In 1851, under direction of Brigham Young, a group of Mormons left Utah to colonize southern California due to reports of agricultural and financial possibilities. Brigham Young also thought there should be a way-station for those traveling from the Pacific Islands. After a very arduous journey through treacherous mountain passes and scorching desert, the group found a place to settle. The area was the abandoned San Bernardino Rancho. The land, 35,000 acres, was purchased for $77,500.