San Gabriel Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Yaqui
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Yaqui
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Yaqui

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in San Gabriel

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    Docents~Frank Fantz

    by Yaqui Written Aug 16, 2013

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    What would beautiful historical places be without the dedication and love of their communities. Mr. Frantz was giving out beautiful flowers to the mothers since it was Mothers Day:)

    Here is an article:
    SAN GABRIEL - John Fantz volunteers every weekend at Mission San Gabriel.

    It's a sort of homecoming.

    Fantz, whose lived in Whittier his entire 75 years and is a card-carrying member of the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, first gave tours of the mission as a teenager.

    "I used to love coming here," he said. "I was fascinated with it and followed Ed Salcedo, the mission's guide at the time, like a puppy."

    He had trepidation when one afternoon, a tired Salcedo suggested he take the next group on the tour.

    "I was nervous," Fantz admitted.

    But after that first tour, he was hooked.

    In 1999, after retiring as a medical electrologist, Fantz decided to volunteer his time to sharing his knowledge, and playing Santa at Christmastime.

    "My interest in the mission's history and mystique has never died," he said.

    "John is a real treasure and wealth of knowledge," said Al Sanchez, manager of the mission. "He is an expert on this mission."

    Upon his return, Fantz, who wears his fluffy white beard in such a manner that children ask if he is Santa Claus, went about bringing valuable artifacts out of storage.

    "Things were put away after the Whittier earthquake," he said. "I thought the bare walls in the museum needed sprucing up."

    Fantz was thrilled with what he found.

    He went about bringing Bibles, books, crosses and other artifacts out for the public to enjoy.

    "This used to be a walk-in, walk-out museum with nothing to see," Fantz said. "Now, people spend a good deal of time in here."

    He estimates he has donated about $6,000 in frames and other items for the displays over the years.

    "It's a beautiful place," said visitor Lily Silvas, 84, of Alhambra, of the mission founded in 1771.

    One of the displays in the museum is photos of its famous visitors.

    They include the late actor Tyrone Power, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and Robert F. Kennedy, who visited the site two days before his assassination in June 1968.

    "People of all ages are enthralled with the history and beauty of this place," Fantz said.

    As a former professional public speaker, and member of Toastmasters International, he gets "real dramatic" in his presentations.

    "I certainly have the gift of gab," Fantz said. "I also have been blessed with a good voice."

    And he loves the mission.

    "I have never tired of telling the stories of the Native Americans, priests and others connected to the mission," he said.

    "Their stories are powerful," Frantz said. "Sometimes I am moved to tears."http://www.whittierdailynews.com/general-news/20101031/santa-with-a-mission-whittier-man-shares-knowledge-of-mission-san-gabriel

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    Old Kitchen

    by Yaqui Written Aug 16, 2013

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    This kitchen is a replica of the original old kitchen built by the Franciscan and Gabrielino Indians, but destroyed by fire in the early days. Meals for the friars and Spanish soldiers were prepared here. Fr. Ramon Catalan, C.M.F., thinking of a typical kitchen of the Franciscan era, designed this kitchen after his grandmother's own, where he was born and raised in Corella, Spain. In 1936, he began rebuilding the old kitchen original foundation, with his workers; Pablo, Cayentano and Efran; making the adobe bricks "carefully turning them in the sun."

    428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776

    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    Court of the Missions

    by Yaqui Written Aug 16, 2013

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    Court of the Mission Models includes 21 mission models made in the 1930's by Claretian Missionaries, and a sun dial with 21 native plants next to it, representing 21 missions in California.

    428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776

    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    Peace Garden

    by Yaqui Written Aug 16, 2013

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    There is handmade tile picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and an anchor off of mission's Guadalupe sailing ship. They ended up repurposing the ancor, but cutting off metal pieces to make tools to use in the mission. A cannon that was found in a nearby river after a flood in 1914, and a fountain made in the 1940's by Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West.

    428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776

    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    San Gabriel Mission Tannery & Laundry

    by Yaqui Written Aug 16, 2013

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    Nearby is one of several buildings used for storage; probably for soap and tallow or cow hides. These tanks were used for laundry and for tanning hides. However in 1809, a tannery building was constructed.

    428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776

    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    San Gabriel Mission Quadrangle #2

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 16, 2013

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    Just around from the quadrangle is an area huge open fireplaces were used for cooking. The aqueduct was the main source of water within the crude fired-clay piped from here with crude fired-clay pipes to the laundry, kitchen and other areas. There is also a display of a Gabrieleno Tongva kiiy houses.

    428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776

    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    San Gabriel Sanctuary

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 16, 2013

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    The church was built of cut stone, brick and mortar (1791-1805), and is the oldest structure of its kind south of Monterey, Ca. The pulpit, on the right as you face the sanctuary, is the original. The main alter was made in Mexico City and brought here in the 1790's. The wooden polychrome statues were hand carved in Spain. During the 1812 earthquake the altar and Crucifix were damaged. The statues fell and were broken into pieces. Repairs on these were completed in 1813. The statues and altar were again restored in 1993. The founding missionaries had made the long journey from San Diego, and just as they were delibarating as to an exact site for the mission they were met by a group of Tongva Inidans who seemed determined to drive them away. One of the priest took the approximately 300 year old painting of "Our Lady of Sorrows" and spread it on the ground for the indians to see. The indians were so impressed with the beauty they offered signs of friendship.

    428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776

    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    San Gabriel Mission Quadrangle

    by Yaqui Written Aug 16, 2013

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    The baked floor tiles, building foundations and bases of pillars in the "Corridor of Pillars" are originals. Laying the tiles was started in 1803, and in a relatively short time they stretched nearly 300 feet west and 600 feet north. The statue of Father Junipero Serra was erected to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the mission's founding. The grapevine here was probably planted about 1775. The two oldest olive trees were planted in 1860. The water cistern is original. It is 15 feet deep, with both sides and bottom made of stones and mortar.

    428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776

    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    San Gabriel Mission Winery

    by Yaqui Written Aug 16, 2013

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    The foundation, floor, and vats of the winery are original. One section of this building was used for making wine, the other for making olive oil. San Gabriel Mission was the largest winery in California at one time.

    428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776

    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    San Gabriel Mission Museum

    by Yaqui Written Aug 16, 2013

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    Museum building was constructed in 1812 of adobe brick with a tiled roof and was almost 300 feet long. Originally composed of a series of rooms: weaving room, granary, carpenter shops, and sleeping quarters for the mission fathers. The Vestment Room contains a remarkable collection of garments dating back to the 17th century that were used by the mission fathers. Some other artifacts ae a small rosewood organ brought from France about 1821, book dating back to 1489, and a Spanish bedroom set dated 1623. The Aboriginal Paintings of the 14 Stations of the Cross are probably the oldest indian sacred pictorial art in California. It was said olive oil was used as the base and the colors were from wild flowers.

    428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776

    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    St. John Statue

    by Yaqui Written Aug 11, 2013

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    A 70 foot tall tree in the Dec 1, 2011 windstorm, damaging the crucifix and St. John Statue. The cross was replaced and the crucifix and statue were fully retored. The memorial was rededicated on Good Friday 2012, 77 years after the original dedication.

    428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776
    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    Campo Santo Cemetery

    by Yaqui Written Aug 11, 2013

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    First consecrated in 1778, this is the oldest cemetery in Los Angeles County. The walls which surround this area were rebuilt in 1940, but the foundations are original.

    This cemetery was used for burials from 1778 to 1865, and faded archives reveal that c.6,000 Indians were interred here during that period. Many of them were stricken in the devastating cholera and small pox epidemics of 1825. The cemetery was first consecrated in 1778, three years after the mission was moved to this site. In January 29, 1939, the Camposanto was rededicated by his excellency.....The Archbishop Cantwell.

    Located at 428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776
    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    Old Spanish Trail Plaque

    by Yaqui Written Aug 11, 2013

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    The Old Spanish Trail was an historic pack trail connecting Santa Fe to the pueblo of Los Angeles. Travelers from Santa Fe aimed for the San Gabriel Mission as a welcome destination and gathering place. Traders brought woolen goods from New Mexico and returned with highly prized California mules and horses. The trail originated as a trade route from Santa Fe into central Utah during the Spanish Colonial days but was also used as an emigrant trail to California during the Mexican period.

    Inset on right:
    San Gabriel Mission
    On September 8, 1771 founding Fathers Pedro Cambon and Angel Somera named the new mission for the Archangel Gabriel. It was the fourth in a chain of 21 missions built in California. In 1774, Juan Bautista de Anza arrived and established a formal overland route from Mexico City to California.

    As trade between the United States and the new Republic of Mexico expanded, Santa Fe traders saw the potential for profits in dealing directly with California ranchers and church missions. In the fall of 1829, well after Mexican Independence from Spain, Antonio Armijo led a caravan westward from Sante Fe. He arrived at the San Gabriel Mission in January, 1830 with 60 men and pack mules loaded with woolen goods. Armijo returned to Santa Fe that spring with an additional 100 horses and mules. For the first time, a trade and communication route was established between the Mexican provinces of New Mexico and California. Thus the Old Spanish Trail was born.

    Following the success of Armijo’s expedition, San Gabriel Mission became a focal point for the lucrative trade. Traders, trappers and travelers coming west gathered here to conduct their business with the Californios. The Mission was one of the most prosperous in California, and the padres graciously provided food, rest and shelter to the travelers, weary from the long and difficult trail. Some of the visitors were no doubt rough and unruly, but all were treated with courtesy by the padres.

    Governor Pio Pico secularized San Gabriel Mission in 1834 and much of the land became private property. In 1874, the Catholic Church was granted control of only 13 acres including the church.

    Erected by Old Spanish Trail Association, Dale Querfeld, National Park Serve and BLM.

    Location:428 S. Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776
    From I-210/EXIT 28 Sierra Madre BL/Altadena Dr/Stay straight on Corson St/1st RT N Altadena Dr/2nd RT N Sierra Madre Blvd/Slight left San Marino Av/RT N Santa Anita St/N Santa Anita St becomes S Santa Anita Ave/Left S Mission Dr/428 S MISSION DR on left.

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    Constitution Fountain

    by Yaqui Written Aug 11, 2013

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    The plaque reads: Dedicated to the American people upon the occasion of the 200th Anniversary of the signing of the constitution of the United States of America on September 17, 1787. "...Liberty to ourselves and our posterity...."
    September 17, 1987
    City of San Gabriel

    Located in front of the San Gabriel Playhouse
    320 S Mission Dr, San Gabriel, Ca 91776

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