Just 1.5 hours up the highway from us here in Los Angeles, the Santa Barbara Mission gardens are as welcoming today as they were back in 1917 when this photo was taken. Described as the “Queen of the Missions”, Santa Barbara has been nearly destroyed several times in its long history. Earthquakes on 1812 and 1925 threatened to bring down its stone walls and, in some cases, succeeded.

The mission gardens are a cool respite on a hot Southern Californian day and while there are few friars these days, the building and gardens continue their long tenure on the hill top to the north of the city.

“Mission Santa Barbara, also known as Santa Barbara Mission, is a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order near present-day Santa Barbara, California. It was founded by Padre Fermín Lasuén on December 4, 1786, the feast day of Saint Barbara, as the tenth mission for the religious conversion of the indigenous local Chumash—Barbareño tribe of Native American people. The mission is the namesake of the city of Santa Barbara as well as Santa Barbara County.

The Mission grounds occupy a rise between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, and were consecrated by Father Fermín Lasuén, who had taken over the presidency of the California mission chain upon the death of Father Presidente Junípero Serra. Mission Santa Barbara is the only mission to remain under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars since its founding, and today is a parish church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.” – Wikipedia

Santa Barbara Mission, 2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara, California. (LOC)

Santa Barbara Mission, 2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara, California. (LOC)

Johnston, Frances Benjamin,, 1864-1952,, photographer.

[Santa Barbara Mission, 2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara, California. Friar in the garden court]

[1917 spring]

1 photograph : glass lantern slide, hand-colored ; 3.25 x 4 in.

Site History. Built for Father Antonio Paterna, 18th century, rebuilt from 1815. Landscape: Junipero Serrra; Francisco de Lasuén. Today: Extant.
Slide used with lecture “California Gardens.”
Title, date, and subject information provided by Sam Watters, 2011.
Forms part of: Garden and historic house lecture series in the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress).
Published in Gardens for a Beautiful America / Sam Watters. New York: Acanthus Press, 2012. Frontispiece plate for Gardens of the West section.

Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.

Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA,hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

Higher resolution image is available (Persistent URL): hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.16051

Call Number: LC-J717-X97- 52

Previously in Garden History: