In and Around the Missions Museum

The models are not the only thing in the museum. The statue of Saint Serra and panels from Mission San Francisco de Asís are two other major displays.

Saint Serra
2:46pm 2/19/2012
San Francisco Mission Panels
2:56pm 2/19/2012

The statue of Saint Serra is supposed to be life-sized. It is, however, rather tall and the Hannon statues of Saint Serra are also supposed to be life-sized and depict him as rather short. Seeing the remains of the original wooden coffin used to bury Saint Serra at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo I’m inclined to believe that he was shorter than the statue shown here. Either way, it’s still a nice statue, crafted to be more life-like than most.

The stained glass panels were originally housed in Mission San Francisco de Asís prior to the 1906 earthquake.


Be certain to walk around the outside of the museum and then past the pond to the right as you exit the museum. As you go around you might encounter some local animals and behind the museum is an open area with a mission bell that you can ring.

Picture taken 3:13pm 19 Feb 2012
Behind the Museum
Picture taken 3:14pm 19 Feb 2012
Picture taken 3:14pm 19 Feb 2012

After exploring behind the museum go back out front and take a short walk down the road to the right. Use the paths through and around the pond for a scenic walk. You will come upon a small adobe building…

PIcture taken 3:08pm 19 Feb 2012

This Chapel was constructed using 1,200 adobe bricks from Mission San Francisco Solano. After General Mariano Vallejo was assigned to Sonoma in 1834 he used bricks from the Mission Church to build his and his brother’s homes (La Casa Grande and what became The Swiss Hotel). After a 1989 earthquake, the hotel was retrofitted for earthquake and the Mission bricks were saved for other historic uses. One of those uses was to build this small Chapel. The doors to the Chapel were made by grape field laborers under the guidance of Mr. Bob Cannard, a Sonoma County Historian. This Chapel sits on the spot that Mission San Francisco Solano was originally supposed to be established.

On my visit, the sun was in a nice position to take a nice backlit photo of the bell and tower…

Bell Tower
Picture taken 3:09pm 19 Feb 2012

A bit further on, at the south end of the main parking area, you will find a commemorative cross that was dedicated 29 September 2001. It is a replica, made using distressed redwood by grape field laborers, of the Holy Cross erected 4 July 1823 by Padre Altimira (see the Mission Sonoma history page for more information).

Memorial Cross
Picture taken 3:10pm 19 Feb 2012

The top sign says: “Father Altimira raised the Cross on this site on July 4, 1823 and dedicated the Mission San Francisco Solano.”

The plaque below says…

SOLANO DE SONOMAOn this site, 4 July 1823, Padre Altimira, Lt. Castro and 19 armed men erected a cross, set a camp Altar, consecrated the ground with a Mass and fired a volley. Oline Ranch was then used as a preliminary scouting site and departure point for Northern California exploration. Coast Miwoks would later build a permanent Mission in Sonoma. Bricks used in the nearby shrine are from Sonoma Mission; the 21st and last of the California missions.

Dedicated September 29, 2001 O.Y. 6006
by Capitulus Redivivus Yerba Buena Number One
Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampsus Vitus
Credo Quia Absurdum