San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Mission

The San Luis Obispo Mission was the 5th mission to be founded.

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The San Luis Obispo Mission is located at the corner of Monterey and Chorro Streets in San Luis Opispo.


The Mission

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The San Luis Obispo mission was founded on September 1, 1772. The origins of the mission are quite different from the other missions. There were no large populations of natives to convert. Instead, there were large populations of grizzly bears. When food supplies ran low at the San Antonio or Carmel missions, hunting parties would go out to kill the bears for food.

In 1772, the San Luis Obispo mission was dedicated and a small number of priests and soldiers were left to start the mission. Native indians attacked the mission in 1776, burning it down. The mission had to be rebuilt. Although the mission was founded for its source of bear meat, it eventually developed some agriculture, including a large vineyard.

After secularization the town of San Luis Obispo continued to grow. The mission church served as a local parish church. The mission was eventually restored in the 1930's.


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