History Roundtable to discuss Sir Francis Drake on Feb. 2

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — In 1579, British explorer Sir Francis Drake came to the shores of Northern California in his ship, the Golden Hind.

According to one of his crewmen, Drake affixed a brass plate on the spot of where he landed, claiming the land for the English Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1934, a brass plate was found that fit the description of the crewman. What unfolded is one of the most bizarre historical mysteries that took decades to resolve.

Jan Cook, a local amateur historian and 32 year veteran of the Lake County Library system, has investigated this episode and will be reporting on what transpired, and how it impacted our understanding of California history, at the next Lake County History Roundtable meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the Country Air Properties building located at 460 S. Main St. Lakeport.

The Lake County History Roundtable (formerly the Redwood Empire Civil War Roundtable) meets monthly to hear presentations by local historians and discuss history. It is free, and everyone is welcome.

For more information, contact Phil Smoley at 707-349-1008 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Editor’s note: This article, as originally submitted, incorrectly stated that Drake’s ship was the Half Moon. It was, in fact, the Golden Hind. The Half Moon was the ship of explorer Henry Hudson.