San Diego Mission Church

A National Historic Landmark
Date of Designation: April 15, 1970
National Register Number: 70000144

Location: Mission Basilica San Diego de Acala;
10818 San Diego Mission Road; San Diego, California 92108-2429
Geographic Coordinates: 32.7844N 117.1064W

Known as the "Mother of the Missions," San Diego Mission Church (San Diego de Alcala) was the first of 21 Spanish missions established, in part, by Father Junipero Serra. The mission was founded in 1769. The church burned during an Indian uprising in 1775. The second church, constructed 1776-77, was replaced by a larger adobe church in 1780, which in turn was damaged by an earthquake in 1803. The present church, constructed from 1808 to 1813, is the fourth constructed at the site. Father Serra chose this site for the mission because of its proximity to Indian villages, a reliable source of water, and fertile land. American Indian laborers cultivated wheat, barley, corn, and beans in the fields and tended orchards and vegetable gardens. By 1797, the mission had cultivated 50,000 acres, supported by an extensive irrigation system. After the Mexican government secularized the mission in 1834, the buildings were abandoned until 1846, when they were occupied by the U.S. Cavalry. In 1862, by proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln, the mission was returned to church ownership and was used as an Indian school from 1887-1907. The buildings were reconstructed during the 1940s.

Links: Official Website, Wikipedia and The Civic Group: mission history and detailed history.

Sunday August 17, 2008
Larry's Other Place
Copyright © 2008 Lawrence McMillen. All rights reserved.