Father Juan Crespi’s first description of Carlsbad

Franciscan Father Juan Crespi, along with military leader Don Gaspar de Portola led the first Spanish overland expedition from San Diego to Monterrey. Along the way they passed through what was to become Carlsbad.

Diary entry, 17 July, 1769: “…We descended in to a valley full of alders, in which we saw a village, but without people. In passing we named this village San Simón de Lipnica (later changed to Agua Hedionda). We continued on our way in the same northerly direction over hills and broad mesas supplied with good pasture and after more leagues travel we descended to a small very green valley which has a narrow plain some varas wide (a vara equals a little less than a yard). We pitched camp on the slope of the valley on the west side. The water is collected in pools and we noticed that it flowed out of several springs forming about it marshes, or stagnant pools covered with rushes and grasses. We named this place Santa Sinforosa ( Buena Vista) We saw from camp a village of heathen on the summit of a hill who ….deputed two of their number to visit us. As soon as they went back to their village all its inhabitants came to camp. Not fewer than 40 presented themselves...”

Note: Szymon of Lipnica was born in Lipnica, Murowana, in the south of Poland, between the years 1435-1440. He was beatified by Pope Innocent XI in 24 February 1685 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 3 June 2007. His "saint" day or birth date is marked as 18 July. Father Crespi may have visited Carlsbad on July 17 and named it for the following saint's day.