Photograph of Mission San Diego Alcala in ruins, ca.1905. Much of the structure in view has collapsed. A few fragmented walls still stand showing signs of deterioration such as peeling stucco, uneven wall texture, and crumbled adobe bricks and other debris that litter the ground nearby. Next to the dilapidated wall and in the foreground is a wooden crate.; "Mission San Diego is the oldest mission in California, and the first link in the 'chain' of missions that stretches 650 miles along the El Camino Real or King's Highway. On Presidio Hill there stands a large cross on which the following words are written: 'Here Father Serra first raised the cross. Here began the first mission, here the first town, San Diego, July 16, 1769.'" -- unknown author.