Missions in Monochrome: Mission Santa Cruz

Mission Santa Cruz, founded by Father Fermin Lasuen in 1791, is the twelfth of the 21 California Missions. It is often called the Hard-luck Mission because of its history of misfortunes. In 1812 one of the early Franciscan missionaries was killed by Native Americans who rebelled against his whipping. The mission was looted by neighbors in the nearby pueblo of Branciforte in 1818 after the Franciscans were told to evacuate because of the threat of attack by the Argentine pirate Hipólito Bouchard. The mission church was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1840 and completely destroyed by another tremblor in 1857. Another church was built next door in 1858 and it was replaced on the original church grounds by the present Gothic-revival style Holy Cross Church in 1889. Holy Cross is an active parish in the Catholic Diocese of Monterey.

A replica one-third the size of the original mission was built in 1931 across the street from the original mission. The replica acts as a chapel of Holy Cross Church and is often the site of weddings. One room in the building is used as a gift shop.

Mission Santa Cruz replica on the corner of Emmett and School Streets.

Mission Santa Cruz replica on the corner of Emmett and School Streets. This photo was taken in 1976.

The Mission complex at one time consisted of 32 buildings but the only adobe building left from the original Mission Days served once as a dormitory for Native Americans members of the Ohlone and Yokut tribes and is now a museum, part of the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. It is called the Neary-Rodriguez Adobe.

We visited the Mission replica in 1976. I think it has been whitewashed a few times since our visit. The Mission replica is on the corner of School Street and Emmet Street across from the Mission Plaza park on Emmet Street. Holy Cross Church is on High Street and Emmet just around the corner. The adobe building in the state historic park is on School Street behind Holy Cross elementary school. They are all near the junction of State Highways 1 and 17.

The following photo is a close-up of the front of the Mission replica showing a portion of the bell tower and the diagonal tiled front roof with two telephone lines bisecting the bell tower’s window. It will be my entry this week for Laura and Leanne’s Monochrome Madness Challenge over on Leanne’s website. Leanne usually posts her weekly Monochrome Madness series on Tuesday afternoons, California Time (Wednesdays in Australia).

Close-up of front of Mission. The diagonal is the front tiled-roof and the top is a window in the bell tower. Then there are two telephone lines. This is my entry to Laura and Leanne's Monochrome Madness Challenge over on Leanne's website.

Close-up of front of Mission replica. The diagonal is the front tiled-roof and the top is a window in the bell tower. Then there are two telephone lines. This is my entry to Laura and Leanne’s Monochrome Madness Challenge over on Leanne’s website.

Santa Cruz is on the California coast 75 miles south of San Francisco. It lies at the northern tip of Monterey Bay and is over the Santa Cruz mountains from San Jose and Los Gatos. It is about 66 miles from our house in Castro Valley to the Mission.

We have driven to Santa Cruz many times over the years but only visited the Mission once. Most of the other times we drove straight to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

Advertisements

About crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.
This entry was posted in California, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Missions in Monochrome: Mission Santa Cruz

  1. fascinating histories!! Lovely photos!! see you on MM!!

  2. Thanks, Dune Mouse! I’m glad you are enjoying the histories of the Missions.

  3. Pingback: Week 52 of Monochrome Madness | Crow Canyon Journal

  4. kirk2014 says:

    As a local I hadn’t heard of the Franciscan being killed by some of the local natives. Probably very justly since missionaries were often quite brutal. Most people in Santa Cruz hardly even know the Mission exists. It is stuck up on Mission Hill and honestly is easily confused with the Catholic Holy Cross Church.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s