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San Miguel Arcangel

Page history last edited by wikiuser0016 11 years, 3 months ago

Where is the mission located?

The mission is located in San Miguel California, 7 miles north of Paso Robles. Halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. 



What group of Indians was living in the area?

The Salinan Indians inhabited the area.  They were a hunting/gathering people who lived near the Salinas river.  The roots of their language are 6000 to 8000 years old but it is among the least recorded languages and they learned Spanish quickly so lost much of their language.  They are still living today and are working to document their language and culture.  The Salinan's painted all the pictures at the Mission.  Those pictures have never been touched up so the pictures and colors you see are still the originals.



When was the mission established? What order in the mission chain is it?

The mission was founded on July 25, 1797. It is number 16.



Who was responsible for starting this mission?

Father Fermin Lasuen founded the mission on July 25, 1797. He was Father Serra's successor in California. 



Has the mission moved from its original location?

No,it has not, but it was damaged in an earthquake in 2003 and it is gradually being restored.  The first and second phases were finished on the anniversary of the earthquake in 2006.  



What does the mission look like? Use descriptive words. Address each of the



The Mission looks the same as it was when originally built.

Chapel: Relatively small. There are rows of brown benches pressing against a multi-colored(beige-white, red, rose and pink)  wall. Two columns brace the altar. There is a carved (out of wood) and painted sun on the wood above the alter. Wood, adobe and bricks were among the materials used in the building.






 Bell Tower: There are five bells, four are bronze in color and the other one is black-gray. As the tower escalates the bells get smaller, on the top there is a black cross. The mud-red bricks that make up the tower sit atop a sturdy stone foundation.  See bell tower picture.


Quadrangle: 200  ft. square. It had workshops various artisans working with wood, leather, stone, iron and wool. By the 1850's half of the quadrangle had disintegrated. It had been used as a place for crops and a irrigation system had been put there. That is the most likely cause of the disintegration.


Archways:  The archways at San Miguel Arcangel are unlike any other. They are the only archways that do not look like each other. They are different sizes and shapes. This is highly unusual because all the other missions have arches that look alike. (photo courtesy of calisphere, University of California)



Outbuildings: The outbuildings are all the buildings except for the Church. They include the Indian huts, the kitchens, weaving rooms and the priest quarters.  See map of the mission including Indian hut locations, garden and vineyards.


Priest's Quarters: The priests had few luxuries.  A pile of straw on the floor would be a bed. Wooden chests held the few things the Padres owned. The room had no fireplace, now it has been fitted with one.  The priest's quarters were called the Convento.


Fields, Grounds and Gardens: The fountain in a mission was an important part of daily life. Things like washing and cooking depended on water from the fountain. People would have gone there to fetch the important liquid practically every day.  Vineyards and orchards were two sections of the field. The grapes would be eaten or turned into wine, winemaking was one of the mission's many industries. Trading with other missions or storing it for winter helped the mission thrive. On the grounds were the mission buildings, fields and various livestock along with anyone who lived there.  In the gardens there are various trees, flowers, bushes, grasses and small cacti. The garden is very pretty in full bloom. Pinks, reds, greens and other colors run riot, there are colors everywhere.



Indian Quarters: The Indian lived in huts on the outside of the Mission and were relatively small. They were inhabited by the Salinan Indians. They eventually fell into disrepair. The roofs and some of the walls fell down.  You can see the outline of some of the old Indian huts to the right of the Mission in this picture.  See the map of the grounds linked above for the outline of where the huts were.




What materials were used to construct the mission?

Tile, adobe blocks, (clay, straw,gravel) stone, plaster, wood and mud were used in the making of the mission. All adobe blocks were handmade by the Indians at the site.



What was the main industry of the mission during the Spanish occupation?  

Wine making, sheep raising and cattle ranching were a few of the industries. The mission also grew its own vegetables and wheat.  At other times in its history it was a saloon, a dance hall and a storehouse. 

     The cattle brand for mission San Miguel Arcangel. 




What, if any, is the main industry of the mission today? 

It is a church. In 1859 the mission was returned to the Catholic Church by President Buchanan. In 1863, President Lincoln signed an act making all 21 missions in California part of the Catholic Church and it remains a Catholic church. It is the best preserved mission today but due to the earthquake it is being restored in phases.                


What was the relationship between the Priests and the Indians?

The Indians and the priests were very friendly toward each other. At one point in its history the mission was home to over 1000 indians.    



Is it possible to visit the mission today?

Yes, the old Mission Convento, the Gift Shop and the Courtyard are reopened but they suggest you call before coming:  (805) 467-2131.  The main sanctuary remains closed.



Find an image of the floor plan of your mission and include it here: 





TIMELINE (from the history of Mission San Miguel www.missionsanmiguel.org) 



1797 Mission San Miguel Founded.

On July 25, 1797, Presidente Fermin Francisco de Lasuen founded mission San Miguel Arcangel. One of the chief purposes of the new mission was to facilitate travel between Mission San Luis Obispo and San Antonio. The mission system was so devised that each mission was a day's travel from its neighbor.


1806 Disastrous fire destroys buildings. 

The first chapel had to be replaced in a years time by a larger adobe church. Workshops were constructed and living quarters established for. Before sturdy tile roofs could be put over the buildings, a disastrous fire occurred in 1806. A major portion of the mission's equipment, produce and buildings were destroyed. Other missions aided San Miguel Arcangel the mission was soon back on its feet. 


1816 Present Mission Church begun. 

In 1816 stone foundations were laid for the church which survives today. Under the direction of Padre Juan Martin, the Indians had been preparing adobe for several years. The construction proceeded rapidly. And, in 1818, the Church was ready for roofing. Three years later, Esteban Munras arrived to supervise the interior decorations for which the Church is now famous.


1836 Mission San Miguel is secularized. 

On July 14, 1836, Ignacio Coronel assumed jurisdiction over San Miguel's mission property and lands for the civil government. Three years after the secularizing of the mission, many of the Indians had run away. 


1878 A padre is once more sent to Mission San Miguel. 

After 38 years without a resident padre, Rev. Philip Farrelly took up residence as First Pastor of Mission San Miguel. Secular clergy made various repairs to the mission buildings


1928 Mission Returned to Franciscans   

In 1928 Mission San Miguel was returned to the Franciscan Padres, the same group who had founded the mission in 1797. The Franciscans began an extensive renovation and preservation effort which continues to the present day. Today, completely privately funded, the Mission functions as a parish church, novitiate, and retreat house. 


2003 Earthquake damages Mission

An earthquake damaged this mission.



Stages one and two finished. Part of the mission was reopened.









Comments (17)

wikiuser0005 said

at 9:49 am on Jun 10, 2009

Could you please speak up a little bit.

wikiuser0004 said

at 9:51 am on Jun 10, 2009

Very well details Kylie =)

wikiuser0014 said

at 9:51 am on Jun 10, 2009

The detail was great!

wikiuser0021 said

at 9:54 am on Jun 10, 2009

The details are great but you need to speak up a little.

wikiuser0015 said

at 9:56 am on Jun 10, 2009

Wow your missions architecture and layout is a lot like mine!!! Mission San Juan Bautista. They look almost like twins!!! COOL!!!
nice job and detail.
(big floor plan)

wikiuser0004 said

at 9:56 am on Jun 10, 2009

Very good details Kylie =)

wikiuser0017 said

at 9:57 am on Jun 10, 2009

i enjoyed yoour pprreeesssseeennnttttaaaaaattttttiiiioooonnnnnn

wikiuser0001 said

at 9:58 am on Jun 10, 2009

You should put your information in your own words but you had a lot of it!

wikiuser0012 said

at 9:58 am on Jun 10, 2009

Spectacular details and good words

wikiuser0002 said

at 9:58 am on Jun 10, 2009

I REALLY like all your detail, Kylie and it was really cool that you put in a time-line, but you might want to make sure you put a space in! :)

wikiuser0006 said

at 9:59 am on Jun 10, 2009

keep up the great work. I like the poster

wikiuser0007 said

at 9:59 am on Jun 10, 2009

Cool time line

wikiuser0005 said

at 9:59 am on Jun 10, 2009

The details are GREAT and the pictures add on very nicely!!! Awesome presentation, Kylie!
~Regan =)
P.S. The only thing you could work on would be to speak a little louder.

wikiuser0013 said

at 9:59 am on Jun 10, 2009

good job

wikiuser0019 said

at 10:00 am on Jun 10, 2009

great the detail was amazing! I really enjoyed it. the visual was nice too.

wikiuser0009 said

at 10:00 am on Jun 10, 2009

Talking a little to fast. Talking a little quite. To much information. Like the pictures.

wikiuser0010 said

at 10:02 am on Jun 10, 2009

Lots of information. Great pictures. Good job.
-Audrey :D :)

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