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Mission La Purisima Concepcion

Mission La Purísima Concepción was founded on December 8, 1787, by Father Fermin Lasuen, the eleventh mission in the California mission chain. It was named for "The Immaculate Conception of Mary". It is located near the city of Lompoc, California, between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. The city of Lompoc was so small that the Church made an exception to the rule that no mission is to be established within seven miles from any city. The original site of Mission La Purisima Concepcion was only one mile from the tiny town. It was moved four miles east of the town in 1812 when a large earthquake hit most of Alta California and severely damaged the mission buildings.

In 1824, there was a major revolt at the mission. Spain had stopped funding the missions after Mexico won its independence. There were many soldiers at the mission, who were no longer being paid and took out their frustrations on the local Chumash Indians. A soldier beat an Indian at the Mission Santa Ines and a revolt spread to Mission La Purisima Concepcion. The Indians took over the mission for one month until more soldiers arrived from Monterey. After a three hour battle the Indians lost. Many of the Indians left the mission after that battle. The Indians who did not fight and were hiding in the mountains during the revolt came back to the mission, but there were not enough of them to keep the mission going as it once had.

Following secularization, the Mission La Purisima Concepcion was abandoned. In 1934 only nine of the buildings remained. The Civilian Conservation Corps promised to restore the mission if enough land could given back to make the mission into a historical monument. The Church and the Union Oil Company donated enough land for the restoration. The buildings were all reinforced and the mission is one of the most fully rebuilt of all of the missions. The Dedication Day for the newly restored Mission La Purisima Conception was December 7, 1941, the day that World War II began for the United States.

The mission grounds are part of a historic park and are well cared for by the State of California Department of Parks. The mission is no longer used as a parish church. It has a visitors center and a museum on the grounds in the old infirmary buildings.

See also: California mission