San Jose Historic Images
The fourteenth California mission of San Jose was founded on June 11, 1797 in the land of the Ohlone people. It became the agricultural and livestock powerhouse of the northern missions and had the second largest agricultural production of all 21 missions. Several drawings were made in the 19th century of events at or near the mission in its peak years, and all of the artists of artist who completed a mission series captured the look and feel of this successful mission.
Unfortunately the simple but powerful church was destroyed in an earthquake in 1868. It would be over a century before San Jose (the church not the full complex) was restored between 1982-1985. The restored church is authentic and well worth visiting.
Portola Expedition makes its way up the coast of California in 1769
A mural by Robert Evans. During journeys up the California Coast the Spanish found many promising mission sites.
Ohlone Ceremonial Dance
By expedition artist Jose Cardero, 1816. Mission San Jose was founded in the land of the Ohlone people.
Mission San Jose
By Henry Miller, a drawing made in 1856.
Sketch of the old church and buildings of Mission of San Jose
Drawn in 1866 by Edward Vischer.
H.C. Ford’s drawing of San Jose
Showing the mission from the northeast, 1883.
Fr. Narciso Duran with a young neophyte
(1776-1846) From Eugène Duflot de Mofras’s book, Exploration Du Territoire De L'Oregon, Des Californies Et De La Mer Vermeille, Executee Pendant Les Annees 1840, 1841 Et 1842) published in Paris in 1844.
Method of catching cattle in California
Showing San Jose in the background, 1838. Published in A History of Upper and Lower California by Alexander Forbes
A drawing of the San Jose Mission
As it looked before it was destroyed in an earthquake in 1868.
Erected at Mission San Jose after the mission restoration.
A front view of Mission San Jose after its restoration
By David J. McLaughlin, 2015. The San Jose restoration is considered one of the most authentic mission reconstructions.
The Serra statue at Mission San Jose
By sculptor Dale Smith. In 1983 William H. Hanson commission this sculpture of Serra. A hundred of these statues were placed all over California.
Restored padre’s wing of the mission
Now a gift shop and museum.
A display of Ohlone artifacts and tools
At Mission San Jose.
The altar in the San Jose church
Mission San Jose
By Edwin Deakin (1838-1923). A complete set of Deakin’s large oil paintings of the missions are at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.
Mission San Jose after its restoration
David J. McLaughlin, 2014.