La Purísima Concepción

The Eleventh of the California Missions
December 8, 1787
Special Designation: 
None, although it sometimes referred to as the "Linear Mission."
Named For: 
Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The name honors "The Immaculate Conception of Mary the Most Pure."
Also Called: 
La Purisima
Founding Father President: 
Fr. Fermín Francisco de Lasuėn
Founding Missionaries: 
Frs. Vincente Fuster and Josė Arroita
Mission Site: 
Originally established at the Indian village of Algsacupi (on the edge of present day Lompoc). An earthquake on December 21, 1812 destroyed the mission, which was then relocated about 4.5 miles to the northeast in the Valley of the Watercress.
The rebuilt mission (completed between 1813-1818) was laid out in linear fashion, the only California mission not organized as a quadrangle.
Water Source: 
Springs in hills three miles away. The mission had an elaborate system of open aqueducts, pipes, reservoirs, and dams.
The mission population ranged from 900 to 1,100 most years between 1798 -1818, with a peak population of 1,520 in 1804.
The peak number of livestock was 23,746 in 1822 (10,000 cattle, 11,000 sheep, 46 goats, 104 pigs, 1367 horses and 247 mules).
Agricultural Output: 
Between the years 1788 - 1834 La Purisima harvasted 189,276 bushels of wheat, barley, corn, beans, peas, lentils, garbanzos (chickpeas) and habas (broad beans). This was the third largest agricultural output in the mission chain. There were two large vineyards, Jalama 8 miles south of the mission and San Francisoto, 2 miles east.
Mission Church: 
The mission church, which has a simple exterior, has been handsomely restored. Located as it is in an state historic park, it is not an active church
Mission Bells: 
The companario was copied after the one at Santa Ines, since no records existed that described the original design. The bell tower has two rolling bells and one stationary bell.
Mission Art: 
The mission museum and the new Visitors Center and Exhibit Hall display many period artifacts including an 1818 bell, a complete set of vestments, a handsome confessional, tools and tiles, and two original paintings from the mission.
Special Attraction: 
La Purisima is a "living history" museum. Time your visit on a day when there are sepcial activities or an encampment scheduled. Check the mission website: htpp://
Significant Events: 
In 1824 a revolt of the neophytes that began in Santa Ines spread to La Purisima. The rebels captured the mission and held it for about a month. In the battle sixteen Indians and one soldier died. Seven Indians were condemned to death.
Year Returned to Catholic Church: 
874, but subsequently much of the land was sold.
Current Status: 
Now a California State Historic Park, surrounded by apprximately 2,000 acres of parkland. The most fully restored mission in California.
Prominent Missionary Leaders: 
Fr. Mariano Payéras served 19 years at this mission
Indians Joining This Mission: 
The mission was established in the land of the Chumash people.
Interesting Facts: 
For four years La Purisima was headquarters of mission chain, when Fr. Payéras served as Father President
La Purisima is the most fully restored mission, with over 20 buildings. Restoration was done between 1934-42 by the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The mission is a frequent site of reenactments and encampments.