The Origin of Los Barriles, East Cape Name

 The Origin of Los Barriles, East Cape Name

BY JOANN HYSLOP

One of the most significant stories in Los Barriles’ history is that of visiting pirates and The Pirate Tree. Most of us have heard the story of pirate ships that anchored in Bahia de Palmas in the early 1800s. Legend has it that one time, during a hurricane, a pirate crew needed to remove excess weight for the safety of their ship and brought barrels of gold treasure ashore. They were buried just offshore to be retrieved later. This story has special significance since the original name of the village (Las Palmas) was later changed to Los Barriles.

To mark the place of the burial, a carving of the pirate’s ship was made on a sturdy Palo San Juan tree standing on a beach berm near the water. Martin Verdugo, a member of one of the founding families of Los Barriles, reports that the Pirate Tree was situated on the Verdugo family property just north of where the R.V. Park stands today. He heard the story of the pirates and the carving on the Pirate Tree from his grandfather when he was a young boy. “It is assumed”, Martin Verdugo recalls, “that the ship was wrecked during the storm. Neither the ship nor any of its crew was ever found. The barrels are still buried, if the story is true.”

According to Martin, “During my whole lifetime, I have watched many people search for the barrels. No one has found them yet.” 

Now you know how Los Barriles got its name!

Shared by Carolyn Northern Wheeler.