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Sparkie is visiting a historic site in southern San Luis Obispo County.

It is a site that was part of a 37,888-acre Mexican land grant in 1837.

It recalls the time when a ship’s captain from Boston moved to Santa Barbara in the 1820s while California was part of Mexico, met Maria Josefa Carrillo and decided to marry her.

The captain had to do four things to be able to marry Carrillo and later acquire land: become a naturalized Mexican citizen, learn to speak Spanish, convert to Catholicism, and ask permission from California’s governor to marry.

The couple married in 1828 and built a 13-room home on this site between 1839 and 1850.

The ranch blended Mexican, Spanish, indigenous and Euro-American influences as part of what became known as the Californio culture. It was the only stopping point between missions in San Luis Obispo and Santa Ynez. It later became the exchange point for mail between San Diego and San Francisco, a polling place to elect delegates to the California Constitutional Convention and a stagecoach stop.

A nonprofit formed in 1999 to restore the old home. Recently, a cultural center was added to the 130-acre site.

What is the name of the captain who lived on this site with his wife and family?

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If you think you know, send an email to wheressparkie@gmail.com or call or text 805-225-4624 to enter. Please give your name, where you live and your guess. You have until Thursday at 5 p.m. to enter. One person will be chosen at random from the correct answers to win a $25 gift card from Mr. Pool Man, 3395 Orcutt Road in Orcutt.

Check back here next Friday to find out where Sparkie was. To see additional photos, visit Sparkie online at www.santamariatimes.com, or the Santa Maria Times Facebook page, www.facebook.com/santamariatimes. Keep up with Sparkie’s adventures and see all his posts by liking his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wheressparkie.

The winner of last week’s contest was Joe Dana of Orcutt. He won a $25 Mastercard debit card from Community Bank of Santa Maria.

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