Established: March 31, 1782
By: Father Junipero Serra
Location: 70 miles North of Los Angeles
Named: For St. Bonaventura
Interesting Fact: The ranches included some tropical fruits that are usually found in South America including bananas, coconuts, and figs.
Mission San Buenaventura was built in 1782. It was the 9th mission and the last one founded by Father Junipéro Serra. Mission San Buenaventura is located in Ventura, California. It is named after Saint Bonaventura. And that is how it all started.
The church's dimensions are 154ft x 40ft. The church was made of adobe bricks and stone. It had a tile roof and floors. Some special features are the blue and white tile fountain out in front and the bell tower with 5 bells. The bell tower was unusual because it was not symmetrical. The top bell was made in Paris, France dated 1956.
Specialties and differences were memorable to Mission San Buenaventura. At most misions each had a different Indian tribe. The Chumash lived at Mission San Buenaventura. The Chumash took care of cattle, sheep, horses, oxen, mules, burros, chickens, pigs, and goats. They gathered wild fruits and nuts. The mission had vineyards, orchards, and grain fields. The Chumash also gathered bananas, coconuts, figs, and sugarcane. Pears were a specialty. The Indians were not allowed to leave the mission grounds. If they tried to run away the Padres would send the Soldiers after them. If the Indians were caught by the Soldiers they would be whipped or put in chains.
Mission San Buenaventura was in use from 1782 until 1862. Today Mission San Buenaventura is a museum. The church is all that remains of the mission compounds. The fields and orchards are now busy streets and the cemetary is an Elementry School. The city of Ventura placed a Plaza across from the church entrance and the view of the ocean is preserved.