Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
|Location||36641 Fort Romie Road
Soledad, California 93960
|Name as founded||La Misión de María Santísima, Nuestra Señora Dolorosísima de la Soledad |
|English translation||The Mission of Mary Most Holy, Our Most Sorrowful Lady of Solitude|
|Patron||Our Lady of Solitude, Our Most Sorrowful Lady of Solitude |
|Nickname(s)||"The lonely Mission" |
|Founding date||October 9, 1791 |
|Founding priest(s)||Fermín Francisco de Lasuén|
|Founding Order||Thirteenth |
|Military district||Third |
|Chalon, Esselen, Yokuts,
|Native place name(s)||Chuttusqelis |
|Returned to the Church||1859 |
|Governing body||Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey|
|Current use||Chapel / Museum|
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, known colloquially as the Soledad Mission or Mission Soledad, is a Spanish mission located near the present-day town of Soledad, California. The mission was founded by the Franciscan order on October 9, 1791 to convert the Native Americans living in the area to Catholicism. It was the thirteenth of California's Spanish missions, and is named for Mary, Our Lady of Solitude. The town of Soledad is named for the mission.
After the 1835 secularization of the mission and the later sale of building materials, the mission fell into a state of disrepair and soon after was left in ruins. A restoration project began in 1954 and a new chapel was dedicated in 1955. The chapel now functions as a chapel of Our Lady of Solitude, a parish church of the Diocese of Monterey. The priests' residence was later recreated, and functions as a museum.
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, La Misión de María Santísima, Nuestra Señora Dolorosísima de la Soledad, was founded October 9, 1791 by Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, the 13th of 21 missions in the California mission chain.
The Chalon, a subgroup of the Ohlone were converted and made to work and live there, followed by Esselen and Yokut people. By 1803, there were 627 Mission Indians at Mission Soledad. At the Mission many Chalon married local Esselen speakers, while others married Yokuts were brought into the mission between 1806 and 1834.
The mission's herds numbered 1,150 cattle, about 5,000 sheep, 30 swine, 670 horses and 40 mules. Spanish Governor José Joaquín de Arrillaga was buried in the chapel after he died on July 24, 1814 during a visit to the Mission.
The mission was inundated by floods in 1824, 1828, and 1832, and following secularization (when Pio Pico sold the mission for a reported $800), the remaining buildings were looted for supplies.
Restoration and reconstruction
In 1954, when the Mission Soledad restoration was begun, only piles of adobe dirt and a few wall sections from the cuadrángulo (quadrangle) remained. The chapel was reconstructed and dedicated under the auspices of the Native Daughters of the Golden West on October 9, 1955. The ruins of the quadrangle, cemetery, and some of the outer rooms, while not restored, can still be seen. Governor Arrillaga's grave was identified and given a new marker.
The Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is now a functioning Catholic chapel and public museum.
- Leffingwell, p. 109
- Krell, p. 224
- Ruscin, p. 111
- Yenne, p. 120
- Forbes, p. 202
- Ruscin, p. 195
- Krell, p. 315: as of December 31, 1832; information adapted from Engelhardt's Missions and Missionaries of California.
- City of Soledad, California. "Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad".
- Misión de María Santísima Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. "Mission Soledad".
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- Ruscin, Terry (1999). Mission Memoirs. Sunbelt Publications, San Diego, CA. ISBN 0-932653-30-8.
- Tapis, Estevan, OFM, State of the Missions of New California ... December 1803.
- Yenne, Bill (2004). The Missions of California. Thunder Bay Press, San Diego, CA. ISBN 1-59223-319-8.
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