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 The Great Around-the-USA Adventure

California: La Purisima Mission

A trip up the California coast is not complete without a visit to at least one or two of the old Spanish missions. In Lompoc, we spent several hours at the site of the second La Purisima Mission, built to replace the original mission, three miles south, after it was destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1812. By the time of its completion in 1820, the mission system was already in decline.

Date of visit: 15 April 2008

 The first long building was the quarters and shops building, which housed the apartments, workrooms, and barracks of the mission's workforce. The taller, distant building housed the padres.  purisima03
purisima02  An enclosed courtyard contained the mission cemetery. 
 The bell tower of the mission.  purisima04
 purisima05  The backside of the bell-tower. The upper bell was made of wood - a common practice until a metal bell could be obtained.
 The interior of the church. purisima07 
 purisima08  Soldier's quarters.
 Many different occupations contributed to mission life; this is a large loom used to make blankets.  purisima09
 purisima11 At the ends of the padres' quarters, buttresses helped provide stability to the building. 
 The mission was abandoned in 1834 and the church sold it into private hands. It became a ranch for a while and then fell into ruin.  purisima12
purisima15   In 1934 the Civilian Conservation Corps began a 7-year restoration, culminating in its dedication as a state park on 7 Dec, 1941.
 The leather shop.  purisima17
 purisima19 Pottery shop, gristmill and kitchen. 
 This large cistern was part of the sophisticated water system. It served as part of the filtration system. purisima23