29 1821 The Mexican Period Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, but it was 1822 before a new military command arrived in San Diego. At this time the small settlement consisted of the nearby presidio hous- ing a military garrison, the mission six miles inland with its labor force of Kumeyaay Indians, and the port, where ships stopped to trade supplies. 1769 The Spanish Period In 1769 Spanish colonization of Alta California began in San Diego with construction of the royal Presidio and the first in a chain of 21 California missions. Directed by the padres, mission Indians cultivated crops, manufactured blankets and clothing, provided con- struction labor, and raised livestock. Although Spain severely restricted trade, the padres exchanged otter skins, cowhides and tallow for manufac- tured goods and luxury items from the United States, Europe and China. Spanish soldiers began building residences below Presidio Hill in the early 1820s. Sun-dried adobe brick was the traditional building material, Americans and other foreigners often enjoyed the customs and festivities of San Diego. The open plaza hosted fies- tas, bullfights, games of chance, and amusements that offered the opportu- nity for wagering. Making corn flour, Alexander F. Harmer, (circa 1895) 1846 since wood was scarce. Soon five houses belonging to the Carrillo (and later Fitch), Ruiz, Ybañes, Serrano and Marron families became the nucleus of the community. By 1825 the adobes formed a rough but orderly street patternaround an open plaza. Two of the finest structures, begun in 1827 and still standing, belonged to José Antonio Estudillo and his broth- er-in-law, Juan Bandini. San Diego’s Mexican era ended abrupt- ly in 1846, when the United States declared war on Mexico. Initially Old Town San Diego,1846 there was little resistance to American occupation, but the situ- ation eventually turned San Diego families against one another. Some remained loyal to Mexico, while others supported the United States. The town was occupied and regained several times. In 1846 U.S. Navy Commodore Robert F. Stockton permanently captured San Diego. The war between Mexico and the United States ended in 1848 with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, establishing a new bound- ary between the two countries. James Marshall’s gold discovery at Coloma in January 1848 lured adventurers from around the world. San Diego became an important stopover for miners en route to the gold fields, and immigrants crowded into available housing. Adobes were remodeled, and new structures were built. In 1851 prefabricated wood- frame buildings, brought by ship around the Horn, were assembled in San Diego. Following the Mexican War, California experienced a major political transformation—a new Constitution written in 1849 and statehood in 1850. San Diego was incorporated as a city, and new American law was codified. By 1856, with the decline of the mili-tary presence and the Gold Rush land boom, the town turned into a small, insular commu- nity. In the U.S. census of 1860, A new Constitution written in 1849 and statehood in 1850. The American Period