Franciscan Father Mariano Payeras' served this mission from 1804 until his death in 1823. He supervised the relocation and rebuilding of La Purisima after the 1812 earthquakes. He also served a El Presidente and Comisario Prefecto of the Alth California Missions.
Father Mariano Payeras is buried near the alter.
There are many antique pieces within the church. I surmised that during secularization period many of the pieces we removed and stored at Santa Inez. Although the church is a replica, many of the pieces within are original.
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
This was Padre's Rodriguez's room. What was neat, is the Ranger had unlocked the door so we could explore the room first hand and let us go thru the door to the missions trade store (Tienda), which was just next door. Pretty cool!
The two padres, eager for news of the outside world and trade relations, received visitors annd guests here. Occasionally, Chumash Indians were allowed to entertain with their traditional songs and dances.
This beautifully crafted tule house represents the artisanship of the Chumash. 120 plus hours of hard physical labor has gone into harvesting the tule alone. This was done carefully to produce the finest quality of craftmanship. Over 100 willows were harvested by 4 volunteers who carried the downed lumber through poison oak! This building will be an opportunity for visitors to see how the Chumash lived. It will provide a special classroom for school groups and be used on living history days for storytelling. You can help preserve this beautiful tule house by not pulling on the tule reeds, which covers the walls. Keep children and dogs under control while viewing this structure.
Can you interpret the story that the footprints in this walk are telling about the history of La Purisma Mission.
Notice that the impressions are different. Starting to the right there are footprints left by someone who was barefoot (picture 1). The next person wore hard soled shoes or boots (picture 2). Notice also that some of the people were accomplished by animals. One had large hooves (picture 3). Another animal wore metal shoes(picture 4).
The Riddle Explained
The bare feet represent the Chumash people who have lived here for centuries. The sandals and boot prints symbolize the Spanish settlers who came here to establish La Purisma Mission. They brought with them the cattle,sheep, and horses that were vital to the Spanish way of life.
You find more educational plaques up by the visitors center.
The Civilian Conservation Corps left his room to show how the original and reconstructed walls are bonded together and reinforced with modern concrete. The CCC used original building methods to achieve the proper look and feel of the mission.
Unlike the Europeans, the Chumash Indians enjoyed bathing. This lavanderia provided a clothes washing and bathing area for the residents of the Indian Apartments and Tule Village.
What is sad, is the most of the mission lavanderia's water features use to have a some type of sculpture face. Over the years these have faded. I noticed that many have eroded such as this one.
Next to the lavanderia is a neat sundial.
Using gravity flow, drinking and cooking water came in closed, clay underground pipes from the Springs House. Excess water went to the lavanderia (to the left) for washing clothes. The soapy water drained into the cistern, cleared, then traveled by aqueduct for irrigation.
A Short History
The cattle of the world, regardless of their wide and diverse body types and color patterns, are believed to originate from Bos indicus (the humped cattle of Asia) or Bos taurus (the wild cattle of Europe). Annals of history trace the movement of African cattle accompanying the Moors to Spain and their evolution into many cattle types. On the voyages of Christopher Columbus, the Spanish first brought long-horned cattle to the Americas in 1493. Descendants of these ocean voyagers were the first cattle population in North America.
The English, in colonizing North America, brought their native cattle in 1623, and as they moved west so did their cattle, pulling wagons and plows and providing milk. In 1821, cattle of North Carolina origin began to intermingle with the Spanish and English cattle. American Indians had developed their own strains of cattle from the Spanish and English strains.
Mexico, Texas, and what was then the Louisiana Purchase became the major blending pot for the evolution of this history-making Texas Longhorn breed of cattle. So old-timers contend the big horns, speckled colors and body types were derived from importation to the States out of the Longhorn Herefords of England. Others believe the blue and roan speckled stock reflected early Durham (shorthorn) introductions. The Spanish influence was represented by drab, earth tone colors.
Although "Mexican" cattle of the long horned variety provided the basic strain, historian J. Frank Dobie documented that an infiltration of cattle of mongrel American blood contributed to the evolution of the Texas Longhorn. Dobie estimated the Texas Longhorn evolved as 80 % Spanish influence and 20% mongrel influence. Thus, the Texas Longhorn was created, imported to North America from many different routes, defined and refined by nature, tested by the crucible of time and the elements.
Through the mid-1800s, these range-rugged, big horned cattle multiplied without the help of man. Traits were genetically fixed, and as a result of survival of the fittest, resulted in ecologically adapted bovine families with extremely good heath, fertility, teeth, disease resistance, and soundness of body and limb. They multiplied by the millions. In 1876, an estimated 1000-head breeding herd was introduced into southern Alberta, Canada. By 1884, these cattle were estimated to have multiplied to 40,000 head with multiplication and importation.
A national convention of cattlemen in St. Louis in 1884 made plans for a national cattle trail right-of-way from the Red River north to the Canadian border, but they were thwarted when Congress failed to pass the bill. After this, the great trail drives began to dwindle as deeded, fenced property and rapidly developing civilization cluttered the trails. In 1890, the United States Department of Agriculture estimated the nation's cattle population at 60 million head, mostly containing percentages of Texas Longhorn Blood.
In the early 20th Century, purebred cattle breeds from Europe and Asia became available to fit the desires of early ranchers. The foundation stock of introduced breeds such as Hereford, Shorthorn, and Angus were bred up to purebreds in this country from a native Longhorn base. Because of the great mothering ability of the Longhorn and the popularity of this "breeding up", pure Longhorn blood was practically bred out of existence.
By the dawn the 20th Century, candles, had been the chief source of light for nearly 2000 years. Tallow, the main ingredient in candles is obtained by rendering animal fat. Soaps, lubricants and cooking also required tallow. "Hide and Tallow" companies, as early beef processing plants were known, were a major industry in the early days of the industrial revolution. Meat was mostly an economic by-product. The demand for the tallow and hides was the driving force of the cattle business. Cattle genetics required selecting for the heaviest tallow-producing animals. It is no wonder that the naturally lean Longhorn, with 80% less renderable tallow than the English breeds was not in demand. As a result of this high percentage lean carcass, the Texas Longhorn came close to extinction.
By 1930, much open range was fenced, and southwestern cattle barons zeroed in on their favorite breeds of fat cattle. However, the historic Texas Longhorn was the time tested choice of some serious producers. Although later trading occurred between Longhorn producers, six unique strains were selectively perpetuated by private ranch families before 1931. Several early producers were instrumental in providing Longhorn genetics when the United States Government realized the near extinction of these creatures. The government herd, established in 1927 at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Cache, Oklahoma, was to become the seventh of the preserved Texas Longhorn families. These family genetics established in the early thirties and before are still maintained by family members and friends. Today producers of Texas Longhorns either raise their favorite family bloodline in a pure state or mix and select combinations of several family bloodlines.http://www.itla.net/Longhorn_Information/index.cfm?con=main(International Texas Longhorn Association)
Men and women were cared for in separate hospital buildings. Women with knowledge of healing herbs were hired to cure the sick. Unfortunately, without resistance to European diseases, and with changes in diet and living conditions, many Chumash Indians suffered and died.
I'll take you on the tour as I ventured through the mission.
Across the 1st footbridge lies California's eleventh mission and a glimpse of life during the 1820's. The Civilian Conservation Corps restored the buildings and grounds between 1934 - 1941. We hope you enjoy your visit to the past.
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.
Each mission of the California Mission System was designed to be a complete community. The farms and workshops were capable of providing for the needs of 1,000 or more residents. In 1820, La Purisma Mission's population was 874, including Franciscan padres, soldiers, skilled, craftsmen, and Chumash Indicans.
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.