Danville Express

Newsfront - January 19, 2007

Mission period on display

The new exhibit opening at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley on Tuesday, "The Sword and the Cross," highlights the Hispanic Era in the Valley, 1772-1850. After nearly 300 years in the New World, a Spanish expedition came to Alta California in 1769. The Spanish brought the sword and the cross, setting up four presidios, three pueblos and 21 missions. The missions became the religious, economic and social centers of the Spanish empire's northwestern frontier, and as Indians moved to them, their village life disintegrated.

The display includes artifacts from the era, including a "santo," a religious figure of St. Francis, circa 1550; and a vestment from Mission San Jose, circa 1850. Founded in 1797, Mission San Jose lands covered most of the East Bay, including the San Ramon Valley. The San Ramon Creek and valley were named for Ramon, an Indian alcalde who tended sheep here.

The exhibit runs Jan. 23-May 5. Museum hours are 1-4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. The museum is located in the old train depot at 205 Railroad Ave., Danville. Call 837-3750.


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