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Soledad in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Mission Nuestra Señora Dolorosísima de la Soledad

 
 
Mission Nuestra Señora Dolorosísima de la Soledad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
1. Mission Nuestra Señora Dolorosísima de la Soledad Marker
Inscription. This mission, founded October 9,1791 by Father Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, ministered to the Indians of the Salinas Valley. Governor José Joaquín de Arrillaga died here July 24, 1814 and was buried in the chapel. Prosperous in its early years, Soledad declined after 1825, but Father Vicente Francisco Sarría stayed on in poverty to serve the Indians until his death in 1835, when the mission was secularized. It was regranted to the Bishop of Monterey in 1859. In ruins after 1874, the chapel was reconstructed and dedicated under the auspices of the Native Daughters of the Golden West, October 9th, 1955.

REGISTERED LANDMARK NO. 233
Plaque placed by Grand Parlors, Native Daughters of the Golden West and Native Sons of the Golden West, in cooperation with the California State Park Commission, October 14, 1956.
 
Erected 1956 by Grand Parlors of the Native Daughters of the Golden West and the Native Sons of the Golden West. (Marker Number 233.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 36° 24.375′ N, 121° 21.285′ W. Marker is in Soledad, California, in Monterey County. Marker is at the intersection of Fort Romie
Mission Soledad Marker - Wide view, showing marker and Mission entrance image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
2. Mission Soledad Marker - Wide view, showing marker and Mission entrance
Road and Mission Road, on the left when traveling west on Fort Romie Road. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 36641 Fort Romie Road, Soledad CA 93960, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Padre Florencio Ibanez (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The De Anza Expedition in Soledad (about 500 feet away); Jose Joaquin de Arrillaga (about 500 feet away); Site of Original Church (about 600 feet away); El Camino Real Bell (about 700 feet away); Railroad Station Site (approx. 2 miles away); Cesar Chavez Park (approx. 2 miles away); One Voice Murals Project (approx. 2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Soledad.
 
More about this marker. The mission marker is mounted on a cement monument amongst some bushes and trees on the south side of the road, just to the east of the entrance to the mission.
 
Also see . . .
1. Lasuén Bio. The Mission Tour website's biography of Fr. Lasuén, founder of Mission Soledad:
"...He arrived in Mexico in 1759 and served in the lower California missions. Under Blessed Serra he served in three of the upper California missions and became president of the mission system in 1785; a post he filled until he died in 1803. He is buried in the sanctuary at the Carmel Mission; next to Blessed Serra. He introduced
Chapel (1884), from Southwest image. Click for full size.
Unknown, from the Freethy Collection, Courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey, circa 1884
3. Chapel (1884), from Southwest
After the secularization of the Franciscan missions in 1834, the Mission went into decline, with most of the resident population leaving. The picture above, taken a half century, shows how far the decline had gone.
business to the missions with farming and stock raising as well as introducing mission industries. He also revolutionized the mission architecture; changing the missions from thatch-covered buildings to the more currently seen adobe with tile roofs."
(Submitted on February 6, 2010.) 

2. Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. The California Missions Resource Center's factsheet for the mission. (Submitted on February 6, 2010.) 

3. Mission Nuestra Señora de La Soledad. The California Mission Foundation's short history of the Mission. (Submitted on February 6, 2010.) 

4. Nuestra Señora Dolorosísima de la Soledad. Athanasius Schaefer's history of the Mission. More comprehensive than most, yet still quite readable. (Submitted on February 6, 2010.) 
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Notable PlacesSettlements & Settlers
 
Chapel (1900) image. Click for full size.
Unknown, Wm. H. Knowles Collection, Courtesy of the Historical American Buildings Survey, circa 1900
4. Chapel (1900)
By 1900, the Mission was in ruins, with the roofs on the buildings having collapsed and disintegrated, and the adobe walls crumbling.
Chapel (2010) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
5. Chapel (2010)
The chapel, rebuilt in 1954-55, was constructed of handmade adobe bricks made, at least in part, from the dust of the original adobe. Services are held in the chapel several times a year. The church bell, visible in the picture, is a replica of the churches original bell, which was cast in Mexico City in 1794.
Mission chapel and convent - Cardinell-Vincent Company postcard image. Click for full size.
By Unknown photographer and date
6. Mission chapel and convent - Cardinell-Vincent Company postcard
This postcard, produced early in the 20th century, uses a much older, sepia-tinted photo of the Mission.
View of chapel and convent from the east image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
7. View of chapel and convent from the east
The Daughters of the Golden West restored the chapel in 1954 and the convent in 1963.
Statue of Fr. Junipero Serra image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
8. Statue of Fr. Junipero Serra
Many of the California Missions, including Mission Soledad, have statues of Fr. Junipero Serra on their grounds. Serra (1713-1784) was the founder of the chain of 21 missions in Alta California.
Former church floor, with graves of Arillaga and Ibanez image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
9. Former church floor, with graves of Arillaga and Ibanez
On the east side of the mission grounds is the remains of the original church. It was dedicated in 1791 and destroyed by floods in 1828, never to be rebuilt. Buried in the floor of the church were Jose Joaquin de Arillaga, the first governor of Alta California, and Padre Florencio Ibanez, the resident priest at the mission, who served from 1803 until his death in 1818. Both have interpretive signs next to their graves:

Jose Joaquin de Arillaga - known affectionately as Papa by his soldiers, companions and friends, he served twice as Governor of California under Spanish rule. Upon his death in 1814, he was, at his request, garbed in the Franciscan habit and buried in the mission church.

Padre Florencio Ibanez - as the only resident padre he devotedly served at Mission Soledad for 15 years until his death November 26, 1818. He is the only priest buried at this mission.
Remains of Mission walls on the north side of the quadrangle image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, January 16, 2010
10. Remains of Mission walls on the north side of the quadrangle
Mission Fountain image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 20, 2013
11. Mission Fountain
The plaque reads:

This fountain is reverently dedicated as a tribute to our pioneer founders, the departed advisers and members of this committee to our devoted Native Daughters, their families and friends throughout the State of California, for valued support in the preservation and restoration of Historic Landmark No. 233, Mission Nuestra Senora Dolorosisima de la Soledad and in respect and loving memory to Abel, Nicola and Flora Bianchi and the pioneers of the Soledad community.

“Let no good by thee be marred,
Let no duty seem too hard,
In all things bravely do you best,
And then to god well, leave the rest”

Mission Soledad Restoration Committee
Grand Parlor, N.D.G.W.
September 27, 1975
Site of the Grist Mill image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 20, 2013
12. Site of the Grist Mill
Here grain was ground into meal and later prepared and served to the Mission Indians as part of their daily diet.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 3,244 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   10. submitted on .   11, 12. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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