Learn About

History of San Juan Bautista

Historical Society

The San Juan Bautista Historical Society Luck Museum is open by appointment. It is located at Third & Monterey streets in San Juan Bautista. 

Phone: (831) 623-2001 or (831) 524-1605
General information & research queries: sjbhistoricalsociety@gmail.com
Click HERE for the Society's Facebook page. 
View photos of the city’s original land patent: full document.

San Juan Bautista Third Street Historic District – National Register Documents

History Related Websites

Old Mission San Juan Bautista
Founded in 1797 by Father Fermin de Lausen, successor to Junipero Serra, mission San Juan Bautista is the 15th of the 21 California Missions.

San Juan Bautista State Historic Park
The San Juan Bautista State Historical Park sponsors an Early Days Celebration each year which is the First Saturday of each month as a Living History Celebration with activities conducted by docents including spinning, candle making, dancing, loom weaving and much more. Sponsored by the Plaza History Association, (831) 623-2454.

Juan Bautista De Anza National Trail

Walking/biking/horseback riding trail

History of the San Juan Area

The Mutsun
Prior to the Spanish occupation of California, the San Juan Valley was the home of the Mutsun Indians. One of their village sites was on the eastern edge of San Juan Bautista. The Mutsun built the beehive-shaped huts of willow and coarse grass.

The men were hunters, and made spear points and arrowheads from chert and obsidian; the women gathered acorns, berries, and seeds that they ground in stone mortars. They also made the baskets that served the Mutsun in a variety of ways for storing food, trapping fish, carrying loads, leaching acorns, even boiling, by dropping hot rocks into water in tightly woven baskets.

In the mild climate, the women usually wore only a pair of aprons. The men often went naked, but both sexes wore cloaks of rabbit skin in winter. The Mutsun enjoyed ball games, field hockey, dice games, gambling, singing, and dancing. They made music with bird’s bone whistles, flutes and rattles. The last full-blooded Mutsun Indian died in January 1930. She is buried in the Indian Cemetery beside the old Mission church.