Monday, February 1, 2010
Mission San Gabriel
This mission was founded in 1771, it was fourth in the chain of twenty-one missions started by Father Serra at the direction of King Charles III of Spain. This mission has some beautiful gardens where the museum has kept some of its old ruins. It still has the foundation, floor and vats of the winery it once owned. It also has the four brick furnaces used to make soap for all the missions. An inventory taken in 1834 showed that the mission had four vineyards, nine orchards, 12,303 head of cattle, one ship, four cannons, and 1,323 souls. That was only the major items on the list, they also had herds of sheep, and other animals. Work was done by the native Indians. The mission was desecularized in 1834 and turned over to civil administration. The Mexican government thought that the mission should be more about the business of saving souls. Below is a picture of the baptistry with its original doomed ceiling,floor and walls. That is the original hand hammered baptismal font brought from Spain in 1771.