Over 100 people worked in the mission's weaving industry. Wool needed to be washed, carded, spun, and woven to produce an average of 1,000 blankets each year. Blankets were used locally, shipped to the Santa Barbara Presidio, or traded to passing ships for needed items.
The mission could not have existed without this skilled craftsman. He was resposible for construction and repair of the community's wooden items, including furniture, windows, doors, and beams.
Large chunks of beef fat were melted and purified in these vats. This rendered tallow was stored in cowhide bags to be traded with foreign ships or used at the mission for cooking, making candles, or soap. A CCC reproduction vatis located to the right.
One cross stands in memory of the early Californians who are buried in this cemetery.
I felt I was walked across hundreds of unmarked graves. This barren area made my hair stand up on the back of my neck.
The design and size of La Purisma's original belfry is unknown. The uppermost bell is carved from wood. The placement of wooden bells was common until the mission could purchase a bronze bell.
Cleaned and dried cowhides were traded with Yankee ships in exchange for iron, dishes, and other manufactured goods. The hides were tanned in America for shoes, saddles, and factory belts, and clothing.
This was a trail that linked the missions, presidios, and pueblos shifted with the seasons and travel conditions. It is usually always marked with a bell. So when you see a bell along the roads or highways in California, this is the trail.
We were told that the Padres always welcome any visitor or travelers that was passing by a place to spend the night and food to eat. Hospitality was always offered. It was their way of finding out what was happening in the world.
The plaques reads:
La Purisima Mission
Has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Under the provisions of the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935, this site possesses exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating the history of the United States.
U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Near the 1st footbridge.
They have built a beautiful visitor center. We didn't get to go in because it was closed. I am sure there are some wonderful exhibits and information.
Please call or check the web, because hours and prices may change
La Purisima Mission is open for self-guided tours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Free guided tours are conducted every day except during Special Events or Living History Days. The tour begins at the Visitor Center each day at 1:00 p.m., and generally lasts 60 to 90 minutes. This map depicts the facility and general accessibility accommodations.
Private Vehicles - $6.00 / Seniors (63 and over) - $5.00
Buses - (10 to 24 Passengers) - $50.00
Buses - (25 or more Passengers) - $100.00
Wheel chair available upon request at Kiosk, New Visitor Center, Gift Shop or call (805) 733-3713
Over the July 4th weekend, I played 18 holes at the La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc. The course is well-maintained and provides some challenging layouts. Be sure to take time to enjoy the gorgeous views from the course. During that weekend, the course was not packed and we got to play a leisurely round. I suggest looking for the Tee Time Specials as I was able to grab a discounted rate through their website. Some fairway bunkers have tiny pebbles, so try to stay out of them. The course can be enjoyable for golfers of any skill level. My only advice is to have a range finder or other device/person that can estimate distances since there are no fairway distance markers.
As I said, the amount of beautifully painted murals in this little town is amazing. Just park your car somewhere in the downtown area and start walking and sightseeing. There is always a coffeehouse or restaurant in that general area if you need to rest your feet or get your java on or soothe your tummy.
Before entering the Mission, you'll walk past many cute ranch animals -- sheep, horses, etc. I also saw a herd of deer running around outside the ranch. I actually saw more animals than tourists that day.
Walk around the compound and enjoy the rural settings of Mission La Purisima. The Mission does not receive as many tourists as other missions in the cities such as Santa Barbara or Ventura. Outside the mission you'll see some old farming equipment in display. It made me feel like walking into history.
Cleveland & Purple Sage was used for body rub to hide hunters scent. I imagine it was used a lot back then:)
This is where the soldiers lived, ate, and slept while serving at the mission.
Do you see the colorful shield on the wall, its is a turtle shell.