Explore California's 21 Missions

Mission La Purisima

Daily Life

Mission Store
Mission inhabitants and visitors could trade their goods or services for every day items and occasionally, an imported luxury item.
Iron working shop
Grain milling shop
Many different kinds of corps were grown.
This old variety of artichokes is just one of many types of valued corps.
Cattle for food and leather products were a large part of mission commerce and trade. Above are the drying racks for the cow hides. Hides were exchanged for dishes, iron and other manufactured goods.
  Kiln with broken pieces of pottery on the left.
Roof tiles stacked in kiln and finished firing
The Pottery Shop
Chunks of clay were ground in the drag mill, then soaked in an vat. When of proper consistency, the clay was molded into floor tiles, or formed on the potter's wheel to make jugs, pots or plates. After they air dried, kiln firing made the waterproof.
Oven used for baking
Kitchen used to prepare meals
The mission maintains some of the animals used to sustain the mission inhabitants. The inventory in the old mission days included 9,500 cattle, 12,600 sheep, 1,305 horses, 288 mules, 86 pigs, 40 goats, ducks, chickens, turkeys were not counted.
Outdoor baking oven
Olives trees were grown for the oil and the fruit
Olive Mill and Press
Using burro power, olives were ground in the mill. The mash was placed in cloth bags and squeezed in a screw press to produce olive oil.
kitchen and eating area

Tallow Vats
Large chunks of beef fat were melted and purified in vats shown above, the vats were placed on large platforms and heated from fires below. The rendered tallow was stored in cowhide bags to be traded with foreign ships or used at the mission for cooking, making candles or soap.

The Weaving Shop
Over 100 people worked in the mission's weaving industry. Wool needed to be washed, carded, spun, and woven to produce an average of 1,000 blankets each year. Blankets were used locally, shipped to the Santa Barbara Presidio, or traded to passing ships for needed items.
Chumash indian moccasin
Chumash indian doll


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