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Digital Exhibits

Removal of a Mission Bell Marker from a campus site



Removal of a Mission Bell Marker from a campus site



On June 21, 2019, members of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of Native Americans, with historians and UC Santa Cruz officials, gathered for the removal of a Mission Bell Marker from a campus site where it has been since around the time the campus opened in 1965.

According to a UCSC spokesperson, the marker was installed by a women's group along Highway 101 in 1906 as a means of promoting tourism. The markers were replicas cast from the mold of an original California Mission bell.

By the mid-60's, most had been stolen. Several other women's groups removed the remaining markers and donated them to various organizations around the state. Historians have been unable to determine the name of the local group that made the UCSC donation.

CalTrans took over responsibility for the markers along the highway at the beginning of Jerry Brown's first term as governor in the mid-70's, installing new ones that were first made of concrete and later cast metal.

Native American tribes comprised of some of the descendents who lived in the area and UC officials discussed removal of the marker for more than a year.

The future of the marker has not been determined. It may be melted down to make a permanent memorial plaque or donated to a museum.

For further information on the Catholic Church's beatification and later sainthood for Father Junipero Serra, and the Native American opposition to glorification of Serra and the California Mission system, see "Serra's Miracle Nun":


Tony Russomanno
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“Removal of a Mission Bell Marker from a campus site,” Digital Exhibits, accessed July 20, 2024,