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In The Early Ninetieth Century

In the early nineteenth century, from about 1820s to 1846s, immense Mexican land grants of tens of thousands of acres dominated the California landscape. The grants covered the soft rolling hills along the coast and inland and became grazing lands for cattle on a thousand hills in the halcyon days of Mexican California.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Massachusetts had become the recognized capital of American shoe manufacturing and the booming new industry needed leather, lots of it.

That need created a whole new paradigm: sleek, three-masted clipper ships loaded with provisions such as iron cooking pots, farm tools, musical instruments, gunpowder, coffee and tea, spices, cocoa, sugar and molasses, silks and lace sailed from Boston and made the torturous 17,000 mile, 6 month journey to California. (Makes one think twice about complaining about the economy seats in the 5-hour flight across the country).