16. The Church

The church was built between 1816 and 1818 and measures 144 feet long, 27 feet wide and 40 feet high. This measurement was practically determined by the maximum available length of the original cedar timbers used for the roof beams. These timbers were cut about 40 miles away from the Mission - along the Pacific sea coast near the town of what is now called Cambria. They were hauled by oxen cart across the Santa Lucia Mountians, probably following the old trail along Las Tablas Creek in the Adelaida. These are the original painted walls by the artist Esteban Munra and Salinan neophytes. Ground minerals were mixed with cactus juice to paint the intricate designs. The walls are adobe, and about six feet thick. The church is east facing per tradition.