Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Benicia and Mission San Rafael

21 November 2012

Finally a nice day with no rain.

Decided to drive to Benicia and San Rafael to visit the arsensal and mission. On the way we drove past the Suisan Bay Naval Reserve Fleet. The US Maritime Administration maintains a fleet of vessels to serve if needed for national defense and emergency. Currently only 52 vessels remain from the 2,000 in 1950.


Benicia served as California's Capitol from 1853 to 1854 when it was moved to Sacramento. In 1849, the US Army chose Benicia for the first Army Post on the Pacific Coast. The Barracks and later the Arsenal featured the first Army Hospital in the West. The Arsenal was closed in 1964. The Powder Magazine was built in 1857 at a cost of $35,000 and houses a museum pertaining to the history of the Magazine. We were given a private tour and commentary by the Museum Curator.The Historical Museum opened in 1985 and is fondly known as "The Camel Barns". The name comes from Benicia's use of camels during the 1850's and 860's as pack animals between Texas and California. The camels were auctioned in 1864 at the Arsenal.
Powder Magazine

Powder Museum
Powder Magazine Museum

Exhibit Powder Magazine



Exterior Powder Magazine
Camel Barns Museum

Barracks

Clock Tower

Commandant's Quarters

We made a brief stop at the Benicia Army Cemetery, the oldest in the Pacific states founded in 1849 with the last person buried in 1958.


We then drove to San Rafael to see the mission. The mission was built in 1817 and the 20th of the California Missions. It was the first mission to be secularized in 1834. In 1846 General John Fremont captured the Mission and used it as headquarters for the US Military forces. The Chapel was used as a stable. By 1861 the Mission had fallen into disrepair. The Mission replica was constructed in 1949.


View of A Street San Rafael

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We will count our blessings and not our calories.

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