Santa Paula Asistencia

Some time after the founding of the San Buenaventura Mission the padres made their way up the river to what is now Santa Paula and established an Asistencia at a spot where the Portola expedition had previously stopped and documented. Little is known about this Asistencia and nothing of it is left today. What you see today is a marker in a park by the Santa Paula Boys and Girls Club, 1400 block of Harvard Blvd, Santa Paula ( at the east end of town).

Santa Paula Asistencia Location

Picture taken 2:38pm 28 Sep 2011

The marker is thought to be sitting on the site of the Asistencia and contains two information plaques; one badly damaged to the point where it is virtually unreadable.

Santa Paula Asistencia Plaque

Picture taken 2:37pm 28 Sep 2011

Santa Paula Asistencia Information

Picture taken 2:37pm 28 Sep 2011

On August 13, 1769

Reaching the junction of the Arroyo Mupu with the river, the place was named the Holy Martyrs, Ipólito and Casiano. Upon founding the Mission of San Buenaventura, the priests established here an Asistencia and christened it Santa Paula. There they frequently held services for the conversion of the Mupu Indians.

Santa Paula Asistencia Destroyed Plaque

Picture taken 2:37pm 28 Sep 2011

Dedicated October(?) AD 195?

[unreadable due to vandals]

Note the text of the top plaque and read it with care. One’s first impression is that the Asistencia was established August 13, 1769. This, of course, is not possible since the mission system was just getting started then with San Diego de Alcalá only being established in July of 1769. The date stated is, instead, a date that the Portola expedition, coming up the state from San Diego, stopped at this location (most sources have them stopping here on August 11 but give no length of stay so the date may be accurate, just misleading). They documented the location and named the site and only later, after a mission was established in Ventura, was the Asistencia established here. I’ve found no specific date as to when that might have been but it had to be after March of 1782.