Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa - Founded 1772
In the 1700s, the Spanish Empire stretched around the globe. Managing all the holdings was difficult, and when England and Russia became interested in the resources of Upper California, the Spanish government sought a way to establish itself more firmly in this faraway land.
The mission system was the answer to establishing outposts without great expense. It had been used in other Spanish territories, including Mexico and Lower California. The Franciscans, under the enthusiastic leadership of Junipero Serra, set out to begin a chain of missions along the California Coast.
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded by Father Serra on September 1, 1772, and named for Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse, France.