Old Mission Santa Inés is the nineteenth of the twenty-one California Missions established by Franciscan priests from 1769 to 1823. Since its founding, Old Mission Santa Inés has experienced many changes - sometimes tumultuous ones. Old Mission Santa Inés remains rich in tradition, legend, and history.
The Mission was founded on September 17, 1804 by Father Estevan Tapis. It was named in honor of Saint Agnes, an early Christian martyr of the fourth century. The Spanish for Agnes is Inés, hence the name of the church. The American Yankee settlers anglicized the spelling of the Spanish pronunciation of Inés and named an adjoining town Santa Ynez.
The Mission commands a superb view of the Santa Ynez River Valley and the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountain ranges. It continues to be a central role in the spiritual and social life of the Santa Ynez Valley as an active parish church of approximately 1,000 families. It is administered by the Capuchin Franciscan order.
Please visit the California Missions Foundation, California Mission Studies Association and California Missions Resource Center for a wealth of information about California Missions and links to other Mission websites.