(NPS photo - Kodak DX3900)
Since its creation in 1978, the park has acquired many acres of property to restore the landscape and protect the cultural resources. Much of this land was occupied by modern homesteads in various stages of use and was heavily disturbed. The park has restored most of the areas acquired by removing buildings and debris. This is done to recreate the appearance of the landscape during the Spanish colonial period and for health and safety purposes.
Did You Know?
that Spanish missions were not churches? They were Indian towns, with the church as the focus, where, in the 1700s, the native people were learning to become Spanish citizens. In order to become a citizen, they had to be Catholic; that is why the King of Spain sent missionaries to acculturate them.