History of San Francisco Solano

The last Franciscan mission established in California. The removal of the sick Indians to San Rafael had proved so beneficial that the proposal was made to move the San Francisco (Dolores) mission to some more favored spot on the north shore of the bay. The country was explored and the Sonoma valley favorably reported. The cross was first planted July 4, 1823, but work did not begin until Aug. 25, when a party arrived from San Francisco. Objections were raised to the transfer, however, and it was finally compromised by founding a new mission, the old ones not being disturbed. Neophytes were to be allowed to go to the new mission from San Francisco, San Rafael, and San Jose, provided they originally came from the Sonoma region, and new converts might come from anywhere, but no force was to be used. The mission church, 24 by 105 feet, was dedicated, Apr. 4, 1824, to San Francisco Solano. To avoid confusion it was commonly called Solano, and later Sonoma. At the close of 1824 there were 693 neophytes, of whom 322 had come from San Francisco, 153 from San Jose, 92 from San Rafael, and 96 were baptized at the new mission. In 1830 there were only 760 neophytes, though 650 had been baptized, and as only 375 had been buried, many must have run away. The highest number, 996, was reached in 1832. The mission was not particularly prosperous. The large stock numbered 2,729 in 1830, small stock 4,000; but these numbers were about doubled by 1834. The crops for several years averaged more than 2,000 bushels. There were 650 neophytes in 1834. The total number of baptisms was 1,312, of whom 617 were children. The mission was secularized in 1835-36 under Vallejo and Ortega. The movable property was given the neophytes, who were free to go where they pleased. Owing to troubles with hostile Indians they seem later to have restored their stock to the care of Vallejo, who managed it for the general welfare. Affairs seem to have prospered under his care, and Bancroft estimates that in 1840 there were still 100 ex-neophytes at Sonoma and 500 others in the neighborhood. Vallejo conducted several campaigns against hostile Indians. The pueblo of Sonoma was organized in 1835. In 1845, when Gov. Pico was planning the sale of the missions, Solano was declared without value. The buildings and immediate grounds, of course, as with all the missions, remained in the possession of the church. In 1880 these were sold, and for a time the old church was used as a barn. Lm 1903 the old buildings and grounds were purchased by William R. Hearst and deeded to the state of California. Some work has since been done to preserve the buildings from further ruin. The Indians in the neighborhood of this mission belong to the Olainentke division of the Moquelumnan family , but many of the neophytes came from more distant stocks, the Copehan especially being well represented. The following names of villages, taken from the mission books, are given by Bancroft 1 : Aloquiomi, Atenomac, Canijolmano, Canoma, Carquin, Cayrnus, Chemoco, Chichoyomi, Chocuyem, Coyayomi (or Joyayomi), Huiluc, Huymen, Lacatiut, Linayto (Libayto?), Loaquiomi, Locnoma, Malaca, Mavacma, Muticolmo, Napato, Oleomi, Paque, Petaluma, Polnomanoc, Putto or Putato (Pulto or Pultato or Pultoy=Putah cr. ?), Satayomi, Soneto, Suisun, Tamal, Tlayacma, Topayto, Ululato, Utinomanoc, Zaclom.Citations:

  1. Bancroft, Dist. California, ii, 506. 1886[]

History, Missions,

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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