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History 1700s

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1771 - San Gabriel Mission

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Inside The Mission

Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
By all accounts the mission got its start in September 1771. It was water that brought people to Pasadena. For thousands of years Native Americans had settled within an easy walk of today’s Arroyo Seco (“dry stream”) whose source is the winter snows and rain of the San Gabriel Mountains. The stream’s flow was capricious, however, bringing winter floods yet in the late summer, its trickle sometimes never found its way to the Los Angeles River, much less the Pacific Ocean 25 miles beyond. Still, it was that stream’s water that also attracted Spanish settlement in the late 1700s. With the Spanish came the Mission System whereby natives were converted and promptly put to work growing food.

San Gabriel Mission District Map
This document contains a detailed map of the district of the mission.

The San Gabriel Mission celebrates 240 years of religion, culture and turmoil
Archeological studies show that at least 8,000 years ago the native Tongva tribe settled the San Gabriel Valley and populated most of the L.A. basin. The Tongva influence extended to parts of Orange County as well as the islands of Santa Catalina, San Nicholas, San Clemente and Santa Barbara.

San Gabriel dig site offers new insight into California History
Archaeologists have a chance to uncover more information about the story of Chapman's Mill and other important mission and Native American artifacts buried just across the street from today's mission building.

San Gabriel Mission Official Website
See the mass schedule and visit their private catholic school website.

Crucifix at San Gabriel mission rises again
The San Gabriel Mission's historic crucifix, which was significantly damaged after toppling down during last year's windstorm, returns Thursday, March 22, 2012 after being restored by TerriLee Holm, a master faux finisher, Tom Trefethen and his sister Tina, a design engineer who did the metal fabrication on the crucifix. The mission will hold a re-dedication on Good Friday.

Historic San Gabriel Mission artifact to be put on display
Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE) is planning to relocate and restore the Chapman Mill to Plaza Park across from San Gabriel City Hall and San Gabriel Mission as part of the San Gabriel Trench project. The scope of the project is to lower the railroad tracks into a 30-foot ditch to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow May 11, 2012. The Chapman Mill was connected by a series of ditches dug by Native Americans in 1820 and extended to natural springs in the foothills.


Current Issues

Mission Impossible: Native San Gabriel Valley tribes seek U.S. recognition
The Native American culture of Andy Salas' ancestors dominated the San Gabriel Valley long before Junipero Serra set foot in California, but to the U.S. government, Salas' tribe, the Gabrieleno, doesn't exist. (6/3/2013) Courtesy of the Pasadena Star News