Saturday, August 06, 2011

Ramona Epic #20: The King of Temecula

(GPS: N 33° 27.845 W 117° 07.200)

In finishing up my short series in the town of Temecula I thought I would connect the last blog about the store to this one. The last place I visited was the store of Louis Wolf. Louis Wolf was a European immigrant who arrived in Temecula in 1857. Since he not only developed the store I mentioned in the last blog, but helped develop and influence the early town of Temecula in such a way that he was known as the King of Temecula.

One thing he had done was to have his gravesite overlooking the town of Temecula. So, off I went driving through a residential area of Temecula. Through twisting and turning streets, I finally found the Cul-de-sac it is on. The gravesite is literally right next to some homes behind a locked gate.
There is a small plaque that shows a picture of him, names, dates, and the people that helped contribute to the restoration of the site. From around 2002-2007, the site was restored since the sarcophagus had been sicking into the ground and was damaged.At this point I was getting used to taking pictures over fences and gates. It was good enough for what I wanted to do anyways.I zoomed in on the sarcophagus.
In Helen Hunt Jackson's book, Ramona, the character who owns the store and is the main business man of the community in Temecula is Mr. Hartsel. So, the connection between Louis Wolf and Mr. Hartsel is a simple logical one. On the other hand, Mrs. Hartsel is the one that communicates with Alessandro while he was there. The Mrs. Hartsel connection would have been Wolf's wife, Ramona Place Wolf.

It is often said that Ramona Place, who was part Indian, was an influence on the main character of the book. It has been reported that Helen Hunt Jackson interviewed her about the Indian situation in Temecula. I am sure there were a variety of influences on the Ramona character, and this will come up again later near the end of this series.

As an aside, Ramona Place Wolf was supposedly buried at the San Luis Rey Mission cemetery, and not with her husband.

Some of the links I provided in the last blog are connected to this one, but I will add a few more:

When I get back to this series I will show the next stop Ramona and Alessandro made..."where they were married."