Santa Barbara County Notables


La Purisima Mission Photographs
by Kaitlyn Brooks


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La Purisima Mission Photographs
by Jim Brooks


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La Purisima Mission

Source: Wikipedia


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:La_Purisima_Mission.jpg


Source: http://www.lapurisimamission.org/


Source: http://www.lapurisimamission.org/

Webpage: http://www.lapurisimamission.org/

Location: 2295 Purisima Road, Lompoc, CA 93436 -- 805 733-3713
Hours: La Purisima is open for self-guided tours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week.

La Purisima Mission

La Purisima Mission (with the original Spanish name being La Misión de La Purísima Concepción de la Santísima Virgen María) was founded on the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin on December 8, 1787. The present and second site is located east of the town of Lompoc, California between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. Lompoc was so small that the Catholic Church made an exception to the rule which stated that no mission was to be established within seven miles of any city (the original site of La Purisima was only one mile from the small town). It was moved four miles east of the town to its present location after the Santa Barbara Earthquake severely damaged the mission buildings on December 21, 1812. It is currently the only example in California of a complete Spanish Catholic mission complex.

History

By 1803, the mission's Indian population had increased to 1,436 and boasted 3,230 cattle, 5,400 sheep, 306 horses, and 37 mules. In the same year, there was a harvest of 690 fanegas of wheat, corn and beans (a fanega equaling about 220 pounds). A major Indian revolt occurred at the mission in 1824. Spain had stopped funding its various Californian missions after Mexico won its independence, and many soldiers at the mission who were no longer being paid took out their frustrations on the local Chumash Indians. After a soldier apparently beat an Indian at Santa Inés Mission, a revolt spread to La Purisima Mission, where Indians took over the mission for one month until more soldiers arrived from Monterey. Eventually, the Chumash lost their hold on the mission with many leaving the mission soon thereafter. However, many of the Indians who had sought refuge in the neighboring mountains during the revolt returned to the mission.

Following the Mexican secularization of Californian missions from 1834 to 1843, the grounds of La Purisima Mission were abandoned, and by 1934 only nine of the buildings remained intact. The Civilian Conservation Corps pledged to restore the mission if enough land could be provided to convert it into a historic landmark. The Catholic Church and the Union Oil Company donated enough land to proceed with the restoration. The nine buildings as well as many small structures and the original water system were fully restored with the mission's dedication occurring on December 7, 1941, the same day the United States entered World War II. Today, la Purisima Mission is the only example in California of a complete mission complex.

La Purisima Mission is now part of the La Purisima Mission State Historic Park within the California State Parks System. With a visitor center and guided tours, the historic park is maintained by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Today, the mission is no longer used as a Catholic parish.

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This page was last updated April 2, 2012.