Mission San Buenaventura

Mission San Buenaventura, located in the city of Ventura, was founded on March 31, 1782, by Padre Junípero Serra and named for Saint Bonaventure. The first church was destroyed by the 1812 earthquake and rebuilt in 1816.

San Buenaventura is ninth in the chain of missions and the last founded by Father Serra before his death. For the most part, San Buenaventura was a prosperous mission. Set in a location with an excellent climate and good soil, the mission fathers devised an irrigation system that nourished luxurious gardens around the area. Exotic fruits were grown in huge quantities on top of standard crops like grains and vegetables.

The Chumash Indians that populated the nearby villages and areas were friendly, artistic, and industrious. Although these Indians zestfully helped to construct the buildings necessary to get Mission San Buenaventura going, they never gave up their freedom moving inside the mission’s premises.

The mission was secularized in 1836, and in 1842, it became a parish church. In 1845, the last Mexican Governor of California, Pío Pico, rented the mission that, in the end, returned to the Catholic church in 1862. In 1893, Father Cyprian Rubio “restored” the church interior, painting over the original decorations made by the Chumash Indians.

New priests restored the mission in 1957. A small museum can now be found at the Mission with displays of Chumash Indian artifacts and items used by the priests who first settled the area.

Location of Mission San Buenaventura

211 E Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001, United States

Official Website of Mission San Buenaventura

Official Mission Website