The Adventure Continues… California Missions, Week 7
Huell winds up his tour of the 21 missions this week by visiting San Francisco de Asis, San Rafael Arcangel, and San Francisco Solano — all in the San Francisco Bay area. You may recall the Mission San Francisco de Asis from an episode I featured in October 2018; during that visit Huell learned that this mission contains one of the only two cemeteries left within the city of San Francisco. Mission San Francisco de Asis, founded in 1776, is also important in that it’s the only one of the 21 California missions still intact in its original construction. That may have partly to do with the fact it was carefully constructed with a bedrock foundation and the most narrow chapel of all the missions — but it’s quite impressive to consider this building survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire while other structures around it were destroyed.
Mission San Rafael Arcangel and Mission San Francisco Solano were less fortunate in their survival stories; both have been reconstructed to represent their earlier glory days. Solano is now part of Sonoma State Historic Park. The buildings at Mission San Rafael were used in 1846 as the headquarters of John C. Fremon, who led the Bear Flag Revolt. The Mission Chapel was finally rebuilt in 1949.
Even though Huell has finished his south-to-north journey of the Mission Trail, there are still a few more surprises in store in the coming weeks. Next Wednesday, join me in learning about the “forgotten 22nd mission.”