A video report is uploaded to my YouTube channel about my visit to Mission of San Juan
Mission of San Juan, a Spanish Catholic Franciscan called Giovanni da Capistrano, was established on November 1st, 1776. This is the oldest building in California still in use. A chapel, the Serra’s chapel, was built in 1782. Main objective of the mission was to convert Native Americans to Christianity. Though they had to face oppositions, still they were able to convert a good number of people between 1776 and 1847.
This was a self sustaining community were artisans produced tools, cloth and prepared hides. The farms produced melons, pumpkins, grapes and peppers. Outside the mission compound Native Americans produced maize, beans, squash, sweet potato and sugar. They also had sheep and cattle at a distant location. They were able to supply these produces to the local household. But in 1821 when Mexico got liberated from French, they did not want to have the mission active. The property was bought in auction for $710 to Don Juan the brother in law of the governor of Mexico. But further when the journalist Charles Lummis tried to restore the mission.
Though initially this was part of Mexico, on September 1850 through a treaty between Mexico and United Stated that was signed in February 1848.
Small Pox epidemic (1862), 1891 roof collapse, lack of permanent priest (1886), severe flooding (1915) etc. caused the downfall of the mission. Father Arthur J. Hutchinson worked hard to revive the mission and bring it to the lost glory. In 1937 the National Parks department of United States took up the mission of preserving the site. But this met a set back with the 1987 earth quake. Now it is made a historical monument and thousands of people visit the site every year and the entrance fee collected helps them keep it up.
Very Rev. Corepiscopo Dr. Joseph Tarzi, vicar of St. James Orthodox Church (under my Episcopal care), his wife Juliet Tarzi, Mr. Abel Iwas, president of the board of trustees of the Church and his wife Rachael Iwas accompanied me. The day ended with dinner at El Adobe De Capistrano Restaurant