Mission San Jose de
Guadalupe was founded on
June 11, 1797 by Father Fermin Lasuen, Presidente of the California
Missions Chain. It was the 14th mission in the 21 mission chain in
Alta California. It was named for Saint Joseph, Patron of the
Universal Church. Mission San Jose was built to fill in the mission
chain. Each mission was to be a day's journey from the other and in
1797, Father Lasuen received permission to start 5 new missions.
Within 2 days after the founding service, shelters were built and in
3 weeks, there were seven more buildings laid out in a rectangle.
Mission San Jose received supplies and gifts from the nearby missions
to help them get started. The church is 125 feet long, 30 feet wide
and 24 feet high. The walls are 8 feet thick.
During the first year
Mission San Jose
only 33 Indians came to live at the mission. The local Ohlone Indians
were not eager to join the mission, they liked their existing way of
life. The padres were patient and in time, Mission San Jose grew to
have more Indians in residence than any other Northern California
Mission. The Indians came from miles around to build the church,
sleeping quarters, workshops and other rooms at the mission. Once in
1828, an Indian named Estanislao ran away from the mission. He did
not like the mission life. One night he and other Indians attacked
the mission, a large fight began and in the end, the Indians lost.
The padre forgave them and welcomed them back into the mission.
Estanislao and many others came back to live at the mission.
Estanislao is the Indian that Stanislaus County is name after. In
1831, there were 1,886 Indian converts living at the mission.
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. San Jose grew to be the most successful mission in Northern
California. Vegetables, fruits, and crops grew well at the Mission
San Jose. In 1831, there were around 12,000 cattle, 13,000 sheep, and
13,000 horses at the mission.
In 1827, the
was completed. Each
side was 900 feet long. It was here that a soap factory and tannery
were built. Behind the quadrangle were the adobe Indian homes, a
kitchen garden, an orchard, and a vineyard enclosed by ten foot high
adobe walls. The mission grew with Indians coming from as far away as
50 miles to life at the mission. The Indians spoke many languages and
dialects. The padres had to learn them in order to teach the Indians.
The Indians became so good at learning to play music that they
developed a 30 piece orchestra using hand made instruments until real
ones arrived from Mexico. This orchestra became very famous at that
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. Mexican Governor Pio Pico sold the mission in 1845
for $12,000. During the 1848 Gold Rush, the mission became a general
store, saloon and hotel. In 1853, the church became the local parish
On October 21, 1868,
the mission. A small wooded church was built on the site and used for
over 100 years. In 1985, the restoration of the church was completed.
It took over 150,000 bricks to complete the church. This was done by
the Committee for the Restoration of the Mission San Jose and the
Diocese of Oakland. It is a near perfect replication of the original
church. The padre's quarters are now a small museum. The mission is a
small reminder of the once great days at Mission San Jose de
Saint Joseph's Church
the Mission San
Jose is today a local parish church. The church has regular services
and also has a visitors center, museum and slide show telling the
history of the mission.
Objective: answer 7 questions correctly.
disabled. Get Netscape 3.0
or turn it on!
2. Mission San Jose was founded....?
3. What Indian Tribe was in the area of
4. Who was responsible for the
restoration of the
to Restore the Mission
the Restoration of the Mission San Jose
5. Who did the actual building of the
6. What happened to the missions in 1834?
Indians took over
7. San Jose is the only mission...?
been completely rebuilt
survive an Indian attack
8. San Jose is know for having been
mission to have musical
mission in California
mission in Northern California
with the most farming
9. What happened in 1845?
were taken over by Mexican
mission was sold
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
This project written by Rob
partial fulfilment of
of Arts Degree
Please send questions
and/or comments to Mr.
This page last updated
on February 28, 2015