The Founding Of San Juan Capistrano
Like the other six missions, San Juan Capistrano was established to expand the boundaries of Spain and to spread Christianity to the Native peoples of California. The missions were the center of learning.
San Juan Capistrano – Population Growth
During the next thirty years, the San Juan Capistrano Mission grew by leaps and bounds. In 1806 Mission San Juan Capistrano had a population of over 1,000 people, over 10,000 head of cattle and they had completed the “Great Stone Church”
San Juan Capistrano – Earthquake
Sadly after 1812 the mission began to decline an earthquake struck causing the Great Stone Church to cave in killing forty people who tried to escape through the doors that had been twisted in there frames.
The Spanish government could not protect and keep the mission’s supplied with the supplies they needed.
In 1821 Mexico won its independence from Spain, By 1834 the Mexican government decided to end the mission system completely, giving the land from Mission San Juan Capistrano were divided and sold to twenty prominent Families from California.
San Juan Capistrano – The Mission Sold
The Mission was sold at auction to John Forster Governor Pio Pico’s brother-in-law for $710 even though it was valued to be worth more than $54,000.
Over the next twenty years the mission was a private ranch property of the Forster family
San Juan Capistrano – California Becomes Part Of The United States of America
In 1848 California became part of the United States as part of the “Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo” Only two years after becoming a territory of the United States in 1850 it became a state. The padres contacted President Lincoln about returning the missions and he gave the missions back to the Catholic church.
Old metate used to grind grain.
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