Where can we find some free information about Santa Inez using the computer to search the Internet?

First of all, we should clarify the spelling. The mission prefers the spelling Santa Ines. The adjacent town, the valley and even the Chumash Casino in the area all use Santa Inez. Go figure.

There is a lot on line. We have a 4-5 minute slide show of the mission on our site in the Santa Ines facts section. Each page can be "paused" and your child can take notes. You can also find a complete Time Line on the mission there, and some drawings in the facts section and in the Galleries that might prove useful for his / her report. Please use our search feature as tons of information on the missions is provided in the Ask the Experts archives.

Here is one of my favorite historical images, taken about 1910:


Santa Ines has several special attractions: an outstanding collection of old vestments, some from Baja that are older than the mission; a tranquil and well designed outdoor Stations of the Cross (this is modern) and most important of all, well preserved ruins of the mission mills. The story of the Santa Ines mills is fascinating.

In 1819 the resident padre, Fr. Francisco Uria, selected a site about a half-mile from the church along the banks of Alamo Pintado Creek. Here he erected a grist mill with two connecting reservoirs. He also wanted to erect a fulling mill for the treatment of wool. This was accomplished in 1820 under the supervision of Joseph Chapman, who was captured during the pirate raid of 1818. Chapman – a self taught mechanical genius - supervised the construction of "a typical New England overshot wheel, the power from which pounded and turned woolen cloth at the same time it was being washed by a steady stream of fresh water."

Here is a picture of the complex taken in 1936. You can see the mission in the distance, across the field.


Miraculously the mill ruins have survived. The last owners, Ellen and Harry Knill, carefully preserved the site and put roofs on the mill buildings. Recently this entire complex was acquired by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, which is going to open the site to the public. At the present time you can view the complex from the back of the parking lot of the mission.