…living in the a rancho just north of the pueblo was a young Scottish adventurer named Hugh Reid. In the 1830s he left the old world for the new — Mexico. And in his adopted home he was rechristened with an additional Spanish name, Perfecto Hugo Reid. Reid would eventually settle down on a ranch in southern California near the San Gabriel mission in what’s now Arcadia, a suburb of Los Angeles, where he married a local woman, Doña Victoria.
Robert Train has been obsessed with Hugo Reid’s backstory for the last few years. Train is a professor of Spanish at Sonoma State University. We met recently at the Huntington Library archives in Pasadena, to read Reid’s extremely yellowed letters.
“Who was this Sepulveda guy?” you may ask. Don Francisco Sepulveda used to own the Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica. That’s the area of West L.A. from UCLA to the Pacific. So who was the intersecting Señor Pico? Pio Pico was the last governor of Mexican Alta California.