Mission bells. Four bells are displayed in the Mission Museum. The oldest is the 1804 Juan Baptisia bell. The Ave Maria Purissima bell was cast in 1807, and the bell from Lima, Peru, was cast in 1817.
Northbound or southbound, take Hwy. 101 to CA 246E towards Solvang/Lompoc. Continue for about 3.5 miles through the town of Solvang until you reach the entrance to the mission. There is ample free parking in the front of the mission.
Contact: Tel (805)688-4815 www.missionsantaines.org
Hours: Open daily 9:00am to 5:30pm for self-guided tours (you must go the the Mission Gift Shop to pay for admission and start the tour). The Gift Shop is open the same hours and until 7pm in the summer. The door between the Museum and Church is locked during Masses.
Admission Fees: $3 for adults, $2.50 for seniors.
Named For: St. Agnes of Rome, a 13 year old Roman girl martyred in AD 304. Also called "Santa Ines."
Founding Father: Estevan Tapis.
Indians Joining the Mission: This mission is located in the land of the Chumash people and was initially populated by neophytes from missions Santa Barbara and La Purissima. The neophytes at Santa Ines were referred to as Inezeno (after the mission). They're one of three distinct linguistic/geographic entities of the Eastern Coastal Chumash.
Mission Site: An inland mission, Santa Ines was established near a rancheria, Alajulspu, in the Santa Ynez Valley and sits on its original site. It is on the eastern edge of the town of Solvang, founded in 1911 by a group of Danish educators. Note that the name of the valley and the town of Santa Inez is spelled with a "z" while the mission is spelled with an "s."
Water Source: Both Alamo Pintado Creek and Zanja de Cota Creek passed through the mission lands and water was channeled via an elaborate system of canals into two stone-lined reservoirs, a lavender and mill complex.
Population: The mission was established late in the mission era and only operated for 30 years. There were relatively few natives in the immediate area. The highest mission population was only 768 in 1815.
Livestock: Santa Ines had a large and relatively stable livestock herd. In 1832 the mission had 9,460 animals, including 7,000 cattle and 2,000 sheep.
Agricultural Output: Over the years between 1804 and 1832 Santa Ines harvested over 121,000 bushels of wheat, barley, corn, beans, peas, lentils, garbanzos, and habas (broad beans). It had the second highest production of wheat in the entire chain.
Mission Church: The current church, with its plain facade, dates to 1817. The interior was repainted with the current design in 1825 and the nave was recently embellished with additional floral motifs along the whole of its length.
Mission Bells: The mission museum displays the bells of 1804, 1808 and 1818.
Mission Art: The mission is known for its extensive collection of church vestments, which date from the 17th century through 20th century and includes a Chasuble worn by Fr. Junipero Serra and a 17th century cape crafted in materials from the Court of Louis XIV of France. The impressive mission museum includes a painting of the Archangel Raphael rendered on canvas by an Inezeno or neophyte convert of Santa Ines.
Special Attraction: In 1820 a grist mill fed by Zanja de Cota Creek was constructed about a half mile from the church. The mill system consisted of two large stone reservoirs, a stone mill building with a water propelled horizontal wheel and mill stone, and a network of zanjas or canals. A second (fulling) mill was added at the upper end of the large reservoir in 1821. The mill ruins are now owned by the California State Parks, with long-term plans to provide public access in a new State Park in Solvang.
Significant Event: The largest Indian uprising in the mission era began at Santa Ines in 1824, triggered by the excessive beating of a neophyte by a soldier.
Year Returned to Catholic Church: 1862 in a proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln.
Current Status: Active Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Interesting Facts: The mission served as a buffer against a hostile Indian group, the Tulares, who occupied the region to the northeast. Santa Ines was never totally abandoned after secularization, and California's first seminary/college, Our Lady of Refuge, was built in 1844 on the mission grounds. The mission companario collapsed in 1911 and was rebuilt with five bells. It was finally restored to its original design in 1947. Mamie Goblet, the nice of Father Alexander Buckler, devoted nearly 20 years (1904-1924) to the restoration of the vestments of Santa Ines.