It seems like just last week I blogged with you all … well it was! But if you can stand me one more day, I’m going to continue along the El Camino Real and write about another Mission I visited not long ago.
My youngest granddaughter came home from school and said she had an end-of-the-year school project and needed my help. She had to select a mission and write about its history, as well as draw pictures. Of course the Mission La Purisima was the first one to come to mind, but as she reminded me, anybody could drive the two or three miles to get a bird’s eye view. The next choice is where we went every Wednesday to the market in Solvang … Mission Santa Inez. It was a great choice, so we rounded up as many grands who wanted to go and my daughter and I headed towards Solvang. We could kill three birds with one stone, go to the market, go to our favorite winery while the kids went to the ice cream shop, and visit the Mission for Addison’s project. What a wonderful outing!
But first some history. Mission Santa Inez was founded in September 1804, and was known for their excellency in saddle making. Today the Mission is fairly well dwarfed by the tourist town of Solvang. This is one of the most beautiful Missions I’ve visited, but like the others I’ve written about, it has folklore to match it’s magnificence!
One story tells of a dark vampire that once inhabited the church when it was in ruin. The tale says that there is a creature that will suck the blood from the toes of any hapless stranger who sleeps the night in the chapel and has the bad luck to remove his shoes. Maybe the tale has its origin in the owls who once perched in the building long ago. Maybe not. Maybe it’s just a myth!
Another legend caught my attention because it tells that the statue of San Antonio, that was brought by the Spanish padres, is somehow blessed and has the power to grant one prayer of an unselfish nature.
This quiet and beautiful place wasn’t always so peaceful, for it was here in 1824 that the Great Revolt started. The Chumash native converts grew tired of the cruel treatment afforded them by the Spanish soldiers, and revolted in a bloody rampage which lasted a month. According to folklore, A Chumash woman warned the padres of the uprising saving many lives. As the legend goes, she was buried under the alter in a special site reserved for padres and political leaders. Maybe it is this woman who haunts the grounds of the old church. Some say they feel her presence near the old laundry basin. It is said that tape recordings made at the cemetery and laundry area always seems to pick up stray whispers and the mournful wail of a Native American flute.
The site is calm now, but if its memories do replay to the visitor, this should be a very haunted site indeed.
Now for where Addison and I worked. This is the backside of the Mission. We sat on the wishing well and I helped her vocalize the mission, without the ghosts, but it’s history. She did a fantastically beautiful drawing from this view. She’s like her PawPa, an artist at heart. I lost five dollars in coins to the wishing well.
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my visit to California a few months ago. Stick with me because I’m still going to revisit the Mission La Purisima and tell you about my college grandson’s real adventure with what could have been a ghost. I’ll let you all decide.
And, yes we all had ice cream, got some beautiful vegetables along with strawberries, blueberries, and some wonderful mulberries, as well as a couple of bouquets of flowers and headed home … no Lucas and Lewellen Tasting Room for us that day.
To two readers who leave a comment, I’ll put your names in one of my
lady Stetson hats direct from Solvang and you can select
your choice of one of my eBooks from Amazon.
Hugs from Texas to all you all, Phyliss