Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mission San Juan Capistrano ~ 1939

Business took us down the block from Mission San Juan Capistrano last week, so the timely resurfacing of this old photo was a delight. It dates back to 1939 ~ America, pre World War II and still in the grips of the Great Depression. You wouldn't know that from the photo.

The mission was the seventh built in the chain of 21, and construction began in 1776. The most ornate of the missions, an 1812 earthquake collapsed the main church and only a few walls and a single dome remain. The swallows return from Argentina each spring and faithfully build their mud nests in the ruins. The original bell wall, tower, gardens, fountain and colonnade are largely intact.

The photo is No. 65 in the Union Oil Company's Natural Color Photographic Scenes of the West, 1939.

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