This "coupled dyptich" (masking tape and print) by Combs shows the site of the original Old Mission. He was nineteen years old and trying out this "three-legged biographer," as he called it. The handwriting in the lower right is his own.
 The mission was established in 1776 by Juan Baptista de Anza and Fray Junipero Serra. It was destroyed twice—in 1800 and 1806. In the last rebellion, the stones that built the walls of the building were tossed into the creek beds and ravines. The pile of rocks on the left in the photograph is an outcropping used in building the mission the first and second times. What is left of the mssion has washed down the canyons in the last two centuries. No outsiders are allowed on the land as it remains in Fornay hands.

 In the 1940s Barclay Combs and Associates, working with architectural historians, worked up a few illustrations imagining the original mission. Click HERE to see one of their renderings.

Copyright Estate of Barclay Combs


Copyright © 2002, El Fornio Historical Society