|2nd and Mariposa Streets|
San Juan Bautista
San Benito County
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Mission San Juan Bautista was founded on June 24, 1797, by Fr. Fermin de Lasuén, Presidente of the California Missions. This mission was one of four established by Fr. Lasuén in the summer of 1797 and the fifteenth of the twenty-one missions in Alta, California. The Mission was named for John the Baptist. Of note is that Mission San Juan Bautista is the largest mission church in California; it is located on the San Andreas Fault; has been in continuous use since 1812; has had an unbroken succession of pastors since its founding; was featured in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo; and has the only original Spanish Plaza remaining in California.
Construction began almost immediately under the care of Fathers Jose Manuel de Martiarena and Pedro Martinez. By Christmas, because of the friendly and cooperative indigenous people, not only was there an adobe church built but also a grainary, barracks, a monastery, and some adobe houses.
In June, 1803, the cornerstone was laid for the present church. It was dedicated on June 23, 1812. Interior completion of the church continued through 1817 when the floor was tiled and the main altar and reredos were completed by Thomas Doak, an American sailor who jumped ship in Monterey.
The cemetery on the north side of the church contains the remains of over 4,000 Christian Native Americans and Europeans.