San Diego de Alcalá, founded July 16, 1769, as a brush-wood structure near San Diego Bay, by Fr. Junípero Serra, President of the California Missions. In August, 1774, the Mission was moved six miles up the San Diego river. About a year later 1,000 Indians attacked and burned this structure and killed Fr. Jayme. In 1776 the present Mission was erected on the site of the burned one.
San Luis Rey de Francia, San Diego County, the eighteenth Mission founded, June 13, 1798, is situated 42 miles from San Diego and four miles from Oceanside. The stately structure was completed in 1802 and its beauty and extent is evidenced by its ruins. This was one of the wealthiest Missions located amid a large peaceful Indian population. The restored church is now being regularly used for services.
Asistencia de San Antonio de Pala, San Diego County, is about twenty miles from San Luis Rey, to which it was attached. Its bell tower is the only distinguishing feature of the old establishment distant from the beaten roads of travel, and is home of the remnants of the thousands of Indians who inhabited the surrounding country and reverence even yet the memories of the good Fathers who labored for their welfare.
San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, established October 30, 1775, by Fr. Fermín Francisco de Lasuén. Mass was celebrated and the temporary structures begun, but a few days later word of an Indian uprising at San Diego caused its temporary abandonment. The cross was left standing and the bells buried. November 1, 1776, the MIssion was re-established (this is the date usually given as that of the founding). This was the finest of all the Missions in architectural beauty. An earthquake in 1812 destroyed the recently completed church. This was the seventh Mission established.
San Gabriel, Arángel, founded September 8, 1771, the fourth California Mission established, is located 18 miles from Los Angeles. The present structure dates from 1812. All Missions were first temporary structures, as the Indians became expert in making building material the buildings now in evidence were erected. San Gabriel was always a most important establishment.
Nuestra Señora de Los Angels ("Our Lady of the Angels")
Nuestra Señora de los Angels ("Our Lady of the Angels"), the Mission Church of Los Angeles (so called), was "Asistencia" of the Mission San Gabriel, located at its present site in the old pueblo of Los Angeles. The pueblo was founded September 4, 1781, and the church dedicated December, 1822.
San Fernando Rey de España, Los Angeles County, the seventeenth Mission established, was founded September 8, 1797. The hand of neglect has borne heavily on this once stately establishment, which is about 15 miles from Los Angeles. This post-card is the only one published that shows the old Mission: others show only the Monastery connected with the Mission. This picture shows not only that but the Church itself, the vitally interesting feature.
San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the fifth Mission in California, was founded September 1, 1772. It was here that the well known Mission tiles were first manufactured. In their earlier days the Missions were thatched with tules. As warlike Indians visiting this place shot burning arrows onto the inflammable roof the tiles became a necessity for protection from fire. Later they were used on all the Mission buildings.
Santa Barbara Mission was founded December 4, 1786. This interesting old Mission is still occupied by the Franciscan Fathers, which order founded all the Missions of Alta California. It is here that Father Zephyrin Engelhardt, the historian (from the Santa Barbara Archives and other sources), has written his valuable and authentic "Missions and Missionaries of California," the only true history of these interesting establishments. Santa Barbara was the tenth Mission established.
Santa Inés, Santa Barbara County, the nine-teenth Mission established, was founded September 17, 1804. At this Mission is to be noted the large brick reservoir and other evidences of the engineering abilities of the early fathers and their labor in developing the resources of the surrounding lands for the support of the Christianized Indians.
La Purisima Concepción, at Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, was founded December 8, 1787, and was the eleventh Mission established. "Poor Purisima! Near the river Santa Inés, clustered around by pretty hills, adversity seemed to claim it for its own. Almost totally destroyed by the earthquake of 1812, rebuilt, seized and again greatly damaged by Indians in 1824. now in ruins, deserted and alone, it silently awaits its inevitable end."
San Buenaventura, Ventura County, founded March 31, 1782, was the ninth Mission established. This Mission was visited in 1793 by the English explorer, George Vancouver, who has left an interesting account of the fruits and other products cultivated there. The Mission Fathers laid the foundation of horticulture in California.
San Miguel Arcángel, San Luis Obispo County, the sixteenth Mission founded, dates from July 25, 1797. Each of these old Missions was carefully located after thorough investigations of all available sites and were planned to form a continuous chain of establishments a day's journey apart. Many such could not be established consecutively and were only founded as opportunity permitted.
San Antonio de Padua, Monterey County, the third Mission established, 20 miles west from King City, was founded July 14, 1771. This, like each of the old Missions, had architectural features and a beauty all its own. In its prime this was one of the most important and prosperous Missions.
Nuestra Señora Dolorsisma Soledad, Monterey County, the thirteenth established Mission, founded October 9, 1791, is today but a crumbling ruin. It was here that Governor José Joaquín de Arrillaga, the ninth of the eleven Spanish Governors of California, died in 1814 and was buried. And here before the alter died the well loved Father Sarriá.
San Carlos Boromeo, sometimes called Carmel, the second Mission established, was founded June 3, 1770, in the present town of Monterey and was moved to its present site in December, 1771. This was the home of Father Juníero Serra, the first President and founded of the earlier Missions. Here he died and is buried, and also his successor, Fr. Lasuén.
San Carlos Church (Monterey). This church, which was not at any time a Mission, really represents the Mission established at Monterey by Fr. Junípero Serra. When the Mission was removed to its present site in Carmel Valley a chapel was established in the Presidio of Monterey.
San Juan Bautista, the fifteenth Mission, was founded June 24, 1797. It is located seven miles from Hollister, in San Benito County, and has much to interest the tourist. This place was historically important in the early days of American occupancy in California.
Santa Cruz, founded August 28, 1791, has passed entirely away and a painting of the structure is only pictorial representation of this Mission. It disappeared before the day of photographs. At the northern end of the great Monterey Bay, in the beautiful city of the same name, only memories remain of this twelfth Mission.
Santa Clara was founded on January 12, 1777, and the new church was dedicated May 15, 1784, on his last visitation and shortly before the death of Fr. Junípero Serra. This "new church" proved too small for the congregation and many years ago it was taken down and the present structure erected. The fine reredos is a relic of the old Mission and many historical relics are carefully preserved by the Jesuit Fathers of the Great University of Santa Clara which is the successor of this eighth of the California Missions.
José de Guadalupe, near Warm Springs, Alameda County, the fourteenth Mission, and the only one on the east side of San Francisco bay, was founded June 11, 1797. Many maps erroneously show this Mission at the present city of San José, which was an old Spanish Pueblo three miles from the Mission of Santa Clara, with which it was connected by "The Alameda," a road lined with wallow trees planted by Fr. Maguín Catalá. The original picture of Mission San José, shown on this card, is from a rare daguerrotype made before the destruction of the edifice.
San Francisco de Asis (Dolores), the sixth Mission established, was founded October 8, 1776. This Mission gave the name to the metropolis of California and was named in honor of the patron of the Franciscan Fathers. The old adobe, tile roofed, structure is still in a fine state of preservation, and while less architecturally pretentious, is a most interesting link between the present and the past. At its side in the old cemetery rests the body of Luis Antonio Argüello, the first Mexican governor of California, and within the walls of the church is buried José Francisco Ortega, the discoverer of the Golden Gate.
San Rafael Arcángel, Marin County, founded December 14, 1817, was the first Mission establishment north of San Francisco bay. It has entirely disappeared and only a painting remains to tell of its architectural features. It was established as a refuge for Indians who were ill at "Dolores" and had but a short and uneventful existence.
San Francisco Solano (Sonoma), the most northerly of the Franciscan Missions, was founded July 4, 1823. It was near this establishment that many of the earlier American settlers from "the States" before the discovery of gold in California settled and engaged in agricultural pursuits. It was in front of this Mission that the "Bear Flag" was raised. This the last Mission founded has been restored and is now the property of the State of California.