De Anza Chapter was organized April 14, 1934, in Calipatria, Imperial County, California by thirteen patriotic ladies. The chapter was transferred to Encinitas, San Diego County, California on December 8, 1965.
De Anza Chapter is named for Juan Bautista de Anza, “one of the most remarkable men who ever appeared on the field of California history….” Juan Bautista de Anza was a Captain in the frontier provinces of New Spain. He was an officer of unusual abilities, irreproachable character and he was kind and just to his men. De Anza’s ambition was to find an overland route to California. His dream began at the age of 21. He met with many delays and difficulties. The Franciscan friar, Junipero Serra, supported his dream. Serra contacted the Viceroy of New Spain to push for De Anza’s proposed expedition from Sonora, Mexico through the deserts of Arizona and California. This overland route would bring supplies and people to the struggling colonies and missions in Alta California. Serra’s request was answered with money and soldiers for De Anza’s journey.
In 1774, De Anza successfully accomplished his first journey from Sonora, Mexico and founded the mission of San Francisco. In 1776, De Anza led over 300 men, women and children to the first Mission at San Francisco. Governor Rivera opposed the settlement of San Francisco and caused the settlers to remain at the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in Monterey. All 300 survived and this success paved the way for the colonization of California.