San Francisco de Asis Mission

The San Francisco de Asis Mission was the 6th mission, founded on October 9, 1776.

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The San Francisco de Asis Mission is located at 16th and Dolores Streets, San Francisco, California.


The Mission

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When the Spanish discovered San Francisco Bay, they recognized its military importance. This military need drove the establishment of the San Francisco de Asis Mission. The Spanish built a large presidio to provide military strength. In their usual fashion, they also built a pueblo and a mission. The presidio and mission were dedicated on October 9, 1776. The Spanish also brought in many families from Mexico to settle the area.

The mission was built along a stream that was named Arroyo de los Dolores. The mission was often called Mission Dolores. The first mud-plastered, log church built by the Spanish sailors was quickly outgrown. It was replaced by a larger adobe church in 1791. The remainder of the quadrangle, including storerooms and workshops, was completed in 1798.

Unfortunately, the mission suffered lots of illness, including measles epidemics, which left many dead.

After secularization, the mission was used by prospectors and others during the Gold Rush. In 1857, the mission was returned to the Catholic Church and restored.

This drawing shows the San Francisco de Asis mission during its operation (Source: Library of Congress).

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