Virtual Guidebook to El Camino Real
Mission San Antonio de Padua - Outside
Fort Hunter Liggett in the Jolon Valley California


The chain of Spanish settlements and missions in California began with San Diego, then the new capital of Monterey. Father Junipero Serra, who had been appointed to establish the Alta California missions, was anxious to continue his work, and after just one year he returned from Monterey to the San Antonio Vally, where he had noted a large population of Indians - souls to be harvested.

The mission was the third to be established, on July 14, 1771. As soon as Father Serra arrived he hung a bell from the limb of an oak tree and began to enthusiastically ring it to summon the people. At its peak the mission had 1300 resident neophytes (Indian converts).

Features of the mission grounds have been restored and are explained in a series of signs - the aqueduct, mill, cistern, and lavanderia. The beauty of the site remains undiminished, thanks to ownership by the Hearst Ranch then Fort Hunter Ligett, which have prevented development.



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Springtime display of wildflowers at Mission San Antonio

(April 27, 2003)


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Spring flowers at the old reservoir, Mission San Antonio

(April 27, 2003)


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Along the aqueduct at Mission San Antonio

(April 27, 2003)


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The historic mill at Mission San Antonio

(April 27, 2003)


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Poppies and lupines in the walled cemetery at Mission San Antonio

(April 27, 2003)


Next Locality: Upper San Antonio Valley