California’s Lost Mission

Santa Eulalia Mission Discovery, California’s lost and last mission.

This is the old adobe I discovered by accident in 2005, when I was doing a painting.  It turned out to be part of the lost California Mission that historians had been seeking for decades!  Scroll down and you can see the painting I did of it too.  (*I recently attached below a series of nine articles by Solano County Historian, Jerry Bowen, for anyone who’d like more information on the Santa Eulalia Mission/Assistencia.  The articles can be seen in the Solano Historian Magazine).

Jerry Bowen, historian, and I inside the old adobe that I discovered now called the Santa Eulalia Mission/ Assistencia, 2005.

Below, is the painting I did of the adobe in 2005.

In October of 2005, I was looking for an old Victorian with a huge pheonix canariensis palm tree in front of it, in Gordon Valley, that I had seen which I wanted to do a painting of.  When I arrived there, all I saw was the palm tree and the Victorian had vanished.  I felt so sad that someone had torn it down.  So, instead, I decided to drive to the old Mangels Winery from the 1880’s in lower Green Valley near Solano College and do a painting of the old winery barns.  However, I couldn’t believe what bad luck I was having because when I arrived, not a single building stood there.  Rather, a huge field of freshly bulldozed dirt and several bright yellow bulldozers were lying about…totally flat as far as you could see.  I was stunned.  Yet, something caught my eye.  Where the huge old wooden barns had stood under the large old Valley Oak trees in the middle of the field stood a gigantic, old, oak tree with it’s bark growing around a tiny, incredibly ancient looking adobe building.  I thought, “Why is there an adobe here?”   I figured an old barn had been built around it which had hidden it from view for decades.

The adobe was propping up the oak tree and the two were simbiotically enmeshed together.  It became clear to me that the bulldozers had also wanted to plow over the small adobe…but if they had, the large old, oak tree, which is protected by California Environmental law- so one may not cut them down,  would have come crashing down on them.  (Ha Ha!  How fitting.)  So, the adobe that held up the oak tree was in return saved by the tree it was also saving.  I rushed into the field, set up my easel, and did a painting of the two before the bulldozers would come back and knock them down.  After the prior two historical building losses I had experienced that day, I wasn’t going to take any chances.

Later that day, I called my friend, Jerry Bowen, from the historical society, to ask him what the history was of that adobe.  I always thought he know everything.  Plus, I knew he had a book that was written in the 1930’s by a historian who documented all the adobe buildings in Solano County that he was always blabbing about. So, I figured he would just look it up and tell me.  To my surprise, he was bewildered when I told him where it was.  There was no reference of it, and he had never heard of it before.  Suddenly, he got all excited.  He said, “Oh my God! I think you just found the lost Cordelia Misiion!  We have been looking for it for years!”  He rushed over and excitedly took about 70 photos.  We even found an old well beneath the adobe. My young son, Gregory, almost climbed into it thinking it was the root cellar of an old castle or something,until Jerry shined his flashlight down it.  It was extremely deep!  Good thing I didn’t let Greg crawl into the “root cellar”!

And so it began…the discovery of the lost  and last California Mission…and the oldest known building in Solano County.  (Even Chief Solano lived in it, our county’s namesake!)  I somehow stumbled upon it.  Then, it came out in the paper that I found it!  I think the developers were trying to keep it quiet until I came along, painted it, and spilled the beans.  I even went to a couple of Fairfield City Council meetings to speak in front of the City Council to request that they not tear it down for the new development being built there.  I could feel the developers cringe in fear as I walked up to the podium to speak.  But , just so you know, the developer, named Jose, turned out to be really cool.  He wanted to save it too. He is preserving it, and built his busines park all around it.  (He even bought a painting!)  I thought it was extremely poetic that the guy who built the mission and the guy who preserved it were both named Jose.  Jose now calls it the Pony Express business park, because the old Mangels family said it had been a stage coach stop and a pony express stop too.  The mayor, Harry Price, was really excited about the adobe and wanted it preserved as well.

There are records in San Francisco, at the Delores Mission, of the last mission built in California by Father Jose Altimira in 1824 just 6 months ofter the Sonoma Mission was built.  Altimira built the Sonoma Mission first.  Sonoma’s claim to fame is that they are the last mission…but that was until we finally found this one.  The records said it was supposed to be in the Suisun area.  So, everyone looked in Suisun and not Cordelia.  People like Bert Hughes and some other famous local historian searched for it high and low.  No one could ever find it!  They forgot that in the 1700 and 1800’s, that “Suisun” was the name of the whole marsh…where Cordelia also is… and all the native Americans as well, thus it covered a large area.  It also turns out that the old, original town of Cordelia developed aound the old mission.  Then, in 1868, when the transcontinital railroad came through  the area, the residents moved the buildings of Cordelia to it’s present location.  They changed the name to Bridgeport, but found out there was another California town already called “Bridgeport” so they changed it back to Cordelia.  Cordelia was the wife of the sea captain, Robert Waterman, who sailed up Green Valley Creek and thought he “discovered” Cordelia.  It is known though that when he discovered “Cordelia” that there were already people living there…which we now know was due to the mission being there.

Jerry and other historians have found out a whole lot of information about the mission since its discovery.They found other buildings and artifacts as well.  The mission was called Santa Eulalia Assistencia.  The “Assistencia” part of the name means that it “assisted” the Sonoma Misison.  So, the Sonomans could say that they are still the last Mission and that Cordelia is just the last “Assistencia”.  But, as for me, I say that Santa Eulalia is the last mission.  By the way, who on earth was Santa Eulalia?

Maybe one day they will get around to changing the history books regarding the California Missions and Santa Eulalia.  They’ll have to add another mission on to study – Mission #23!  Think of all those misinformed 4th graders in California!  Just say you heard it from me first…Santa Eulalia is the last mission…it’s in Cordelia…and an artist stumbled upon it!

My daughter, Chloe, when she was in 4th grade, wanted to do her oral mission report on Santa Eulalia.  The teacher said it was OK even though it was new.  However, the kid who did the Sonoma Mission had said that it’s claim to fame was that Sonoma was mission #22…the last mission.  He was really ticked off when Chloe later stood up and said that her mission was #23 and it was the “real” last mission…and she had proof!

Jerry Bowen also found what is believed to be the old baptismal font nearby which was part of the Catholic Church which was at the Santa Eulalia Mission.  The font was probably made by Native Americans who also knew how to make grinding stones for acorns, that explains why its looks like one.

*Here below is a series of 9 articles by Solano County historian, Jerry Bowen, regarding the Santa Eulalia Mission/Assistencia:

Jerry Bowen

For the past few months the Vacaville Heritage Council has been researching old records, history books and maps trying to learn more about a small stone and adobe structure near Suisun Valley Road on the old Mangels Winery property. Since then we have found that Solano County is lucky enough to have roughly a mile of historic sites that date back to the earliest recorded history of the County that still survive in one form or another.

Our voyage of discovery began when Cordelia historian and artist, Daphne Nixon, called me and asked if I knew anything about a small stone and adobe building near the WestAmerica Bank. Since then the Vacaville Heritage Council team of history sleuths, Robert Allen, Elisa DeCarro, Robert Hind, Carol Noske and I have discovered numerous errors in our history, learned new details, and re-discovered an asistencia (secondary mission) where Chief Solano was an Alcalde and its baptismal fount. The site remains somewhat intact because of the Pienovi family’s interest in preservation of what they believed was a historic site even without knowing fully of its rich history.

That historic mile extends from Rockville to I-80 where thousands commuters pass daily unaware of the historic significance of the sites along Suisun Valley Road..

The sites include Rockville itself, the Pony Express Trail, an old wagon and stage road, the site of Chief Solano’s rancheria (village) a mission site, an old structure built of stone, Chief Solano’s original grave site and the original location of Cordelia before it was moved to its present site.

To fully appreciate the history of this important area, we need to start with the earliest documented history.

The first historical documents about the Suisun Indians were recorded at the Mission San Francisco de Assis also known as Mission Delores at San Francisco.

In January 1804 fourteen neophytes (Christianized Indians) took a trip from the mission for the East Bay and never returned.

Their deaths were documented in the Mission Delores’s Libro de Difuntos (Book of the Deceased) as follows:

“On January 25, 1804 a party left here for the other shore to the east of the mission at about ten in the morning. Shortly afterward a strong storm came up. Fourteen men went on this occasion. In the days immediately after we received reports that everything seemed fine. We heard nothing more until, three weeks having passed; we heard that the party went far beyond the strait of the Carquines to the village of Suyusuyu. (Suisun) … It is not possible to affirm whether they died by drowning or at the hands of the pagans, as the incident has caused everyone to stop talking. But I am inclined to believe that they died by drowning. If the pagans had killed them, their relatives would have told me about it. Four Christians from another party said that on the March 7 they [the former group], definitely left the area directly across the bay.

In a UC Berkeley PH. D thesis, Randall Miliken suggests that, “Most of the Mission men who died were Saclans and Jalquins from the East Bay area. They were probably killed while trying to bring relatives back to the missions who were living among the Suisuns and their allies the Chupcans.”

He had good reason to believe that because from the initial sortie by neophytes into the Suisun Indian’s territory in 1804, the Suisuns’ repelled all intrusions by the Christian Indians until 1810. They also protected mission runaways who did not wish to be Christianized.

Up until 1810, the Spanish didn’t have boats to cross the Carquinez Straits they could use to launch a major expedition in the Suisun area. In 1807, Spanish authorities planned an attack using tule boats to search for “criminals” among the Suisun Indians who had selectively killed several Indians by tribe in 1807.  But the Spanish were too preoccupied with skirmishes in other areas, so the attack never occurred.

In June 1809, the Carquin Indians that inhabited the area around present-day Vallejo moved to Mission San Francisco. Sixty Carquin children under age, ten were baptized that summer. Until the Carquins moved to the mission, they more or less served as a buffer from the Spanish for the Suisuns.

On February 5, 1810 the Spanish governor and the commander of the San Francisco Presidio were preparing an expedition into Suisun territory at the same time the missionaries at San Francisco were allowing newly converted Carquins to go back home on “paseo,” (authorized trips). The San Francisco Mission documents recorded the following report as a result of the “paseo”:

“On February 16 or 19, 1810 in the rancheria of the pagans called SuyuSuyu, they killed three neophytes. Seven people had gone on a “paseo” to the rancheria of the Karquines and four had remained there. The other three had gone on to said rancheria of SuyuSuyu, where they had friends. They were killed just as they were coming near. So swear their companions, who say the pagan Chupanes (tribe of Indians centered around today’s Concord.) came and told them this.”

The three men killed were all Carquins that had been baptized two months earlier.

In a report to the Viceroy, Commandante Arrillaga prepared for a major punitive expedition against the Suisuns as follows:

“He ordered the commander of the San Francisco Presidio, Second-Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga, to go out in pursuit of pagans of the village called Sespesuyu  to the north of the San Francisco Presidio. Over the past three years they have brought things to a sorry state, having killed over that time sixteen Christians.”

Second-Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga with seventeen soldiers and an auxiliary force of Christian Indians of unknown size attacked the Suisun force of 120 fighting men on May 22, 1810 near Rockville.

It should be noted here that the 1879 “History of Solano County” gives the wrong date of the attack as 1817. The 1877 Thompson & West Atlas also has it wrong stating that Jose Sanchez attacked the Suisuns in 1817, per an interview with General Vallejo. This is probably the source of the error in the 1879 history, although the 1879 history has the correct name, Moraga, as the leader of the expedition.

The military force brought six boys and six girls back to San Francisco, a mixed group of Suisuns and Chupcans and they were baptized at Mission San Francisco. Arrillaga filed the following report based on Moraga’s statement of the battle:

“Said second-lieutenant… took as prisoners eighteen pagans. They were set free because they were gravely wounded and he had no way to transport them. He believes that not one of them could have avoided death. Toward the end of the action the surviving Indians sealed themselves in three brush houses, from which they made a tenacious defence, wounding the corporals and two soldiers. Those were the only injuries sustained by the troop. No one was killed. After having killed the pagans in two of the grass houses, the Christians set fire to the third grass house, as a means to take the pagans prisoner. But they did not achieve that result, since the valiant Indians died enveloped in flames before they could be taken into custody. The second lieutenant says that he could not reason with the pagans, who died fighting or by burning.”

On December 22, 1810 Mission San Francisco baptismal records show that eleven Suisun Indians were baptized along with five Indians of other tribes. Four of the Suisun women had their marriage renewed in the Catholic faith on the same date.

The exodus of the Suisuns from their homeland in Suisun Valley to the San Francisco Mission continued during 1811. Between March and June 1811 sixty-nine more Susisuns were baptized including forty-eight adults and 21 children.

Buoyed with some success in converting Suisun Indians, an expedition under missionary Ramon Abella visited Suisun Valley on October 28, 1811 as he was returning from the Sacramento area heading towards Carquinez Strait. He reported the following:

“We went about one league and stopped at the end of the slough of the Suisunes (Suisun City) at half a boat’s length from shore so that one could jump onto solid ground. It was on a big plain, with fine land, completely covered at a short distance with oaks and live oaks, finally becoming uneven and hilly.

“We sent four neophytes from the San Francisco Mission, natives of this area, to locate their countrymen, and fifty men from two villages presented themselves, all unarmed. They brought us some of those things, which they held in high esteem, and gave us their war decorations. We responded in the same manner by paying part of their value. The villages are called Malaca (Vacaville’s Lagoon Valley area) and Suisun (Rockville area). According to what the Indians said, the latter is divided into three parts. They claimed that it was quite close but according to the signs between here and the shore somewhat less than two leagues away; a short time ago they were living on the shore. That was where Second Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga struck them the blow. Thoroughly cowed the poor people have remained, for they are badly scared. … The place is very good for the establishment of missions but there remains the difficulty of getting there except by boat through the narrow passages mentioned above.”

I’ll have to leave you hanging for now, but the best is yet to come when we discuss our recent finds in my next column.

Santa Eulalia 1

When Cordelia historian and artist, Daphne Nixon, became curious about an old stone structure on the old Mangel’s Winery property, it set into motion research that may result in correction of several historical accounts about Solano County.


Part 2-Spanish Troops Marched In

Jerry Bowen

When I ended my last column I said, “Second-Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga with seventeen soldiers and an auxiliary force of Christian Indians of unknown size attacked the Suisun force of 120 fighting men on May 22, 1810 near Rockville.” Here again is a misconception of history perhaps read out of context. It wasn’t at Rockville. It was at or near today’s Suisun City.  

In Randall Milliken’s “Ethnographic and Ethno-historic Context for the Archaeological Investigation of the Suisun Plain, Solano County, California,” he referred to a report by Ordaz about fifty-five Spanish soldiers who crossed the Suisun Plain in October of 1821, on their way north to explore the Sacramento Valley.

“A Spanish exploratory expedition of fifty-five Spanish soldiers crossed the Suisun Plain in October of 1821, on their way north to explore the Sacramento Valley. They had crossed Carquinez Strait in the present Vallejo area on October 21. The following morning they headed eastward along the later route of Interstate 80. They found no native peoples living on the Suisun Plain. Diarist Bias Ordaz wrote:

“…taking the road to the east, guided toward the Suisun, in which proximity was found a running aguaje ( spring) at the foot of a hill. It became the spring or Pool of San Blas, where we halted. Following a short stay, we continued the march over the Plain of the Suisun until 5:30 in the afternoon, (stopping because a site was found adaptable for passing the night.)”

The Pool of San Blas was almost certainly the aguaje shown on a later land case map in the gap in the ridge just northeast of Cordelia and south of Rockville. Lieutenant Argüello’s brief diary gives further information regarding the final stopping place.

“After traveling for seven hours at a normal pace, I made a stop at the place called Suizun (a destroyed rancheria of that name). Here I determined to spend the night.”

Randall Milliken then wrote, “So the October 21, 1821 overnight stopping place was at the village site where Gabriel Moraga had attacked the Suisuns in May of 1810. It was somewhere on the plain eastward of Rockville, almost certainly the place where Father Abella had met with Suisuns in the fall of 1811. Elsewhere I have suggested that the location was probably at the present town of Suisun City.”

He was right the first time; the attack was at the Suisun City area.

Friars Buenaventura Fortuny, Ramon Abella and Sergeant Jose Sanchez who visited Suisun Valley on October 28, 1811 while returning from an exploration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta reported, “We went about one league and stopped at the end of the slough of the Suisunes at half a boat’s length from shore so that one could jump onto solid ground…That was where Second Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga struck them the blow. Thoroughly cowed the poor people have remained, for they are badly scared.” By his description he would have been at or somewhere near today’s Suisun City.

During the expedition they made contact with the Indian rancherias of the Tolenas, Malaca and Ululatos tribelets of the Suisuns.

By 1813 most of the Suisun Indians had been removed from their tribal lands to the missions at San Jose and San Francisco including 10 year-old Sina, the real name of our Chief Solano, not Sem-Yeto. I’ll go into that a little more later in this series.

In 1823 a 36-year-old Spanish priest, Friar Jose Altimira was in charge of Mission Delores in San Francisco. Early in the same year he prepared a proposal to expand Mexican Settlements into the northern area of California. In April his proposal to join Mission San Rafael Archangel to Mission Delores as well as sites in the Petalumas Indian area. Friar Juan Amoros who was in charge of the San Rafael Mission opposed it.

But Friar Altimira who may be described as a little headstrong went ahead any way and began an expedition on June 25, 1823 to seek out sites in the north.

During the trip he camped to the west of present-day Sonoma at a site with many hot and cold springs now occupied by the Cline Winery on Highway 121. He liked the area but continued his search eventually entering Suisun Valley.

After camping near the Napa River in the area of the old Basalt works he continues with the following in his diary

June 28, 1823 …Presently we arrived at an arroyo, which was said to be the entrance to Napa. This measures very little flowing current, of not much abundance are their waters, but we observed by measuring some places there are small permanent ponds with clear, sweet, abundant and pleasing water, sufficient to water some cattle.

“Continuing our course, we arrived about at the 6 of the afternoon at another arroyo of the same size as the grand Arroyo de Sonoma, which served the belt to the beautiful plain of the aforesaid Napa, so called by the Indians who formerly lived here.

“A special site for certain the one, which was explored except we did not find as much water as was in Sonoma. Excepting this item, Napa is all as a picture, equal to Sonoma for its certain resemblance.

“We camped finally on the bank of the named arroyo. Came the night, we rested – and we without more happening awaited the happiness of the Sunday, the Day of St. Peter.

“June 29, 1823. Which starts the sun after the dawn, the more serene and brilliant, we said mass and concluding, we gave to the arroyo the name of San Pedro for to be the honor of the day; we breakfasted and approximately at the 7 of the morning started, following the same bearing N.E. We observed that the Indians of the neighborhood, by one some distance from us, were setting prearranged fires for warning.

“We observed in the plains and hills large oak groves; tramped over long, bare pieces of land much adapted for vines; and ascended a slope of a mountain which, with their hills nearby, could furnish the stone for making a new Rome. Descending then the named slope, we saw near us the famous Plain of Suisun which was the name of the Indians previously settling at this place, and with no particular exploring, arrived approximately of the one hour of the afternoon at the stream of named site.

“The temperature of the Napa, and which continued until coming down off the referred slope of the mountain for the spoken of Suisun, was with small difference, believe it to be the same as in Sonoma. We observed more temperature in Suisun, good to be hotter.

“When we finally arrived at this place, we camped on the bank of the arroyo which runs in its plain from north to south to its outlet in the estero, bearing to the east. This is a plain which is verdant and which measures good soil for the planting of each seeds but it is not as abundant as that which we considered in the past. It is equally well known that the soil, chiefly which is close to the arroyo, needs little or no irrigation. This in this season is green and very luxuriant; the pastures and other plants which we saw the afternoon of this day. The soil more distant is already scarce of these peculiarities and it is not proper to sow always in the same soil and do not offer much opportunity for varying. Neither is sufficient for the support of a large town. There is sufficient firewood on hand but no timber for manufacturing. There is land and pastures from north to the east for pasturing cattle, but lack of waters for which to drink.

“All this was considered this afternoon, and also the excessive distance for communicating a lone mission (sic) with the Presidio of San Francisco, (we convinced ourselves that this locality was not proper for our interest.)

“We were desirous to communicate to the Indians from the north the reason that we must come here and to finish with a preparation for a smooth conquest, dispatched to the Rancherias of the Hulatos, 5 Christian Indians of the San Francisco Mision, for which they invited them to come to the place where we were plaining (camping).

“Then the night came on and we went to the resting, expected that the day following some gentile Indians would arrive to visit with peace.”

So, with that, we will leave Friar Altimira camped in Suisun Valley near present-day Rockville and I’ll continue with the story in my next column.


Santa Eulalia Asistencia is established in Suisun Valley

Jerry Bowen

In my last column we followed Friar Altamira in 1824 during his expedition to establish the last mission to be built in California. At the time he pretty much had his mind made up to place the final mission at today’s Sonoma. But, he continued on to check out areas a little further including the Napa area and at Suisun Valley near today’s Rockville. He rejected both as the final and only mission site to be established under Mexican rule. Napa was rejected even though it had many of the same assets as the Sonoma area but not as much available water and Suisun Valley because of a lack of timber that could be used for building and the excessive distance from the Presidio of San Francisco.

Building of the Sonoma Mission was begun in the spring of 1824 and 602 Christian Indians from the older missions had been moved there by the end of 1824. The first new convert at the mission was an Ululato from the Vacaville area, baptized on April 4, 1824.

By the end of the year, Altimira also decided to establish a Rancho near Rockville about a quarter mile south of today’s Stonedene Mansion. The site probably had been part of the original Suisun Indian village that extended to the site where the Stonedene Mansion stands today. Even though it didn’t have the qualities for a full mission it was considered an ideal area for raising horses and cattle. Along with the Rancho he also built a small sub-Mission known as an Asistencia, naming it Santa Eulalia. It included a temporary house for the neophyte Indian Alcalde (Mayor), probably Jesus Molino of the original Suisun Village, and a horse corral that was run by the Alcalde and his family. An adobe house was built for the use of visiting padres.

According to San Francisco Mission records, an infant that had been born at Santa Eulalia was baptized on August 14, 1827.

In the following year a Christian Tolena woman, Olimpia Nauayac, died at Santa Eulalia. She was the mother of Hipolito Guilac who had been baptized at the Mission Delores at San Francisco.

Hipolito died at the Santa Eulalia ranch four years later. The records stated, “The first day of February, 1832, I gave Holy Burial to the body of the neophyte Hipolito, former nurse, former cook, interpreter of the three languages that predominate at this mission, that is to say, four, Kacunda, Petaluma, Suysun, and Huiluc, and most recently the catechist and baptizer of the sick and the babies of the non-Christians that live at the Rancho of Santa Eulalia in the locality or land of Suysun … He had been baptized at the Mission of Our Patron San Francisco on January 26, 1812. (signed Friar Fortuney)”

During those years from 1824 to 1832  the Christian Indians grew crops and ran livestock around the site and probably lived in wattle houses between the adjacent hills and the present day Suisun Valley Road area. They also worked to convert non-Christians from Hill Patwin and Valley Patwin tribes to the north

The Suisun Indian, Sino, was baptized at Mission Delores at San Francisco Solano and given the name Francisco Solano on July 24, 1810, shortly after the battle between Moraga and the Suisun Indians. He was among the Indians that were sent to the Mission San Francisco Solano at Sonoma in 1824 at the age of about twenty-five and by 1826 he was one of the alcaldes (missionary-controlled Indian headmen) of the Sonoma Mission. Note, the name “Sem-Yet-To” was not applied to him nor was there any indication as to being a chief of the Suisuns yet.

With that, I’ll have to leave you hanging again and will continue in my next column in two weeks.

Santa Eulalia 2

Francisco Solano and General Vallejo become friends

Jerry Bowen

In my last column I introduced you to “Sino” and now I find that I spelled his name wrong. According to a transcript of his baptismal certificate at the Huntington Library his name was spelled “Sina.” His father’s name was “Sulapy” and there was no record of his mother’s name. He was baptized and given the name Francisco Solano, and would later be designated as “Chief Solano” as we shall see as we continue this series.

We also saw that Father Altimira established Mission San Francisco Solano at Sonoma in 1824 and the surviving Suisun Indians were among the San Francisco Mission Delores groups that he brought north to Sonoma. Francisco Solano, then about twenty-five years old, was one of those people. By 1826 Francisco Solano was appointed as one of six alcaldes (missionary-controlled Indian headmen) of the mission at Sonoma. On March 3 of that year he shows up as a godparent in the mission’s baptismal register.

The 1836 census shows there were 552 Indians at the new Pueblo of Sonoma. Francisco Solano was still listed as one of the six Indian alcaldes at the pueblo of Sonoma.

By October 1837 Solano was listed as a head-of-family, with an eighteen-person household including seven women and girls ranging in age from twenty down to nine years old.

Other records from Mission Delores show some of his marriages as follows: Francisco Solano Sina married Helena Saquenmupi (SF5-B 371) a Wappo/Coast Miwok speaking Aloquiomis from Pope Valley at Mission San Francisco Solano in October of 1827. She died in 1830. In April of 1833 he married eighteen-year-old Guida Coulas a Patwin speaking Topaytos from today’s Berryessa area. Later and possibly the last records available show that Francisco Solano married twelve year old Maria del Rosario Ullumole on January 9, 1839. In 1874 a writer for Hubert Howe Bancroft, Henry Cerutti , interviewed what was claimed to be Francisco Solano’s last and favorite wife, Isidora Filomena, though no official record seems to exist documenting their marriage. A fire in 1896 at the Sonoma Mission may have destroyed the official record of their marriage.

Secularization of the California missions, the process to take the missions away from the church and placing them under government rule, was ordered by Governor José Figueroa by proclamation in 1834.  Under the rules of Secularization, the Indian neophyte heads of household were to receive parcels of land, “not over 400 nor less than 100 varas square,” (one vara equaled a little less than 3 feet).

According to reminiscences of M.G. Vallejo and other Mexican citizens of that time Solano’s Indian forces helped him defeat a combination of Sacramento Valley tribes under the leader Zampay. In 1838 Francisco Solano was issued a provisional grant of four leagues of land (approximately 17,000 acres) by Vallejo for his service to the General. The grant, Suisun Grant, included Francisco Solano’s original homelands at the asistencia, Santa Eulalia, near Rockville. Apparently, Solano moved back to his original home at the asistencia for the next few years although he remained in contact with General Vallejo.

By 1838 the plague descended on the northern provinces and in two years it was estimated that between 60,000 and 70,000 Indians had died of the disease. By 1839 much of the mission at Sonoma was in ruins and Francisco Solano no longer appeared in the mission’s vital registers.

The official title to Rancho Suisun was finally granted to Francisco Solano on January 28, 1842. Vallejo bought the land from Solano just four months later, in May of 1842.

Then in 1846 the Bear Flag Revolt resulted in the arrest and confinement of Vallejo and others at Sutter’s Fort. A distraught Francisco Solano disappeared from Solano County for the next four years apparently believing that his good friend Vallejo was dead.

In my next column we will see what happened to Francisco Solano and how he finally received the title “Chief” Solano and look at some recently researched history of Santa Eulalia.

Santa Eulalia3

Santa Eulalia Asistencia Part 5

Jerry Bowen

In the last column we saw that Francisco Solano’s provisional grant issued to him in 1837 was finally made official on January 28, 1842. It is interesting to note that General Vallejo’s own personal lawyer represented Francisco Solano and Vallejo’s nephew, Governor Juan Alverado, approved the final grant. It appears that crafty old General Vallejo’s intention all along was to acquire the Suisun Rancho for his own use when he bought the land from Francisco Solano just four months later for $1,000. In 1850 he sold the land to Archibald Ritchie for $50,000, a tidy profit by any measure.

At this point we don’t know how much time Solano actually spent at the Santa Eulalia Asistencia. Most travelers that wrote accounts of their trips through the area during the 1840s usually only mentioned one of Solano’s fellow Indians, Jesus Molino.

One thing seems certain is that in 1846 when the Bear Flag Revolt occurred, Francisco Solano disappeared from the scene altogether. It is said that he feared that his good friend Vallejo died when he was imprisoned at Sutter’s Fort. Unsubstantiated rumors say that he wandered far to the north, even as far as Alaska, although that is hard to believe.

In 1848 the war with Mexico ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and California was annexed to the United States. The gold rush began and was the pivotal point for great changes by 1850 in California. Solano had returned in 1850 to find his old friend Vallejo was still alive and then returned to his home at the Santa Eulalia Asistencia. Vallejo was elected to the first session of the California Congress and was selected to serve as chairman of a committee that was to define the derivations of the new counties. It is in the report that the first documented evidence that Francisco Solano was “…the great Chief of the tribes originally denominated Suisunes…The residence of this chief was the valley of Suisun…Before receiving the baptismal name of Solano, the chief was called “Sem-yeto,” which signifies the “brave of fierce hand.” So, from that day on Sino, AKA Francisco Solano, became known  in history as “Chief Solano.”

Samuel Martin arrived in Suisun Valley from his gold mining ventures in 1850 and settled or perhaps more accurately “squatted” on land quite possibly at the mostly deserted asistencia where he found “Chief” Solano who had become desperately ill who soon died. For those of you that don’t know who Samuel Martin was, he was the builder of the stone Martin House, commonly referred to today as “Stonedene Mansion.”

From this point on history becomes quite unclear as to accuracy and documentation of Solano’s death. According to Solano, The Crossroads County, an illustrated history, by Frank Keegan, “Samuel Martin, with a party of Americans discovered him (Solano) fatally ill at the rancho in 1850 and notes his passing.”  Various reports over the years placed his burial under a buckeye tree alongside the Old Sacramento Road (today’s Suisun Valley Road) near Rockville across from the Martin stone mansion that was built in 1861. The burial site is commemorated with a bronze plaque on the Solano County College campus today. The road has had been modified and widened over the years and the Buckeye tree no longer exists.

During the early 1850s squatters settled on the Suisun Rancho lands. On December 11, 1850 General Vallejo sold most of the Suisun Ranch to A. A. Ritchie. Ritchie then sold one-third of the Suisun Rancho to Captain Waterman. During this time the grant was in dispute and the Land Grants Commission was formed to determine ownership of the land. The ownership by Ritchie was confirmed in 1853 and a patent issued later, which made the sale to Waterman legal.

Samuel Martin then made his first purchase of Suisun Rancho land from Waterman on February 10, 1853 consisting of 136.60 acres together with a piece containing six acres and making altogether 142.60 statute acres. That six-acre piece was from that time on surveyed as a separate property, and as we shall see, it appears that the location was the site of the old Santa Eulalia Mission/Asistencia site.

In my next column we will follow the history of that site to present day.

Santa Eulalia 4

The Buckeye tree that was professed to be the site of Chief Solano’s grave was photographed in the 1930s when Suisun Valley Road was still unpaved and before Solano County College was built. Vacaville Heritage Council; Rulofson Collection

Part 6 – Another old stone building surfaces.

Jerry Bowen

We left off in the last article with Samuel Martin purchasing 142 acres of the Suisun Ranch from partners, Archibald A. Ritchie and Robert H. Waterman in 1853. Part of the purchase included six acres of land that may have been part of the site of the Santa Eulalia Mission/Rancheria.

Up to that time we can only assume that Samuel Martin was squatting on Suisun Rancho land. According to a plaque at the Martin Mansion (AKA Stonedene), he had arrived in 1850 and not very much is known about his activities at that time other than he was apparently living out of the wagon he crossed the plains in and working the land.

It’s a little hard to believe that he would have lived in the wagon for the next ten years before he built “Stonedene” Mansion and there is little or nothing to enlighten us. Did he move into one of the old Santa Eulalia Mission buildings or build a temporary home?

In a biography in the 1909 California Historical and Biographical Record, about Sam Martin, it states the following:

“During the first three years (1850-53) of his occupancy of the ranch Mr. Martin cut hay and wild oats off that and the neighboring land, the oats being very prolific and growing to a prodigious height. Appreciating the unusual grazing offered by the country, which was sparsely settled and unfenced, he returned to Missouri and bought about six hundred head of cattle, which he drove across the plains. He was induced to sell a part of the cattle at the mines as he came through, but aside from a few head, which he traded to a man, whom he engaged to build a stone house (there being a fine quarry near his ranch), he stocked his ranch with the remainder.”

At first one might assume that he built a small stone home before he had the mansion constructed in 1861. But according to an article by co-writer, Sabine Goerke Shrode, he didn’t go back east to bring out the cattle until 1860. She also stated, “The same stonecutters also built another five homes, the Baldwin barn and Rockville Chapel in the area.”

The Santa Eulalia Mission site had pretty much fallen into ruins because all the Suisun Indians had either died or moved to other locations after the secularization of the missions. Only one of the tribe is known for sure to have remained, Jesus Molino, because of land court case testimony when witnesses testified they had seen or visited with him and information in his probate (# 005) located in the Fairfield Archives. He was described as living in either a large adobe or a small stone house with several acres of land nearby under cultivation depending on whose testimony was given.

An early survey of the Suisun Rancho for A. A. Ritchie shows a structure with nearby cultivated land in approximately the same location as the small stone adobe building located on the old Mangel’s Winery property. Today the structure is located in the field adjacent to the WestAmerica Bank parking lot on WestAmerica drive. Over the years the little edifice is known to have been used as a stage watering stop and a tool room for Mangel’s Winery. The small building is being preserved as a historic site in the Pony Express Business Park development being built by Headwaters Development Company today.

Another stone structure is located on the six-acre site that was part of Martin’s original purchase and which I believe may have been the central site of the Santa Eulalia Mission/Rancheria.

In my next column I’ll review further purchases of the site and a little of the sparse history of that site. On the property is a stone building that was added to in later years. Did those early stonecutters hired originally by Sam Martin build this stone building also?

The author is a member of the Vacaville Heritage Council, Editor of the Solano Historian magazine for the Solano County Historical Society and former Chairman of the Solano County Historic Records Commission and volunteer at the Solano County archives. He alternates his history column every Sunday with Sabine Goerke-Shrode. For suggestions, or to submit historical photos or information to the Vacaville Heritage Council send e-mail to <> or write to The Reporter, 916 Cotting Lane, Vacaville CA 95688.

Santa Eulalia 8Was this old stone building with a modern door near Suisun Valley Road one of the original buildings built by stonecutters hired by Samuel Martin in 1860-61 or was it constructed earlier or later? What was it used for? Jerry Bowen photo

Part 7 – The Canevascini Winery at Santa Eulalia

I briefly mentioned an early stone building on a small separate seven and one-half acre parcel of land belonging to Samuel Martin who built the “Stonedene” mansion in 1861 in my last article. I also speculated in previous chapters of this article this was also the actual site of the Santa Eulalia Mission and that one of Indians in charge of the rancheria/mission was Chief Solano and that it was here that he returned to live out his final days.

Now, let’s take a look at some more of the history of this piece of significant land.

The Indians no longer existed as a tribe in the area, Samuel Martin bought the property in the early 1850s and title to the land was secure as a result of the Land Grant litigations and resolution.

Stepping back a little, Giovanni (John) Canevascini was born in Ticano, Switzerland to parents Giacomo and Annuciata (Piantoni) Canevascini on February 17, 1847. In the “1912 History of Solano and Napa Counties” a short biography continues as follows:

“At the age of twenty-two years, in 1869, he came to the United States, landing on the Atlantic Coast, and from there coming to California. From San Francisco he came afterward to Solano County, finding employment in a vineyard; he also built twelve miles of fence in Monterey County. All of this experience was of untold value to him, not only giving a much-needed income, but giving him an excellent opportunity to see the country at the same time. In 1877 he purchased property near Suisun, and this has been his home ever since. His ranch comprises six acres and is planted to vines and fruit exclusively.

“Mr. Canevascini’s marriage united him with Miss Rosa Nessi, who had come to this country from Switzerland in 1877, the year of their marriage. Two children were born of this union, but only one is now living, Ida, at home with her parents.”

In a series of property transactions between Samuel Martin, and brothers Peter and Giovanni Canevascini from 1877 to 1880 Peter and Giovanni acquired the Santa Eulalia Mission property that had been on the southwestern corner of Martins Ranch.

Now we have to speculate again as to what was or wasn’t there at the time. It is possible that the mission building itself was still standing at that time. In our last article we discussed whether or not the stone building that still exists today was also there. Inside one of the rooms there is an unusual “sink” sculptured from the wall’s stonework with a hole that drained the contents onto the floor. Also embedded in the stone wall are cut nails that were probably used to hang articles or clothing on. Cut or more commonly known as square nails are generally of three types; Hand-wrought nails made before circa 1800; Type A cut nails, circa 1790-1830; and Type B cut nails, circa 1820-1900. The wire nails common to today were manufactured beginning circa 1890. The nails in the wall are of the Type B cut nails dating from 1820 to 1900. This could possibly be used to help establish about when the stone portion of the structure was built.

Apparently the Canevascini’s constructed a wooden building on top of the original stone building. Barely visible today, painted on the front of one of the wooden sections of the building is a very faded “Peter Canevascini Winery”. The nails used in that part of the building are of the wire nail variety.

Rosa Canevascini died in 1929 and Giovanni in 1931 and were buried in Rockville Cemetery along with their daughter Mary who died in 1887 at the age of seven.

I haven’t found much else as far as the Canevascini’s history is concerned other than property sales between the brothers.

On November 15, 1904, Peter Canevascini sold two and one-half acres to Antonio Pienovi for ten dollars. The property has remained in the Pienovi family’s hands since then.

I’ll discuss some of the history and discoveries made since the property has been in the able hands of the Pienovis’ in my next article in this series.

.Santa Eulalia 7

Part 8 – Santa Eulalia Mission Building Rediscovered

Jerry Bowen

In the last part of this series, Part 7, we took a brief look at the building located on what I speculated was the property where the Santa Mission once stood. Now I’m happy to say that I’m virtually certain that all the speculating was right thanks to no less than Vacaville Reporter’s own Opinion Page Editor, Karen Nolan! I had been wondering if the lower, stone-built section of the Canavascini Winery building might have been standing at the time of the active mission period from 1825 to1838. I also said, “Inside one of the rooms there is an unusual “sink” sculptured from the wall’s stonework with a hole that drained the contents onto the floor.”

Karen was obviously excited about what she wrote in her e-mail to me and after I read it I almost fell over. I believe she had identified the best clue as to the building’s original purpose and it has been right there visible to anyone who had an idea about what the purpose of the sink was. It was a Sacrarium! Karen said, “When I covered the building of St. Joseph’s (and also Mt. Carmel) churches, I learned about the special room with the sink connected directly to the ground.”

Thank goodness she told me what a Sacrarium was because I am not of the Catholic persuasion. In short:

“In ecclesiastical usage the term was given to a shallow stone basin, the French cuvette, placed near the altar in a church, with drains to take away the water used in the ablutions at the mass. A Sacrarium is a special basin that is connected by a pipe directly to the ground. Sacrariums are found inside Roman Catholic Church buildings. The purpose of the Sacrarium is to dispose of water used sacramentally, and particles of the consecrated Eucharist by returning these particles directly to the earth from which it came.

“The presence of the sacrarium shows our reverent care for holy things. When materials designated for a sacred purpose have completed their service, we honor them even in their disposal. By returning our sacred substances to the earth beneath the church building, we honor them, the ground over which we worship, and the God who created them and consecrated them to nourish our faith.”

The “sink” may be the best clue we have that identifies the smaller of two rooms in the stone section of the building as quite likely the Santa Eulalia Mission Church built in 1824-25 by Father Altimira as a sub-mission to the Sonoma Mission! The other, much larger room, was most likely the main room where services were held if we are right. Not only is there an excellent chance it is the Mission but also it would now be the oldest standing structure in Solano County at about 182 years old and it’s in very good condition.

If I appear to be cautiously optimistic, I am. Only when people who are considered experts in the matter have studied the area can we actually say it is one hundred percent what we think it is. We are looking for someone now.

We must also thank the Pienovi family, Ronald and Gordene, and their son Mike who lives on the property, their daughter Julia and her husband Matthew Forristall, all who have an avid interest in the local history. They have been completely open to the intrusion of their lives by members of the Vacaville Heritage Council and the Reel History Video crew many times over in a spirit of cooperation that has been beyond all expectations.

Developers have been trying for quite a while to buy the property, but thanks to the Pienovi’s, it isn’t going to happen. As Mike commented one day, “I intend to live here until I die and I hope my kids one day will also feel the same.”

Now that it is out in the open about what a jewel Solano County, and specifically Suisun Valley may have, we will close this part of the story of what I consider the most significant mile of recorded history of Solano County History and more specifically along Suisun Valley road.

But there is yet a little more to tell and I’ll continue with that in my next column.

The author is a member of the Vacaville Heritage Council, Editor of the Solano Historian magazine for the Solano County Historical Society and former Chairman of the Solano County Historic Records Commission and volunteer at the Solano County archives. He alternates his history column every Sunday with Sabine Goerke-Shrode. For suggestions, or to submit historical photos or information to the Vacaville Heritage Council send e-mail to <> or write to The Reporter, 916 Cotting Lane, Vacaville CA 95688.Santa Eulalia 8

Part 9-Santa Eulalia-A final Summary

Jerry Bowen

This will be part nine of the longest series of articles I’ve written so far and now it’s time to conclude the story of Santa Eulalia by bringing it up to today.

In my last column I diverted a little from the story when the sink was identified as a sacrarium and helped identify the stone portion of the “Canevascini Winery” as possibly the original Santa Eulalia Chapel building and its significance as a historical site.

Giovanni (John) Canevascini’s brother, Peter Canevascini, sold the Canevascini property to Antonio Pienovi for a ten dollar gold coin in 1904. Giovanni’s wife Rosa died in 1929 and he passed away in 1931. Both are buried in the Rockville Cemetery.

Sometime in the 1920s Antonio Pienovi built a home on the property and is today occupied by his grandson, Mike. One of the stories I was told by the family is that during the days of prohibition the family had their own small private “moonshine still” that was used by family and friends for their own use and parties. Also, at one time a renter occupied the home that Antonio built but couldn’t afford the rent for a time. So, in compensation, he built a large fountain sometime in the 1930s that is still in use today. It is a rather unique piece of artwork of the times built of any and everything that was available including mine drill cores, miscellaneous rock from the gold country and various other items. It is a beautiful piece of work.

Nothing appears to have been known about the source of a trough that was used as a watering source for horses or the building the Pienovie’s used as their own “Pienovi Winery” over the ensuing years.

In 1940 a “Hendry & Bowman” report about adobes and other buildings in the S. F. Bay Area stated, “The Sonoma Mission report of December stated that a rancho had been established in a place called Suisun…and provisional house had been erected by the mayordomo.” This was the Santa Eulalia sub-Mission of the Sonoma Mission.

Then Rodney Rulofson made a visit to the site in 1957 and determined the “horse trough” was actually a crude baptismal font. The Daily Republic published an article on the find May 5, 1957. In it Rodney stated, “Evidence so far points to the existence of an 1800 Mission branch established by Father Jose Altimira near Rockville. These missionary branches were called asistencia…the baptismal font seems so far to be authentic except for the cross usually seen on them, but Rulofson pointed out that these Indians who built them were most primitive.”

In 1992, late Vacaville Heritage Council (VHC) Historian, Bert Hughes, also made a visit to the site and took measurements and photos of the font. Nothing more seems to have been done with the discovery that we could find.

So, last year we at the VHC decided it was time to see what we could find out about the font after Daphne Nixon found the old stone adobe not far away from the Santa Eulalia site. In reviewing old maps and surveys of the area it appeared the stone adobe was very old and could possibly have been a part of the old Santa Eulalia Mission. Alissa DeCarro sent a letter to property owners in the area asking if any of them had a large bowl shaped item on their property and got a quick response from Gordene Peienovi.

What followed was the story you have been reading about in the previous eight parts. The Pienovi’s have been great to work with. They welcomed all our interviews and visits to the property as well as allowing considerable video work by Ted Haskins and Jesse Hayden to record the site as completely as possible for future research and verification that the stone structure on the property is in fact the original Santa Eulalia Mission church.

You might say we have come full circle, but the research will continue. If it does prove to be the original chapel, it is the only asistencia structure to still be in mostly original condition in California. This would make it a very significant historic site for Solano County.

In addition, while we were doing our research, we may have determined that the original location of Cordelia before it was moved to it current site might have been at the old truck stop at the intersection of Suisun Valley Road and I-80. But…that’s another story to be researched and told.

The author is a member of the Vacaville Heritage Council, Editor of the Solano Historian magazine for the Solano County Historical Society and former Chairman of the Solano County Historic Records Commission and volunteer at the Solano County archives. He alternates his history column every Sunday with Sabine Goerke-Shrode. For suggestions, or to submit historical photos or information to the Vacaville Heritage Council send e-mail to <> or write to The Reporter, 916 Cotting Lane, Vacaville CA 95688.

Santa Eulalia 9

The End




17 thoughts on “California’s Lost Mission

  1. That is a fabulous story – thanks for sharing!

  2. Have you sent this into a newspaper in San Francisco and the ‘official historians’ recording the latest historical findings?

  3. I received Lompoc tourist info and found on their list of things to do: lost mission. Of all the things on the list, this is the one that caught my eye, of course! So I googled it. My husband and I are doing a 3 week driving loop of Ca., SFO, south as far as Santa Monica then east thru Joshua, etc and ending up in Yosemite. I have the list of missions and plan on visiting several I heard that the Santa Barbara is the one to see. But now I have to see the one you found! Is there GPS coordinates or an address for this? Is it easily approachable? You must be so proud of yourself; what a find! Lorraine in Miami, FL AKA recently retired!

    1. Hi Lorraine! Thank you very much for your email. The Adobe at the Santa Eulalia Mission can be found at the Pony Express Business Park in Green Valley, CA, on the north side of Highway 80 near Cordelia. It’s close to Solano Community College in Fairfield. The developer of the Pony Express Business Park kindly preserved the old adobe in the middle of the park for the public to view. You can walk around it and read the historical marker. I read it last year and I believe the date is wrong…a historian, Jerry Bowen, told me it was built in 1824. The main church of the mission and the baptismsl font also still exist but they are not on display to the public because they became part of a private residence over the years. You can see the pictures of them though here on my blog. I hope you have a great trip!!! Bon voyage! Daphne

  4. I am retyping this since I’m not sure if the first comment went through. I received Lompoc info and on their list of things to do was: lost mission. This, of all the things to do, caught my eye. Do you have GPS coordinates? Is it tourist friendly? We will be doing a 3 week driving tour thru CA from SFO south to Santa Monica then east to Joshua, etc and ending up in Yosemite. I have the list of missions and plan on visiting a few. I heard that the Santa Barbara one is the one to see BUT now I think your mission (your mission!!) is the one to see! Congratulations! You have to be so excited about this find. Sincerely, Lorraine in Miami, FL aka recently retired

  5. Ca has bulldozed remnants of our heritage and re written history….a crime against we the people and future generations …and the foundation of the National Historic Preservation Act. All federal funding to the State Historic Preservation Office should cease, and they should be penalized.

  6. I did not see evidence this was the last Roman Catholic “mission” in California. Did you find historical maps in the Bancroft Library or some other source to support this identification. I do not mean to sound offensive, but amateur historians often make claims like this for old ruined buildings. Many ranches had rooms dedicated to Sunday services and once a year a Catholic priest might make the rounds to stop and carry out services, which might also explain the local lore this is a “mission church.” The object you identify as a baptismal font looks a lot like a large hopper mortar used by the Native Americans to reduce acorns into flour. Who are the historical archaeologists helping you evaluate the discovery? Ron May, RPA, San Diego, CA.

    1. Yes, there’s a lot of evidence for it.

  7. I’m wondering about the evidence also, and is there any link to the 70 photos he took and more about why they think it was a mission? My wife is a 4th grade teacher… a Catholic school no less, and they recognize 21 missions…….seeing that he referenced 23, she is really curious to know what the 22nd is? as well as the evidence for both that 22nd and this 23rd that he’s talking about. I agree that the “font” looks an awful lot like a large mortar. Not trying to be a naysayer, I just don’t believe everything I read.

    1. On my website, I recently included a series of nine articles by Jerry Bowen regarding the Santa Eulalia Mission/ Assistencia. Please feel free to read them. Thank you very much for your interest in this subject.

  8. So glad that you actually found it.
    I am a history buff and a oil painter
    You may want to paint the old house just off Calavrras Road in Milpitas
    It was part of an old land Grant.
    It is tucked behind some new houses.
    It is across the road from Evans Road where a horse ranch is located.
    When I first got married this old Adobe sat by itself along side Old Piedmont Rd. It’s been painted now and hidden but, it’s still standing.
    I must go take a photo while it’s still there.
    Good Luck in your ventures

    1. Thank you, Linda! I would love to paint the old Adobe you described. I’ll have to go check it out…if you happen to take a photo of the part of Evans and Calaverras road it’s on, please send it to ne so I know I’m in the right place. Happy painting!

  9. This article is very misleading. The location of this asistencia has been known for over 150 years. It was on the property of pioneer settler Samuel Martin and remains on private property. I visited it about 10 years ago with a group from Sonoma. There is a great deal of documentary evidence that shows that it was never an independent mission but probably part of it was originally a satellite of the Sonoma Mission.

    1. I believe we are talking about the exact same place.

    2. The Samuel Martin House area is exactly where this is. More parts parts of the old mission/assistencia were found in 2005. There’s a long article about it that I’ll try to attach by Jerry Bowen from the Solano Historian Magazine. The Penovi Private property where the sacrum is, the old Adobe I discovered by accident while painting on the old Mangels winery originally called Solano Winery), and Samuel Martin house are all right next to each other along Rockville Road in the Fairfield/Rockville area. It’s the same thing. It all makes sense. They also found the old spanish cisterns nearby on Nelson Hill. Ten years ago (the Adobe I came across was in 2005) this had already been discovered so you were touring what was already known because the historians already had this in the newspaper after I found the Adobe. I believe there’s some type of misunderstanding here, and we’re talking at cross purposes about the exact same thing. The Santa Eulalia Mission/Assistencia was built after the Sonoma Mission and the records for it are in San Francisco at the Dolores Mission. Everyone knew it was in the Cordelia/Fairfield area but not sure exactly where yet. In 1999, I met historian Burt Hughes who was looking for it. He passed away but, historian, Jerry Bowen, has done a lot of research on it that he kindly shared with me. I’ll try to attach the article as I mentioned earlier. I only found an Adobe at the Santa Eulalia Mission site. It was a large area because they farmed at the Assistencia, hence, it makes sense small adobes were there. They also grew grapes there for holy wine. After Chief Solano died, it makes sense that the old Assistencia/mission was taken over by private parties and turned into two separate wineries. The Mangels Winery, and the one on the Pinovi property were where Spanish mission things were found that date back to 1834 when Santa Eulalia was built. I don’t understand why this is making people so angry…is there some other motivating factor going on here that I’m not aware of? Is there some political tempest occurring that would explain the over reaction to the fact that old spanish things were found at the site of an old Assistencia/mission? Come on! What is the real reason this is causing so much anger?

      1. I agree . Found it today. Very cool. Sorry so much histoy is lost. Thanks for saving it! When I was asking locals there was no one seemed to know which I thought was odd. They did send me over the train tracks on the other side of 80 where a similar Stone building, not as old it is in disrepair. Do you know what that place is? Off of Bridgeport.

  10. […] very bright, outdoor painter, who has a track record of finding important things no one else has noticed for centuries – she found California’s …, Daphne believes she met a Wolf in Carmel Valley this February, at a distance of no more than 30 […]

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