Monday, March 27, 2023

"Only a Nobody Walks in O.C."

Portrait of José Andrés Sepúlveda, circa 1856 by Henri Joseph Penelon (Courtesy Bowers Museum, via Santa Ana Public Library)

The modern observation that “nobody walks in L.A.” (or Orange County) was just as true during the Rancho Era of the 1800s. But back then the preferred mode of travel was the horse. Only the poorest did much more than cross the street on foot. 

“The few who were not good riders were looked upon with a kind of contempt,” wrote noted horseman Don José Sepulveda of the Rancho San Joaquin (which later became the Irvine Ranch). “Their attachment to their steeds was as great as the Arabs, and the greatest token of friendship between one man and another was the present of his best horse.”

Be glad we switched to cars. Imagine what our roads would be like with millions of commuters on horseback.

No comments: