La Purisima Concepcion Mission

The La Purisima Concepcion Mission was the 11th mission, founded on December 8, 1787.

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The La Purisima Concepcion Mission is located 19 miles west of Buellton on State Highway 246.


The Mission

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The La Purisima Mission was founded on December 8, 1787. It was the first to be dedicated by Father Lasuen. The mission was first built from mud plaster. In 1800 a stronger adobe mission was built. The mission once had 10,000 livestock, plus agriculture including a vineyard.

The mission suffered many challenges. It was severely damaged in the 1812 earthquake. Later, an earthquake broke a dam upstream causing the mission, equipment, irrigation system and crops to be flooded. A drought in 1816 and 1817 then caused crops and livestock to die.

A new mission was completed in 1818. This new mission was built in a straight line, rather than the traditional quadrangle. This made it easier to evacuate during an earthquake. Unfortunately, the mission continued to face problems. A fire in 1818 damaged some of the buildings. Then in 1824, the native indians revolted and occupied the mission for a month until driven out by soldiers.

The mission deteriorated after secularization. Many of the remaining natives died from a smallpox epidemic in 1844.

In 1930, the land was given to the National Park Service for restoration. It is now a state historical monument.

This drawing shows the inside of the La Purisima Mission (Source: Library of Congress).


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