Celebrating the Past
July 14, 1907
Led by the Rev. Juan Caballeria (or Cabelleria), the city is preparing to celebrate its 126th anniversary Aug. 2 with concerts, Mass in the Plaza church and cannon fire. The old artillery piece will be lit by Gen. Jose Aguilar, a former member of the Mexican army who battled the Americans and later joined Gen. John C. Fremont.
Wearing his uniform and sword, Aguilar, who is nearly 100 years old, will fire the cannon when the flags of Spain, Mexico and the United States are raised in the order they appeared over the city. The cannon will also be fired at noon and sunset.
The Times notes that Caballeria has played a crucial role in removing more recent modifications to the old church and is restoring it to the way it appeared in its prime. “His has been a work of returning to their proper places the old canvases, the quaintly carved wooden images and the many articles in use in the earliest days,” The Times says.
“Many of the paintings are invaluable and that was a serious loss sustained recently when a thief climbed through one of the windows and cut from their frames two of the paintings of Father Tanquery. These were the last two of the 14 stations of the cross. Yesterday, they were replaced with paintings of Senor Jesus Gonzales ... who was brought here several months ago to take up the work in restoration of the old church.”