Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded in September in 1772.
It is the fifth of California's 21 missions.
The mission system was created by the Spanish to mark and expand their territory. An effort to keep away foreign navigators from establishing themselves in California.
The missions are backed by a complicated past that brought along diseases, which impacted local Indigenous communities.
There are historical records that highlight the mistreatment Spanish soldiers had towards Native Americans.
“Women, children and the men were forced to work, women were sold into arranged marriages and for prostitution for soldiers, a lot of people don’t realize how many of our relatives are buried there,” said Violet Sage Walker, Northern Chumash Tribal Council Chairwoman.
At the Mission of San Luis Obispo, the influence of the Native Chumash is undeniable. The adobe bricks that built up the original structure of the mission as well as the art in the main church’s ceiling.
Throughout history there were wars, fires, and earthquakes, but the church has remained at the center of the city.
The San Luis Obispo Mission will have an anniversary celebration event on Sunday from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M. in the mission's courtyard.
“It’ll give you a better understanding of where you live because you will have a richer understanding of its history and what went on here a couple hundreds of years ago,” said Connie Pillsbury, who is a docent at the San Luis Obispo Mission.
There will be an "Early California Life" display for the community to learn more about the mission's history.
“A functioning blacksmith's shop where you can watch a black smith turn straight metal into a curve, a mountain man camp […] an agricultural camp, and then lot's of people demonstrating olive oil tasting, bell tower tours,” explained Pillsbury.
Community members can attend the event for free where there will also be live music and activities for all ages.