Page last updated: November 17, 2021

All glass plate photographs by Harold A. Taylor. Digital images copyright © 2021 by Pinyon Publishing. No reproduction without permission.

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Historic Glass Plate Photography

        by Harold A. Taylor

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[Caption Information]

San Fernando In Distance with Palm Trees (851, 8”x10”)

Established in the then cattle-grazing valley “Rancho Los Encinos,” which was owned by the first mayor (alcalde) of Los Angeles, Don Francisco Reyes.

The Washingtonia palms mark the location where mission grapevines once stood.


San Fernando Front (852, 8”x10”)

This long Convento (referred to as the Long Building) with a 19-arch collonade housed the Padre and guests.

San Fernando Along the Corridor (853, 8”x10”)

San Fernando Door (854, 8”x10”)

The church for this mission endured a long cycle of destruction and restoration, replacements built in 1799, 1800, and 1806; and following the 1812 earthquake, restorations took place in 1879, 1912, 1916, and the 1930s. After irreparable damage from the 1971 quake, a replica was built in 1974. Thus we see the pre-replica version in Taylor’s photographs.


A 19-arch colonnade borders the long (243’ x 50’) adobe building that survived after the church fell to ruins, the church having passed through several leases including a hog farm in 1896. Padres digging in their onion patch found a little gold in the soil before the “first” 1948 discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in Colona.