Spanish-California explorer and first white man of record to visit this area. He discovered a river now known as the Tule in April of 1806, named it Rio de San Pedro and followed its channel upstream possibly as far as River Island. Friar Pedro Munoz, diarist with Moraga, wrote that the river is "without water due to its thickness of willow, cottonwoods, torote and ash trees, and also because of an abundance of sand."(at the river mouth) but he also wrote that upstream there was enough good water and land to support a mission. An Indian rancheria "with 400 souls" was discovered by Moraga in the area that now includes the Porterville Municipal Golf Course and Alta Vista. Known as Chokowesho and occupied by the Coyehete Tribe of Yokuts, this rancheria, in a way, was the forerunner of Porterville. Moraga, commanding a force of 25 men, had been sent into the San Joaquin Valley by California Governor Jose Joaquin Arrillaga to locate a possible site for a Spanish mission and also to deal with neophytes who had run away from missions on the coast taking with them horses,
cattle, and firearms. Exploring from the Calaveras River to Kern River, Moraga crossed Rio de San Pedro very close to the location of this monument.