Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
est. 1791

La Misión de María Santísima, Nuestra Señora Dolorosísima de la Soledad was established October 9, 1791 by Franciscan Father Fermín Lasuénas the thirteenth mission in California. It was founded to convert the local Esselen people to Catholicism, as well as provide a stopping point between Mission San Antonio and Mission San Carlos Borromeo. The first church was completed in 1797 and enlarged in 1805, at which point a peak population of 688 neophytes was recorded.

Large floods inundated and damaged the Mission in 1824, 1828, and 1832, and following secularization in 1834 it was looted and left to deteriorate. By 1862, when President Lincoln returned the Mission to the Catholic Church, little remained but roofless adobe ruins, the Mission was not reoccupied. It would sit deserted for nearly another century.

In 1954, the Native Daughters of the Golden West began reconstruction and restoration of Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, with the church being completed and dedicated on October 9, 1955 - the Mission's 164th anniversary. By 1963, restoration of the south wing containing the padres' quarters was completed. Plans exist to reconstruct more of the Mission's quadrangle, but those have not yet been undertaken. Today, in addition to the reconstructed church and south wing, substantial adobe ruins of the Mission's other buildings still stand, and the north wing was given a protective shelter in 2014. The Mission's church is still used monthly for mass, and a museum and self-guided tour are open daily (excluding holidays).

I Visited Mission Soledad
10.28.2018

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