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.
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).
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.