"Mission of San Antonio de Padua" Jolon by grandmaR

Jolon Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 94 photos

The main thing of interest in this area is the Mission, which is 5 miles from Jolon.

Driving directions: From Los Angeles - drive 300 miles north on Hiway 101. Take the exit marked Jolon Road (G18). There is also a historical sign announcing this exit.

Once on Jolon Road, travel 22 miles. Take a left on Mission Creek Road. You will travel through the Fort Hunter Liggett military base entrance gate. Please continue 5 miles. The Mission is on your left with a well-marked sign.

Directions from San Francisco are under the "Off the Beaten Track" tips

We drove down Big Sur road one Sunday, and I saw that there was a road up into the mountains so in order not to backtrack we wound our way up to this mission. It isn't visited very much as it is off the beaten track. For more information see the "Off the Beaten Track" tip.

1771 Padre Junipero Serra entered the Valley of the Oaks, to found Mission San Antonio de Padua. In the secluded sierra district, Padres Serra, Pieras and Sitjar journeyed to establish the third mission in California. The date was July 14, 1771. Near the river San Antonio, on the branches of an oak tree, the bells were hung for the first time.
1773 The site of the Mission was changed from the original location to a place farther up Los Robles Valley. By the end of 1773, workshops, a small church and dwellings were established at the new site. The construction was of adobe brick. Some houses of tules and wood were set up to accommodate the soldier and converts who now numbered about 163.
1810 The final church structure was started. Construction progressed rapidly. The large timbers used for the ceiling were floated down from the mountains on the waters of the San Antonio River. The church was finally blessed in the year 1813. It is the same church building which stands reconstructed today.
1834 The beginning of the period of secularization. San Antonio becomes government property. Governor Figueroa on November 4, 1834 issued the final proclamation that took Mission San Antonio from the mission padres and placed the entire establishment under civil jurisdiction. At this time it began to fall into a state of neglect.
1863 The U.S. Land Commission formally returns Mission Lands (c. 33 acres) to the Church on May 31. Abraham Lincoln signed the decree for this return.
1883 The Mission is abandoned. Tiles are taken from the roof. Exposed to the weather, the walls crumble. Only walls of the church itself still stand, along with the brick facade and rows of brick arches along the front corridor.
1903-1908 Public spirited citizens began a limited restoration of the mission. An earthquake destroyed much of what they had done, but the project was begun over again.
1928 Eventually, 84 years after the last original missionary padre left, the Franciscans come back to their beloved San Antonio.
1948-49 Franciscans rebuild the Mission as a training school for brothers of the order. Work continues through the 1950's

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Very Old and Very Off the Beaten Track
  • Last visit to Jolon: Jan 1965
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2007 at 12:07 AM

    It seems that few of us VT members have taken the drive out to this mission which stands in it's original natural setting.


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