The other day, I needed to go down to Fremont on an errand, which allowed me to pick up another mission on my quest to see all the missions founded by the Spanish during the colonization of California. Surprisingly, I’m finding that a lot of missions I haven’t yet seen are right in my backyard, as was Mission San Jose. And like the other northern missions, I found this one to have little left of the original, an original which was never as ornate as some of the elaborate southern missions such as Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Still Mission San Jose was worth the detour, especially for a very good little museum about the lives of the Ohlone Indians who populated this mission. The mission church, itself, is a clever and latter day recreation of the second church on this site. Not the one founded in 1797, but the one built in 1809 and destroyed by earthquake. The outbuilding that houses the museum (probably originally the padres’ living quarters) is one of the few original pieces of the mission. Also preserved is an interesting graveyard with the graves of prominent Californians, Spanish and English, whose names Californians will recognize.

The inside of the faithfully reconstructed church.

The inside of the faithfully reconstructed church.

Wooden statue and painted wall in the church.

Wooden statue and painted wall in the church.

The old cemetary with the grave of Jose Bernal, owner of one of the larger Spanish land grants in the area.

The old cemetary with the grave of Jose Bernal, owner of one of the larger Spanish land grants in the area.

The grave of early pioneer, Robert Livermore.

The grave of early pioneer, Robert Livermore.

All that marks the mass grave site of hundreds of Ohlone Indians who died largely of disease.

All that marks the mass grave site of hundreds of Ohlone Indians who died largely of disease.

Original ironwork from one of the Bernals graves.

Original ironwork from one of the Bernal’s graves.

Padre Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, the mission founder, stands guard over some of the original olive trees.

Burnt hills above the Mission School.

Burnt hills above the Mission School.

So let’s see where we are with my Mission Score Card. Here are the chain of Missions which the padres founded, from the first, San Diego, to the last, Mission San Francisco de Solano. Missions with links are those I’ve checked off my list. The links take you to the post where I wrote about them.

Mission San Diego de Alcala (San Diego) (Need to migrate this post from my old website)

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia

Mission San Juan Capistrano (Visited on Swallows Day)

Mission San Gabriel Arcangel

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana

Mission San Buenaventura

Mission Santa Barbara

Mission Santa Inez

Mission La Purisima

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Mission San Miguel Arcangel

Mission San Antonio de Padua (One of the most intact of the old missions.)

Mission Nuestra Senora de La Soledad

Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo (Visited as part of the Golden Girls Tour with two 75-year-old ladies.)

Mission San Juan Bautista (Done on the Golden Girls Tour.)

Mission Santa Cruz

Mission Santa Clara de Asis

Mission San Jose

Mission San Francisco de Asis

Mission San Rafael Arcangel

Mission San Francisco de Solano

Looks like I need a Santa Barbara roadtrip where I can pick up several missions along the way!

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