Category: Missions of California

Santa Inez Mission

The Santa Inez Mission was not comprehended in the original plan of the padres, but nearly thirty years after the founding of the first three Missions, a colony of several families that had years before located on lands in the valley of the Santa Inez, about forty miles northwest of Santa Barbara, and beyond the mountains, appealed to the President of the Missions for the founding of one in their vicinity. They argued that they, being baptized families, were entitled to the rites of divine worship without undergoing the hardship and inconvenience of frequent trips to Santa Barbara, or La

The Wealth of the Missions

In the latter days of their prosperity, when all the Missions had been founded and their surroundings completed, two hundred thousand head of cattle were killed yearly, netting a profit usually of ten dollars each. The hides and tallow were the chief articles of commerce with cities on the Atlantic coast, Boston leading in the early thirties of the last century. The flesh of the cattle found consumers among the Mission Indians and the needy elsewhere. The padres permitted none to want for food in the regions around them. Their hospitality, like their faith, was boundless. All the Missions from

Santa Cruz Mission

Santa Cruz, on the Bay of Monterey, was inspired and planned by President Lasuen in his home in the an Francisco Mission. It was founded in the autumn of 1791, with the accustomed ceremony of a mass, chanting by neophytes from another Mission, and the raising of a cross on the spot over which the altar was designed to rest. Chief Sugert and a large following of his tribe attended, themselves representing the very people from which the good padres planned to recruit the company of their converts. The church was dedicated in May 1794, in the presence of these

Santa Clara Mission

Santa Clara was founded in the following year, 1777. Padre Tomas de la Pena officiated at the ceremonies, seven years before the death of Junipero Serra. This Mission is in Santa Clara County, three miles from San Jose, the county seat. The two places are connected by an old boulevard made by the padres, and lined on each side by a triple row of trees, planted in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, equidistant from each other, on opposite sides of the roadway. They are now of great height, shading the entire route. An old legend says that they

Santa Barbara Mission

In April 1782, Governor Neve, with sixty soldiers, arrived at Santa Barbara, thirty miles west by north I of the new Ventura, so named, and built a presidio for the military protection of the Mission near the beach, which here curves to form a small bay. The site selected was not far from the old Indian mound, on a high mesa, upwards of a mile from the coast, commanding a view of the Santa Inez Mountains on the north, and the ocean in other directions for more than a hundred miles on a clear day. An electric railway now extends

San Miguel Mission

Early forty leagues north of Santa Barbara the Mission of San Miguel was founded on the twenty-fifth of July, 1797, in honor of the “Prince of the Heavenly Militia.” The ceremonies were performed by President Lasuen and Padre Sitjar, and baptism was administered to fifteen children at the time. The Indians did not respond generally to the invitations of the padres; so Padre Martin went to the Chief Guchapa and begged him to send his Indians to the Mission, but met prompt refusal. Thereupon Commander de la Guerra sent a file of his soldiers and took the old chief prisoner.

San Luis Obispo De Tolosa Mission

In September 1772, the great Mission of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded on the coast, about one hundred and twenty miles south of the Gulf of Monterey. This port subsequently became important to commerce and trade. Padre Serra and Padre Cavalier, with a small party of soldiers such as invariably accompanied similar expeditions, started from Monterey in the latter part of August, and located the Mission on the first of September. The ceremonies were performed and the building was begun without delay. The Indians, trained by the Jesuits, and under the direction of Cavalier, were given the task

San Luis, Rey De Francia Mission

San Luis, Rey de Francia, was founded June 13, 1798. This was the greatest, richest, and grandest of the old Missions, located in a most picturesque section, upon a beautiful site, not far from the ocean, at Oceanside, now a little gem of a modern city. In the day of its glory and wealth it was the pride of all the Missions. Father Peyri during his long service of more than thirty years made it his home. The Mission possessed more than two hundred thousand acres, and as much more became subject to its control as its energies expanded. It

San Juan Capistrano Mission

San Juan Capistrano was founded November 1, 1776, by Serra, assisted by Amirrio. A commission of priests was sent from Monterey the year before to find a place for another Mission north of San Diego, in pursuance of a modified plan of establishing a line of Missions between the two points, of such distance apart as to make the journeys convenient and easy. The original plan was to found but one Mission. This was subsequently considered inadequate for the general purposes of colonization and the work of the Church, and several Missions had already been founded under the plans as

San Jose Mission

San Jose Mission was dedicated to St. Joseph, the spouse of the Holy Virgin, June 11, 1797, by direct order from the Apostolic College at San Fernando. Padre Lasuen founded it, and appointed Padres Isadore Barcenilla and Augustine Morino as priests in control of the Mission. It was the sister to Santa Clara, and situated three miles away, on the foothills of the Coast Range, where the beautiful city of San Jose is now located, and fifty miles south of San Francisco. The region is noted for its immense stretch of fertile and well-watered lands, upon which the flocks and