San Luis Rey, Guajome And Pala

From San Fulano, it was but a short drive into the pretty valley of the San Luis Rey river, where on a little sunny knoll in the midst of a fertile farming country, stands another Mission associated with “Ramona,” the Mission San Luis Rey. This, in its heyday, was perhaps the largest and richest—temporally speaking—of […]

Rancho San Fulano

“I don’t see why in the name of common sense,” I can remember saying testily, “no Californian can give you directions that can be followed. That fellow at Capistrano said it was a straight road and we couldn’t possibly get off it, and now look at this!” All the sunny afternoon we had driven cheerfully, […]

Franciscan Missions

IT is the fashion nowadays to call it by its old Spanish name, El Camino Real—the King’s Highway—and to travel it, if one travels it at all, by motor-car, making the run from San Diego to Los Angeles between a late breakfast and an early tea; then to Santa Barbara in another day, and on […]

California Missions – San Diego De Alcala

THE story of the founding of San Diego by Serra has already been given. It was the beginning of the realization of his fondest hopes. The early troubles with the Indians delayed conversions, but in 1773 Serra reported that some headway had been made. He gives the original name of the place as Cosoy, in […]

California Missions – San Carlos Borbomeo

A BRIEF account of the founding of San Carlos at Monterey, June 3, 1770, was given in an earlier chapter. What joy the discovery of the harbor and founding of the Mission caused in Mexico and Spain can be understood when it is remembered that for two centuries this thing had been desired. In the […]

California Missions – San Antonio De Padua

THE third Mission of the series was founded in honor of San Antonio de Padua, July 14, 1771, by Serra, accompanied by Padres Pieras and Sit jar. One solitary Indian heard the dedicatory mass, but Serra’s enthusiasm knew no bounds. He was assured that this ” first fruit of the wilderness ” would go forth […]

California Missions – San Gabriel, Arcangel

WE have already seen that San Gabriel, the fourth Mission, was founded September 8, 1771. The natives gave cheerful assistance in bringing timber, erecting the wooden buildings, covering them with tules, and constructing the stockade enclosure which surrounded them. They also brought offerings of acorns and pinenuts. In a few days so many of them […]

California Missions – Distinctive Features Of Mission Architecture

THE broader knowledge we gain of the Franciscan Mission structures, the greater becomes our respect for their architects and builders. Their boldness, originality, and diversity at once please and instruct us. It is not my purpose, in this chapter, to analyze all the varied forms of the Mission architecture, or to discuss technically the successes […]

California Missions – Silver And Brass Ware Of The Missions

IT is impossible in a brief chapter to present pictures and descriptions of all the silver and brass ware found at the Missions, but it will be interesting and instructive to see a few examples. Much of this ware was brought by the padres from Mexico. Of much of it we have Padre Palou’s lists, […]

California Missions – Interior Decorations Of The Missions

WE cannot today determine how the Franciscans of the southwest decorated the interiors of all their churches. Some of these buildings have disappeared entirely ; while others have been restored or renovated beyond all semblance of their original condition. But enough are left to give us a satisfactory idea of the labors of the fathers […]