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Navigation for San Francisco de Asís:

You enter the cemetery from the rear. Walk around and examine everything as it is an interesting place to see much history. The cemetery was originally much larger than its present boundaries, running west almost to Church Street and north into what is today 16th Street. It was reduced in various stages, starting with the extension of 16th Street through the former Mission grounds in 1889, and later by the construction of the Mission Dolores Basilica Center and the Chancery Building of the Archdiocese of San Francisco in the 1950s. Some remains were reburied on-site in a mass grave, while others were relocated to various Bay Area cemeteries. Today, most of the former cemetery grounds are covered by a paved playground behind the Mission Dolores School. The cemetery that currently remains underwent a careful restoration in the mid-1990s.

One of the first things you notice is a large statue of Blessed Serra. It stands in about the middle of the grounds. (Click on pictures with the expand graphic to enlarge the picture in a lightbox where you can also start a slide show.)

Blessed SerraExpand
Picture taken 12:28pm 20 Feb 2012

If you walk straight out on the pathway from the patio and then look toward the street this is the view you will see...

Cemetery Looking Toward Street
Picture taken 12:33pm 20 Feb 2012

Turn around and look toward the back and here is the view...

Cemetery Toward the Back
Picture taken 12:34pm 20 Feb 2012

Now, we'll take a closer look at a few of the exhibits and gravesites.

Walk around the edge of the cemetery and along the Church you will find some memorial plaques...
Memorial PlaqueExpand
Picture taken 12:25pm 20 Feb 2012

La Misión San Francisco de Asís

Mission Dolores
San Francisco Historical Monument Number 1

La paz y bien - Peace and Goodness
Founded in 1776 by Fray Francisco Palóu, OFM and built by people of the Chlone Nation in the Village of Chutchui 1788-1791.
To them we pay honor as the funders and first builders of this community and church.

This plaque commemorates the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the Mission and Presidio of San Francisco de Asís.

Dedicated by:
The Native Sons of the Golden West - June 2001
William E. Hargis, Grand President

Fray Francisco Palou, O.F.M
C. 1722 - 1789

Founder of this Mission of San Francisco de Asis (Dolores) distinguished sone of Spain: Missionary in the Sierra Gorda, Lower California and at Carmel, president of Missions in Mexico and California, zealous missionary, able administrator, resourceful pioneer; chosen companion and biographer of Junipero Serra.

First historian of California
Placed by California Historical Society
October 4, 1938

Memorial PlaqueExpand
Picture taken 12:29pm 20 Feb 2012
In the middle front of the cemetery is an area dedicated to the many Indian people buried there. It has an example of the reed-based homes they lived in. It is designed to represent those that might have been used by the Ohline Nation in the Village of Chutchui, the builders of the Mission. A wooden headstone describing one of the families buried in the cemetery is located in the same area. One of the on-going projects at the Mission is to trace Indian families through the Mission records. Some of the results show here and you probably noted the family tree on the wall in the museum.
Indian HomeExpand
Picture taken 12:31pm 20 Feb 2012
Picture taken 12:31pm 20 Feb 2012

In 2003, this is how the sundial looked...

As with many Mission cemeteries there is a sundial in this one. Unfortunately it has been broken. But, the irony in the (highlighted in yellow by me) Latin phrase carved in it struck me as funny. Time, here, has indeed flown.[smile]
Tempus Fugit
Picture taken 1:40pm 31 Aug 2003

It was nice to see that in 2012 it had been fully restored...

Picture taken 12:36pm 20 Feb 2012

Arguello GravesiteExpand
Picture taken 1:40pm 31 Aug 2003

Gift Shop DoorExpand
Picture taken 12:32pm 20 Feb 2012

As you approach the exit through the gift shop look for this particular gravesite along the side of the Church. Here is buried Luís Antonio Argüello, one of the first of the Mexican Governors of Alta California. He served from 1822 to 1825.

Arguello TombstoneExpand
Picture taken 1:40pm 31 Aug 2003

While this is generally the end of the tour, explore a bit around the walls and exterior...Trail

Navigation for Mission San Francisco de Asís:

Mission Home :: History :: Inside Church :: Basilica :: Museum :: Cemetery :: Outside

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Copyright © 2003-2012 Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved
Pray the rosary for peace!