Shadows of the Past
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The Point Loma peninsula lands which compose Cabrillo National Monument as a portion of this striking landform have been the stage for human activities for at least three millennia. Native peoples resided in villages located along leeward shorelines of the peninsula and utilized environmental resources for gathering, hunting, and other purposes. Evidence of their use is still extant as documented archeological resources, sometimes covered but not obliterated by later construction and terrain alterations. Preservation and further research potential for these surviving Native American heritage resources is presented in detail.

Spanish Colonial presence on the peninsula included a fortification with accompanying military structures constructed in the 1790s to protect the entrance to San Diego harbor. Archeological evidence of this historically significant structure exist on Navy managed lands at Ballast Point. Civilian land uses of the Point during the early 19th century included whaling operations, residential camps of ships' crews and Chinese workers.

With the influx of military forces of the United States after the 1840s, Point Loma lands were dominated by strategic uses that continue into the 21st Century. A long chronological development of fortifications, support buildings, quarters, roadways, and buried infrastructure systems is preserved as sequences of military changes and adaptations to global events by three nations — Spain, Mexican Republic, and United States. Archeological resources including artifactual materials and the industrial values of now-obsolete construction methods exist in many places. American maritime history is represented by an 1850s lighthouse with supporting structures, now absent, as the first federally funded facility on the West Coast.

Civilian land uses returned in the 1930s with the development of Cabrillo National Monument which preserves the original 1850s lighthouse, later military components which link Monument lands to other localities of military land uses, and public visitor facilities.

This study includes inventory of archeological sites, potential locations for historic archeological resources relating to military land uses, potential underwater maritime archeological materials, and recommendations for additional research. The development of data about the archeology, history, architecture, and landscape characteristics of the peninsula and its monument are summarized, illustrations include historical views of Point Loma lands, maps plotting civilian and military historical resources, paintings of the Spanish-Mexican Era fortifications and 1803 naval engagement, and historical photographs of military establishments through time.

Six Chapters contain specific texts addressing chronological themes with separate lists of references for each section.

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Last Updated: 06-Apr-2005