U. S. Mission Trail / The Mission Trail Today - The Spanish Missions in California
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Select photographs of my many visits to The Missions of the United States South and Southwest built by Spain and Mexico between 1565 and 1823.
All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2008 - 2013.

Explanation.

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#3, San Antonio de Padua

Founded July 14, 1771
by Father Junipero Serra.
Monterey County.

Personal Observations

San Antonio de Padua was the third mission built in Alta California, established in 1771. In my personal opinion, San Antonio de Padua is the best of the northern missions. Nestled in Valley of the Oaks in the middle of a US military base, Mission San Antonio de Padua is surrounded by acres of native vegetation and the remains of mission out buildings. One such out building is the mill. The surrounding lands today are much as they were when Mission San Antonio de Padua was active. This mission is 26 miles off Highway 101. Traveling Photo-Art
Mission Art & Photo-Art
to the mission requires a drive through rolling hills and farm land. While well worth the effort to visit this mission, be aware that Mission San Antonio is on a military base and proper identification of all visitors is required along with automobile registration and proof of insurance. Don't be fooled by the Spanish Revival former Hearst Hacienda, now base headquarters building on the hill to your right. Continue a little further and the mission reveals itself ahead of you as the road curves to the right. I am sure that Mission San Antonio's isolated location on a military base has contributed to the magic of this mission experience.

We visited this mission December 27, 2003 and again on September 3, 2007. Mission San Antonio de Padua now resides within an 85 acre holding within Fort Hunter Liggett.

History

Don Gaspar de Portola traveled through Jolon Valley in 1769. He was inspired to tell Father Junipero Serra of the Valley who chose the location for the third mission in California.

Mission San Antonio de Padua was founded on July 14, 1771 by Father Junipero Serra. In 1773, the mission was moved to a new site, its current location, about two and a half miles northwest, farther up the Los Robles Valley to a better source of water. In 1773, the first recorded marriage in Alto California was performed between Juan Maria Ruiz and Margaretta de Cortona. In 1806, a water-powered gristmill was constructed a few hundred feet to the south of the mission. The mill and millrace are accessible to visitors. The existing restored church is third and final church constructed between 1810 and 1813. In 1821, a three-arch portico was added twelve feet in front of the church. This new facade contained bell towers.

San Antonio was the most successful mission in educating and converting the native population and eventually became one of the most prosperous of the missions. Mission industries included cattle and sheep and wine and basket weaving. While the mission was at first moderately successful, the native population was decimated by disease and the mission was eventually abandoned.

In 1834, secularization saw Mission San Antonio de Padua transferred from the padres to civil control and the mission fell into neglect. In 1863, the U.S. Land Commission returned 33 acres of mission property. Following the death of the last resident priest in 1882, the mission was abandoned and the structures deteriorated. The roof collapes in 1890 due to termite damage to the timbers. Only some walls remained when reconstruction began in 1903. Between 1902 and 1908, the California Historic Landmarks League rebuilt the church wall and roof. This restoration was slowed by he 1906 San Francisco earthquake which toppled most of the walls and slowed reconstruction as work continued through 1908. 1928 saw the Franciscans invited back to care for Mission San Antonio. It was not until 1948 that grant money from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation allowed the restoration of the mission from 1948 to 1952 to its current state.

Address and Directions

I don't think there is a street address, it's just in the middle of Fort Hunter Liggett.

Mailing Address:
PO Box 803
Jolon, CA 93928
Phone: 408-385-4478

Proper identification of all visitors is required along with automobile registration and proof of insurance.

Photography Gallery


Front of church. Photo date: 12-27-03.

Church interior.

Marker near Highway 101.








>
Church.




Church.






Church.


Mission
Approaching the Mission in a wide open valley is breathtaking.
Mission
Mission with ruins in forground and snow-capped mountains beyond.
Ruins
Ruin of out building with mission beyond. Photo date: 12-27-03.
Ruins
Ruin of out building with mission beyond. Photo date: 12-27-03.
Ruins
Ruin of out building with mission beyond. Photo date: 12-27-03.

My wife volunteered to make dinner. Photo date: 12-27-03.

Olive press and olive crusher. Photo date: 12-27-03.

Candle making. Photo date: 12-27-03.

Museum. Photo date: 12-27-03.

Ceiling detail. Photo date: 12-27-03.

Wine cellar. Photo date: 12-27-03.

Wine cellar. Photo date: 12-27-03.

Bird nest on the underside of an eve.
Statue of Father Serra.
Quadrangle.
Quadrangle.




The Museum contains many exhibits about the Mission.









Large kettle, probably used in making tallow.

The most adorable kittens were at play.
Garden.





East of the Quadrangle.
East of the Quadrangle.

Barracks once stood here.


Aqueduct to bring water from the river.

Reservoir to store water until needed.
Reservoir.




Grist Mill.
Grist Mill.





Mill race.



Only a few of the Missions today still show ruins of other lesser buildings. Development around Missions have removed many such ruins.


Large saw for cutting roof timbers and other large pieces of lumber.




The only problem with Mission San Antonio de Padua is that the parking is directly in front of the church, ruining the sense of being back in 1800.

Sources:

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This page last updated: Sunday, 11-Aug-2013 02:22:29 EDT
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