A Historical View of the San Antonio Missions
The indigenous population's houses, made of stone, were built around the mission compound's outer edge, thus forming a protective wall. Each dwelling consisted of two large rooms, one with a fireplace. All had raised beds of stretched animal hide, sheets of cotton and blankets of wool woven in the mission textile shops, and the usual cooking utensils.

Large ovens, called hornos, were located outside the houses in the plaza. Each of the indigenous residents had two sets of clothes made in the textile and tailor shops – one set for weekdays and one for fiesta days.

About this Image:
1) An aerial view of Mission San José church and grounds, taken after the 1937 restoration. Note the dwellings for the indigenous population that make up the wall to the east of the church, along the bottom of the photograph.

2) The restored quarters for the native residents of Mission San José. The people in this photo worked for Ethel Wilson Harris' Mexican Arts & Craft Shop, which operated on the mission grounds in the late 1930s.

To Learn More:
Courtesy of the San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation.
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