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California Missions

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The Spanish missions in California comprise a series of 21 religious outposts or missions established between 1769 and 1833 in today's State of California.

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California Missions

  • Mission San Diego de Alcalá founded in 1769

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá was the first Franciscan mission in The Californias, a province of New Spain. Located in present-day San Diego, California, it was founded on July 16, 1769 by Spanish friar Junípero Serra in an area long inhabited by the Kumeyaay people. The mission and the surrounding area were named for the Catholic Didacus of Alcalá, a Spaniard more commonly known as San Diego. The mission was the site of the first Christian burial in Alta California. San Diego is also generally regarded as the site of the region's first public execution, in 1778. Father Luis Jayme, California's first Christian martyr, lies entombed beneath the chancel floor. The current church is the fifth to stand on this location.The Mission is a National Historic Landmark. [1]

  • Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo founded in 1770

Mission San Carlos Borromeo del río Carmelo, also known as the Carmel Mission or Mission Carmel, is a Roman Catholic mission church in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and a U.S. National Historic Landmark. The mission was the headquarters of the Alta California missions headed by Saint Junípero Serra from 1770 until his death in 1784. It was also the seat of the second presidente, Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen. The mission buildings and lands were secularized by the Mexican government in 1833, and had fallen into disrepair by the mid-19th century. They were partially restored beginning in 1884. In 1886 it was transferred from the Franciscans to the local diocese and has continued as a parish church since then. It is the only one of the California Missions to have its original bell tower dome. [2]

  • Mission San Antonio de Padua founded in 1771

Mission San Antonio de Padua is a Spanish mission established by the Franciscan order in present-day Monterey County, California, near the present-day town of Jolon. It was founded on July 14, 1771, and was the third mission founded in Alta California by Father Presidente Junípero Serra. The mission was also the site of the first Christian marriage and the first use of fired-tile roofing in Upper California. Today the mission is a parish church of the Diocese of Monterey. [3]

  • Mission San Gabriel Arcángel founded in 1771

the San Gabriel Mission, founded on September 8, 1771, The land that would later become Alhambra was part of a 300,000-acre land grant given to Manuel Nieto by the Spanish. In 1820 Mexico won its independence from the Spanish crown and lands once ruled by them became part of the Mexican Republic.

  • Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa founded in 1772

Misión San Luís Obispo de Tolosa is a Spanish mission founded in 1772 by Father Junípero Serra in the present-day city of San Luis Obispo, California. Named after Saint Louis of Anjou, the bishop of Toulouse, the mission is the namesake of the city of San Luis Obispo and San Luis Obispo County. The Mission church of San Luis Obispo is unusual in its design in that its combination of belfry and vestibule is found nowhere else among the California missions. The main nave is short and narrow (as is the case with other mission churches), but at San Luis Obispo there is a secondary nave of almost equal size situated to the right of the altar, making this the only L-shaped mission church among all of the California missions. The mission church today is a parish church of the Diocese of Monterey. [4]

  • Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores) founded in 1776

Mission San Francisco de Asís, or Mission Dolores, is the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco and the sixth religious settlement established as part of the California chain of missions. The Mission was founded on June 29, 1776, by Lieutenant José Joaquin Moraga and Francisco Palóu (a companion of Junípero Serra), both members of the de Anza Expedition, which had been charged with bringing Spanish settlers to Alta (upper) California, and evangelizing the local Natives, the Ohlone. [5]

  • Mission San Juan Capistrano founded in 1776

The mission was founded in 1776, by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order. Named for Giovanni de Capistrano, a 15th-century theologian and "warrior priest" who resided in the Abruzzo region of Italy, San Juan Capistrano has the distinction of being home to the oldest building in California still in use, a chapel built in 1782. Known alternately as "Serra's Chapel" and "Father Serra's Church," it is the only extant structure where it has been documented that Junipero Serra celebrated Mass. One of the best known missions in Alta California, and one of the few missions to have actually been founded twice—others being Mission San Gabriel Arcángel and Mission La Purísima Concepción. The site was originally consecrated on October 30, 1775, by Fermín Lasuén, but was quickly abandoned due to unrest among the indigenous population in San Diego. [6]

  • Mission Santa Clara de Asís founded in 1777

Mission Santa Clara de Asís is a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order in the present-day city of Santa Clara, California. The mission, the eighth in California, was founded on January 12, 1777, and named for Saint Clare of Assisi, the foundress of the order of the Poor Clares. It is the namesake of both the city and county of Santa Clara, as well as Santa Clara University, which was built around the mission. This was the first California mission to be named in honor of a woman and the only one now located on a university campus.. Although ruined and rebuilt six times, the settlement was never abandoned, and today it functions as both a parish church of the Diocese of San Jose and a university chapel for Santa Clara University. [7]

  • Mission San Buenaventura founded in 1782

Mission San Buenaventura is a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscans in present-day Ventura, California. Founded on March 31, 1782, it was the ninth Spanish mission established in California and the last to be established by Father Junípero Serra. The mission was named after Saint Bonaventure, a 13th-century Franciscan saint and Doctor of the Church. The mission is located in the historic downtown of Ventura. Mission San Buenaventura was planned to be founded in 1770, but the founding was delayed because of the low availability of the military escorts needed to establish the mission. In 1793, the first church burned down. Today, only a small section of the entire mission complex still stands; the cemetery to the left of the church is covered by a school. It took the neophytes 16 years to build the new church, which still functions as a parish church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. [8]

  • Mission Santa Barbara founded in 1786

Mission Santa Barbara, also known as Santa Barbara Mission, is a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order near present-day Santa Barbara, California. It was founded by Padre Fermín Lasuén on December 4, 1786, the feast day of Saint Barbara, as the tenth mission for the religious conversion of the indigenous local Chumash-Barbareño tribe of Native American people. The mission is the namesake of the city of Santa Barbara as well as of Santa Barbara County. The Mission grounds occupy a rise between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, and were consecrated by Father Fermín Lasuén, who had taken over the presidency of the California mission chain upon the death of Father Presidente Junípero Serra. Mission Santa Barbara is the only mission to remain under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars since its founding, and today is a parish church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. [9]

  • Mission La Purísima Concepción founded in 1787

Mission of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary) is a Spanish mission in Lompoc, California. It was established on December 8, 1787 (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, hence the mission's name) by the Franciscan order. The original mission complex south of Lompoc was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812, and the mission was rebuilt at its present site several miles to the northwest. [10]

  • Mission Santa Cruz founded in 1791

Mission Santa Cruz was a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order in present-day Santa Cruz, California. The mission was founded in 1791 and named for the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, adopting the name given to a nearby creek by the missionary priestJuan Crespí , who accompanied the explorerGaspar de Portolà when he camped on the banks of the San Lorenzo River on October 17, 1769. As with the other California missions, Mission Santa Cruz served as a site for ecclesiastical conversion of natives, first the Ohlone, the original inhabitants of the region, and later the Yokuts from the east. The settlement was the site of the first autopsy in Alta California [11]

  • Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad founded in 1791

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, known colloquially as the Soledad Mission or Mission Soledad, is a Spanish mission located near the present-day town of Soledad, California. The mission was founded by the Franciscan order on October 9, 1791 to convert the Native Americans living in the area to Catholicism. It was the thirteenth of California's Spanish missions, and is named for Mary, Our Lady of Solitude. The town of Soledad is named for the mission. [12]

  • Mission San José founded in 1797

Mission San José is a Spanish mission located in the present-day city of Fremont, California. It was founded on June 11, 1797, by the Franciscan order and was the fourteenth Spanish mission established in California. The mission is the namesake of the Mission San José district of Fremont, which was an independent town subsumed into the city when it was incorporated in 1957. The Mission entered a long period of gradual decline after Mexican secularization act of 1833. Though numerous restoration efforts in the intervening periods have reconstructed many of the original structures. The old mission church remains in use as a chapel of Saint Joseph Catholic Church, a parish of the Diocese of Oakland. [13]

  • Mission San Juan Bautista founded in 1797

Mission San Juan Bautista is a Spanish mission in San Juan Bautista, San Benito County, California. Founded on June 24, 1797 by Fermín Lasuén of the Franciscan order, the mission was the fifteenth of the Spanish missions established in present-day California. Named for Saint John the Baptist, the mission is the namesake of the city of San Juan Bautista. Barracks for the soldiers, a nunnery, the Jose Castro House, and other buildings were constructed around a large grassy plaza in front of the church and can be seen today in their original form. The Ohlone, the original residents of the valley, were brought to live at the mission and baptized, followed by Yokuts from the Central Valley. Mission San Juan Bautista has served mass daily since 1797, and today functions as a parish church of the Diocese of Monterey. [14]

  • Mission San Miguel Arcángel founded in 1797

Mission San Miguel Arcángel is a Spanish mission in San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, California. It was established on July 25, 1797 by the Franciscan order, on a site chosen specifically due to the large number of Salinan Indians that inhabited the area, whom the Spanish priests wanted to evangelize. [15]

  • Mission San Fernando Rey de España founded in 1797

Mission San Fernando Rey de España is a Spanish mission in the Mission Hills district of Los Angeles, California. The mission was founded on September 8, 1797, and was the seventeenth of the twenty-one Spanish missions established in Alta California. Named for Saint Ferdinand, the mission is the namesake of the nearby city of San Fernando and the San Fernando Valley. The mission was secularized in 1834 and returned to the Catholic Church in 1861; it became a working church in 1920. Today the mission grounds function as a museum; the church is a chapel of ease of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. [16]

  • Mission San Luis Rey de Francia founded in 1798

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is a former Spanish mission in an unincorporated part of San Diego County, surrounded by the present-day city of Oceanside, California, United States. The mission was founded on June 13, 1798 by Padre Fermín Lasuén, and was the eighteenth of the Spanish missions established in California. Named for Saint Louis, the mission lent its name to the Luiseño tribe of Mission Indians. The current church, built in 1811, is the third church on this location. It is a National Historic Landmark, for its pristine example of a Spanish mission church complex. Today the mission complex functions as a parish church of the Diocese of San Diego as well as a museum and retreat center. San Luis Rey De Francis Mission raised about 26,000 cattle as well as goats, geese, and pigs. [17]

  • Mission Santa Inés founded in 1804

Mission Santa Inés (sometimes spelled Santa Ynez) is a Spanish mission in the present-day city of Solvang, California, and named after St. Agnes of Rome. Founded on September 17, 1804 by Father Estévan Tapís of the Franciscan order, the mission site was chosen as a midway point between Mission Santa Barbara and Mission La Purísima Concepción, and was designed to relieve overcrowding at those two missions and to serve the Indians living east of the Coast Range. The mission was home to the first learning institution in Alta California and today serves as a museum as well as a parish church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. [18]

  • Mission San Francisco Solano founded in 1823

Mission San Francisco Solano was the 21st, last and northernmost mission in Alta California. It was the only mission built in Alta California after Mexico gained independence from Spain. The difficulty of its beginning demonstrates the confusion resulting from that change in governance. The California Governor wanted a robust Mexican presence north of the San Francisco Bay to keep the Russians who had established Fort Ross on the Pacific coast from moving further inland. A young Franciscan friar from Mission San Francisco de Asis wanted to move to a location with a better climate and access to a larger number of potential converts. The Mission was successful given its short eleven year life but was smaller in number of converts and with lower productivity and diversity of industries than the older California missions. – originally planned as an asistencia to Mission San Rafael Arcángel. [19]

  • Mission San Rafael Arcángel founded in 1817

Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in the present day location of San Rafael, California, on December 14, 1817, by Father Vicente Francisco de Sarría, as a medical asistencia ("sub-mission") of the San Francisco Mission to treat their sick population. It was granted full mission status in 1822. This was one of the missions turned over to the Mexican government in 1833 after the Mexican secularization act of 1833. In 1840, there were 150 Indians still at the Mission. By 1844, Mission San Rafael Arcángel had been abandoned; what was left of the empty buildings was sold for $8,000 in 1846. The Mission was used byJohn C. Fremont as his headquarters during the battles to make California a United States possession On June 28, 1846, three men departed the mission, including Kit Carson , and murdered three unarmed Californians under the order ofJohn C. Fremont; Don José R. Berreyesa, father of José de los Santos Berreyesa, along with the twin sons of Don Francisco de Haro, Ramon and Francisco De Haro. In 1847, a priest was once again living at the Mission. A new parish church was built near the old chapel ruins in 1861, and, in 1870, the rest of the ruins were removed to make room for the City of San Rafael. All that was left of the Mission was a single pear tree from the old Mission's orchard. It is for this reason that San Rafael is known as the "most obliterated of California's missions. [20]

California Ranchos

California Timeline

California First Families

California Mexican Wars

Portola Expedition

California Historical Landmarks

California Land Records=

California Books and Newspapers=

California Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ranchos_of_California https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranchos_of_California





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