Monday, April 1, 2019

Los Rios Street Historic District


     Los Rios Street is the oldest continuously inhabited street in California. Forty adobe houses were built by the mission Indians in 1794 and three are still standing. One is a private residence, another, the Montanez Adobe, is owned by the city and houses a free museum, and the third is owned by the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society and is opened for tours on special occasions.

   The houses on the rest of the street, which date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, are a mix of residential homes and small specialty shops.

   We wanted to visited the Montanez Adobe but it wasn’t opened. It appears to be accessible. Walk across the plaza to view the historic photos with captions that are embedded in a stucco wall.
    The O’Neil Museum which has been relocated to the Historical Society property on Los Rios Street is opened daily. The house has been restored and furnished to reflect the styles of the 1880s. A few exhibits cover the construction of the house and the history of the O’Neil family who donated money for the restoration. The families who built and lived the house do not get much of a mention. Also on the property are the Silvas Adobe- one of original 1794 adobes- and an 1918 Craftsman style bungalow. Neither have regular tour hours and were not open when we visited. All of the houses have ADA compliant ramps. The grounds are a bit uneven and sloped.
    We parked in Los Rios Park and followed an easy but bumpy  flagstone path to Los Rios Street. Do not park an RV on any city street. According to city codes: No person shall park and leave standing upon any public street or highway within the City of San Juan Capistrano any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles in excess of twenty-five (25) feet in length, or having a width in excess of ninety (90) inches as measured at the widest portion of the body, not including mirrors or other extensions, or a weight in excess of ten thousand pounds. Historical Society  33.50099, -117.66575
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