• 's Migrant Mother, depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on a mother of seven children, age 32, in Nipomo, California, March 1936. * The original settlers of Nipomo were the Chumash Indians, who have lived in this area for over 9,000 years. * The founder of present day Nipomo, William G. Dana of Boston, was a sea captain. Dana's travels led him to California where he married Maria Josefa Carrillo of Santa Barbara. * Rancho Nipomo (the Indian word ne-po-mah meant "foot of the hill") was one of the first and largest of the Mexican land grants in San Luis Obispo County. In 1837, the 38,000-acre Rancho Nipomo was granted to Captain Dana by the Mexican Govenor. * The Dana Adobe, which was started in 1839 by Captain Dana, served as an important stop for travelers on El Camino Real, "The Kings' Highway," between missions San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. It was the exchange point for mail going between north and south in the first regular mail route in California, and a stage coach stop. * The Danas had children, of which 13 reached adulthood. They learned both English and Spanish, as well as the language of the Chumash natives. The Danas celebrated fiestas that brought people together. * U.S. Army Captain John C. Fremont and his soldiers stopped at the rancho on their way south to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles in 1846. Captain Dana hosted a barbecue and gave Fremont’s men 30 fresh horses. * By the 1880s the Dana descendants had built homes on the rancho and formed a town. Streets were laid out and lots were sold to the general public. * The Pacific Coast Railroad (narrow gauge) came to town in 1882. Trains stopped running through Nipomo in the depression of the 1930's. By the end of 1942, the tracks were removed for the war effort. * Thousands of Blue Gum Eucalyptuses were planted on the Nipomo Mesa in 1908 by two men who formed the Los Berros Forest Company with the idea of selling the trees as hardwood. * Nipomo is the location of one of the most famous photographs of the American Depression, "Migrant Mother", taken by Dorothea Lange. * Thompson Road was originally US highway 101, on which Dorothea Lange no doubt traveled. The current US 101 freeway was constructed in the late 1950's. Source:

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