David J. Weber, Book Review Editor
Mission San Antonio de Padua. By Fr. Zephyrin Engelhardt, O.F.M. Ramona, Ca.: Ballena Press, 1972. Appendices. Illustrations. Notes. Map. 140 pages. Paperback. $4.50.
As the official Franciscan historian in California, Father Zephyrin Engelhardt worked from his headquarters at the Franciscan seminary and archives in Santa Barbara for over thirty years. Among the results was a four volume study, The Missions and Missionaries of California (1908-1915), and a series of books on individual California missions. One of these volumes, published in 1929, concerned the mission of San Antonio de Padua, the third mission founded in Alta California, located today off of U. S. Highway 101, some 27 miles northwest of Bradley. As with other of Engelhardt’s studies, this volume is based on meticulous research, chronicling the history of San Antonio from its founding in 1771 through its secularization, its decline, and early attempts at restoration.
Father Engelhardt is not remembered for his objectivity (he was an unabashed apologist for the Franciscans), but his work remains a basic reference tool for early California history. Ballena Press is to be commended for publishing this handsome reprint, along with a slimmer volume of Engelhardt’s on the mission of San Miguel Arcangel. These volumes can be ordered from the publisher at P. O. Box 711, Ramona, California. Let us hope this represents the beginning of an effort to reprint all of Engelhardt’s mission studies, including his lengthy examination of San Diego de Alcala.