The Asistencia – Redlands, California

The Asistencia - Redlands, California.jpgThe Asistencia – Redlands, California

The original Estancia ranch outpost of the Mission San Gabriel was built in 1819 as an outpost for cattle grazing activities. The Asistencia buildings that are there today are reproductions built in the 1930′s and located approximately one mile east of the original Estancia site.

The story goes that in 1820 Native Americans began to dig a zanja (irrigation ditch) to serve the area. Around the same time the Spanish majordomo (overseer) of the Rancho directed constrction of an enramada (bower or arbor) for worship. They also built an adobe administration building with storerooms, and a personal residence. In 1830 the Estancia was relocated to its current site where an additional new 14 room complex of adobe and timber was constructed. By 1834 the facility was abandoned by the Mission and the Mexican Decree of Secularizaiton ended mission control in California.

In 1842 three brothers and a cousin were granted title to the San Bernardino Rancho by the Mexican Governor of California. Included in the property’s inventory were the abandoned Estrancia, a grist mill, a tile kiln, and a lime kiln. One brother repaired the structures and resided there until 1851.

In 1851 the Mormons purchased the Rancho San Bernardino from the Lugos (brothers) and established the city and, later, the county of San Bernardino. They established a one room school. The Estancia also served as a polling place for the newly organized county. The area became known as the Mission District, or Old San Bernardino.

Dr. Benjamin Barton purchased the land from the Mormons in about 1859. It is believed that he resided and practiced medicine in the adobe building until he completed his own home which still stands adjacent to the Estancia in 1867. Materials from the Estancia were removed and used elsewhere, and the adobe buildings gradually deteriorated.

In 1925 the Estancia was only a ruin when the County of San Bernardino, and the San Bernardino County Historical Society, acquired it. The remaining historic materials were removed and construction of a new six room structure began in 1926 and completed in 1937 as a combined state (State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA) and federal (Works Progress Administration (WPA) relief project.

Visit the Asistencia and see the museum, walk through historic rooms and relax in the gardens. The chapel and the landscaped courtyard have been favorite sites for weddings since the 1930’s.

Location: 26930 Barton Rd., Redlands, California

Phone: 909-793-5402

Open: Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 3.  Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.  Group tours by appointment.

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