The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Summer 1983, Volume 29, Number 3
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor
TRAVELS IN MEXICO
OCCUPATION OF SAN DIEGO
PLANTING THE CROSS
SERRA AS FATHER-PRESIDENT
MOVING THE MISSION
SERRA’S FINAL DAYS
THE YEARS FOLLOWING
THE SERRA MUSEUM TODAY
Moving the Mission
Since the land below the presidio either lacked water for irrigation or was subjected to extensive flooding when the river overflowed its banks, the missionaries and military officials believed the mission should be moved to a site further inland. Father Luis Jayme, a native of Mallorca, proposed to Father Serra that the mission be moved both for agricultural reasons and for separation of the Indians from the presidio soldiers. The new site was selected approximately six miles inland on lands called Nipaguay by the local Indians. Construction of a small church was completed there in December, 1774.
During these years, Serra’s recommendation that an overland trail connecting Tubac in southern Arizona with Monterey was implemented by Captain Juan Bautista cle Anza, a competent and experienced frontier soldier. Father Serra, who visited San Gabriel in mid-April, 1774, overtook Anza’s exploration party near Point Conception on April 28. This meeting of two leading figures in the drama of early California allowed them to exchange ideas about the future of Spain’s remote outpost. Serra then continued on to Monterey while Anza planned his second expedition to bring settlers to San Francisco. Serra spent the latter part of 1774 and most of 1775 surveying the area around Monterey for possible mission sites.
A link with Baja California was formed with the founding of two Dominican missions south of Ensenada. Nuestra Senora del Rosario established in 1774 and Santo Domingo in 1775 served the frontier region. These missions, however, were not under the protection of San Diego’s presidio.