Thursday, August 4, 2011

Site of Mission Vieja

Los Angeles County, May 25, 1995

Just off the 60 freeway near the 605 interchange, this landmark takes us to Montebello and the edge of a park known as the Bosque Del Rio Hondo. The five acre park is part of the 277 acre Whittier Narrows Recreation Area and left in its natural state as wetlands in a floodplain, and that tendency to flood was the reason they moved the mission to its present site San Gabriel in 1775.

It’s rare to see a California state landmark in tablet form and looking more like a tombstone than a marker, but what the heck, it was 1921 and 14 years away from becoming one.  

1921 dedication

It is remarkable how little known is the fact that the Mission San Gabriel was not founded in its current location. Although the mission has been at its San Gabriel site since about 1775, it began in the Whittier Narrows near South El Monte, Montebello and Pico Rivera. A plaque erected by Walter P. Temple and commemorating the founding of the mission on the 150th anniversary in 1921. The site, at the corner of San Gabriel Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue in Montebello, was approved in 1935 as California State Landmark 161. - Paul R. Spitzzeri (Montebello Historical Society)

NO. 161 SITE OF MISSION VIEJA - 'Mission Vieja,' Old Mission, was the name given to the first buildings erected, and later abandoned, by the fathers for Mission San Gabriel Arcángel. The permanent buildings for the mission were located about five miles distant.
Location: SW corner N San Gabriel Blvd and N Lincoln Ave, Montebello
Google 34.030932,-118.073099

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