Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

Scarce Early Photograph of the Mission of San Diego

With St. Anthony's Indian School Dormitory

A very nice original boudoir card format photograph of Mission San Diego de Acala. Much of the original adobe structure to the right of the main Mission church building is mostly intact. A recently completed three-story girl's dormitory building for the St. Anthony's Indian School can be seen to the west of the original Mission structure. Three date palm trees stand in the foreground.

The photograph is signed in the negative by Coonley.  Henry Ellis Cooney (1865-1942) was active in San Diego during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and specialized in views of San Diego.

This example has ink stamps of photographic dealers on recto and verso of mount: "W. G. Walz Company / B. Burnell, manager, San Diego" (recto) and "From the San Diego Curiosity Store / S. E. 5th & F. Sts." (verso). 

Burnell & Walz appear in advertisements in the San Diego Sud California Deutsche Zeitung from 1888 to 1890.

he Mission San Diego de Acala was founded in 1769 by Junípero Serra. It was the first of the Franciscan missions established in Alta California.


Such early photographs of the San Diego Mission are becoming rare in the market. This particular image is interesting for showing then-recent work completed on the Mission site for the use of the St. Anthony's Indian School.

Condition Description
Original boudoir card format albumen photograph on card mount measuring 5 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches. One-inch tear to left margin of mount. Corners slightly worn. Some dust soiling. Overall a very nice image. Signed in the negative: Coonley Photo.