THE HERMAPHRODITE'S TRAIL—This photo was taken by Combs after the war to bring attention to the plight of "The Hermaphrodite's Trail." At the time, conservative religious groups were trying to erase the trail and the story it commemorates: That of a half-Indian, half-Spanish mother to whom had been born, in the early 1800s, a hermaphrodite child. Ostracized by both communities for bearing an "unnatural being," the mother was forced to flee for fear the community would kill the child. She made her way to the coast where, it is said, she climbed so strongly up the side of the hill looking out over the ocean that her footprints made a permanent mark. There she sat into the night, as villagers—both Spanish and Indian—tried to get her to come down. In the morning when they ascended the mother and child were gone. To this day, people walk the trail to visit the place where the two spent their last moments. Many claim to see the child and mother to this day, at the full moon, climbing the trail in the middle of the night.

Copyright Estate of Barclay Combs


Copyright © 2002, El Fornio Historical Society