The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission has backed a plan to make a two-mile unpaved equestrian and hiking trail in the San Fernando Valley a historic and cultural monument.
The Apeta Momonga Mission Trail stretches south and parallel to the 118 Freeway between De Soto Avenue to the west and Tampa Avenue to the east and is owned by several groups, including Sierra Canyon High School and the Los Angeles City Department of Water and Power.
If approved by the Los Angeles City Council, it will be protected from development and any changes.
“For many years, establishing and keeping this trail was really important for us because we were seeing what was happening with the trail system and how they’ve been going away because of the development,” said Dean Wageman, chair of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council’s equestrian committee, who filed the application along with a group of residents and tribal leaders.
The Apeta Momonga Mission Trail was used as a route between the Native American villages of Achoicominga and Momonga, the largest community in the Santa Susana Pass area and represented an intersection between several tribes, including Ventureno Chumash, the Tataviam and Gabrielino.
Momonga was referred to as the Ranchera de la Piedras, or Village of the Stones, in the Mission San Fernando registers and was one of several Native American communities later incorporated into the Mission San Fernando.
By 1832, California had a chain of 21 missions that extended from San Diego to San Francisco, separated by a day-long trip along the route known as EI Camino Real, or the King’s Highway.
The Apeta Momonga Mission Trail was part of the historic network of trails that linked the San Fernando and Ventura Missions from 1769 to 1833 and “reflects the broad cultural, economic or social history of the nation, state or community for its pre-Spanish settlement use as a route between the Native American villages of Achoicominga and Momonga,” according to a letter commissioners wrote.
When Wageman and other residents initially submitted the application, asking commissioners to name the site the Chatsworth Old Mission Trail, they received a call from Momonga tribal leaders asking if they could join the application process.
“They wanted to be part of the name submission, and we rewrote the application for them,” Wageman said.
They also asked commissioners to change the name from the originally proposed Chatsworth Old Mission trail to the Chatsworth Momonga Mission trail.
Then in November, after gathering public input, the commission recommended naming it The Apeta Momonga Mission Trail.
Wageman’s family has a connection to the trail.
Wageman’s father, who recently died, owned a ranch in Chatsworth near the trail. Plus, Wageman’s wife, Darlene, has spent more than 20 years riding, hiking and walking the trail with her horse Smitty, who recently died.
Saving the trail means Wageman would honor his father and preserve a piece of history that his family has enjoyed.
If the City Council approves the commission’s recommendation, the trail will join the Homestead Acre, the Stagecoach Trail, Stoney Point and other historical monuments in Chatsworth.
Now, it’s up to the Los Angeles City Council to decide whether the trial will become a historic site.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News