La Purisma

La Purísima Concepción Key Facts

La Purisima Concepción is the most completely restored California mission, with over twenty buildings. The mission was founded on December 8, 1787. This is the only mission that is a "living museum" with docents in period costume walking the grounds and live animals in a mission coral. La Purisima is now a California State Historic Park.

General Information

La Purísima Concepción

Founded:
December 8, 1787
Also Called:
La Purisima
Current Status:
Now a California State Historic Park, surrounded by approximately 2,000 acres of parkland. It is the most fully restored mission in California.
Summary:
La Purisima Concepción is the most completely restored California mission, with over twenty buildings. The mission was founded on December 8, 1787. This is the only mission that is a "living museum" with docents in period costume walking the grounds and live animals in a mission coral. La Purisima is now a California State Historic Park.

Key Facts About This Mission

Mission Site

Originally established at the Indian village of Algsacupi (on the edge of present day Lompoc). An earthquake on December 21, 1812 destroyed the mission, which was then relocated about 4.5 miles to the northeast in the Valley of the Watercress.

Special Designation

None, although it sometimes referred to as the "Linear Mission."

Named For

Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The name honors "The Immaculate Conception of Mary the Most Pure."

Founding Father President

Fr. Fermín Francisco de Lasuėn

Image of Fr. Fermín Francisco de Lasuėn
Fr. Fermín Francisco de Lasuėn

 

Founding Missionaries

Frs. Vincente Fuster and Josė Arroita

Layout

The rebuilt mission (completed between 1813-1818) was laid out in linear fashion, the only California mission not organized as a quadrangle.

Water Source

Springs in hills three miles away. The mission had an elaborate system of open aqueducts, pipes, reservoirs, and dams.

Population

The mission population ranged from 900 to 1,100 most years between 1798 -1818, with a peak population of 1,520 in 1804.

Likestock

The peak number of livestock was 23,746 in 1822 (10,000 cattle, 11,000 sheep, 46 goats, 104 pigs, 1367 horses and 247 mules).

La Purisma Cattle Brand
La Purisma Cattle Brand

 

Agricultural Output

Between the years 1788 - 1834 La Purisima harvasted 189,276 bushels of wheat, barley, corn, beans, peas, lentils, garbanzos (chickpeas) and habas (broad beans). This was the third largest agricultural output in the mission chain. There were two large vineyards, Jalama 8 miles south of the mission and San Francisoto, 2 miles east.

Mission Church

The mission church, which has a simple exterior, has been handsomely restored. Located as it is in a state historic park, it is not an active church.

La Purisma Restored Mission Church
Restored Mission Church

The companario was copied after the one at Santa Ines since no records existed that described the original design. The bell tower has two rolling bells and one stationary bell.

Mission Art

The mission museum and the new Visitors Center and Exhibit Hall display many period artifacts including an 1818 bell, a complete set of vestments, a handsome confessional, tools and tiles, and two original paintings from the mission.

Special Attraction

La Purisima is a "living history" museum. Time your visit on a day when there are special activities or an encampment scheduled.

Significant Events

In 1824 a revolt of the neophytes that began in Santa Ines spread to La Purisima. The rebels captured the mission and held it for about a month. In the battle, sixteen Indians and one soldier died. Seven Indians were condemned to death.

Secularized

1834

Year Returned to Catholic Church

1874, but subsequently much of the land was sold.

Prominent Missionary Leaders

Fr. Mariano Payéras served 19 years at this mission

Indians Joining This Mission

The mission was established in the land of the Chumash people.

 

Interesting Facts

For four years, when Fr. Payéras served as Father President, La Purisima was headquarters of the mission chain.

La Purisima is the most fully restored mission, with over 20 buildings and a corral. La Purisma Coral Sign

Restoration was done between 1934-42 by the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps. 

The mission is a frequent site of reenactments and encampments. 

Reenactment
Mission reenactment

 

Additional Information

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