Photograph of a view of the French hotel and the church of Mission San Luis Obispo, ca.1873. The church (at right) features a façade with large arched doorways above, which are three arched windows where bells hang. Mountains are visible in the background behind the church. Legible signs include: "Fulton Market", "French Hotel", "P. Agnellini [...] O. Dughi(?)", "restaurant".; "This mission marks the halfway point in the California mission chain. It is located near the Valley of the Bears where the Spanish had found such a large population of bears they were able to keep other missions from near starvation by hunting the bears and sending the meat to the missions. Since there were so many friendly Native Americans in the area, Fr. Serra chose this location for his next mission. Although not all of the natives were friendly. Just south of the mission were tribes that were determined to drive the white men out of the area. They would shoot burning arrows into the dry tinder buildings that would quickly spread to other buildings causing considerable damage and setbacks for the missionaries. Finally, recalling the fire resistant Spanish tile roofs of their homeland, the missionaries began to manufacture similar clay tiles. The red clay was made in pits, and then spread over wooden models to be dried in the sun. They were then baked in a kiln. These were the first roof tiles made in California. Not only were they a protection against the fire raids, they were waterproof, thereby keeping the interiors dry and protecting the adobe walls from the rain. These were eventually used in all future mission buildings built in California. Similar red tile roofs are seen today throughout California." -- unknown author (part 1 of 2).; "Secularization, in 1834, had devastating effects on the mission and its inhabitants. The livestock was driven off and the buildings were allowed to deteriorate to such a state that when it was finally sold in 1845 it brought only $510 - a fraction of its earlier value. There was little left of the mission when it was returned to the church in 1859. Then, in 1868, the buildings were remodeled with white painted siding and used as a parish church for the flourishing town in the area. At one time there was even a New England steeple added to the church. Eventually, in 1934, the steeple and siding were removed, and the church's earlier appearance was restored." -- unknown author (part 2 of 2).