36641 Fort Romie Road
Soledad, CA 93960
October 9, 1791 - The 13th California Mission
This is a restored mission site. The mission church is considered a chapel of Our Lady of Solitude Catholic Church in the town of Soledad.
Nuestra Señora de la Soledad was founded on October 9, 1791. Mission Soledad was abandoned for almost 100 years, then carefully restored between 1954–1962. The simple chapel and padre’s quarters, as well as the ruins of the mission’s adobe walls, accurately depict what was one of the most isolated of the California missions.
36641 Fort Romie Road
Soledad, CA 93960
The mission is located south of the town of Soledad easily reached off US 101. Take the Arroyo Seco Exit, travel on Arroyo Seco for about one (1) mile and then turn right on Fort Romie Road. The mission entrance will be on the left.
831-678-2586 - Mission Office
Please contact the mission directly by telephone or by visiting the mission website for the most current information.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it is best to check for current information.
Weddings, Baptisms and other special services are held at Our Lady of Solitude Parish Church in the town of Soledad. Contact the Church office directly by telephone at 831-678-2731 or by visiting the church website.
Use of the Mission Chapel for services has to be discussed with the Parish Church.
Special events held periodically include music concerts, arts and crafts shows, and auctions. These events raise funds to support the mission. Visit the mission website for further information.
Our Lady of Solitude
Few natives lived in the vicinity of this mission so Indians were recruited from many tribes including the Chalon, Esselen, Yokuts, and Salinan.
Thirty (30) miles southeast of Monterey in the Salinas River Valley at a site thought to have been an Esselen village known by the natives as Chuttusgelis.
A courtyard-centered quadrangle without buildings. Neophyte housing was located to the south and the cemetery to the east.
Salinas River (too low for irrigation) was used for livestock needs. The Arroyo Seco brought seasonal waters. A fifteen (15) mile long zanja or aqueduct dug by neophytes (rediscovered by archaeologists from CSU Monterey Bay in 2007) eventually irrigated some 20,000 acres in the Llano del Rey or lands around the mission.
The highest recorded population was 687 in 1804.
The Soledad mission had a livestock herd of 6,000 cattle and 4,950 sheep in 1834, the last year for which records were maintained. The number of sheep exceeded 9,000 during the mission's peak years.
Agricultural production at Soledad ranked it in the bottom third of the mission chain. Over the years 1793-1834, Soledad harvested 119,492 bushels of wheat, barley, corn, beans, and peas. Its most important product was wheat.
The simple Soledad chapel was built in 1832 and restored in 1954. The church was originally located at the east end of the padre's quarters until about 1824 when it was destroyed in one of the recurring floods that plagued this "hard luck" mission.
The original mission bell cast in Mexico City in 1794, used to hang on a wooden beam to the left of the church entrance. For security purposes, the original has been moved inside.
Both the exterior and interior of the chapel are quite simple. Colorfully painted reredos, stenciled wall decorations, and original oil paintings of the Stations of the Cross adorn the sanctuary. There is also an original painting of Our Lady of Refuge in the sanctuary.
Mission Soledad, a small remote mission, deteriorated rapidly after it was secularized in 1835. For almost a century, Mission Soledad's principal attractions were the picturesque ruins on the site. Soledad's simple chapel (originally built in 1832) was restored by the Daughters of the Golden West in 1954. The convento wing (present day museum) was added in 1965.
This Historical Image Gallery contains eight (8) drawings and paintings drawn from this rich heritage.
The Contemporary Image Gallery contains eight (8) photographs depicting the restored mission and its beautiful heritage.