Mission Santa Inés Virgen y Martír

Solvang, California.  Our next visit was Mission Santa Inés Virgen y Martír.  What stood out to us on this tour is that at each of the tour stops, there was a button to push for a recorded message about the particular exhibit, a way to gain much more information that one would gain from reading the tour guide.  The mission sits at the edge of the town of Solvang and looks out over the valley, a reminder of the farming and ranching that the missions maintained.  But it is the stories of people that always make learning history meaningful to us.  At the back of the mission property, the following story was displayed:

“The 1824 Uprising.  On Saturday afternoon, February 21, 1824, a senseless and most destructive raid was made on the Mission. we are told that a young Indian girl named Pasquala warned the priest in charge, Padre Franciso Xavier, in time and thus saved the mission Santa Ines from being wiped out.  Pasquala’s people were the Tulares of Tulare County.  Often she had stopped with her kinsfolk at this Mission on their journey to the coast for shells and fish.  On one of these journeys, she became very ill and was cared for at the Mission until she was cured. Pasquala and her family were so grateful that they became Christians. Her father was working in the Mission vineyard when some of his own tribe killed him and carried the girl and her mother back to the Tulares. The mother died four years later. One day little Pasquala heard that the Tulares were about to attack her beloved Mission. That night she made good her escape and ran, wildly praying to reach Santa Ines. After several tortuous days, she staggered into the Mission. PADRE! PADRE! WAR! WAR! Padre Francisco had been a soldier before he became a missionary. He helped set up the Mission defense. When the Tulares appeared with their bows and arrows, they set fire to the buildings here at the rear of the church, but were repulsed and fled. The Mission church was saved, but Pasquala’s act cost her her life, for she soon died of a fever contracted when she made her escape. It is said that she is buried in the Mission church.”

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