Tongva Indians and Spanish Missionaries

According to “The First Angelinos” by William McCawley, the Tongva village of “Wiqanga, was located at the west end of the Verdugo mountains.” This area more than likely referring to the area of Las Barras Canyon and La Tuna Canyons approximately where the Verdugo Hills Golf Course is presently located, and the site of vernal springs.

That area serves as the perfect village site for reasons of year-round water, safe from seasonal flooding, and located next to the abundant oak forests of the Verdugo mountains. The Tongva ground acorns and used it for flour.

In the San Gabriel mission records, there is record of the missionary fathers heading west to Mission San Fernando and stopping at the Indian Village (La Tuna) for water before descending into the San Fernando Valley.

Note that Tujunga pioneer, Philip Begue, spoke about the Indians living in the area of La Tuna and many of them attending Sister Elsie’s school. Begue’s homestead included the area of the golf course and Sister Elsie’s school.