Mission San Antonio Museum Page 1

The museum at this Mission is outstanding in its breadth of coverage and display notes which explain things in terms that help the youngest to oldest of viewers. For display here I’ve decided to put the pictures into various categories on this and the following page rather than doing a walk-through type of display where the pictures would be mixed.

Miscellaneous Displays

Picture of an original Mission pear tree planted in 1803. Unfortunately, it died in 1970 at 166 years old. Pears from the tree were 1 to 1.5 pounds each with a circumference of almost a foot while the tree was producing.

Picture taken 3:20pm 9 Mar 2005

Mission tiles were made of clay and fired in a kiln to make them hard and water resistant. The floor tiles you see here were uncovered during excavations on the Neophyte dormitory. Floor tiles were called ladrillos and were made in a wooden form. The curved roof tiles are called tejas and are formed using a wooden form before firing. The pipes (note how the small end fits into the large end so water can flow from pipe to pipe without leaking) were formed on a potter’s wheel. They’re not seen in the pictures but if you look closely at the tiles you can see finger marks.

Picture taken 3:20pm 9 Mar 2005

The vestments shown here date from the 18th century and are of the type used by Franciscian Friars.

Picture taken 3:15pm 9 Mar 2005

Kitchen and Shop

The kitchen display is in a really dark room behind a closed door with glass in it. So, I have to apologize in advance for the picture below as there is much digital manipulation in order to bring out any of the detail. Also, the picture is a stich of four different pictures digitally combined to produce the one picture of the kitchen display.

Picture taken 3:30pm 9 Mar 2005

Other displays show various work rooms and areas such as the bellows-assisted fireplace designed for heating various items to high temperatures. This could be part of a blacksmith’s shop

Picture taken 3:25pm 9 Mar 2005


Music was important to the Missions. These displays show some of the various instruments and teaching methods used. The cabinet contains a violin circa 1875 on the top shelf and drums surrounding a harp on the bottom shelf. The drums were used in the original Mission band. The hand painted on the wall shows some of the ways musical notation and the scales was taught to the Indians.

Picture taken 3:25pm 9 Mar 2005

Picture taken 3:25pm 9 Mar 2005

Below is a choir book with sheepskin parchment pages about 200 years old. The book uses a cowhide binding with metal clasps.

Picture taken 3:35pm 9 Mar 2005