Mission San Miguel Photos
This collection of San Miguel Mission photos is a companion page to the main San Miguel Mission page. On that page you will find history, location information and other items about the mission.
If you edit out a few homes and the big satellite dishes on the hill at the upper left, you have a pretty good sense of how this mission might have looked 200 years ago. Highway 101 is at the foot of the hills behind the mission.
During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the federal government created many programs to employ workers. If the person was skilled, attempts were made to use their qualifications. Architects and draftsmen were put to work surveying historic buildings, photographing and measuring them to preserve in some way for future reference.
The California missions were documented in this way and the records provide a valuable resource for future renovations.
If you exit Highway 101 heading north, this lovely tower is your first introduction to Mission San Miguel.
California historical landmark plaque. Mission San Miguel is also registered as a national landmark.
On the northern end of the mission property, next to the church, is found the cemetery. Many natives were buried there along with a number of priests and later some of the areas pioneer families.
While it looks original, this bell tower is a later addition, built sometime in the 1930’s or 40’s. It is fine work done by Jesse Crettol who did much of the reconstruction masonry seen around the mission.
The inner courtyard of the missions were formed by the outlying buildings as well as the church building. One of the common features here is the central fountain.
The missions were designed to be self-sustaining for the most part. The tour through the convento shows this with various tools for crafts and manufacture. If you look closely, you can see the sheepskin panels on the windows. These were used in place of the much more costly and rare glass.
An unnamed friar from sometime in the past wrote this phrase on the wall of his cell. The spanish reads: “Ten en la memoria muerte juicio infierno y gloria”. Translated it means: “Keep in mind, death, judgment, hell and heaven”.
The Father Serra statue overlooking the hills