"Little is known about the
Cochimi who live here when the Spanish arrived
except that they subsisted mostly on Pacific
shellfish and wild desert plants and called
their valley community "Vinadaco". In
1874, the Dominican Order established its first
and southernmost California mission, Nuestra
Senora del Rosario, on the east side of the
valley facing the Pacific; the mission was moved
downstream 1802 to take advantage of a better
water supply. The adobe ruins of the newer
mission site can be found by turning right -
west - at the supermarket, where Mexico 1 curves
east, then left at the first road. After
crossing the riverbed to El Rosario de Abajo,
the minimal ruins lie on the right.
the mission community thrived, producing the
most abundant crops of any northern Baja
mission; the valley was perfectly suited for
agriculture. As elsewhere in the
Californias, the Armerindians eventually
succumbed to disease by the missionaries, and
left without converts or laborers, the mission
closed in 1832.
A Spanish land grant in the 1840's brought
Carlos Espinosa to the valley, where he and his
family became successful ranchers and farmers.
Italian copper miner Eduardo Grosso arrived at
the end of the 19th century. The union of
the two families has been a prime source of El
Rosario history ever since.
In the 1960's, El Rosario became a checkpoint
off-road race and the first landing for the
Flying Samaritans, a
group of American doctors who provide volunteer
medical service by plane to several northern
Baja settlements. El Rosario's Dona Anita
Grosso de Espinosa, proprietor of
cafe, helped assure initial success of both
endeavors by acting as a liaison between
americanos and the local community"