Santa Cruz Mission

The Santa Cruz Mission was the 12th mission, founded on September 25, 1791.

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The Santa Cruz Mission is located at Emmet and School Streets in Santa Cruz, California.


The Mission

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The Santa Cruz Mission was founded on September 25, 1791. The mission construction was completed in 1795. Unfortunately, the mission had many problems.

The pueblo of Branciforte was set up near the mission. It was created hold criminals exciled from Mexico. The town became a center for thieves and smugglers. This had a corrupting influence on the natives and created a serious conflict between the mission and the town.

In 1805, one of the padres from the mission was murdered. A few years later the pirate Bouchard threatened the mission, forcing the padres into the hills for safety. While the padres were gone, men from the town stole the valuables from the mission. This started the mission on the road to failure.

An earthquake damaged the mission in 1825. Shortly after the repairs were complete, a flood in 1830 caused several buildings to collapse. An earthquake in 1857 finally destroyed the mission, leaving only the soldiers quarters standing.

In 1858 a simple wooden church was built for use as a local parish. In 1931 a small chapel was built based on sketches of the original church.


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