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Workshop Interior

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Navigation for La Purísima Concepción:

The main entrance to the soldier's barracks is at the end of the workshop building closest to the church. You can also enter from the sides through the Corporal's quarters if that is easier for you.


Each mission had a few soldiers stationed at the mission to provide protection and escort duty (contrary to popular belief the padre's rarely traveled alone). The soldiers were housed in a large barracks room with areas for each defined by markings on the wall. Individual belongs were hung on the wall behind the soldier's cot. I'm told that gambling often caused these belongings to frequently move along the wall[Smile].

Picture taken 12:05pm 21 Jul 2001

Each garrison had a corporal in command. The corporal and his family were given quarters near the soldiers. At this Mission the corporal's quarters contained the family beds and a kitchen for meals.

Corporal quarters
Picture taken 12:05pm 21 Jul 2001

Corporal quarters
Picture taken 12:05pm 21 Jul 2001


Leather work was a very important part of mission life. In addition to using hides as a trading currency, the missions used leather thongs to hold the buildings together (more on that later in the tour). And, of course, saddles and gear for the horses had to be made.

Picture taken 1:05pm 21 Jul 2001

We've already seen how important candles are to the Mission. The docent display showed making individual candles. So many where needed, however, that the process was semi-automated. Wicks were attached to the spokes of a wheel. The wheel was then turned so the wicks passed over a tub of melted tallow. The spoke was lowered to dip the wicks and then turned to allow the layer of tallow to solidify while the next spoke was dipped into the wax. Many candles could be made at the same time this way.

Picture taken 2:20pm 21 Jul 2001

Woodworking was another skill needed at the missions. Wood played a large role in construction of buildings as well as functional items for hauling goods. The carpenter's shop was the center for this activity.

Picture taken 12:45pm 21 Jul 2001

Finally, weaving was another important trade performed at the missions. Here you see two methods of making yarn out of wool fibers. On the left is the manual method where the spindle is spun and drops by gravity. Yard is formed as the fibers combine due to the spinning action. On the right, the same process produces yarn using a wheel to do the spinning.

Spinning yarn
Picture taken
12:50pm 21 Jul 2001

Spinning yarn
Picture taken 
12:50pm 21 Jul 2001

Once you have yarn, the next step is to use a loom to weave that yarn into blankets, clothes, and other items. Note that the loom likely came directly from the carpentry shop!

Picture taken 12:50pm 21 Jul 2001

That completes the tour of the workshop area.

Continue on to the monastery where the padre's lived...Trail

Navigation for Mission La Purísima Concepción:

Mission Home :: History :: 1st Mission :: Map :: Corral Area :: Cemetery :: Church :: Workshop :: Courtyard :: Workshop Interior :: Monastery :: Monastery Interior :: Chapel :: Kitchen :: Blacksmith :: Village & Garden

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Copyright © 2002 Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved
Pray the rosary for peace!