Mission San Antonio Museum Page 2

Continuing with the views of various museum displays…

Textile Production

The weaving workshop at a Mission was generally situated near the quarters of the unmarried women (and widows). Several steps were necessary to go from the animal to a finished product. These steps are illustrated in various displays at the Mission…

  • Sheer the sheep to get to wool.
  • Wash and rinse the shorn wool.
  • Spin the wool into yarn.
  • Use vegetable and mineral dyes and mordants (fixing agents) to color the yarn various colors.
    • Red onion skin (Allium), strange as it seems, produced a green shade.
    • Rabbit brush (Chrysothamnus) produced a dull yellow.
    • Brown onion skin (Allium) produced a light tan.
    • Mt. Mahogany (Cercocarpus) produced a maroon.
    • Juniper Root (Juniperus) produced a sort of purple.
    • Mistletoe (Arceuthobium) produced a dark green.
    • Rubber plant (Psilostrophe) produced a sort of ecru.
    • Holly root (Berperis) produced a dark color similar to black
    • …and many others to include oak bark (Quercus), ground lichen, snake weed (Gutierrezia), Indian paint brush (Castilleja), cliffrose (Cowania), sage brush (Artemisia), brigham tea (Ephedra), gooseberry (Ribes) , and more. [Note: The above is a general list, not a specific list for this Mission or even California as a whole.]
  • Put the yarn on a loom to make textiles.

Picture taken 3:20pm 9 Mar 2005

Picture taken 3:20pm 9 Mar 2005

Work Models

This model shows how lumber was produced at a Mission. Logs would be stripped of their bark and squared up. The large, square log would then be mounted on an elevated form so a rip saw could be used to cut strips of lumber from the log. Periodically, as the saw progressed, the log would be moved on the form until a single plank had been sawn. The process was then repeated.


Picture taken 3:20pm 9 Mar 2005

Olive oil was a prime product of the Missions. These two models show the stages in preparing the oil. After harvest the olives would first be crushed using a large stone wheel turned around an axle by either people or a donkey. Once crushed, the olives were placed into a press; usually in layers divided by separators. The press would be screwed down to put the crushed olives under extreme pressure and the oil would drain out and be collected. [Note: Today, the first pressing is generally called Extra Virgin Olive Oil while subsequent pressings just Olive Oil. The first pressing usually has more flavor and body.]

Picture taken 3:20pm 9 Mar 2005

Picture taken 3:20pm 9 Mar 2005

Below is a model of the Mission well called Noria (color added to simulate water in the reservoir). The buckets were mounted to a strap that wound around a large wheel. The strap was long enough to dip the buckets into the water in the well. Two people would turn the wheel and draw water up from the well and dump it into the reservoir.


Picture taken 3:20pm 9 Mar 2005

Wine Making/Storage Area

Don’t bypass this little door when you come to it. Go through, turn on the light if you need to and first turn left. Upstairs is the original wine vat where grapes were crushed at the Mission. Then go downstairs and see where the wine was put into casks and stored.


Picture taken 3:30pm 9 Mar 2005


Picture taken 3:30pm 9 Mar 2005

Picture taken 3:30pm 9 Mar 2005

Paintings

Hanging in the museum are a number of paintings both from the Mission and from the mission era. Some samples are shown here…

Our Lady of The Rosary
(Probably painted around 1850 in Spain.)

Picture taken 3:15pm 9 Mar 2005

Sorrowful Mother
(Original painting mentioned in 1842 inventory.)

Picture taken 3:15pm 9 Mar 2005

Saint Anthony and Donor
(It was customary in the late 18th century to depict a Church/Monastery donor with the patron Saint.)

Picture taken 3:15pm 9 Mar 2005
Saint Thomas Aquinas
(Oil on canvas, probably painted around 1850 in Spain.)

Picture taken 3:15pm 9 Mar 2005

Mission Model

Tucked away in the back of the Mission museum is a large model, similar to the one found at Mission San Miguel. This model, however is based on the foundations found on the site and is being used as a model for the reconstruction efforts at the Mission.


Picture taken 3:35pm 9 Mar 2005

As mentioned above, at Mission San Miguel there are a couple of detailed models built in 1936 by prison hospital inmates at San Quentin. One of them is of Mission San Antonio. It’s shown here….

Mission Model
Picture taken 1:40pm 22 Apr 2001