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Shadows of the Past

The Preciado Project 1989-90

The Preciado Project was completed in the 1989-90 school year by students from Centro De Estudios Del Instituto Sonorense De Ingles, Profa. Lic. Sociologia Rosa Elena Rodriguez V. (Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico); James Monroe School, Bill Coate’s 6th-grade class (Madera, California); LaVina Elementary School, Lucretia McGugin’s 6th-grade class (Madera, California); Millview School, Oscar Dragon, Carol Lawrence, and Susan Morrison’s 6th-grade classes (Madera, California).

Ygnacio Preciado was a Mexican forty-niner from the Mexican state of Sonora. Ygnacio was born there in 1830.

When “the world rushed in” to the California gold fields in 1849, Ygnacio joined the crowd. He landed first in San Andreas.

Preciado’s experiences in California mirrored those of most “foreigners” in the gold fields. He was forced to pay the tax imposed on non-citizen miners and was about ready to return home when he met the Noriegas, an old Californio family.

Carlos Noriega had several daughters, and one in particular, Adelaide, caught the eye of Ygnacio Preciado. In 1866 Noriega announced the engagement of his daughter to Ygnacio.

After their marriage, Ygnacio and Adelaide moved to Madera where they remained and raised their family of twelve children. When he died in 1919, the entire community turned out to pay their respects to the San Joquin Valley’s best-known “Mexican ’49’er.” The story of his rise from peon to patriarch is the focus of Shadows of the Past.

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