was founded on
Easter Sunday, March 31, 1782 by Father Junipero Serra. It was the
9th mission in the 21 mission chain in Alta California. It was named
for Saint Bonaventure, and was the last mission to be founded by
Father Serra. In 1794 the first church burned down. It took the
Indians 15 years to build the new church. That church still stands
The friendly Chumash
Indians were happy to
live at the mission. They were so friendly that the mission was
founded right in their village. The Chumash were expert boat builders
which was helpful as the mission sits on the coast with a view of the
ocean. By 1816, the mission had 1,328 Indians living in its'
compound. They had made cone shaped homes of tule grass. The women
were known for their basket making.
The economy of the
missions were similar to
each other in that they planted crops of wheat and corn. They also
planted vineyards, and raised cattle and sheep. The agriculture was
needed not only to maintain the mission community and the nearby
Indians, but was used for trade and served to visitors to the
mission. The Indians at Mission San Buenaventura built a 7 mile
aqueduct to bring water to the mission from the mountains. This
irrigation helped the crops to grow. The results of this made the
mission famous for its' exotic fruits, herbs, vegetables, bananas,
sugar cane, figs and coconuts. The mission also had many livestock
grazing on their lands.
There was a complete
quadrangle during the
mission years. the church was on the southwest corner and a cemetery
was on the west side on the church. A grade school now stands where
the old cemetery was. In 1818, the pirate Bouchard, was seen of off
the coast of California. He had been terrorising the entire coast.
The padres and Indians buried some of their valuables and took the
rest to the mountains for a month until the pirate had gone.
After Mexico won its
Spain, it found that it could no longer afford to keep the missions
running as Spain had done. In 1834, Mexico decided to end the mission
system and sell all of the lands. They offered the lands to the
Indians who did not want the lands or could not come up with the
purchase price. The lands were divided into smaller Ranchos and sold
to Mexican citizens who were helpful during the war for independence.
After nearly 30 years, the missions were returned to the Catholic
Church. Although some of the missions had already been returned to
the church, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed an Act
declaring that all of the 21 missions in the California mission chain
would become the property of the Catholic Church and have remained so
since that time. In 1845, the mission had supposedly been rented for
the next nine years. However, Governor Pio Pico had sold the land
illegally and kept the money for himself.
In 1893, Father
Rubio modernised the
interior of the church. He painted right over the Indians' original
artwork. When he finished almost nothing remained of the old church.
In 1957, new priests restored the church to its original style.
Today all that is left
the mission is the
church and its garden. Services are still held in the parish church.
A small museum sits at the mission with displays of Chumash artifacts
and mission period items.
Objective: answer 7 questions correctly.
disabled. Get Netscape 3.0
or turn it on!
2. Mission San Buenaventura was
3. What Indian Tribe was in the area of
4. Mission San Buenaventura was the last
5. Who did the actual building of the
6. What happened to the missions in 1834?
Indians took over
7. How many Indians lived in the Mission
8. What did Pio Pico do in 1845?
gold at the mission
sold the mission and kept
the money for himself
9. What happened in 1794?
were taken over by Mexican
Mission burned down
10. What did Abraham Lincoln agree to in
return the Mission lands to
President of the United
the San Antonio de Padua
the Indians to leave the
Mission Internet Trail
Spanish Missions of California
Missions Interactive Homepage
- Very brief
description of the mission's early history, physical appearance,
bells, hours, how to arrange a guided tour.
This project written by Rob
partial fulfilment of
of Arts Degree
Please send questions
and/or comments to Mr.
This page last updated
on Febraury 28, 2015