Be it known by all who read these words that this Veterans War Memorial is dedicated to those men and women from San Gabriel who so gallantly served their country in times of national peril.
City of San Gabriel 50th Anniversary Seal
Dedicated April 24, 1963, The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Incorporation of the City of San Gabriel
Mrs. Alick Barlow • Mrs. Amos Dubois • Mrs. Karl Lunt
Erected 1963 by Incorporation of the City of San Gabriel Dedication Committee.
Located on the fence of the Mission Arts Center. The plaque reads:The 72 foot mural depicts life in early California with scenes of Native Americans, Francisan Padres and Senoritas. It was painted over a period of three months. Images projected against the wall at night provided the basic outline necessary to complete the painting during the day. Finished in June 2001, it instantly became a modern day landmark in the historic San Gabriel Mission District.
Putt Putman was raised in Alhambra, California and has been an artist for most of his life. He was an instructor at the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design for over 12 years. He has produced many significant works of art, including several murals. Early California is the largest and considered to be his most significant work to date. He paints to please himself and the pleasure is contagious.
By Ramona Parlor #109 Native Sons of the Golden West, Ola Addante President.
The Old Grapevine holds a small segment of the original vine whose trellised branches once covered 10,000 square feet. It was a popular local gathering place where refreshments were served under the vine. Started as a cutting from the “Mother Vine” at the Mission, many local vineyards began from cuttings of this vine.The San Gabriel Winery was among the world’s largest in the late 1800’s, until a blight wiped out the vineyards and oranges became the main agricultural crop of the area.
The plaque reads: The Mission Playhouse, now the San Gabriel Civic Auditorium, was built by John Steven McGroaty to present his epic Mission Play. The play told the story of the California Missions and the lives of the people around them. Beginning in 1912, it drew people from all over the world to San Gabriel. The Playhouse was planned and completed for the 1927 season, with stage and dressing rooms large enough to accommodate the cast of 150 for the 4 1/2 hour production. The exterior is patterned after the Mission San Antonio De Padua and the interior decor is a blend of Spanish, Indian and Mexican influences. In the courtyard on the north side are replicas of all 21 Missions.
The Playhouse was acquired by the City of San Gabriel in 1945, fulfilling McGroaty's wish that it belong forever to the people. He went on to become a two term Congressman, and was Poet Laureate of California from 1933 until his death in 1944.
By Romana Parlor #109, Native Sons of the Golden West, Rosemarie Lippman, President J. Michael Anthony N.S.G.W., Grand President.
The plaque reads:The Victorian house was built in 1887 for Reverend George Finley Bovard who later became the fourth president of the University of Southern California.
Milton Scott Wilson purchased the house in 1893. He served as Justice of the Peace for the San Gabriel Township and many weddings took place n his parlor. In 1904. his daughter, Mary Leticia, married Edwin Hayes who helped organize the first San Gabriel City Council and the San Gabriel Union Church.
Their daughter, Mary Ruth Hayes (1907-1990), was born in the house and lived there all her life. She was a teacher and administrator in the school district for more than forty years. She willed the home and its contents to the San Gabriel Historical Association. The home reflects the lives of one family in San Gabriel for nearly 100 years.
The small stone milk house was used as a jail on weekends to hold revelers from local saloons until they could be taken to the Los Angeles County Jail on Monday morning. It was later moved to the Wilson-Hayes property.
In the center of the park is the Bicentennial Fountain built in 1976 to celebrate our nation’s 200th birthday. The Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail comes through San Gabriel. There are so many wonderful plaques in the Plaza Park marking Juan Bautista De Anza arrival. East end, commemorates his 1774 exploratory trip through uncharted wilderness to discover a land route from Sonora, Mexico, to California. South entrance door to the Mission marks the famous 1776 trek bringing over 200 settlers, the first to come overland from Sonora, who went on to found the City of San Francisco. On the west side of the park is the Sister City plaque, shaded by Jacaranda trees, which honors the friendship between San Gabriel and Celay a ,M e x i c o. Plaques dedicated to all veterans who served honorably and faithfully in the U.S.Armed Forces during wars, armed conflicts and peacetime are also located in Plaza Park. The two most distinct features of the Mission can be seen from the park. The outside stairway leads to the choir loft.The BellTower holds six bells with long and interesting histories.
Founded in 1771, San Gabriel Mission is the 4th mission established in the Franciscan chain of 21 California Missions. This mission is very different from the other Missions, as is its construction of stone, brick and mortar instead of adobe, and its Spanish-Moorish style of architecture. When you walkin the compound, you can see how life was lived so many years ago when people made their own soap and candles from tallow, leather goods from cattle hides, wine from their own grapes, and everything else they needed to survive so far from any source of supply. They grew grape vines and orange trees, as well as other trees and plants.
San Gabriel supplied many of the other Missions and settlements with what it grew within its rich lands which stretched from the ocean to the mountains and east to the Riverside area. San Gabriel is known as the “birthplace of the Los Angeles region because from here the Mission that 44 people in 11 families left on September 4, 1781 to found El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles.
Outside the massive wooden Mission church doors & the El Camino Real Bell laid the actual King’s Highway Trail that linked all the Missions in California.
(Mission open 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.daily, except major holidays.
Built as the Temple Block, the arcades now shelter interesting shops and businesses. The corner building was the San Gabriel Post Office in the 1920’s. A plaque commemorating the July 30, 1994 dedication of the Mission District Project is located in front
of the Arcade Plaza.
The site of the present City Hall was donated to the City in 1922 by Walter P.Temple. His father, Francis Pliny Fiske Temple, traveled by ship “Around the Horn” to California in 1841 to join his brother who had opened the first mercantile store in Los Angeles. Francis later married Margarita Workman. Her father,William Workman, organized with James Rowland the first wagon train to Southern California over the Santa Fe Trail,arriving in 1841.The TempleWorkman families were involved in much of the history and development of this area,including the founding of Temple City and donation of land for public use in many of the nearby towns.
The millstone near the City Hall steps commemorates the Chapman Mill, built nearby in 1823 by Joseph Chapman, a New Englander captured first by pirates and then by the Spanish in California. His skill at building dams and mills was invaluable to the Fathers here and at other Missions.
Soon after our incorporation as a city in 1913, this building was constructed for the Bank of San Gabriel, which was later sold to California Bank. Since 1969, it has been used by the San Gabriel Fine Arts Association for art shows, workshops,classes, and the display of artwork. This is a restaurant now, please see my restaurant review of this establishments.
The sacristy is the best preserved of all the Mission. It is also still in use today.Walls, floor and vaulted ceilings are all original.The chest of drawers is also original and very unique. it is completely made withoutnails. The mirror and frame are all original as well.
The water cistern looks more like a well and it has been filled along time ago. One of the fathers filled it up in order to "prevent accidents".
It is the original and it is fifteen feet deep, with both sides and the bottom made of stones and mortar.
At one time the San Gabriel Mission supplied soap and candles to most of the other missions. The four large cisterns or boilers had edges that had a lining of sheet iron which was eight to ten inches thick.
The 99 ton top sail schopner was built here in the Mission.
Metal was cut off the anchor to make tools and other metal items. The Cannon can also be found here. It was found after a flood in 1914 in a nearby river.
In the Peace Garden, area of the Mission you will find a hand made tile picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Theres also a bench surrounded by beautiful flowers to meditate, think or to pray. The Peace Garden is very peacful and very beautiful.