Border Wall

Border wall in Jacumba

The border wall, first built as a barbed wire fence in 1911 to restrict cattle crossing, visible for miles in the distance. BarbedWireBW                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The first border barrier was built in California-Baja California as a barbed wire fence to impede the crossing of American cattle into pastures and grazing lands of Mexican cattle ranches. An epidemic of Texas fever, a virus carried by ticks, was killing off millions of cattle. (See St. John, Rachel. Line in the Sand. Princeton UP, 2011, p. 103). Beginning in the late 1870s, railroads, mining, and massive large scale cattle ranching transformed the U.S.-Mexico border by bringing in capitalist investors who bought large tracts of land for development.  Cattle ranches that spanned both sides of the border developed in Arizona-Sonora like the 65,000 acre San Bernardino ranch (1884) of Texas cattleman John Slaughter and the San Rafael de la Zanja Ranch of Colin and Brewster Cameron (1882). The Elias family owned the San Pedro Palominas Ranch near Naco, Arizona spanning both sides. And the Camou family owned large tracts in Arizona as well. In San Diego County, Juan Marron owned the large tracts of land that now carry his name–the Marron Valley.

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