Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Mission On The Highway
Mission San Miguel Arcangel was founded in 1797, the 16th in the California mission chain. Located in San Luis Obispo County, it burned to the ground in 1806 and was rebuilt within the year. Pio Pico secularized the missions in 1836 and San Miguel de Arcangel stood empty for 10 years. In 1846 it was sold to a family who turned it into a store and living quarters. During the California gold rush, it was variously a saloon, dance hall and storeroom for the 49ers traveling between Los Angeles and Sam Francisco.
President Buchanan returned ownership of the mission to the Church in 1859 and today it is considered the best preserved of all the missions. The mission arcade, with its 12 arches is the original. The mission suffered some damage in the 2003 San Simeon earthquake and is currently undergoing seismic retrofitting and is closed to the public for the duration of the work.
The photomechanical color print was made in 1898 by the Detroit Publishing Company.