Photograph of an etching of Santa Barbara Mission (or Mission La Purisima), by Henry Chapman Ford, ca.1883. The two-story mission, situated near a hillside, features a lengthy arcade, arched windows, and inclined roofs. A cow (or bull) drawn carriage is traveling is passing through.; "The "Queen of the Missions". On a spring day in 1782 the Padre Presidente of the California Missions, Father Junípero Serra, and the Spanish Governor de Neve founded (as Serra supposed) the presidio and mission of Santa Barbara. Today the mission archives preserve the record book of the mission, which the earnest padre carefully started on that day. But the arbitrary governor would not allow the actual establishment of the mission. A frustrated Father Serra retired to Carmel, where he died two years later on August 28, 1784. Father Fermin Lasuén, one of the missionaries who had arrived with Serra at San Diego, became the new Padre Presidente and the actual founder of Mission Santa Barbara, December 4, 1786. The difficult years were over and the "Golden Age" of the California Missions was dawning. Launched as it was at the beginning of such prosperous times, Santa Barbara had the greatest of good fortune during all its early years. True, an early church was destroyed in the earthquake of 1812, but a new and more impressive edifice was already needed. Santa Barbara's mission church, with its world-famous twin bell towers, boasts of a stone facade patterned after an ancient Latin temple in pre-Christian Rome. The design is traced to a book brought to California by the Franciscans, a Spanish reprint of an architecture book originally published in 27 B.C. This beautiful new church stood firm for over a hundred years until suffering severe damage in an earthquake in 1925. Two years of rebuilding plus later restoration work has maintained the exact original appearance. [...]" -- unknown author.