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Mission san Miguel, California through the Detroit photo Co, 1898


Mission san Miguel Arcángel is a Spanish mission in san Miguel, California. It to be the 16th the 21 Franciscan Catholic missions developed in California during the 18th and also early 19th century to increase the Spanish empire, resolve the Pacific coastline region, and convert local American Indian people to Catholicism.

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The Spanish selected the site along the Salinas river to ease travel in between Mission san Antonio and Mission san Luis Obispo. Dad Fermin Francisco de Lasuen founded Mission mountain Miguel Arcangel ~ above July 25, 1797. That year, a short-term church and also other buildings were developed at the mission. The mission was called for the Archangel Saint Michael. The mission sat along the El Camino Real, the main overland route that connected the Spanish missions, presidios, and pueblos in Alta California. The road ran right beside a big Salinan Indian village.


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California Mission ind by luigi Choris, 1822


The mission’s first priest, father Buenaventura Sitjar, had a pre-existing connection with the Salinan people, having actually ministered to them for 25 years at Mission mountain Antonio. Dad Sitjar spoke the Salinan people’s language and baptized 15 Salinan kids the job the mission was established. The founding of Mission san Miguel significant the beginning of a friendly relationship in between the Salinan people and also Spanish padres. Eventually, end 1,000 Salinan indians would speak to the mission home.

In 1806, a fire destroyed the church, the various other mission buildings, and also all the stored farm yard products. At this time, there were an ext than 1,000 Salinans were living and also working in ~ the mission. Planning and also preparation because that a brand-new and bigger church started while rebuilding the other mission buildings. For the following ten years, Salinan neophytes made almost 36,000 roof tiles and also adobe blocks that they save on computer in preparation for building the brand-new church. The structure for the brand-new church was laid in 1816, and by 1818, the new church, v its six feet thick adobe walls and also a long colonnade through multiple arcs of differing shapes and also sizes, was finished. Esteban Munras, an artist from Monterey, designed and completed the internal murals with the aid of the Salinan indians by 1821. Today, these original murals have actually never to be re-touched.


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Mission mountain Miguel Arcangel, California through Oriana Day


The mission’s grounds expanded 18 mile to the north and also south, 66 miles to the east, and 35 mile to the west. Such large land grants were important for the mission to flourish crops, plant vineyards, raise cattle and sheep, and graze horses and also mules because that trade and to sustain their community. The success the the Mission to be primarily because of Father Juan Martin, who served right here from the start until 1824.

Life in ~ Mission san Miguel changed after Mexico’s self-reliance from Spain in 1821. Due to the financial strain of keeping the missions, the Mexican government secularized the mission system and converted church home to private property. In 1834, Mission san Miguel was among the last objectives to it is in secularized. By this time, only about 30 Salinan Indians continued to be at the mission and no Spanish padres, at which time, a mexican administrator took regulate of Mission san Miguel.


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Mission mountain Miguel Arcángel, California by Carol Highsmith


In 1846, organization partners Petronillio Rios, a retirement Mexican army man, and also William Reed, an brother who had a mam from Monterey, purchase the mission buildings. The Reeds stayed in the mission till a brutal strike from three Irish sailors, who had actually deserted your ship, left 11 family members members and also household staff dead in their house. ~ the vicious murders of the Reed family and also their staff, and also because that the mission’s place as a stopping suggest for gold miners traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the mission’s buildings and also grounds were converted because that commercial use. The mission served as sleeve shops, a hotel, a saloon, and a dancehall at miscellaneous times.

President Buchanan changed Mission mountain Miguel come the Catholic Church in 1859. By 1878, the newly assigned residents padre, dad Philip Farrely, ran the mission and established a new parish. Fifty years later, in 1928, the mission was officially returned to the Franciscans. Under the direction that the Franciscans when again, the mission ended up being a novitiate cultivate school and also a center for retreats and meetings.


Mission mountain Miguel Arcángel, California through Carol Highsmith


Today, the mission is quiet an energetic parish and a novitiate maintain facility. The church’s appearance this particular day is much the same as as soon as it to be built. The within of the church has actually never to be repainted. The mission was put on the national Register of historic Places in 1971 and was called to a National historic Landmark in 2006. The California’s missions, that retains much more than most of that is layout and also buildings, consisting of a portion of the neophyte village.

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Visitors today visit a museum and tour the grounds with a small donation.

More Information:

Mission san Miguel Arcàngel775 Mission StSan Miguel, California 93451805-467-3256