California Mission History

The Spanish Missions are an integral part of California’s history, but there are many other parts to the state’s story.  Follow the links below to learn more!

Adobe Construction – In a very real sense, the humble adobe brick made the California missions possible.

Although other building materials were used when available – wood for doors, roof frames, and outbuildings, or stone for chapels – adobe was available almost everywhere. Adobe had the additional advantage of being cheap, although making and building with adobe bricks required a great deal of labor.

The Bear Flag Republic – The Bear Flag Revolt in 1848 was a popular uprising of settlers in Sonoma, California, against the Mexican government, which at that time controlled California.

California Gold Rush – The California gold rush was triggered by the discovery of gold by John Sutter on January 24, 1848. The subsequent influx of gold seekers (the “49ers”) in 1849 transformed California.

el-camino-real-bell-san-fernandoEl Camino Real – “the Royal Road” – is inextricably linked to the history of California’s missions.  The 600-mile trail, stretching from Mission San Diego de Alcalá in San Diego to Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma, was created by the Spanish to link the 21 California missions and the associated settlements and presidios.

Fort Ross – Just as the Spanish Empire spread across the Atlantic to the new world, the Russian Empire expanded across Siberia and the Pacific. The two spheres intersected, briefly, on the North Coast of California. The Fort Ross settlement was the southernmost outpost of the Russian Empire on the North American continent.