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Coop's Mission Map

By Steve Johnson, September 18, 2000

Coop's Maps [http://www.coopsmaps.com], maker of specialty maps, has released it's latest offering, "Roadmap Guide to the Mission Churches". I've always been fascinated with Spanish Missions of the desert south west. Most have graveyards containing burials dating back to the 1600s. I plunked down my $6.95 at Amazon.com and received it the very next day.

The map portrays states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and the northern states of Mexico. Major highways are marked along with small to large cities, state and national forests, rivers, grasslands, and refuges.

Missions are marked with either a solid cross, indicating a standing mission, or a dotted cross, indicating mission ruins. Some 87 standing missions and over 100 mission ruins are identified. The map includes a bibliography citing its sources, as well as a brief history and timeline of the mission system.

On the reverse side of the map is a guide providing some useful information, noting whether there is a museum on the premises, indicating if a fee is required, and if the church is still active. It also tells you how old the mission is, who founded it, and some historical facts. For example, regarding the Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de Porciuncula de los Pecos in New Mexico, it says:

"The mammoth, multi-storied adobe church at Pecos was completed in 1625, but was subsquently destroyed in the 1680 revolt. A replacement was built on the foundations and completed by 1718. The mission was completely abandoned by 1838. In 1967 the foundations of the pre-Revolt mission were discovered"

Each mission listing includes the street address, phone number, and hours of visitation.

Only those missions that have reached "cabacera" status are marked on the map. Asistencias are not marked. Says Bryan Cooperrider of Coop's Maps, "There are many asistencias throughout the mission system, and they are unfortunately, not as well documented as the cabaceras. One exception is the California asistencias. It became impractical to include all of the asistencias, and once we included some, we felt obligated to include all of them. This is why we chose to leave them off the map."

Nonetheless, if you are a mission aficionado, this map will become a well used tool for locating missions.

Coop's Maps publishes other specialty maps including those for Railroad Museums, Microbreweries, Dinosaur Sites, and Rollercoasters. They are working on others maps for Hotsprings and Volcanoes.

- Steve Paul Johnson

Purchase the Map Online.

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