Photograph of the altar of Mission Asistencia of San Antonio at Pala, showing wooden statue made by the Indians, ca.1898. Four statues decorate the dilapidated altar. Three of which are men (saints?) in church garb, and one of them is a woman (Virgin Mary?) in a robe-like outfit.; "Mission San Antonio De Pala was founded by Father Antonio Peyri OFM on June 13th, 1816. It is the only one of the original Spanish California Missions to survive in its purpose of service to the Native American Indians. The Mission at Pala was built as an "assistencia" to the larger Mission at San Luis Ray - (west of Pala on Highway 76). After Mexico received independence from Spain in 1834, the California Missions continued to be ad-ministered by the founders, the Franciscan Friars. Because the Mission lands were among the most valuable in California, they were secularized and confiscated by the Mexican Government in 1835. Many Mexican landowners acquired the Mission lands for themselves. The Indian population refused to be exploited and the Mission 'ranchos' generally fell into decay." -- unknown author.