Mission San Miguel Arcángel

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Mission San Miguel Arcángel was founded on July 25, 1797 by the Franciscan order, on a site chosen specifically due to the large number of Salinan Indians that inhabited the area, whom the Spanish priests wanted to evangelize. It is located at 775 Mission Street, San Miguel, California, in San Luis Obispo County.

The mission remains in use as a parish church to this day. After being closed to the public for six years due to the 2003 San Simeon Earthquake, the church re-opened on September 29, 2009. Inside the church are murals by Esteban Munras[10]



Father Presidente Fermin Francisco de Lasuen founded the mission on July 25, 1797, making it the sixteenth California mission. Its location between Mission San Luis Obispo and Mission San Antonio de Padua provided a stop on the trip that had previously taken two days.[11] In 1803, the mission reported an Indian population of 908, while its lands grazed 809 cattle, 3,223 sheep, 342 horses and 29 mules. That year's harvest included about 2,186 fanegas of wheat and corn (A fanega was about 220 pounds). Most of the mission burned, while still being developed, in 1806. It was rebuilt within a year.[11]

On July 15, 1836, the Mexican government secularized mission lands, including Mission San Miguel, and Ygnacio Coronel took charge.[11]

In 1846, Governor Pío Pico sold the Mission for $600 to Petronillo Rios and William Reed. Reed used the Mission as a family residence and a store. In 1848, Reed and his family were murdered,[12] leaving the Mission vacant for a period of time. The Mission was a stopping place for miners coming from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and was consequently was used as a saloon, dance hall, storeroom and living quarters.

In 1859, President James Buchanan returned the Mission to the Church.[11]

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