Established: September 8, 1771
By: Father Pedro Cambon
Order: 4th of the 21 missions
Location: 9 miles East of Central Los Angeles
Named for: St. Gabriel Arcangel
Interesting Fact: Its largest bell weighs 2000 pounds or 1 ton.
My mission is the wonderful San Gabriel it is the 4th mission and was established in 1771. It was nicknamed "Queen of California Agriculture." Fray Cambon and Somera founded it. It is built in the San Miguel Valley near the L.A. area. The mission is named after a person named Gabriel Archangel. They built it there because there was good land for crops, a river near by, great timber, and lots of Native Americans villages near by.
At mission San Gabriel, there are many things to see. The church is humungous 150ft. long by 27ft. wide. It is made of stone and concrete, but because of low supplies the rest of the mission is made out of mud bricks (adobe bricks). The church roof is now shingles. They also had a gorgeous bell tower which had six bells. It is hard to believe in 1834 the mission people reported to having 2,333 fruit trees. One year a hedge bore over 37,000 bushels of prickly pear fruit. They also had a 170 acre vineyard which produced 50,000 gallons of wine a year. They claimed they could make their own fences out of branches from trees while the tree was still living. They also claimed to having 20,000 livestock.
Mission San Gabriel was in use for a long time, 63 years! It is now owned by the Claretian Missionary Fathers. It took a lot of damage in the 1987 earthquake. That left cracks in the roof and so much structural damage that they had the church and visitors museum closed. It has been repaired now and the church is still in use. Can you believe it was built 229 years ago.