A friend asked me what is the most northern mission in Alta California. It was a Bambi moment, you know deer in headlights analogy: because it was an unexpected question, because I didn’t have a real answer. So out came a non-answer answer; to the effect that where you stop hearing Spanish names for places, qué no?
Then we talked about regional names in Northern California, places with English and French names. We both chuckled about the Russian River and the fact that we’re pretty sure the Russians didn’t call it Russian River, but that we didn’t know what they did call it. And my mind began to wander.
What would have happened if the French or the Russians had they remained in the area? Would we all have a better sense of Cyrillic? Would the Molokans be better integrated into our history? Would they exist in the U.S? I grew up being aware of the Molokans as I was growing up in East Los. I suspect there were Russian Orthodox folks but I didn’t know or note them.
Mind still wandering.
Because I’ve mentioned the Molokans, here are a couple of sites with more info.