This week we stop off in once-sleepy San Miguel, a spot in the road just north of Paso Robles, not quite so sleepy now that Central Coast wineries have attracted fame, fortunes, and the fortunate.
Centerpiece of the tiny town is Mission San Miguel Arcàngel, 16th of California’s 21 missions, originally built in 1797 and still an active parish church. The mission has been brought low before, by fire or earthquakes and their aftermath—and early on, first in 1806. The rebuilt church, with tiled, not thatched roofs this time, rising again in 1821. As an agricultural enterprise Mission San Miguel was immensely successful, like others in the area. Its holdings extended 18 miles to the south, 18 miles to the north, 66 miles to the east, into and across the great Central Valley, and 35 miles west, to the Pacific Ocean.