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Title: California Missions - A Guide to the Historic Trails of the Padres
Author: Brown, Karl Frederick
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "California Missions - A Guide to the Historic Trails of the Padres" ***

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  [Illustration: _A Map Showing Location of the California Missions_]

  [Illustration: California Missions]

  [Illustration: Façade]



                         _California Missions_


              A GUIDE TO THE HISTORIC TRAILS OF THE PADRES

                            By KARL F. BROWN

               Illustrated with seventy-eight photographs
                              By FLOYD RAY

                              Foreword by
                            REXFORD NEWCOMB
                _Dean, College of Fine and Applied Arts
                        University of Illinois_

  [Illustration: Bell tower]

             COPYRIGHT 1939 BY KARL F. BROWN AND FLOYD RAY
                    GARDEN CITY PUBLISHING CO., Inc.
                                NEW YORK

  [Illustration: _Chapel, San Diego De Alcalá_]

  [Illustration: _Façade, San Diego De Alcalá_]



                               _Foreword_


Along the strand of the Pacific between San Diego and Sonoma, the
intrepid monks of the Order of Saint Francis strung that cordon of
missions that were to become, as time went on, the outposts of
civilization along the sunset coast of California.

Begun in 1769, this chain of churches along _El Camino Real_ was
complete by 1823, and in these establishments the devoted followers of
Padre Junípero Serra sought to win for Christ and the Crown of Spain
devotees among the dusky inhabitants of this land. How well they
succeeded may be judged when we learn that often in the more prosperous
missions as many as two thousand Indians were being trained at one time.

  [Illustration: _Cloister, San Diego De Alcalá_]

And what was the routine by which these fervent priests of Old Spain
hoped to convert the backward natives of the coast into God-fearing,
self-supporting and self-respecting subjects of his Hispanic majesty,
the king? The system of training prescribed plenty of work accompanied
by instruction in the handcrafts and Christian doctrine. To this end,
each day, the morning bell assembled the Indians in the chapel for
prayers and mass. Following this, breakfast was eaten, after which each
went to his assigned task. At eleven o’clock dinner was eaten; then a
siesta. Work, resumed at 2 P.M., continued until an hour before sunset,
when the Angelus recalled all to worship. After prayers and rosary,
supper was eaten, after which recreation ensued until early bedtime.

  [Illustration: _Bell Tower, San Diego De Alcalá_]

  [Illustration: _Bell Tower, San Antonio De Pala_]

This was the happy pattern of life that obtained in these picturesque
missions which at once comprised the early churches, the first schools,
the first factories and the work-a-day habitations of the priests and
their charges. Viewed in this light these old buildings become real
human documents and are therefore very precious to all interested in the
beginnings of civilization within our broad land.

  [Illustration: _Chapel, San Antonio De Pala_]

Through the glamor that time and an exotic origin have cast over these
old monuments, they continue to hold for us a fascination matched by
that of few American structures. And, in journeying to these historic
shrines, you will discover how these hard-headed priests, in sheltering
their converts, created in simplicity and strength a type of
architecture which considered from the standpoint of practical living,
climatic background, materials of construction and ethnic significance,
has rarely been equalled in any land. What a matchless artistic heritage
they have left us!

                                                         Rexford Newcomb
        _Dean, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois_

  [Illustration: _Bell Tower From Garden San Antonio De Pala_]

  [Illustration: _San Luis Rey_]

  [Illustration: _Entrance, San Luis Rey_]

  [Illustration: Garden]

  [Illustration: _San Juan Capistrano_]



                         _California Missions_


San Diego was first visited by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542, but it
was not until two hundred and twenty-seven years later that the fear
that Russia or England might take possession of California induced King
Carlos III of Spain to organize an expedition to colonize the land. It
was in 1769 that a band of about two hundred men set out by land and sea
to settle in Alta California. In the last company to come overland was
Padre Junípero Serra, who, although already advanced in age, had been
appointed _Padre Presidente_ of the missions. This extraordinary man
entered into a life of utmost hardship with a fiery enthusiasm that was
never dampened throughout his life, and to him we owe the chain of
historic missions that provide the only link to connect us with the
early life of California and Spain. Twenty-one of these were established
in California, forming an irregular line reaching from San Diego to
Sonoma, and connected by El Camino Real (The Royal Road). Today the
modern highway along the coast, U. S. 101, follows so closely the course
of this road established by the pioneers one hundred and seventy years
ago that one can easily say one is following in the footsteps of Father
Serra and his companions.

  [Illustration: _Ruins of Chapel, San Juan Capistrano_]

  [Illustration: _Inner Court, San Juan Capistrano_]

  [Illustration: _Bell Court Fountain_]

  [Illustration: _Mission Shops, San Juan Capistrano_]

  [Illustration: _Ruins of Cloister_]

  [Illustration: _Fountain Inner Court, San Juan Capistrano_]

On July 16th, 1769, sixteen days after his arrival in San Diego, Father
Serra established the first mission in California—the Mission San Diego
de Alcalá. The original site was unsatisfactory so a spot was later
chosen six miles back from the ocean in Mission Valley where the present
buildings now stand. San Diego was one of the wealthiest of the
missions. It had extensive orchards and vineyards, irrigated by an
aqueduct which brought water from the valley. Parts of the old mission
dam which was twelve feet thick, may still be seen. The olive trees
around the Mission form the mother orchard of all California mission
olives. The whole Mission has been restored in every detail. Its belfry,
one of the most magnificent of all the missions, is a three-story wall
pierced by five arches in which hang the old bells.

  [Illustration: _Entrance to Church, San Gabriel_]

  [Illustration: _Bell Tower, San Gabriel_]

Four miles inland from Oceanside, in a beautiful valley, stands Mission
San Luis Rey de Francia. The present buildings were started in 1811 by
Father Peyri, who managed the Mission for thirty years. It is now used
as a church and a Franciscan college. A feature not found in any other
mission is the mortuary chapel, a small octagonal shaped room off the
main chapel. San Luis Rey is typically Spanish in its architecture and
while not one of the most beautiful, it has a stately magnificence that
none of the other missions possesses.

  [Illustration: _Side Entrance to Chapel, San Gabriel_]

  [Illustration: _Façade, San Fernando Rey_]

  [Illustration: _Fountain, San Fernando Rey_]

  [Illustration: _Façade, Ventura_]

Twenty miles inland from Mission San Luis Rey stands San Antonio de
Pala, founded as an asistencia. In its chapel are Indian frescoes
covered for many years with a coat of whitewash given the wall by a
well-meaning padre. Its campanile, in which hang the original bells,
stands in the old cemetery. Pala, nestling at the base of the Palomar
Mountains, is a spot of enchanting beauty.

  [Illustration: _Side Door, Ventura_]

  [Illustration: _Chapel, Santa Barbara_]

The first attempt to found San Juan Capistrano was in 1775, but due to
an Indian uprising Father Lasuén was forced to return to San Diego. The
next year Father Serra came and established the Mission. It took nine
years to build and was the largest and most beautiful of all. In 1812
there was an earthquake that destroyed the buildings and killed forty
Indians who were worshiping in the chapel. All of the buildings have
been rebuilt except the chapel, of which one of the seven large domes
still stands in its lonely grandeur, a delight to the artist.
Capistrano, elaborately decorated and artistically constructed, is
sometimes called “Jewel of the Missions.”

  [Illustration: _Façade, Santa Barbara_]

  [Illustration: _General View, Santa Barbara_]

San Gabriel Arcángel was a welcomed pause in the long journey from
Mexico to Monterey; it was the first stop after crossing the desert and
mountains. It is distinctively Moorish in its architecture. Its high
buttressed walls are stone to the windows and brick above and have an
outside stairway to the choir loft and campanile. In the courtyard is
one of the largest and oldest grape vines in California.

  [Illustration: _Doorway_]

  [Illustration: _Altar, Santa Barbara_]

  [Illustration: _Detail of Cloister_]

At one time Mission San Fernando Rey de España had an Indian population
of eleven hundred. Today nothing remains of the Mission but one large
building. In it one can see the wine cellar and the large copper brandy
still. Across the street is a large star-shaped fountain copied from one
in Cordova, Spain, a monument to the artistic work of the Indians.

  [Illustration: _Detail of Façade, Santa Barbara_]

Half-way between San Diego and Monterey, Father Serra founded the
Mission Buenaventura. It was the last founded by him. On a hill above
the mission he planted a cross that could be seen from both land and
sea. Today, a replica of the cross stands in the same place. Ventura was
noted for its beautiful gardens but of these nothing remains except two
tall palms. The chapel has been restored and is used daily as a place of
worship.

  [Illustration: _Side Door Detail_]

  [Illustration: _Cloister, Santa Inez_]

  [Illustration: _Detail of Façade_]

  [Illustration: _Detail of Cloister_]

  [Illustration: _Chapel, Santa Inez_]

Mission Santa Bárbara has never fallen into a state of decay like its
less fortunate sister missions, as it has always been in the hands of
its founders, the Franciscans. Although damaged by numerous earthquakes,
the last in 1925, it has always been faithfully restored. The light
above the altar has never gone out, the old bells have faithfully rung
the call to Mass. Its walls, six feet thick and mellowed by time, impart
a lasting beauty. The bodies of over four thousand Indians lie in its
tree-shadowed cemetery. In front of the Mission the trickling water from
an old fountain gives one the restful feeling of the old Spanish siesta.
It was at this mission that the great historian, Father Engelhardt,
wrote his great book, “Missions and Missionaries of California.”

  [Illustration: _La Purisima_]

Mission Santa Inéz was founded to convert the Indians who lived east of
the Coast Range. The Mission not only suffered from earthquakes but also
from an Indian uprising. Today it has been restored to its former
grandeur. Its campanile with its three bells reminds one of Mission San
Gabriel. In its museum is a collection of old vestments and books.

Nothing remained of Mission La Purísima Conceptión but a few crumbling
arches, till it was taken over by the state. Today it stands in all its
former glory, faithfully restored in every detail. The Mission site was
made a State park and the restoration carried out by the Civilian
Conservation Corps. Purísima stands as a monument to a nation’s
industry, but lacks the peaceful state of religious tranquility found in
the other missions.

  [Illustration: _Restored Interior, La Purisima_]

  [Illustration: _Detail at end of Cloister La Purisima_]

  [Illustration: _San Luis Obispo_]

It was at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa that tile was first
manufactured. The buildings have lost much of their Spanish atmosphere,
but the interior is in a fair state of restoration. It is now the active
Catholic Church of the city which was named after it. A few miles from
San Luis Obispo is the Asistencia of Santa Margarita, unique in that the
entire ruins have been covered over by a large hay barn. Horses and
cattle quietly munch their hay through the arched window openings.

  [Illustration: _Sacristy, San Miguel_]

  [Illustration: _San Miguel_]

The very walls of San Miguel Arcángel, due to its sympathetic
restoration, seem to echo the footsteps of the old padres. Inside the
chapel the huge rafters, crudely hewn from logs, are painted in bright
colors. The design painted on the walls by the Indians show large fluted
pillars with a balcony and railing above. The floor is of burned brick,
worn smooth by the tread of bare feet. Its crudely decorated pulpit and
confessional are the same as the day they were built. The Mission did
not have a bell-tower so the bell was mounted on a wooden scaffold. To
enter the ancient edifice is to enter directly into the past.

  [Illustration: _Detail of Cloister, San Miguel_]

  [Illustration: _Forecourt, San Miguel_]

  [Illustration: _Chapel_]

  [Illustration: _Gate to Forecourt_]

  [Illustration: _Entrance to Cloister_]

  [Illustration: _Ruins of Arches, San Antonio De Padua_]

  [Illustration: _Double Arched Window_]

A few rain-washed adobe walls around which the wind blows constantly is
all that is left of Mission Nuestra Señora Dolorissima de la Soledad. A
picture of dreary desolation and aptly named, Our Lady of Solitude.

  [Illustration: _Side View_]

  [Illustration: _Arches_]

  [Illustration: _Façade, San Antonio De Padua_]

  [Illustration: _Doorway to Sacristy, San Antonio De Padua_]

Father Serra founded his third Mission, San Antonio de Padua, in a well
wooded valley. When the bells rang in celebration an Indian appeared out
of the trees, and for the first time a native was present at the
founding of a mission. Its quiet surroundings are very much as they were
in the past. The buildings were constructed of brick instead of adobe.
Parts of a stone-walled irrigation ditch which brought water for many
miles still stand near at hand.

Monterey was used as a mission for but one year and then became the
Presidio Chapel. Behind the Mission is the tree under which the first
Mass in California was offered. Many of the old relics of the early
Church are preserved here. It is now the San Carlos Parish Church.

  [Illustration: _Soledad_]

  [Illustration: _Tower at San Juan Bautista_]

When Father Serra decided to move the Mission from Monterey he chose a
site about five miles away where the Rio Carmelo enters the sea. Here he
founded Mission San Carlos Borromeo, which became the headquarters of
the _Padre Presidentes_ of the California missions. In its quiet
sanctuary are the graves of Father Serra, Lasuén, Crespi and López,
names famous in the history of the missions. Father Serra spent most of
his life at San Carlos. His cell, measuring about eleven feet square,
has been restored. The building is Moorish in style.

  [Illustration: _San Juan Bautista_]

A replica in concrete has been built of Mission Santa Cruz. It is about
half the size of the original and stands on the old Mission grounds.

Mission San Juan Bautista stands facing the plaza in the old pueblo of
San Juan. It was here that Helen Hunt Jackson began her famous story,
“Ramona” and Joaquin Murrietta, the famous Mexican bandit, worshipped.
San Juan saw great activity during the gold rush as it was a stage stop
on the road to the mines. The long arcade that extends the whole length
of the building, contains twenty arches. In the garden is a sundial,
placed there by the padres. Its old cemetery is in an olive grove whose
trees cast fantastic shadows on the time worn headstones.

  [Illustration: _Cloister_]

  [Illustration: _Window_]

  [Illustration: _Doorway at San Juan Bautista_]

  [Illustration: _End of Cloister_]

  [Illustration: _Garden, San Juan Bautista_]

  [Illustration: _Cemetery at San Juan Bautista_]

  [Illustration: _Arches_]

On the site of Mission Santa Clara de Asís stands a concrete structure,
the chapel of the University of Santa Clara. All that remains of the old
buildings are a few tiles in the roof, and a part of the garden wall. In
front of the Church stands the old redwood cross, raised in 1777. It is
now encased in a sheathing of pine.

  [Illustration: _Parish Church, Monterey_]

Mission San José de Guadalupe was at one time the most prosperous of all
the missions. In livestock alone it had 12,000 cattle, 13,000 horses and
13,000 sheep. It was the centre of social life for the surrounding
ranches and the stopping place for the Forty-niners who used the Mission
Pass between San Francisco and the mines. Only a part of the living
quarters remains today. Beside this building is the old cemetery, back
of which is the Mission garden.

  [Illustration: _Doorway, Monterey_]

  [Illustration: _San Carlos De Borromeo_]

  [Illustration: _Doorway, San Carlos De Borromeo_]

  [Illustration: _Fountain Detail_]

  [Illustration: _Gateway to Cemetery_]

There was nothing in the original plans of the missions to name one
after St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscan Order. The Mexican
Visitador said, “If Saint Francis wishes a mission, let him show you a
good port, and let it bear his name.” When Portolá discovered San
Francisco Bay he decided that it was the place the Visitador meant, but
it was not until seven years later that the Mission San Francisco de
Asís was founded. It was commonly called Dolores after a small river
that flowed through the Mission grounds. It is quite different in its
architecture from the other missions. It has neither archway nor towers
but a massive façade. Today it stands in quiet simplicity, surrounded on
all sides by modern buildings of the Catholic Church.

  [Illustration: _Bell Tower, San Carlos De Borromeo_]

  [Illustration: _Santa Cruz_]

In the city of San Rafael stands a mission bell guidepost, marking the
site of Mission San Rafael Arcángel.

  [Illustration: _Santa Clara_]

  [Illustration: _San José De Guadalupe_]

  [Illustration: _Porch_]

  [Illustration: _San Francisco De Asís_]

  [Illustration: _Entrance to Cloister_]

Fear of the Russians caused the Governor to ask Father Altimira to
establish a mission at Sonoma. He did this without the sanction of the
Church authorities. Mission San Francisco Solano was the last and the
most northerly of the twenty-one missions. It is a plain low building,
facing the plaza.

Of the twenty-one missions originally built one is completely gone,
another a crumbling wall of adobe, and the remainder in only partial
restoration. May they all some day be restored to their original
grandeur, and the romance and history of Old California again be found
in their splendid old walls.

  [Illustration: _Entrance to Chapel_]

  [Illustration: _Cloister, San Francisco De Solano_]



          LOCATION OF MISSIONS IN THE ORDER OF THEIR FOUNDING


  Name                   Date             Location

  San Diego de Alcalá    _July 16, 1769_  In Mission Valley six miles
                                          N.W. of San Diego.
  San Carlos Borromeo    _June 3, 1770_   On the outskirts of village
                                          of Carmel which is five
                                          miles from Monterey.
  San Antonio de Padua   _July 14, 1771_  Six miles from Jolon. Jolon
                                          is twenty miles from King
                                          City. Can also be reached
                                          from San Simeon Highway
                                          over very mountainous road.
                                          Advise going by way of King
                                          City.
  San Gabriel Arcángel   _Sept. 8, 1771_  In city of San Gabriel
                                          which is 10 miles from Los
                                          Angeles.
  San Luis Obispo de     _Sept. 1, 1772_  In centre of city of San
    Tolosa                                Luis Obispo.
  San Francisco de Asís  _June 29, 1776_  In San Francisco at 16th
    (Mission Dolores)                     and Dolores Streets.
  San Juan Capistrano    _Nov. 1, 1776_   In village of San Juan
                                          Capistrano which is 65
                                          miles south of Los Angeles
                                          on the highway to San Diego.
  Santa Clara de Asis    _Jan. 12, 1777_  In the grounds of the
                                          University of Santa Clara
                                          which is in the city of
                                          Santa Clara.
  San Buenaventura       _March 31, 1782_ Located in city of Ventura
                                          which is 60 miles north of
                                          Los Angeles.
  Santa Barbara          _Dec. 4, 1786_   In the city of Santa
                                          Barbara.
  La Purísima Concepción _Dec. 8, 1787_   Five miles north of town of
                                          Lompoc.
  Santa Cruz             _Aug. 28, 1791_  In city of Santa Cruz.
  Soledad                _Oct. 9, 1791_   Ruins of this Mission are
                                          about two miles from the
                                          town of Soledad.
  San José               _June 11, 1797_  About 15 miles north of San
                                          Jose on the Oakland Highway.
  San Juan Bautista      _June 24, 1797_  In town of San Juan
                                          Bautista.
  San Miguel Arcángel    _July 25, 1797_  Ten miles north of Paso
                                          Robles on U.S. 101.
  San Fernando Rey       _Sept. 8, 1797_  On outskirts of town of San
                                          Fernando.
  San Luis Rey           _June 13, 1798_  Five miles east of town of
                                          Oceanside.
  Santa Inéz             _Sept. 17, 1804_ Three miles east of town of
                                          Buellton.
  San Rafael Arcángel    _Dec. 14, 1817_  Nothing remains of Mission.
                                          Site now marked by
                                          guidepost in city of San
                                          Rafael.
  San Francisco Solano   _July 4, 1823_   In city of Sonoma, thirty
                                          miles north of San
                                          Francisco.
  Pala                   _1816_           Twenty-one miles from
                                          Mission San Luis Rey in the
                                          village of Pala at base of
                                          Palomar Mountain.
  Royal Presidio Chapel  _June 3, 1770_   In city of Monterey.

  [Illustration: Cross]



                          Transcriber’s Notes


--Copyright notice provided as in the original—this e-text is public
  domain in the country of publication.

--Silently corrected palpable typos; left non-standard spellings and
  dialect unchanged.

--Moved some captions closer to the corresponding pictures.

--In the text versions, delimited italicized text by _underscores_.





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