University of Southern California Digital Library > California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960 > Distant view of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, looking at the south wing of the mission, 1888

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Title
Distant view of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, looking at the south wing of the mission, 1888
Creator
Pierce, C.C. (Charles C.), 1861-1946
Date Created and/or Issued
1888
Publication Information
University of Southern California. Libraries
Contributing Institution
University of Southern California Digital Library
Collection
California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960
Rights Information
Doheny Memorial Library, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0189
Public Domain. Release under the CC BY Attribution license--http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/--Credit both “University of Southern California. Libraries” and “California Historical Society” as the source. Digitally reproduced by the USC Digital Library; From the California Historical Society Collection at the University of Southern California
Send requests to address or e-mail given
USC Libraries Special Collections
specol@usc.edu
Description
Photograph of a distant view of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, looking at the south wing of the mission, 1888. The mission is situated on an area elevated from the level of the street and sidewalk in front of it with a stonewall which separates the mission from the street. Bells are hanging in the square bell tower with peaked roof. Along the street are gated residential homes(?). A man is walking along the sidewalk (at right). Shadows cast by the trees in the foreground shade the street.
"This mission marks the halfway point in the California mission chain. It is located near the Valley of the Bears where the Spanish had found such a large population of bears they were able to keep other missions from near starvation by hunting the bears and sending the meat to the missions. Since there were so many friendly Native Americans in the area, Fr. Serra chose this location for his next mission. Although not all of the natives were friendly. Just south of the mission were tribes that were determined to drive the white men out of the area. They would shoot burning arrows into the dry tinder buildings that would quickly spread to other buildings causing considerable damage and setbacks for the missionaries. Finally, recalling the fire resistant Spanish tile roofs of their homeland, the missionaries began to manufacture similar clay tiles. The red clay was made in pits, and then spread over wooden models to be dried in the sun. They were then baked in a kiln. These were the first roof tiles made in California. Not only were they a protection against the fire raids, they were waterproof, thereby keeping the interiors dry and protecting the adobe walls from the rain. These were eventually used in all future mission buildings built in California. Similar red tile roofs are seen today throughout California." -- unknown author (part 1 of 2). "Secularization, in 1834, had devastating effects on the mission and its inhabitants. The livestock was driven off and the buildings were allowed to deteriorate to such a state that when it was finally sold in 1845 it brought only $510 - a fraction of its earlier value. There was little left of the mission when it was returned to the church in 1859. Then, in 1868, the buildings were remodeled with white painted siding and used as a parish church for the flourishing town in the area. At one time there was even a New England steeple added to the church. Eventually, in 1934, the steeple and siding were removed, and the church's earlier appearance was restored." -- unknown author (part 2 of 2).
Type
image
Format
1 photograph : photoprint, b&w
26 x 21 cm.
photographic prints
photographs
Identifier
chs-m17522
USC-1-1-1-14090 [Legacy record ID]
CHS-5919
http://doi.org/10.25549/chs-m17522
http://thumbnails.digitallibrary.usc.edu/CHS-5919.jpg
Subject
Buildings
Missions, Spanish
Streets
Missions--Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Mission
Religious facilities
Time Period
1888
Place
California
San Luis Obispo
USA
Source
1-138-32 [Microfiche number]
5919 [Accession number]
CHS-5919 [Call number]
California Historical Society [Contributing entity]
Relation
California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960
Title Insurance and Trust, and C.C. Pierce Photography Collection, 1860-1960
USC
chs-m265

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