Saturday, November 11, 2017

MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA (Fort Hunter-Liggett, Jolon, SE Monterey County) 8/10/17

Mission San Antonio de Padua is, I believe, the most remote of all the California missions, meaning it's way off the beaten path from most major thoroughfares (in this case, Hwy. 101). The night before, we had camped at the Wine Country RV Resort in Paso Robles, about 50 miles south of the Mission. After driving 20 miles on Hwy. 101 north from Paso Robles, we exited Jolon Road towards Fort Hunter Liggett in Southern Monterey County, the largest (168,000 acres) Army Reserve command post in the U.S. The drive up Jolon Road (G18) was really nice - it's a 2-lane road with almost no traffic traversing some beautiful countryside, including acres and acres of vineyards. The Mission itself is actually located within the Army base but very accessible to the public since the entry point from Jolon Road to Mission Road is currently unmanned so you can drive right through. It was a hot day, so Gil and our fur babies took refuge under the old olive tree next to the church while I did a quick tour of the gift shop and interior courtyard. Very sadly, the tour rooms were closed due to lack of funding issues (no electricity, no AC). According to the lovely ladies in the gift shop, the cost of earthquake retrofitting as mandated by the State is so high that they've been very hard-pressed to get the buildings up to code. That really saddens me because this is such a remarkable and spiritual place, made more so because of its remote location. 

Highlights for me were meeting the two resident cats, Rosario and Spirit (more on their stories below) and seeing the oldest grape vine in California.

Mission website:

Church and tour rooms to the left.

Olive tree planted circa 1836.

Railroad off Hwy. 101 heading north to Jolon Road exit.

Jolon Road (G18)

Vineyards off Jolon Road 

Jolon Road 

Junction at Mission Road and Jolon Road

Fort Hunter-Liggett

This entry point at Fort Hunter-Liggett towards Hearst Hacienda and the Mission 
is currently unmanned. 

Well and reservoir, circa 1820

Statue of Father Junipero Serra

Addy, Gil and Sasha under the old olive tree. It was hot. 

Visitor's entrance to the gift shop.

Ship figure heads brought to mission by sailors as thank-offering to St. Anthony.
Details and dates unknown.

Mission Well. 
There were very few visitors to the mission when we went - one couple had a pair of pooches 
with them, who remained obediently outside while their mom and dad were inside the gift shop.

Our fur babies look like they're on a mission at the Mission, lol!

Front entrance to the church.

Under the shade of the old olive tree.

A couple visiting fur babies hanging outside the visitors' entrance, 
waiting for their mom and dad, who were checking out the gift shop.

Rosebushes and hollyhocks in the quadrangle.

Rose garden in the quadrangle.

Lavender and hollyhock flowers.

Lavender flowers harvested rom the gardens to make potpourri for sale in the gift shop.

Lavender and hollyhock flowers.

Rosebushes and the tall flower stalks of hollyhocks (obviously gone to seed) 

Courtyard/garden in the quadrangle.

The rose garden is dedicated to Marie G. Trescony, a long-time supporter of the mission.

The memorial plaque is attached to a sundial in the garden.

Rosebushes and hollyhocks.

Fountain inside the quadrangle.

California poppies and Bindweed in the quadrangle.

This is the oldest grapevine in California. 

The oldest grapevine in California next to the well (circa 1850).

The grapevine was cultivated from original stock in the mission vineyard.

Rosario, the guardian angel of the mission and his mate, Spirit. 
Rosario even has his own Facebook page!

Spirit is a Siamese mix. She was purchased from a homeless
 man outside of a Starbucks.

Rosario and Spirit.

Two peas in a pod.

So sweet! She's grooming her hubby!

The Hacienda (1930), formerly known as the Milpitas Ranchhouse, was designed by architect Julia Morgan, of Hearst Castle fame, for William Randolph Hearst. It's a short distance from Mission San Antonio and has a pointed moorish dome on the NW tower to distinguish it from the mission since a lot of people often confused it to be one and the same. It currently operates as a hotel and restaurant on the base that's open to the public.


San Antonio de Padua
Third of the California Missions
Founded:July 14, 1771
Special Designation: Mission of the Sierras
Named For: Saint Anthony of Padua, a thirteenth century Franciscan, the finder of lost possessions
Also Called: 
Founding Father President: Fr. Junípero Serra
Founding Missionaries: Frs. Miguel Píeras and Buenaventura Sitjar. 
Prominent Missionary Leaders: Fr. Buenaventura Sitjar remained at San Antonio de Padua for 37 years and is largely responsible for it success. This tireless missionary created a 400-page native vocabulary, and used this to develop catechism in the Indian language
Indians Joining This Mission: This was the first mission established in the land of the Salinan people at the site of Telhaya. In the mission era the natives who became neophytes at San Antonio de Padua were called Antoniaños . Mission records show the natives were redominantly Northern Salinan but there were some Yokuts and Esselen.
Mission Site: Located in the Santa Lucia Mountains in an oak studded valley southeast of Monterey, on a what is presently a military reservation. The setting of this mission is much as a traveler would have seen two centuries ago.
Layout: Traditional quadrangle, largely restored by W.R. Hearst and the Franciscans between 1948 and 1952,. Signs mark the location of important buildings and features, such as the water-powered gristmill, throughout the vast mission grounds.
Water Source: San Antonio River, about three miles above the mission. Water was brought by aqueducts or zanjas and stored in reservoirs. 
Population: Highest recorded population was 1,217, in 1806.
Livestock: In its peak livestock year of 1828 the mission had 20,118 animals, including 8,000 cattle and 10,000 sheep. For practicality the herd was dispersed to several locations. Ranchos San Benito and San Bartolomo del Pleyto were used for sheep and lambs. There were cattle ranches at Los Ojitos and Rancho San Miguelito, all within three to ten leagues (10-30 miles) of the mission. 
Agricultural Output: This mission quickly became self-sufficient. Over the years it was an active mission San Antonio harvasted 110,000 bushels of wheat, barley, corn, beans and peas. 
Mission Church: The present or 3rd church was completed in 1813. In 1821, an arcade with three arched openings and fashioned from ladrillos or burned brick, was built out from the church portico, giving the mission a unique appearance. The church was fully restored by the Landmarks Club between 1903 and 1908. 
Mission Bells: Each side of the facade includes a square bell tower, both of which have one bell. The 3rd and largest bell, which is original, is at the center of the arcade, over the largest arch.
Mission Art: The walls of this charming church boast painted decorations painted by the mission Indians. Behind the altar is a large bultro of the arcángel San Miguel, with extended wings and just below, the bultro of the church patron, San Antonio.
Special Attraction: The extensive restoration and unspoiled setting of San Antonio de Padua makes this one of the most picturesque missions in California. It has an extensive museum with a number of exhibits displaying various aspects of daily life at the mission. The site also boasts the most complete, and largely unrestored, Mission-era water control system in California.
Significant Event(s): In 1776, Lt. Col. Juan Bautista de Anza stayed at the mission with 240 immigrants from Sonora. San Antonio proved to be an important stop in Anza's pioneering effort to establish a land route from Mexico to Alta California.
Secularized: 1834
Year Returned to Catholic Church: 1863
Current Status: A retreat center.

The first Catholic wedding to take place in California occurred here in 1773 between a Salinan Indian woman named Margaretta de Cortona and Spanish solider Juan Maria Ruiz.
Two figure heads from colonial frigates were brought by sailors. They stand in a display outside the arcade of the mission.
San Antonio de Padua was the first Alta California mission with a fired-tile or teja roof, and the very first with over 1,000 neophytes
San Antonio de Padua was known for the excellence of its music. Displays in the museum show musical notations on the walls and a large diagram of hand signals used to teach the neophytes.
For over three decades the mission has been the site of an annual archaeologicl field school directed by Dr. Robert Hoover of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

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