Mission Santa Barbara Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Discovery
  • 0:30 Mission Santa Barbara
  • 1:47 Architecture
  • 2:40 The Lone Woman of San…
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Instructor: Angela Burke

Angela has over ten years of teaching experience in Special Education, classroom teaching and GT. She has a master's degree in Special Ed with an emphasis in Gifted.

Who was the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island? Who were the Chumash? Find out in this lesson about Mission Santa Barbara, where you can learn fun and interesting facts about this cultural landmark.


Imagine discovering a handwritten journal over 200 years old! As you turn the yellowed pages, you read about life at the Mission Santa Barbara, the 10th of 21 missions built along the coast of California. These tattered pages tell the story of the Chumash Native Americans who lived at the mission, which was created by the Spaniards as a way to settle the land and convert the natives to Christianity.

Mission Santa Barbara

If you were to go inside Mission Santa Barbara today, you would find handwritten journals. In fact, all of the mission archives, or collections of historical documents, can be found here. These journals tell about the hardships the Chumash and padres, or priests, endured while living and working at the mission.

Mission Santa Barbara was founded in 1786 by Father Lasuen, a priest, and was named after Saint Barbara. The mission sits upon a hillside with views of the Pacific Ocean and the Ynez Mountains.

The Chumash and padres lived at the mission from 1787 to 1834. Large herds of cattle and sheep were tended to. The mission had two vineyards and fruit trees, along with fields planted with wheat, barley, corn and beans. The mission had a unique water system. There was a creek a couple of miles above the mission, which was channeled using a stone aqueduct to a storage tank. An aqueduct is a channel or canal for transporting water.

The Chumash Native Americans were allowed to leave in 1833. Mission Santa Barbara continued to be run by the Franciscans, or priests of the Roman Catholic Church. Today it remains a cultural and historic landmark in Santa Barbara, California.

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