Mission to Arizona, 1916-1940: Father Augustine Schwarz, O.F.M.

Mission to Papaguería: Old San Solano


photograph
LAB MSS-153/17:88a


Father Augustine took this rare photograph of San Solano Mission in October 1919 during the celebration of the Feast of St. Peter of Alcantara. San Solano had become headquearters for the Papago Mission complex some four years earlier and housed the chapel, offices, and living quarters, and the first school in Papago country.

photograph
LAB MSS-153/17:89

Though San Solano was near the Cababi mine where there were many laborers who could be active church members, it was nevertheless, quite isolated requiring a drive of many miles over the roughest of desert roads. Here, Father Augustine stands by his five-year-old Ford which bears the scars of dedicated service. He lamented that it was just about ready for the graveyard and he had no money for a new one.

photograph
LAB FILM S104:46


The site was abandoned in 1924 when the San Solano Mission headquarters was moved south to Topawa. The buildings were ultimately torn down and materials used for other projects. By 2002, a typical Sonoran desert landscape covered the scene.

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