Mission San Rafael Arcángel was first founded as a convalescent hospital for the ailing Indian converts from the nearby Dolores Mission (San Francisco de Asis). A warm, sheltered place was necessary for the Indians, made sick by the cold and damp climate of Dolores Mission, to regain their health. The original plan was not to found another mission, but the threat of the Russians in the area, including a settlement at Bodega Bay, was encouragement enough to raise the status from an infirmary to a mission. After a short-lived existence, the adobe buildings began to disintegrate. The remaining parts of buildings were stripped for their wood. Finally, all traces of the original buildings were lost, having been replaced by a parish church. In the last few years, a replica of the original mission church has been constructed, with a simple doorway under a star window. A mission bell hangs from a wooden frame just outside the door. These features can also be seen on the Mission de Oro miniature.
Painstakingly sculpted by hand, then reproduced in cold-cast porcelain, each Mission de Oro collectible contains the minute details that remind us of their pastoral history. Towering palm trees shelter colorful gardens while red-tiled roofs keep the rain off white stucco walls – each mission tells a warm story of California history.
This “Standard-sized” mission is approximately 7"W x 5"D x 3"H.