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My family journey begins in Big Pine


Last updated 9/10/2021 at 12:09pm

Village News/Courtesy photos

Fallbrook resident Mary Belton visits her grandparents grave in Big Pine after having the gravestone made and installed for them.

Mary Belton

Special to the Village News

Growing up, I knew nothing about my family history. I learned about the Reche Family from my sister, Gloria, on the same day that my husband decided to look for a new home in Fallbrook.

My sister called me from Texas. I told her what we were doing in Fallbrook. She yelled out, "That is the town our great-grandfather founded!" Sadly, my sister passed away a few years later, I did not get to share this with her. That is the beginning of my story!

After researching, I found that my grandmother, Myrtle Alice Cockerham, married Anthony Clarence Reche, Jr., Sept. 28, 1936, in the town of Bishop, California. They lived in Big Pine, California; they were both widowed at the time they married.

Anthony Clarence Reche, Jr. was the son of Antoine Conrad Elezard Reche, Sr., brother of Vital Reche, who founded the town of Fallbrook in the late 1800s.

I found their gravesite in Big Pine Cemetery, on Their graves had no headstones, this was two years ago, 2019.

I knew I had to do something to honor them, it was important for me to let others know that they were not forgotten.

It saddened me to think others would not know their contributions to both Fallbrook and Big Pine. My grandfather was born on the Pala Reservation, in 1873. He was raised in Fallbrook. I have read that he was the first male Caucasian child born at Pala.

I thought it best to start in Fallbrook with the headstone being made there. I found "Eternal Memorials and Monuments," in Fallbrook, owned by Ward and Candace Graham. They made a very beautiful headstone.

Many uplifting happenings have occurred since my search began.

Stay tuned for the next installment of my family journey.


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