Born in England–but reared in New York City—Josiah P. Ames was 20 when he joined Col. Jonathan Stevenson’s special regiment that sailed around Cape Horn to California in 1847. The colonel’s instructions were to take part in the American occupation and to make the inhabitants “feel that we come as deliverers.”
With the completion of the mission, Col. Stevenson bought a rancho in Contra Costa County. His objective was to turn the land into a large, prosperous city. Ames followed in the colonel’s footsteps when he cast his eye on Half Moon Bay.
Already Ames had tasted the life of tents and cloth houses in San Francisco and the rawness of life in the gold mines. Filled with energy, he was now ready to buy land, start up businesses and launch a political career.
Perhaps it was fellow Stevenson Regiment member James Denniston who invited him to the Coastside; they were close friends. After marrying into the prominent Guerrero family, Denniston found himself the wealthy owner of an immense tract of land, called El Corral de Tierra, stretching from Montara to the Arroyo de en Medio in Miramar.
…To Be Continued…