Mission San Juan Bautista

Mission History

Mission San Juan Bautista was built in 1797, On June 24, 1797 Mission San Juan Bautista became the 15th mission in Alta California. The Mutsan Indians built the mission. Father Fermin Lausen founded the mission. There were many important events in the mission's history. In 1786, the site for the mission was selected. Then in 1808, Father Felipe de Arroyo de la Cuesta tool charge. In 1814, a town was built around the mission. Last, in 1835, Mission San Juan Bautista became secularized. It is located about 90 miles from SE San Francisco.
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Mission Life

The daily life was different for everybody that lived there. Priest, Friars, and the Mutsan Indians lived there. Fray Joseph Manuel de Martiaera and Fray Pedro Adriano Martinez was in charge. The priest's and friars' jobs were to teach the Indians about the Catholic religion and to teach them the Spanish ways. The Indians had their on jobs too. The men hunted, farmed, and made weapons. The women cooked, made clothes, baskets, and gathered food. The mission had crops such as, squash, melons, beans, corn, figs, grapes, and olive trees. In their free time, Indians played games, gambled, played music, and danced. They had a game similar to field hockey.

Mission Buildings

The mission was built from adobe and wooden planks. It was 188 feet long, 172 feet wide, and 40 feet high, and was the largest of all the missions. It also had a tile roof and floor. The mission had a bell tower that was important in running the mission. The bells rang to signal to the Indians when it was time to wake up, pray, work, eat, and sleep. Mission San Juan Bautista had a courtyard, church, workshop, sleeping quarters, a cemetery, a jail, and a farm.
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The Mission Today

Today, the mission is still open to the public. People can still attend mass every Sunday. There can even be weddings and baptisms there. Students are able to visit the museum and learn about its history during a field trip. They can see the church, an old dining room, and artifacts like tools, bowls, and baskets.


  1. Draper, Allison Stark. Mission San Juan Bautista. New York:The Rosen Publishing Group, 2000
  2. California Missions Fact Cards, Toucan Valley Publication, Inc.
  3. http://www.oldmissionsjb.org/
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Juan_Bautista,_California
  5. http://www.missionscalifornia.com/gallery/gal_cattle-brand-san-juan-bautista.html