The Rodriguez adobe gained enough fame around the turn of the 19th century to land on the front of a postcard, one of many cards in a series depicting scenes from around Carpinteria. Its celebrity came not from the craftsmanship or distinctiveness of the house itself, but from the massive rose plant climbing over its walls and roof. In her 1960 book “La Carpinteria,” Georgia Stockton wrote, “This adobe is remembered by early settlers for the LaMarque rose which covered the entire house.”
The adobe was located on Santa Monica Road, and Carlos Rodriguez lived there with his wife, Dona Tomasa, and their five children, Maria, Tranquilino, Ramon, Josefa, Anita and Francesca.
Carlos’ grandfather was a member of the 1769 Portola Expedition. Jose Ygnacio Rodriguez was born to Spanish parents and lived in Baja California until he journeyed north into California with Father Junipero Serra. He married and fathered 16 children, one of whom was Jose de Jesus, Carlos’ father.
Jose de Jesus married a woman who went on to play a pivotal role in a peace deal with General John Charles Fremont in 1847. Bernarda Rodriguez, who was by then an old woman with considerable influence over her community, beseeched the general to remain peaceful in dealings with her people, the Californios. Not long after their conversation, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the end to the Mexican-American War, was signed in 1848.