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Mission San Francisco Solano

Mission San Francisco Solano was founded on July 4, 1823 by Father Jose Altimira, the twenty-first and last of the California mission chain. It was named for St. Francis Solano[?], missionary to the Indians of Peru. It is located in Sonoma, California.

During the years the mission was active, General Mariano Vallejo[?] resided in the area. His job was keep an eye on the Russians at their settlement at nearby Fort Ross[?]. Vallejo helped to build the town of Sonoma and even paid for the rebuilding of the small mission chapel. There were always soldiers and settlers in the town of Sonoma during the Mexican period.

By 1839 the mission was in ruins and no one lived there. Through the years the mission was used as a blacksmith's shop and later as a saloon. It was also used as a barn and a storeroom. In 1846, across from the mission a group of American settlers raised a flag and claimed the land for the California Republic[?]. The settlers took over the town and put Mariano Vallejo in prison. (See the Bear Flag Revolt[?].) During this time no one wanted the mission; it was sold to a man who used the chapel entrance as a saloon and stored his liquor and hay in the chapel.

In 1903 the Historic Landmark League bought the remains of Mission San Fransico Solano. Restoration was completed in 1913. Today the mission is part of the Sonoma State Historic Park[?]. It is open to visitors and has a small museum located in the padres' quarters.

See also: California mission



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