Saturday, February 13, 2010

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park

This historic site is located near the city of Lompoc. Between 1788 and 1812 the original mission was located on an earthquake fault( where the city of Lumpoc currently is located) and destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. The present mission was moved three miles north and continued for another 20 years until the Mexicans took the land from Spain.
By 1846 little remained of the mission and in the ensuing years it had many owners. In 1934 the mission was donated to the state by the Catholic church. It was the Civilian Conservation Corps (working with the National Park Service and the state) that made the La Purisima Mission the most complete mission restoration project. The mission is a huge complex complete with gardens and animal pens. We could see that it has been well kept up. If we had wanted to do so, there are hiking paths we could have taken up into the nearby hills. Unfortunately there is no shade on those paths so they did  not look too inviting under the afternoon sun. What is sad about this mission is that its future is uncertain. The Governor of California wants to sell it to a private concern (there is plenty of land here to put in a hotel and golf course,heaven forbid). The other rumor I heard is that the Catholic church may buy it back. The last picture I have posted here is of the Indian lavanderia.
There is  a center fountain which, in the 1800s, held filtered water for drinking and cooking. Excess water flowed into two lavenderias which the Indians used for bathing and washing clothes. The Europeans at the mission did not believe in frequent bathing and thought it strange that the Indians did!

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