San Buenaventura

Ninth Mission
March 31, 1782
Special Designation: 
Mission by the Sea
Named For: 
Saint Bonaventure, a 13th century Franciscan cardinal and renowned philosopher.
Also Called: 
Fr. Junipero Serra
Founding Father President: 
Frs. Vincente de Santa María and Francisco Dymetz
Founding Missionaries: 
Frs. Vincente de Santa María and Francisco Dymetz
Mission Site: 
The mission was located near the sizable Indian village of Mitsquanaqa'n with about 500 inhabitants. San Beuenaventura is 70 miles north of Los Angeles in the city of Ventura, which developed around the mission.
Traditional quadrangle, which was still standing as late as 1875.
Water Source: 
A seven-mile-long earth and masonry zanja or aqueduct brought water from the Ventura River.
The peak years for this mission were 1802-1821. The highest recorded population was 1,328 in 1816. During the mission era there were 1,107 marriages performed at San Buenaventura.
In 1816 (the peak year) the mission had over 41,000 animals including 23,400 cattle, 12,144 sheep and 4,493 horses (one of the largest stables of horses in the mission chain.)
Agricultural Output: 
Over the years 1784 - 1834 the mission reported harvesting 191,291 bushels of wheat, barley, corn, beans, peas, lentils, garbanzos (chickpeas) and habas (broad beans).
Mission Church: 
The first church was destroyed by fire in 1793. The second church was dedicated in 1809, and reconstructed in 1816 after an earthquake. The walls are six foot thick near the base. The church had to be restored after it was "modernized" in 1893. Restoration was completed in 1957
Mission Bells: 
A three-tiered companario contains five bells originally borrowed from Mission Santa Barbara. The two oldest bells date from 1781. The bell on the upper level is the newest. It was cast in 1956 in Paris.
Mission Art: 
The high altar and its reredos originated in Mexico and were installed when the church was dedicated in 1809. The Shrine of the Crucifixion on the left side of the church contains a four hundred-year old bulto.
Special Attraction: 
There is a well-landscaped garden with a fountain, stone grotto, and exterior displays on the east side of the church. The inviting mission museum (built in 1929) contains the original church doors and two original wooden bells, which were used during Holy Week when the metal bells were silent.
Significant Events: 
Although the mission was evacuated for a month in 1818 because of the threat of a pirate attack by the Argentine privateer Hypolite Bouchard, the mission was nonetheless spared.
Year Returned to Catholic Church: 
1862, in a proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln.
Current Status: 
Active Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Indians Joining This Mission: 
San Buenaventura was located in the land of the Chumash people. After the establishment of the mission the neophytes were known as Ventureño
Interesting Facts: 
San Buenaventura was intended to be the 3rd mission, but its founding was postponed for thirteen years, and so it became the 9th mission established.
In the mission era whaling ships anchored near the mission to replenish their food lockers and trade for cured cattle hides (called Yankee Dollars).
Captain George Vancouver met Fr. Dumetz at the mission in 1793 and named Point Dume, between Point Magu and Malibu, after the friar.