man to come into Bakersfield.” That’s it!! He was white and he called the Kern River “Rio de San Felipe” on his way to Yuma. Father Garces became a martyr on July 17, 1781 when he was killed by the ungrateful Yuma Indians he had come to save. AND! It turns out he was not the first white guy to come to town – it was actually Pedro Fages.

Apparently he didn’t leave much of an impression.

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