Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The secrets of the adobe, Las Tunas Adobe

This door is found on the floor of the room that is next to the kitchen in the Las Tunas Adobe. As you can see by the bit of shoe that made it into the picture the door is long and somewhat narrow. What you can't see is that it is in the room that is next to the kitchen. The question "why" came
to my mind and to the mind of all the others that were lucky to tour the adobe.
This was the first of many,
many questions that came up as we took the informal tour.

It bears mentioning that the Las Tunas Adobe that the original adobe was constructed in 1776. And that it was the home of the first padres that were actively involved with the development of the San Gabriel Mission. And that Rancho San Pascual evolved as a result of the mission.

The current owners, Karen and Steven Cranston, generously opened their home so that a small group of us might have a chance to go through the adobe. It was great fun.

Because the adobe is a sort of accumulative house - having 23 rooms - it was easy to lose a
sense of direction. Karen shared tha some of her grandbabies would get "lost" up until they were 6 or 7 years old. Touring the house it was easy to understand how this could happen.

This last picture is the real kicker. I've modified the image ever so slightly to emphasize the feel.

The first picture is the door that leads to a basement. This door, complete with immensely heavy lock, is found at the bottom of the steps that lead to the basement. The idea may be that this was a door that either led to a tunnel to the San Gabriel Mission. Whatever its purpose there is no missing that this was a lock that served to keep someone out of the adobe.

It like so many other historical items from our local history remains intriguing; worthy of more exploration. In the meantime I can't help but think how lucky we were to explore the architecture that presents the past that is unique to our geographical area and experience.


  1. I'm so glad you got to see inside this place. Just today I've been out photographing and exploring the early Native American presence in our area, during the Mission time and before. I didn't know about the Las Tunas adobe, but obviously I should.

  2. John Kielbasa has a fine book with information about adobes. If you do more research on the adobe the fuller name is Rancho Las Tunas Adobe. I'm looking forward to learn more about your current work. Sounds really interesting.