Mission San Antonio de Padua
The reconstructed Mission San Antonio de Padua as it appears today. The baked brick Campanario is unique among the Missions.
|Location||near Jolon, Monterey County, California|
|Name as founded||La Misión de San Antonio de Padua|
|English translation||The Mission of Saint Anthony of Padua|
|Patron||Saint Anthony of Padua|
|Nickname(s)||"Mission of the Sierras"|
|Founding date||July 14, 1771|
|Founding priest(s)||Father Presidente Junípero Serra|
|Native place name(s)||Telhaya|
|Governing body||Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey|
|Current use||Parish Church|
|U.S. National Register of Historic Places|
|NRHP designation date||1976|
|California Historical Landmark|
Mission San Antonio de Padua is a Spanish mission established by the Franciscan order in present-day Monterey County, California, near the present-day town of Jolon. It was founded on July 14, 1771 and was the third mission founded in Alta California by Father Presidente Junípero Serra. The mission was also the site of the first Christian marriage and the first use of fired-tile roofing in Upper California. Today the mission is a parish church of the Diocese of Monterey.
Beginnings of the Mission
Mission San Antonio de Padua was the third Mission to be founded. Father Junipero Serra claimed the site on July 14, 1771 and dedicated the Mission to Saint Anthony of Padua. Saint Anthony was born in 1195 in Lisbon, Spain and is the patron Saint of the poor. Father Serra left Fathers Miguel Pieras and Buenaventura Sitjar behind to continue the building efforts, though the construction of the church proper did not actually begin until 1810. By that time, there were 178 Native Americans living at the Mission.
By 1805, the number had increased to 1,300, but in 1834, after the secularization laws went into effect, the total number of Mission Indians at the Mission San Antonio was only 150. No town grew up around the Mission, as many did at other installations.
In 1845, Mexican Governor Pío Pico declared all mission buildings in Alta California for sale, but no one bid for Mission San Antonio. After nearly 30 years, the Mission was returned to the Catholic Church. In 1894, roof tiles were salvaged from the property and installed on the Southern Pacific Railroad depot located in Burlingame, California, one of the first permanent structures constructed in the Mission Revival Style.
The first attempt at rebuilding the Mission came in 1903, when the California Historical Landmarks League began holding outings at San Antonio. "Preservation and restoration of Mission San Antonio began. The Native Sons of the Golden West supplied $1,400. Tons of debris were removed from the interior of the chapel. Breaches in the side wall were filled in." Unfortunately, the earthquake of April 18, 1906, seriously damaged the building. In 1928, Franciscan Friars held services at San Antonio de Padua. It took nearly 50 years to completely restore the Mission. The State of California is requiring a $12–15 million earthquake retrofit that must be completed by 2015, or the mission will be closed. There are 35 private families keeping the mission open, as of 2011. There is an active campaign to raise funds for the retrofit.
Today, the nearest city is King City, nearly 29 miles (47 km) away; Jolon, a small town, is located 6 miles (10 km) from the Mission. Historians consider the Mission's pastoral location in the valley of the San Antonio River along the Santa Lucia Mountains as an outstanding example of early mission life.
The mission is surrounded by the Fort Hunter Liggett Military Reservation, which was acquired by the U.S. Army from the Hearst family during World War II to train troops. Additional land was acquired from the Army in 1950 to increase the mission area to over 85 acres (340,000 m²). This fort is still actively training troops today.
Mission San Antonio de Padua is one of the designated tour sights of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.
In popular culture
- The 1965 horror film Incubus was partly filmed at the Mission. The writer and director, Leslie Stevens, concerned that the Mission authorities would not allow the film to be shot there because of the subject matter, concocted a cover story that the film was called Religious Leaders of Old Monterey, and presented a script that was about monks and farmers. He was helped in this deception by the fact that the film was shot entirely in Esperanto.
- USNS Mission San Antonio (T-AO-119), a Buenaventura-Class fleet oiler built in 1944
- The Hacienda (Milpitas Ranchhouse) – the nearby Mission Revival Style guest-ranch house [now hotel] built in 1930 by W.R.Hearst.
- Mission San Miguel Arcángel – next south
- Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad – next north
- Forbes, Alexander (1839). California: A History of Upper and Lower California. Smith, Elder and Co., Cornhill, London.
- Krell, Dorothy (ed.) (1979). The California Missions: A Pictorial History. Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park, CA. ISBN 0-376-05172-8.
- Jones, Terry L. and Kathryn A. Klar (eds.) (2007). California Prehistory: Colonization, Culture, and Complexity. Altimira Press, Landham, MD. ISBN 0-7591-0872-2.
- Leffingwell, Randy (2005). California Missions and Presidios: The History & Beauty of the Spanish Missions. Voyageur Press, Inc., Stillwater, MN. ISBN 0-89658-492-5.
- Paddison, Joshua (ed.) (1999). A World Transformed: Firsthand Accounts of California Before the Gold Rush. Heyday Books, Berkeley, CA. ISBN 1-890771-13-9.
- Ruscin, Terry (1999). Mission Memoirs. Sunbelt Publications, San Diego, CA. ISBN 0-932653-30-8.
- Yenne, Bill (2004). The Missions of California. Advantage Publishers Group, San Diego, CA. ISBN 1-59223-319-8.
- Leffingwell, p. 99
- Krell, p. 101
- Yenne. p. 40
- Ruscin, p. 196
- Forbes, p. 202
- Ruscin, p. 195
- Krell, p. 315: as of December 31, 1832; information adapted from Engelhardt's Missions and Missionaries of California.
- National Register of Historic Places – Monterey County
- "Mission San Antonio de Padua". Office of Historical Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- California Missions and Their Romances, Fremont Older
- "Campaign for the Preservation of Mission San Antonio de Padua". Retrieved July 15, 2013.
- Miller, John M. "Incubus" (TCM article)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mission San Antonio de Padua.|
- Mission San Antonio de Padua from Google Maps
- Mission San Antonio de Padua – official site
- Fort Hunter Liggett official website
- Monterey County Historical Society
- Early photographs, sketches of Mission San Antonio de Padua, via Calisphere, California Digital Library
- Sitjar, Bonaventura (1861). Vocabulary of the language of San Antonio mission, California. Trübner. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- Early History of the California Coast, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
- Official U.S. National Park Service Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail website
- Howser, Huell (December 8, 2000). "California Missions (104)". California Missions. Chapman University Huell Howser Archive.