Soledad was established in a remote region about 30 miles southeast of Monterey. It was a "hardship" post which suffered high missionary turnover. There were relatively few Native Americans who lived in the immediate vicinity. Mission records show that the following people were brought into Mission Soledad: Yokuts, Esselen and Salinan as well as natives of the Cholan triblet of the Coastanoan language family.[fn]For information on the natives who lived at this mission see: "Esselen" pp 496-499 and "Salinan" pp. 500-504 by Thomas Roy Hester; "Costanoan" pp 485-495 by Richard Levy; and "Southern Valley Yokuts" pp 448-461 and "Northern Valley Yokuts" pp 462-470 by William Wallace in Volume 8 CALIFORNIA in the Handbook of American Indians, Smithsonian Institution: Washington D.C., 1978 [/fn] After secularization this mission declined rapidly. When the last missionary, Fr. Vicente Francisco de Sarría, died in 1835 he was carried on a litter by loyal neophytes to San Antonio de Padua, some 25 miles away. [inline:ms-05-remains-of-serra.jpg=Fr. Sarria's Body is Carried from Soledad to San Antonio de Padua]
The remaining neophytes at the Soledad mission left soon after their priest died and it became apparent there would be no replacement.