Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

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Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is in the Salinas Valley near Soledad, in central Monterey County, California. The mission was founded on October 9, 1791 for the increasing settlement of upper Las Californias Province of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and for the Indian Reductions to convert the Native Americans living in the area. It was the thirteenth of the Spanish missions founded by the Franciscan Order.

Contents

History

Pre-contact eras

The remains of Arlington Springs Man on Santa Rosa Island are among the traces of a ancient habitation in California, dated to the last ice age, Wisconsin glaciation about 13,000 years ago. The first humans are therefore thought to have made their homes among the southern valleys of California's coastal mountain ranges some 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, with the earliest of these people known only from archaeological evidence. [8] The cultural impacts resulting from climactic changes and other natural events during this broad expanse of time were negligible; conversely, European contact was a momentous event, which profoundly affected California's native peoples.[9]


Mission era

Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, La Misión de María Santísima, Nuestra Señora Dolorosísima de la Soledad, was founded October 9, 1791 by Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, the 13th of 21 missions in the California mission chain.

The Chalon, a subgroup of the Ohlone and arguably the original residents of the Salinas Valley, were converted and brought to work and live here, followed by Esselen and Yokut people. By 1803, there were 627 Mission Indians at Mission Soledad. At the Mission many Chalon married local Esselen speakers, while others married Yokuts who were brought into the mission between 1806 and 1834.

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