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Did You Know?Did You Know?

Father Junipero Serra Statue

Father Junipero Serra Statue

Driving across the Junipero Serra Freeway (I-280), the huge statue of a man pointing across the freeway is that of Father Junipero Serra. Constructed in 1976, the statue is made up of plaster and steel and stands 26 feet tall. The statue is the work of a San Carlos contractor, Louis Dubois. Dubois gave $6,000 of his own money towards creating the statue.

According to Dubois, the statue is not pointing at the freeway but rather the trail used by the missionaries as they moved north through California. Additionally, Father Serra's hand and sleeve form the image of a donkey's head, representing Father Serra's mode of transportation.

Father Junipero Serra was born in 1713 in Majorca Spain. A highly influential Spanish missionary figure who established several missions along the California Coast, Father Serra died in what is known today as Carmel in 1784.

View similarly tagged entries:

California, highways, people, religion, statues

Sources:

Websites

  • Biography Resource Center
    Article on "Junipero Serra", Encyclopedia of World Biography 2nd ed. 17 vols. Gale Research, 1998. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center, Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2008. You can access the Biography Resource Center database through the Santa Cruz Public Library's website under "research databases".

Other

  • San Francisco Chronicle
    "The Pointing Padre", San Francisco Chronicle. July 28, 1976. pg. 1, col. 3
  • San Francisco Chronicle
    "Readers Sound Off on Statue/ Pointed Opinions About Statue" San Francisco Chronicle. July 3, 2001.

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Last updated by harbisons on April 3, 2009

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While the Library has verified the information presented in these files in what it considers to be reliable and authoritative sources, it cannot take responsibility for nor guarantee the accuracy of the information presented.