Photograph of the exterior view of Mission San Buenaventura, from the hills behind the mission, Ventura, California, ca.1873. The quadrangle is visible (at left). "Part of Ayers Hotel can be seen beyond the roof of a building attached to the mission on the right (center), and the saloon owned by Obiols is next to the Ayers Hotel." Two palm trees are in the mission garden (at right).; "Originally planned to be the third mission in the California chain, halfway between San Diego and Carmel, San Buenaventura's founding was postponed for 12 years. Problems at other missions prohibited the availability of the military escorts needed to establish Mission San Buenaventura. Finally, on Easter Sunday, March 31, 1782, Father Serra raised a cross and celebrated Mass to found his ninth and final mission on the beach of the Santa Barbara Channel. One of the main reasons for the prosperity of this mission was the extensive irrigation provided by a seven-mile-long aqueduct that brought water to the mission from the Ventura River. This allowed the production of many types of fruit, grains and vegetables. Due to the outstanding climate they were even able to grow exotic crops usually found only in torrid zones, such as sugar cane, bananas, coconuts and figs. After the first mission church burned down a new large stone church was begun. Fifteen years later, in 1809, it was dedicated. Three years later the earthquake of 1812 severely damaged the church but it was quickly reinforced. After secularization, in 1836, most of the mission lands were sold to private settlers. The mission church became a parish church for the surrounding town. Fortunately, the 'modern improvements' made to the church in the 1890's were undone in 1957 when the church was restored to its original state." -- unknown author.