San Gabriel Things to Do

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    by Yaqui
  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui
  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui

Best Rated Things to Do in San Gabriel

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    Mission San Gariel Arcangel 1771

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 11, 2013

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    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.

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    City Hall 1922

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 11, 2013

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    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.

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    Hayer House & Old Jail Museum

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 11, 2013

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    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.

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    Mission Playhouse

    by Yaqui Written Aug 11, 2013

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    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.

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    Early California Mural & Plaque

    by Yaqui Written Aug 11, 2013

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    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.

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    Plaza Park

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 11, 2013

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    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.

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    Old Grapevine

    by Yaqui Written Aug 11, 2013

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    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.

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    First Bank Building 1913

    by Yaqui Written Aug 11, 2013

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    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.

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    San Gabriel Veterans War Memorial

    by Yaqui Written Aug 11, 2013

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    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
    Dedication Committee
    Mrs. Alick Barlow • Mrs. Amos Dubois • Mrs. Karl Lunt


    Erected 1963 by Incorporation of the City of San Gabriel Dedication Committee.

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    Arcade Shops 1920's

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 11, 2013

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    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.

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    The San Gabriel Mission

    by malianrob Updated Apr 14, 2006

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    Pride of the California Mission
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    The San Gabriel Mission was founded in 1771. The designer of the mission was Father Antonio Cruzado. He was born and raised in Cordova Spain and therefore you can see the Moorish influence in this fortress-like appearance of the church.
    The walls are more than 4 feet thick, with some sections as much as seven feet thick. The mission is on its forth roof and ceiling because of earthquake damage in 1804, 1812, 1886, and 1987.
    The loft and support beams are original.
    Admission for museum and grounds are $5 for adults and $3 for children over 6 years old.
    Mission church, museum and grounds are open daily from 9am to 4:30pm

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    San Gabriel Mission - The Church

    by malianrob Written Apr 14, 2006

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    The San Gabriel Mission Church was built of cut stone, brick and mortar, it is also the oldest structure of its kind.
    The Main Altar was made in Mexico City and taken to the mission in 1790. The wooden polychrome statues were hand carved in Spain.There was an earthquake in 1812 and altar and crucifix were damaged. In 1813 repairs were done and completed.

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    San Gabriel Mission - Campo Santo Cemetery

    by malianrob Written Apr 14, 2006

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    This is the oldest Cemetery in Los Angeles County. The walls surrounding this area were built in 1940 but the foundations are original.
    In 1778, the first Indian was buried here. The Indians who lived and worked in the mission became to be known as the Gabrielinos.

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    San Gabirel Mission - Crucifix

    by malianrob Written Apr 14, 2006

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    "Outstanding is the Crucifix" is a memorial to the 6,000 plus Indians that are buried in this mission. Rededicated in 1939, the cemetery is now also the final restinf place for the Claretian Priests and brothers who have worked here.

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    San Gabriel Mission - Baptistry

    by malianrob Written Apr 14, 2006

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    As you go into the church and toward the front you will see a door and room to the right. This is the Baptistry. It is a small room with an original domed ceiling, floor and walls. Inside are thr original hand hammered copper baptismal font and silver baptismal shell that was brought over from Spain in 1771 and which are still being used today.

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