Avelino Martinez Historical

Avelino Martinez Historical (HM1V5E)

Location: Tehachapi, CA 93561 Kern County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 7.99', W 118° 24.894'

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Died at Age 112 on August 7, 1936

—Last Known Member of the Joaquin Murrieta Horse Gangs —

To quote the authors, Frank F. Latta, Arnold R. Rojas, and Bonnie Ketterl Kane, per Rancho El Tejon's Mayordomo (Supervisor) of almost sixty years, Don Jose Jesus Lopez (J.J.), about Avelino Martinez; "He was a little dried up gnome of a man, so old that his eyelashes had long since fallen out; his beady little eyes seemed to be the only things alive in his shriveled old mash of a face."

So why do we take the time and expense to recognize such a character? Research tells us that Avelino came to California from Sonora, Mexico, searching for his father at the age of 13. A little while later he met a group of "ladrones" (robbers). This was at the time when Alta California was looking to statehood and was being annexed from Mexico. The Mexicanos looked upon these ladrones as revolutionists / heroes.

Avelino joined the group, thus becoming the hostler (horse groom), sometimes cook, and most times go-fer for Joaquin Valenzuela, one of Joaquin Murrieta's horse gang lieutenants.

After Joaquin Murrieta was reportedly killed by the California Rangers July 25, 1853 at Cantua Canyon (Fresno County), Avelino and the real Murrieta went to the canyon and helped bury the dead. The remaining members dispersed and Avelino went to work, hiding out, on Rancho El Tejon. He had been working on the Rancho for over 20 years when J.J. Lopez was hired to manage the ranches' sheep. Later, after J.J. had been appointed mayordomo, they needed a cook. Avelino liked to cook, so he took over and held that position for over 40 years. He quit El Tejon in the 1920's and at the age of 94 went to work for E.J. "Bud" Cummings on his ranch in Tehachapi.

When he died at the age of 112, one story says Buddy Cummings paid a local "town drinker", Okey Dokey, two bottles of wine to bury Avelino. Another version says Buddy paid two of his ranch hands a bottle of wine to bury him at the Catholic Cemetery (now Westside Cemetery). Neither had ever dug a grave before, dug it three feet wide, six feet long, and six feet deep. There was just one peculiarity, the grave was oriented north-south, as opposed to east-west as all the other plots. To this day, Avelino Martinez is the only person buried in the cemetery north-south.
HM NumberHM1V5E
Series This marker is part of the E Clampus Vitus series
Year Placed2016
Placed ByPeter LeBeck Chapter 1866, E Clampus Vitus
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 at 1:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 371093 N 3888726
Decimal Degrees35.13316667, -118.41490000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 7.99', W 118° 24.894'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 7' 59.4000" N, 118° 24' 53.6400" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)661, 909
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1201 Burnett Rd, Tehachapi CA 93561, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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