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Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
is a fully functioning Roman Catholic mission and a historic landmark in San Gabriel, California. The settlement was founded by Spaniards of the Franciscan
Franciscan
order on "The Feast of the Birth of Mary," September 8, 1771, as the fourth of what would become 21 Spanish missions in California.[10] San Gabriel Arcángel, named after the Archangel Gabriel and often referred to as the "Godmother of the Pueblo of Los Angeles",[11] was designed by Antonio Cruzado, who hailed from Córdoba, Spain. Cruzado gave the building its strong Moorish architectural influence. The capped buttresses and the tall, narrow windows are unique among the missions of the California chain.

Contents

1 History 2 Mission industries 3 Mission bells 4 Visitors 5 Matrimonial Investigation Records of the San Gabriel Mission 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

History[edit] Mission San Gabriel was founded on September 8, 1771 by Fray Angel Francisico de Sonera and Fray Pedro Benito Cambon. The planned site for the Mission was along the banks of the Río de los Temblores (the River of the Earthquakes—the Santa Ana River). The priests chose an alternate site on a fertile plain located directly alongside the Rio Hondo in the Whittier Narrows.[12] The site of the Misión Vieja (or "Old Mission") is located near the intersection of San Gabriel Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue. In 1776, a flash flood destroyed much of the crops and ruined the Mission complex, which was subsequently relocated five miles closer to the mountains in present-day San Gabriel (the native settlement of 'Iisanchanga). The Mission is the base from which the pueblo that became the city of Los Angeles
Los Angeles
was sent. On December 9, 1812 (the "Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin"), a series of massive earthquakes shook Southern California. The 1812 Wrightwood earthquake
1812 Wrightwood earthquake
caused the three-bell campanario, located adjacent to the chapel's east façade, to collapse. A larger, six-bell structure was subsequently constructed at the far end of the capilla. While no pictorial record exists to document what the original structure looked like, architectural historian Rexford Newcomb deduced the design and published a depiction in his 1916 work The Franciscan
Franciscan
Mission Architecture of Alta (upper) California. Legend has it that the founding expedition was confronted by a large group of native Tongva
Tongva
peoples whose intention was to drive the strangers away. One of the priests laid a painting of "Our Lady of Sorrows" on the ground for all to see, whereupon the natives, designated by the settlers as the Gabrieliños, immediately made peace with the missionaries, because they were so moved by the painting's beauty.[1] Today the 300 year old work hangs in front of and slightly to the left of the old high altar and reredos in the Mission's sanctuary. A large stone cross stands in the center of the campo santo (cemetery), first consecrated in 1778 and then again on January 29, 1939 by the Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Archbishop John Cantwell. It serves as the final resting place for some 6,000 "neophytes;" a small stone marker denotes the gravesite of José de Los Santos, the last American Indian to be buried on the grounds, at the age of 101 in February 1921. Also interred at the Mission are the bodies of numerous Franciscan
Franciscan
priests who died during their time of service, as well as the remains of Reverend Raymond Catalan, C.M.F., who undertook the restoration of the Mission's gardens. Entombed at the foot of the altar are the remains of eight Franciscan
Franciscan
priests (listed in order of interment): Miguel Sánchez, Antonio Cruzado, Francisco Dumetz, Roman Ulibarri, Joaquin P. Nuez, Gerónimo Boscana, José Bernardo Sánchez, and Blas Ordaz. Buried among the priests is centenarian Eulalia Perez de Guillén Mariné, the "keeper of the keys" under Spanish rule; her grave is marked by a bench dedicated in her memory.

Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
c. 1900. The trail in the foreground is part of the original El Camino Real.

Well over 25,000 baptisms were conducted at San Gabriel between 1771 and 1834, making it the most prolific in the mission chain. In its heyday it furnished food and supplies to settlements and other missions throughout California. A majority of the Mission structures fell into ruins after it was secularized in November 1834. The once-extensive vineyards were falling to decay, with fences broken down and animals roaming freely through it.[13] The Mission's chapel functioned as a parish church for the City of San Gabriel from 1862 until 1908, when the Claretian Missionaries
Claretian Missionaries
came to San Gabriel and began the job of rebuilding and restoring the Mission. In 1874, tracks were laid for Southern Pacific
Southern Pacific
Railroad near the mission. In 2012, artifacts from the mission era were found when the tracks were lowered into a trench known as the Alameda Corridor-East.[14] On October 1, 1987 the Whittier Narrows earthquake damaged the property. A significant portion of the original complex has since been restored. Mission industries[edit] The goal of the missions was to become self-sufficient in relatively short order. Farming
Farming
was the most important industry of any mission. Prior to the missions, the native-Americans had developed a complex, self-sufficient culture. The missionaries believed the native Tongva people were inferior and in need of conversion to Christianity. The mission priests established what they thought of as a manual training school: to teach the Indians their style of agriculture, the mechanical arts, and the raising and care of livestock. The missions, utilizing the labor of the neophytes, produced everything they used and consumed. After 1811, the mission Indians could be said to sustain the entire military and civil government of California.[15] "The names of the rancherias associated with San Gabriel Mission were: Acuragna, Alyeupkigna, Awigna, Azucsagna, Cahuenga, Chokishgna, Chowigna, Cucomogna, Hahaulogna, Harasgna, Houtgna, Hutucgna, Isanthcogna, Maugna, Nacaugna, Pascegna, Pasinogna, Pimocagna, Pubugna, Sibagna, Sisitcanogna, Sonagna, Suangna, Tibahagna, Toviscanga, Toybipet, Yangna."[16] To efficiently manage its extensive lands, Mission San Gabriel established several outlying sub-missions, known as asistencias. Several of these became or were included in land grants following the Mexican secularization of the missions in the 1830s, including:

Rancho Santa Ana del Chino Rancho La Puente San Bernardino de Sena Estancia Rancho Santa Anita

In 1816, the Mission built a grist mill on a nearby creek. El Molino Viejo still stands, now preserved as a museum and historic landmark. Other mission industries included cowhide tanning/exporting and tallow-rendering (for making soap and for export), lime kilns, tile making, cloth weaving for blankets and clothing, and adobe bricks. Mission bells[edit] Bells were important to daily life at any mission. They were rung to mark mealtimes, to call the Mission residents to work and to religious services, to mark births and funerals, to signal the approach of a ship or returning missionary, and at other times; novices were instructed in the intricate rituals associated with the ringing of the mission bells.The mission bells were also used to tell time. Visitors[edit] Today visitors can tour the church, museum and grounds. The adobe museum building was built in 1812 and was originally used for sleeping quarters and book storage.[17] Exhibits include mission relics, books and religious artifacts. The grounds feature operations from the original mission complex, including indoor and outdoor kitchens, winery, water cisterns, soap and candle vats, tanning vats for preparing cattle hides, and a cemetery. There is also a gift shop.

A streetcar of the Pacific Electric Railway
Pacific Electric Railway
makes a stop at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel c. 1905.

Matrimonial Investigation Records of the San Gabriel Mission[edit] As part of the William McPherson Collection in the Special
Special
Collections at Claremont Colleges’ Honnold/Mudd Library, the Matrimonial Investigation Records of the San Gabriel Mission are a valuable resource for research on the pre-statehood activities of the Mission.[18] William McPherson was a rancher, scholar, and collector from Orange County, California
Orange County, California
who donated his extensive collection of mission documents, primarily from the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, to Special
Special
Collections in 1964.[18][19] The matrimonial records span 1788–1861 and are notarized interviews with couples wanting to marry in the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church, performed to establish the couples’ freedom to marry.[18] The collection includes 165 investigations, with 173 men and 170 women.[18] Because the donated records are fragile, they are no longer available to be photocopied. The California Digital Library has an online guide available to search the collection. See also[edit]

Spanish missions in California Mission San Francisco Solano (California) Nuestra Señora Reina de los Angeles Asistencia El Molino Viejo San Bernardino Asistencia USNS Mission San Gabriel (AO-124) – a Mission Buenaventura Class fleet oiler built during World War II Eulalia Perez de Guillén Mariné Hugo Reid San Gabriel Mission High School Henninger Flats

Notes[edit]

^ a b Leffingwell, p. 43 ^ a b c d Krell, p. 113 ^ Ruscin, p. 41 ^ Yenne, p. 48 ^ Ruscin, p. 196 ^ Forbes, p. 202 ^ Engelhardt, San Diego Mission, pp. v, 228 "The military district of San Diego embraced the Missions of San Diego, San Luis Rey, San Juan Capistrano, and San Gabriel..." ^ Ruscin, p. 195 ^ a b c Krell, p. 315: as of December 31, 1832; information adapted from Engelhardt's Missions and Missionaries of California. ^ "San Gabriel Arcángel". California Missions. Archived from the original on 2009-03-27. Retrieved 14 March 2009.  ^ Robert A. Bellezza. Missions of Los Angeles.  ^ McCawley, p 189 ^ http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_15440867?source=rss Pasadena Star News ^ Pool, Bob (February 6, 2012). "At a planned train trench, an archaeological treasure trove". Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times. Retrieved 24 July 2017.  ^ Earnhardt 1922, p. 211 ^ "History of San Gabriel Arcangel Mission". Access Genealogy. Retrieved 2014-03-15.  ^ "Mission, Museum, Grounds, Gardens, and Gift Shop", San Gabriel Mission ^ a b c d Claremont Colleges
Claremont Colleges
Digital Library. Claremont Colleges Digital Library. ^ Special
Special
Collections. William McPherson Collection.

References[edit]

Baer, Kurt (1958). Architecture of the California Missions. University of California Press, Los Angeles, CA.  Engelhardt, Zephyrin, O.F.M. (1920). San Diego Mission. James H. Barry Company, San Francisco, CA. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) Engelhardt, Zephyrin, O.F.M. (1922). San Juan Capistrano Mission. Standard Printing Co., Los Angeles, CA. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) Engelhardt, Zephyrin (1931). Mission San Gabriel Arcángel. Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago, IL.  Forbes, Alexander (1839). California: A History of Upper and Lower California. Smith, Elder and Co., Cornhill, London.  Jones, Terry L. and Kathryn A. Klar (eds.) (2007). California Prehistory: Colonization, Culture, and Complexity. Altimira Press, Landham, MD. ISBN 0-7591-0872-2. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Krell, Dorothy (ed.) (1979). The California Missions: A Pictorial History. Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park, CA. ISBN 0-376-05172-8. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Leffingwell, Randy (2005). California Missions and Presidios: The History & Beauty of the Spanish Missions. Voyageur Press, Inc., Stillwater, MN. ISBN 0-89658-492-5.  McCawley, William (2006). The First Angelinos: The Gabrielino Indians of Los Angeles. Malki Museum Press and Ballena Press, Banning and Novato, CA. ISBN 0-9651016-1-4.  Newcomb, Rexford (1973). The Franciscan
Franciscan
Mission Architecture of Alta California. Dover Publications, Inc., New York, NY. ISBN 0-486-21740-X.  Paddison, Joshua (ed.) (1999). A World Transformed: Firsthand Accounts of California Before the Gold Rush. Heyday Books, Berkeley, CA. ISBN 1-890771-13-9. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Ruscin, Terry (1999). Mission Memoirs. Sunbelt Publications, San Diego, CA. ISBN 0-932653-30-8.  Wright, R. (1950). California's Missions. Hubert A. and Martha H. Lowman, Arroyo Grande, CA.  Yenne, Bill (2004). The Missions of California. Advantage Publishers Group, San Diego, CA. ISBN 1-59223-319-8.  Young, S. & Levick, M. (1988). The Missions of California. Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, CA. ISBN 0-8118-3694-0. 

External links[edit]

San Gabriel Mission Parish Elevation and Site Layout sketches of the Mission proper Listing, drawings, and photographs at the Historic American Buildings Survey Official website of the Gabrieleno/ Tongva
Tongva
Tribal Council of San Gabriel San Gabriel Mission High Details of the Mission and photos Mission's Fan Page on Facebook Matrimonial Investigation Records of the San Gabriel Mission at Claremont Colleges
Claremont Colleges
Digital Library Howser, Huell (December 8, 2000). "California Missions (102)". California Missions. Chapman University
Chapman University
Huell Howser
Huell Howser
Archive. 

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mission San Gabriel Arcángel.

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