Founded in 1776 by Father Lasuen and named for Giovanni da Capistrano, a 15th century theologian.
The Chapel is the oldest building in California still in use.
More than 2,000 former inhabitants (mostly natives) are buried here.
After the 1812 earthquake, the Mission started to decline and was finally sold in 1845 where it became private ranch property of the Forster family for 20 years.
The United States won the Mexican American War in 1848, and California was declared a state in 1850. Many California dioceses ad parishioners petitioned the government to have mission buildings and lands returned to the church.
In 1865, three weeks before his death, President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation that restored ownership of the Mission to the Roman Catholic Church.
Of the many display rooms, seeing Lincoln’s signature was most rewarding.
We also enjoyed the many plants that were blooming.