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]

Mission San Juan Bautista (3626, 3”x4”)

ca. 1929-1949

San Juan Bautista Front (5704, 5”x7”)

San Juan Bautista Doorway (No Number, 5”x7”)

Harold Taylor probably photographed this mission (which the 1906 earthquake damaged) before the 1949-50 restoration took place. Concrete bracings were added to the large walls after the 1906 quake.


Located 17 miles north of Salinas, nearly the entire present day town of San Juan Bautista is a historical monument. This mission thrived with friendly Indians and two padres that were skilled in Indian linguistics (preaching in seven dialects) and music. The Indians took to the songs which they would continue to sing for a generation.


In 1812, with no bell tower, the bells hung from wooden crossbars. In 1865, a New England steeple was built and stood until a storm brought it down in 1915. The 1929 bell tower remodel is probably what we see in Taylor’s photograph; it was torn down in 1949 and replaced with a two-tiered tower in 1976, thus dating HT’s photograph to 1929-1949.