San Carlo Borromeo de Carmelo



  • The Mission San Carlos de Borromeo and the Presidio of Monterey were founded on the same day, June 3, 1770. 
  • This was the second Mission established by Spain in Alta California. 
  • In June 1771, the site of the mission was moved to the Carmel River. This was done by Father Serra to remove the neophytes from the contaminating influence of the soldiers at the presidio.
  • The erection of the stone church still standing was begun in 1793 and it was completed and dedicated in 1797.
  • The population of the mission was documented by Guinn:
    • In 1771, the population at the mission was 15. 
    • The largest neophyte population at [the Carmel Mission] was reached in 1794, when it numbered 971.
    • Between 1800 and 1810, it declined to 747.
    • In 1820, the population had decreased to 381. 
    • In 1834, when the decree of secularization was put in force, there were about 150 neophytes at the mission.
    • Comment: At the rate of decrease under mission rule, a few more years would have produced the same result that secularization did, namely, the extinction of the mission Indian. (McGuinn)

The first buildings were of log construction: the logs being stuck vertically in the ground with a frame built to hold the roof.

Books and References

Breschini, Gary, S., Ph.D. Mission San Carlos Borromeo (Carmel). Monterey County Historical Society.

Guinn, J.M. History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California, A History of the Story of the State’s Marvelous Growth from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. Chapman Publishing Co. Chicago. 1905.