Santa Ysabel Mission & Cemetery



 Santa Ysabel Mission

 23013 California 79, Santa Ysabel, CA

(760) 765-0810


 Update: I have removed photos of the cemetery out of respect to the Santa Ysabel tribe members whom have loved ones buried here. This cemetery is not open to the public FYI.  Appreciate from outside the fence if you visit the mission.


Santa Ysabel was a sub-mission of Mission San Diego de Alcalá. It was established in 1818 as a means of serving people who had a hard time getting to San Diego. There is nothing left of the original asistencia however in 1924 the San Ysabel chapel was dedicated and sits near the site of the original adobe. There are three structures and a cemetery. There's also a fourth (trailer like) building to the South of these three that houses the gift shop.

 Santa Ysabel Mission

Santa Ysabel Mission

Santa Ysabel Mission

About the Cemetery: 

Dedicated in 1818 as the center for a series of fifteen reservation cemeteries, this small burial ground retains a personality that combines Catholicism and Indian tradition. Almost every marked grave, even those without dates or names, is decorated with artificial flowers in vases, or wreaths, or a single dropped flower.

A white picket fence from the nineteenth century has been replaced with chain link, but the large white cross at the entryway remains. It guided travelers to the Mission as they entered the valley from the Northwest.43

The cross-shaped grave markers, either of wood or concrete, bear unique decorations in shell, rock, even colored bottle glass.

Buried with the Indians he knew so well, is Father La Ponte, a French Canadian missionary, who arrived in Santa Ysabel in 1903, and lived and worked there until his death in 1932.

On All Souls Day, November 2, the Indians in Santa Ysabel celebrate the Festival of Lights with a mass and up to 10,000 candles. A memorial that stands in recognition to those Indians in the area who had fought in wars emphasizes the outward community pride.


20 September 1818: Padre Fernando Martin blessed the spot for a capilla at Canada de Santa Ysabel. A temporary structure was then erected.

2 February 1819: Padre Vicente Sarria noted the presence of "a goodly number of baptized souls" and asked for permission to erect a permanent church.

1822: With permission granted, a church was erected and by this year a thriving community had been established.

1836: A report indicated that erosion has started to eat away at the foundations of several buildings, including the chapel.

7 May 1839: A report indicated thriving fields, two vineyards, an orchard, and animal stock. However, the erosion reported in 1836 continued.

1846: Erosion had so eaten away at the various buildings that the chapel was in ruins and all of the mud houses had effectively dissolved. A brush ramada served as a church whenever a visiting padre made their way back into the area. Two bells, bought by the Indians for six burro loads of barley hung in a frame as the only remains of the original chapel. The bells were among the oldest in California, dating from 1723 and 1767. (The picture here is an edited version of a picture from the museum. People were removed to highlight the bells.)

1899: A report from the period indicated that only the outlines of the church remained. Everything else had "sunk into indistinguishable heaps of earth."

1924: The current building was dedicated as Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church.

1926: The original two bells from the chapel disappeared. A day later Jose Maria Osuna found the clappers (but kept them).

1959: The clappers to the bells were returned to the Chapel and are now in the museum. A statue of the "Angel of the Lost Bells" stands at the site now.

1963: The University of California discovered the site of the original buildings, then only "faintly visible under the pasture grass."

Santa Ysabel Mission

Santa Ysabel Mission

Indian Museum:

Santa Ysabel Mission 

Santa Ysabel Mission 

Santa Ysabel Mission


Santa Ysabel Mission 

Santa Ysabel Mission



Locations Nearby:




HTML Comment Box is loading comments...




Alpine Historical Society


Anza Borrego Desert

Galleta Meadows

Anza Borrego State Park


Bankers Hill

Balboa Park Archery Range

Balboa Botanical Building


Balboa Dirt Bike Trails


Desert Garden


Bridle Trail


Centro Cultural de Raza


Florida Canyon


Free Tuesdays at the Park

Top of the Park

Japanese Friendship Garden

Marston Canyon & Footbridge


Marston House


Maple Canyon


Mingei International Museum


Museum of Man


Natural History Museum


House of Pacific Relations International Cottages


Old Cactus Garden


Palm Canyon


Reuben H. Fleet Science Center


Spanish Village Art Center


Twilight in the Park


World Beat Center





The Grave of Kathy Fiscus (Lost History)



Campo Stone Store Museum

Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley Cemetery



Batiquitos Lagoon

Carlsbad Flower Fields

Hosp Grove

Leo Carrillo Ranch

LHOOQ/EXREALISM Vintage Bookstore

Museum of Making Music

Self-Realization FellowshipHermitage & Meditation Gardens


City Heights 

City Farmers Nursery 

New Roots Community Farm

San Diego Peace Garden

Wat Sovannkiri Buddhist Temple


Chula Vista

Living Coast Discovery Center

Proctor Valley Rd.

Zorba's Greek Restaurant

U.S. Olympic Training Center

Upper Otay Lake



Coronado Sand Dune's Secret Message

Hotel Del Coronado

Dog Beach



Cuyamaca State Park


Dyar House Ruins 

Green Valley Falls

Stonewall Mine

Del Mar


Four-o-clock Friday's

Exotic Bird Sanctuary



Altitude Sky Bar

Chinese Historical District

East Village Tavern + Bowl 

Grant Hotel

Horton Grand Hotel

The Noble Experiment


Zombie Walk

Shout House


William Heath Davis House


Good Morning

San Diego Botanic Gardens


El Cajon

Kuma Bonsai Nursery

Water Conservation Garden


Summers Past Farms

Crestridge Ecological Reserve


 Altipiano Vineyard & Winery

Cordiano Winery

Daley Ranch

Deer Park Winery & 
Auto Museum

Distinction Gallery

Deer Park Monastary

Dixon Lake

Elfin Forest

Grand Tea Room

Philosophical Library

Felicita Park

Grape Day Park

Harmony Grove Spiritualist Center

Harmony Grove

Kit Carson Park Hiking Trails

Orfila Winery

Lake Wohlford

Lake Wohlford Dam

Plan 9 Alehouse

San Pasqual Cemetery 

San Pasqual Indian Cemetery

Sikes Historic Adobe Farmstead

Street Life

Record Paradise

Questhaven Retreat

Questhaven Rd.

Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden

Phap Vuong Monatsery

Stone Brewery

Stone Farms


Dinwiddie Preserve

Grand Tradition Gardens

Masonic Cemetery

Odd Fellows Cemetery

Palomares House & Park

Santa Margarita River & Ruins


 Golden Hill


Golden Hill Park

Villa Montezuma

Victorian Homes of Golden Hill






Suspension Bridge


Imperial Beach

Mt. Olivet Cemetery

Suzie's Farm

Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Community Garden


Desert View Tower

Boulder Park


Carrizo Gorge Railyard


Coyote's Flying Saucer Retrievals & Repairs


Institute of Perception



Wolf Sanctuary

Downtown Julian

Golden Gem Mine

Julian Pioneer Cemetery

Eagle Mine

Three Sisters Falls

Kearny Mesa

 94 Aero Squadron Restaurant

99 Ranch Market

The Fruit Shop


La Jolla

Munchkin House 

Seal Beach

Secret Swings

La Jolla's Caves, Coves and Tidepools

Mount Soledad

Salk Institute

Scripps Coastal Reserve

Secrets of UCSD

Sunny Jim Cave

Pottery Canyon Natural Park

La Mesa

La Mesa's Secret Stairs

Mount Helix

McKinney House

Wat Lao Boubpharam Temple



Blue Sky Ranch

Linda Vista

Tecelote Park


Little Italy

Downtown Little Italy

Washington St. Skatepark


 Logan Heights

Chicano Park Murals

Technomania Circus

The Chrch

Writerz Blok

Mira Mesa

Camino Ruiz Trail



Aesthetigeist Art Collective

Christmas Light Displays

Community Acupuncture

Haunted San Diego Events

Little Free Library

 Urban Ruins of HIghway 80


Mission Hills

Pioneer Park

Presidio Park

Presidio Park Historic Spots 

Topiary Garden

Mission Valley 
Adobe Falls

Mission Basilica San 
Diego de Alcala


Normal Heights

Folk Arts Rare Records

Herb Shoppe



Ray St.


Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach Farmers Market

Sunset Cliffs Caves & Coves

Sunset Cliffs Hiking Trails

Villa Surf Ruins


Villa Surf (Lost History)



Succulent Cafe

San Luis Rey Mission


San Luis Rey Pioneer Cemetery


Old Town

Casa de Estudillo

Cosmopolitan Hotel

Dia de los Muertos

El Campo Cemetary

La Casa de Machado y Stewart Museum

Mason Schoolhouse

Old Adobe Chapel

Seeley Stables

Whaley House

Victorian Village Heritage Park

Pacific Beach

Kate O Sessions Park 


Abandoned Homes of Pala


Mission San Antonio de Pala Cemetary

Oceanview Mine & Inn


Palomar Mountain

 Palomar Mountain

Palomar Observatory

The Weir

Point Loma

Cabrillo National Monument

  Fort Rosecrans Cemetery

Old Point Loma Lighthouse


Blue Sky Reserve & Lake Poway 

Meadowbrook Tunnels

Cypress Canyon

Metate Meadows

Lightning Brewery

Old Poway Park

Old Pomerado Rd.

Poway Back-Trails

Meadowbrook BMX Trail

Midland Tunnel

Xpressive Arts Center BYOB Classes


Black Canyon

Devil's Punchbowl

Lake Ramona

Mount Woodson Castle

Oasis Camel Dairy

Sutherland Dam



Rancho Bernardo

  Battle Mountain

Buddha's Peak

Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges Waterfall

Bernardo Winery



Rancho Penasquitos

Black Mountain Glider Port

Cara Knott Memorial Garden 

Eichar's Grave

McKamey Manor

Rancho de Los Penasquitos 

Rancho Penasquitos Waterfall 



Kumeyaay Lake & Campground

Santee Drive-In Theater

Old Mission Dam

Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center


San Marcos

Double Peak Park

Jack's Pond

Scripps Ranch

Ballast Point Brewery

Hendrix Pond

Lake Miramar

Evan's Pond


Seaport Village

B-39 Submarine

Berkely Ferryboat

HMS Surprise Ship

Medea Steam Yacht

USS Dolphin Submarine

Star of India


Serra Mesa

Murphy Canyon


Sorrento Valley

Pet Cemetery

Seabreeze Organic Farm




Torrey Pines

Blacks Beach

Mushroom House

Torrey Pines State Reserve


University Heights

Buchanan Canyon

The Massage Center

Soltan Banoo

Red Fox Piano Bar

Lips Restaurant

Rose Canyon

Valley Center

Bates Nut Farm

Lavender Fields

Metta Forest Monastery

Morning Star Ranch

Old Castle Ranch

Valley Center Historical Museum

Yellow Deli



Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum

Alta Vista Gardens

Butterfly Farm

Koral's Tropical Fruit Farm & Museum

Exotica Rare Fruit Farm

Indian Store

Yellow Deli

Rancho Guajome Adobe



Warner Springs

Chapel of St. Francis Assisi 

Santa Ysabel Mission

Sky Sailing

Warner Springs Town


Big Sur

Andrew Molera State Park

Ewoldsen Trail

The Henry Miller Library


Limekiln Waterfalls

Los Padres Beach

McWay Falls

Cafe Kevah & Nepenthe Restaurant

Partington Cove

Pfeiffer Beach

River Inn

Salmon Creek Waterfall & Cave

Spirit Garden

Soberanes Creek Watershed

Tanbark Trail



California Market Restaurant

Point Lobos State Reserve

Catalina Island

Trans Catalina Trail System


 Los Angeles

Abandoned Zoo (Griffith Park)

Bronson Caves (Griffith Park)

Hidden Treasures (Topanga)

Murphy's Ranch (Pacific Palisades)

Korean Friendship Bell (San Pedro)

Lake Shrine (Pacific Palisades)

Malibu Hindu Temple (Malibu)

Mosaic Tile House (Venice Beach)

The Getty (Brentwood)

The Last Bookstore (Downtown)

Museum of Death (Hollywood)

Sunken City (San Pedro)

Witch's House (Beverly Hills)


Glass Beach (Fort Bragg)


Highways 1, 101 & 46

Orange County

Mission San Juan Capistrano (San Juan Capistrano)



Abandoned Homes of Salton City

Abandoned All-Boys Military School

Cabazon Dinosaurs (Cabazon)

Eagle Mountain Railroad (Bombay)

East Jesus (Niland)

Salton Sea (Salton City)

Salvation Mountain (Niland)

San Jacinto Mountains & Tram (Palm Spring)

Slab City (Niland)

Tios Tacos


San Luis Obispo

Bubblegum Alley

 Eberle Winery (Paso Robles)

Madonna Inn


Santa Barbara


Santa Monica

Willet & Sespe Hot Springs (Ojai)


San Simeon

Hearst Castle