Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Looking Back In Calfiornia

This picture was taken just up the coast at Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1880. It captures such a charming scene of old California. The arched adobe arcade looks much the same today.

The twenty-one missions are the oldest structures in the state of California. Mission San Juan Capistrano was originally founded in 1775 as a way station between the missions in San Diego and San Gabriel. Eight days after the founding in San Juan Capistrano, a padre was killed by Indians at San Diego de Alcala, so the mission bells were buried and the padres departed.

A year later, on Nov. 1, 1776, the padres returned, dug up the bells, and the mission was re-founded, named for St. John of Capistrano, Italy. It wasn't until 1791 that the bell tower was completed and the bells hung. For the previous 15 years, they had been hanging in a tree.

The photograph is courtesy of the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library.

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