Monday, May 21, 2012

New Hope aka Stanislaus City Landing

In the Fall of 1846, 20 Mormon pioneers, who had come to the Bay Area, after taking the Ship Brooklyn around South America, to The Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and back to San Francisco, made an effort to establish a colony at New Hope, on the banks of the Stanislaus River, just above the confluence with the San Joaquin River.  One of the things that has puzzled me was where exactly did the pioneers of New Hope land in 1846.  There as a plaque at Moss Landing, which indicated it had taken place just beyond there.

I was reading some material, unpublished, loaned to me by Sister Haskins from the Ripon Ward: "Tales of Old San Joaquin City: by Earle E Williams.  It indicated they had landed at Whithall Slough:

The Mormon's New Hope, or Stanislaus City, preceeded them all.  It never lived to really become a city.  New Hope was an agricultural colony of twenty-some-odd Mormon pioneers; established on the north bank of the Stanislaus River in November of 1846.  These Mormons were from the Ship Brooklyn.  They had been outfitted by Samuel Brannan and sent up the San Joaquin river in a little sailing schooner, the ship Comet.  Just upriver from the present Mossdale Bridge, where the tide water gives out, the schooner took the east branch, or what is now called the Whithall Slough, and landed the party of Mormons and their gear on the east bank.

I checked the map, and discovered this is a place I go past two times a day on the Ace train.  If you look at the pictures, the river goes to the right and follows a farm field, while the water strait ahead is the slough.  It actually doesn't go very far.

From here they had a journey of a few miles to where they had decided to start their colony.   Continuing the narrative:  The party then proceeded towards the Southeast for about six miles towards a location on the north bank of the Stanislaus River, about one and a half miles up from the river's mouth, where it empties into the San Joaquin; a location that Sam Brannon previously selected.

There is a plaque just outside Moss Landing State Park that commemorates this event.

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