2012 $18.95 Carmel Mission
Issue Date: February 28, 2012
City: Carmel, CA
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
Father Junípero Serra, a Franciscan priest, worked to convert the Indians of Upper California to Catholicism. On June 3, 1770, he led the first church service at Carmel Mission in Monterey. The next year, Father Serra relocated the mission near the Carmel River, where the soil was rich and the water abundant.
The first year was difficult. Father Serra and his faithful followers arrived too late to plant crops. The supply ships they relied on were often delayed because of weather. Bear meat and wild berries kept them from starving.
As the mission grew, the Indian converts lived and worked on the farm, providing for the needs of its residents. At its height in 1794, Carmel Mission was home to 927 people.
Father Serra established 21 missions along the California coast, but Carmel was his favorite. Because it was close to Alta California’s capital, Monterey, he made the mission his headquarters until his death in 1784.
The church fell into disrepair after the land was sold in the 1830s. Restoration began in the 1930s and continues today. Carmel Mission, a monument to the struggles and triumphs of the past, is now a National Historic Landmark.