The Old Franciscan Missions Of California eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about The Old Franciscan Missions Of California.



After the founding of San Buenaventura.  Governor Neve arrived from San Gabriel, inspected the new site, and expressed himself as pleased with all that had been done.  A few days later he, with Padre Serra, and a number of soldiers and officers, started up the coast, and, selecting a site known to the Indians after the name of their chief, Yanonalit, established the presidio of Santa Barbara.  Yanonalit was very friendly, and as he had authority over thirteen rancherias he was able to help matters along easily.  This was April 21, 1782.

When Serra came to the establishment of the presidio, he expected also to found the Mission, and great was his disappointment.  This undoubtedly hastened his death, which occurred August 28, 1782.




It was not until two years later that Neve’s successor, Fages, authorized Serra’s successor, Lasuen, to proceed.  Even then it was feared that he would demand adherence to new conditions which were to the effect that the padres should not have control over the temporal affairs of the Indians; but, as the guardian of the college had positively refused to send missionaries for the new establishments, unless they were founded on the old lines, Fages tacitly agreed.  On December 4, therefore, the cross was raised on the site called Taynayan by the Indians and Pedragoso by the Spaniards, and formal possession taken, though the first mass was not said until Fages’s arrival on the 16th.  Lasuen was assisted by Padres Antonio Paterna and Cristobal Oramas.  Father Zephyrin has written a very interesting account of Santa Barbara Mission, some of which is as follows: 

“The work of erecting the necessary buildings began early in 1787.  With a number of Indians, who had first to be initiated into the mysteries of house construction, Fathers Paterna and Oramas built a dwelling for themselves together with a chapel.  These were followed by a house for the servants, who were male Indians, a granary, carpenter shop, and quarters for girls and unmarried young women.

“In succeeding years other structures arose on the rocky height as the converts increased and industries were introduced.  At the end of 1807 the Indian village, which had sprung up just southwest of the main building, consisted of 252 separate adobe dwellings harboring as many Indian families.  The present Mission building, with its fine corridor, was completed about the close of the eighteenth century.  The fountain in front arose in 1808.  It furnished the water for the great basin just below, which served for the general laundry purposes of the Indian village.  The water was led through earthen pipes from the reservoir

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The Old Franciscan Missions Of California from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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