From Wilderness to Wonderland

Heinrichs, Ann
January 2002
California Missions (0-7565-0208-X);2002, p5
The region that is now California was a vast wilderness along the Pacific Ocean, only 250 years ago. Its native people fished along the coast and hunted animals in the forests and mountains. Today, California is the third-largest state in the United States after Alaska and Texas. California also has the largest population of all the states. It is hard to imagine California without its highways, skyscrapers, and celebrities. The change began with the building of religious communities known as the California missions.


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