Drake’s disputed landing to be marked in Point Reyes National Seashore

The Park Service is unveiling a plaque that marks Drakes Bay as the most likely site of the English navigator’s 1579 landing.|

Point Reyes National Seashore will officially unveil a National Historic Landmark plaque Saturday at Limantour Beach commemorating Drakes Bay as the most likely site of English navigator Sir Francis Drake’s landing in 1579 and his first contact with the Coast Miwok natives.

Greg Sarris, chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, and Edward Von der Porten, president of the Drake Navigators Guild, will be among the speakers during the event from 11 a.m. to noon at the end of Limantour Road.

The 6,000-acre Drakes Bay National Historic and Archaeological District was designated as a historic landmark in 2012, a step that did not officially confirm the bay as the site of Drake’s landing, but the Navigators Guild said it gave “formal recognition” to their premise that it was.

The Interior Department, however, said the bay was the site of the “earliest documented” contact between Europeans and California Indians.

Following the plaque ceremony will be a reception, featuring Coast Miwok artwork and historic images related to the landmark from noon to 4 p.m. in the Red Barn Classroom at Bear Valley. Films on the San Agustin shipwreck, Drake’s explorations and Coast Miwok culture will be shown from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Bear Valley Visitor Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

-Guy Kovner

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