It’s described as one of the most gruesome mass murders in California history. Eleven people murdered in San Miguel back in 1848.
Tomorrow, the Native Sons of the Golden West will honor the memory of William Reed and his family and the people who worked for them who were also murdered almost 170 years ago. Back in 1846, Reed bought the San Miguel mission. His family moved into the buildings, which was not operating as a church at the time. In 1848, Reed went to the gold fields in the sierra and later told people he found gold.
British sailors who had jumped ship in Monterey stopped and visited reed. They heard his stories of the gold rush and then murdered the family in an effort to find the gold. The famous African American mountain man, James Beckworth discovered the bodies and contacted officials.
The culprits were tracked to Santa Barbara and were executed in swift fashion. The ceremony to honor the eleven victims of the murder will be held tomorrow morning at eleven at Father Reginald Park next to the mission.