Information about Anza, California
Submitted by Ghostpainter on Mon, 06/05/2006 - 4:46pmJames Hamilton, was a interesting sort of fellow who is a great uncle of mine through marriage, er should I say marriages. Indian, black and white, we are all related to the Cahuilla Indians who live on Thomas Mt Indian Reservation. Anza remains isolated, but it has grown a bit in the last 150 years. I think the population is up to around 4500 full time residents and 5 or 6,000 summer time campers and hikers. Anza is governed locally by a major, and the patrolled by Riverside County Sheriffs Dept and the CHP as several state highways cross the mountains. Riverside County actually provides all of the local services. My family can trace its routes to Anza through several family groups. We even have a Museum in Anza. It is a part of the Hamilton Museum located on Highway 371 in downtown Anza. But sadly we have no legal stake in Anza. My grandfather, one James Daniel Hall, lost all of landholdings and his ranch in the depression of the 1890's because he couldn't pay the taxes. They were still on the Mountain when the great depression hit in 1929. My dad, all of his brothers and sisters lived with the Cahuilla Indians on Thomas Mt. During the 50's 60's and 70's, in fact, right up to the time my dad died I spent a lot of time on the Mt. coming up the hill form the lowlands. I have since been up the Mt several times over the years. I hope that I can attend the 2007 family reunion on Thomas Mt. They are expecting about 400 ancestors of the Halls, Hamilton's, and the Arnizes (Cahuilla Indian) to attend.
The Anza Valley lies in south Riverside County. Due to its isolation, the Cahuilla Valley (Now Anza Valley) attracted only a few hardy settlers--- ranchers mostly and a few miners. The Thomas family, for example, up from Hemet, or Judge Terwilliger, a refugee from the desert, Jim Hamilton, the Reeds and the Hall Family.