Mission San José Garden and External

After your tour of the cemetery, go through the Church and then exit into the garden. You will be coming out the door closest to the right side in this panorama of the area. Wall fragments on the Church show how the original Mission buildings (convento) connected with the Church in the area that is, today, empty. The stone foundations for the missing part of the building were found and are preserved for the future.

Panorama
Picture taken 11:17am 22 Feb 2012

You can see that this empty space is planned by looking at a design for the mission past (1815 – bottom) and present (1991 – top) posted in the Museum.

Mission Plans
Picture taken 10:53am 22 Feb 2012

Next to the Church and in the garden area is the gravesite of members of the Higuera family. It’s likely, but not mentioned in Mission tour information, that the people buried here are descendents of Josè Loreto Higuera who, himself, as a descendent of Ygnacio Anastacio Higuera who had arrived with the de Anza party. On 4 October 1821 a land grant of 4,394 acres was issued by Pablo Vincente de Sola, the last Spanish governor of California, to Josè Loreto Higuera. This land grant was in what is now the Milpitas area, just south of Fremont where Mission San José is located. If not, one of the Indians baptized at the Mission was given the name Higuera and this could be a descendant of that person.

Higuera Grave
Picture taken 11:19am 22 Feb 2012

The garden area is small and includes some trees, an area to rest and a fountain. The fountain is roughly in the center of the area between the Church and museum building. Fountain
Picture taken 11:19am 22 Feb 2012
Garden
Picture taken 11:16am 22 Feb 2012
Not far from the fountain is the Hannon statue of Saint Serra. When you walk by it don’t forget to rub the toe for luck.

As you walk back to the museum and exit you will be able to look across the empty area and see how the walls to the building and the Church connected. The larger stones cover the foundations while the lighter stones show the area for each room in the building.

Side of Church
Picture taken 1:06pm 22 Feb 2012
Side of Mission
Picture taken 1:07pm 22 Feb 2012

As you exit the museum to the street, look around. Notice how things like roofing tiles were used for drainage if turned upside down. Then, walk down the street a short distance to see the wooden cross in front of the Museum. If you look closely, you will see a second cross carved into the first where the two crossbeams meet. Click on and expand to picture below to see this smaller, carved cross.

Drain
Picture taken 1:09pm 22 Feb 2012
Outside Cross
Picture taken 1:22pm 22 Feb 2012

Back to the front of the Church you can see the Landmark sign on the wall and then look up to see the four original Mission bells. Three of the original bells were moved to the wooden Church until the 1970’s. They stayed with the Mission when the wooden Church was moved across the bay. A fourth bell was given to an Oakland church and recast, but upon reconstruction of the Mission it was returned. All four bells now hang. You can see two from the front and two from the side of the Church belfry.

Mission Front
Picture taken 1:21pm 22 Feb 2012
Front Two Bells
Picture taken 1:21pm 22 Feb 2012
Bells Up Close
Picture taken 1:31pm 22 Feb 2012
As an example, here you see a closer picture of the top bell hanging at the front of the Church belfry, the one you’d see on top from the street. Top Front Bell
Picture taken 1:21pm 22 Feb 2012

Now, go up to the wall to the left of the front of the Church and there you will see the Landmark sign.

Landmark

Landmark Sign
Picture taken 1:10pm 22 Feb 2012

which reads…

Mission San José

At the Ohlone Indian Village of Oroysom, Padre Fermín Francisco de Lasuén founded the fourteenth of twenty-one Franciscan missions June 11, 1797. Taught by Padre Narciso Durán, the Ohlone orchestra and choir became famous. By 1830 almost 2,000 Indians were living at the Mission. The Mission was secularized in 1836 and its lands divided into ranchos. During the gold rush, a store in the west wing outfitted miners. The 1868 earthquake destroyed the adobe Church and most other mission buildings. The Church was rebuilt in 1985.

California Registered Historical Landmark No. 334

Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Grand Parlor, Native Daughters of the Golden West, June 8, 2003.