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Mission Santa Cruz Paper Model. Perfect for school projects A+.

Mission Santa Cruz Model Project

Build this 3D paper model replica of Mission Santa Cruz. Perfect for school projects! All you have to do is cut, glue and assemble this mission into a beautify 3D replica. Printed on thick card heavy duty stock paper. 

Two Ways to Order!

1. Buy now on Amazon. Two options to choose from. Mission Large Model Only and Deluxe Set (includes mission accessories).

Deluxe Set (Most Popular)
Includes Mission Accessories
Church Only
Large Size Mission Model
Mission Santa Cruz Model Deluxe Set
Mission Santa Cruz Model Only
Buy Mission Santa Cruz on Amazon
Buy Mission Santa Cruz on Amazon


2. Purchase a Mega Deluxe Set downloadable online now.

Get instant access. You will receive multiple pdf files where you can print on your own color printer. The Mega Deluxe Set comes with everything you see below. This is not available on Amazon. You will get the Large Mission Model, The Extra Annex Building, The Mission Accessories and the Project Board Mega Pack. 

Mission Model Size

Large Size Base:

  • Width: 10 inches
  • Length: 13 inches
  • Height: 8.1 inches

History of Mission Santa Cruz

The twelfth mission in California started with great promise, but over time became one of the least successful and most tragic of all the missions. Padre Fermin Lasuen, the man who was in charge of the California mission system, chose the location for Mission Santa Cruz and raised the cross on August 28, 1791. Padre Lasuen named the twelfth mission, Mission La Exaltación de la Santa Cruz which means “Exaltation of the Holy Cross Mission.”

Other than one small problem, Mission Santa Cruz started successfully. The initial location for the church near the San Lorenzo River ended up being dangerous due to flooding so the Padres relocated the church to a nearby hill. Mission Santa Cruz immediately attracted members of the Ohlone tribe who wanted to find out more about Christianity and live and work on the mission and by 1796, there were already 500 Ohlone living at the mission.

While the main goal of the Padres was to educate Native Americans about Christianity and baptize as many as possible, they also had to grow food to support everyone who lived at the mission. At Mission Santa Cruz, efforts to grow food and raise livestock like cows and sheep were successful. In 1796, the Padres wrote a report that indicated that so much corn, wheat, and beans were grown that they sent extra food to Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo to the South.

In 1797, Mission Santa Cruz’s luck changed for the worst. The Spanish governor in Mexico City, who was in charge of California, decided that a pueblo (“town”) would be built across the San Lorenzo River not far from the mission. The Padres argued against this because they worried that the Ohlone would be tempted to leave the mission if there was a town nearby, but the Spanish governor ignored the Padres’ concerns and built the pueblo anyway.

Unfortunately, the new pueblo caused many of the problems that the Padres feared. The new town was called Villa de Branciforte and the new residents, who were called Californios, wanted the Ohlone to help them build the town and work in their fields. They offered the Ohlone more money than they earned at Mission Santa Cruz which made it very tempting to leave. In 1796, there were 500 Ohlone at the mission and two years later, in 1798, 200 Ohlone had left. To make matters worse for the Padres, the Californios stole animals from the mission which further weakened the mission.

When Padres complained to the Spanish governor, they were ignored and so they made a decision which hurt Mission Santa Cruz further. The Padres started to punish any Ohlone who tried to leave the mission harshly— including whipping women and children. To make matters worse, the Ohlone were scared because many of their friends and family were dying from diseases brought to California by the Spanish and neither the Padres nor the Olone’s shamans (the tribe’s medicine men) were able to heal them. The combination of these two events made many of the Ohlone want to leave even more and Mission Santa Cruz had the lowest population of Native Americans out of any of the California missions.

By the 1800’s, the mission population was so low that the Padres needed a new strategy if the mission was to survive. The Padres decided to find a tribe of Native Americans from further away who might be interested in living at Mission Santa Cruz. The Yokuts did not adapt well to life on the mission and so they, like the Ohlone, started to run away. The Padres then took the step of forcing Yokuts to leave their homes and live on the mission which did not make them want to live there either. While other missions generally treated Native Americans well, the Padres at Mission Santa Cruz certainly hurt the reputation of both the Padres and the missions as a whole during these years.

By the time Spain lost control over Mexico in 1834, Mission Santa Cruz was one of the least successful missions and was the first mission to be stopped and sold off by the new Mexican government. By this point the few Ohlone and Yokuts who still lived at the mission quickly left and settlers took the land. The church remained standing until 1840 when an earthquake significantly damaged the Church and caused the bell tower to fall. Another earthquake in 1857 destroyed what was left of the church and the rubble was used to build other things.

A church was built near the original mission site in 1859 though it was not meant to capture the spirit of the original mission. It was not until 1931 that a memorial to the original church was built not too far from the original mission. The new church more closely represents the style of the original mission though it is much smaller in size and not nearly as accurate to the original mission church as what other California missions offer though the new mission does contain a small museum with historical relics for visitors.

Mission Santa Cruz is a reminder that not every mission was successful and sadly, the Padres and Native Americans did not always get along as well as they could have. In Mission Santa Cruz’s case, the poor treatment of the Native Americans ended up hurting the mission and was a big reason why the mission did not survive.