FALLBROOK – The women of Epsilon Sigma Omicron (ESO) of the Fallbrook Woman’s Club recently visited Mission San Antonio de Pala on the Pala Indian Reservation. ESO is an honorary sorority devoted to learning about America’s heritage through a structured reading program, and by visiting historic locations and events to better understand the people and places that contribute to local and national culture and history.
The grounds of the Mission San Antonio contain a historic granary built in 1810, an adobe chapel, a cemetery, and a bell tower. The bell tower was restored in 1916 after flooding destroyed its original adobe foundation. It is thought to be the only free-standing bell tower within the California Mission system, and because the mission is an active Catholic parish, the bell is still used today to call the faithful to Mass, alert the community to emergencies, toll for the dead, and celebrate weddings.
The group also visited the beautiful state-of-the-art Valley Center Library, and the adjoining Valley Center History Museum, home of the famous California Grizzly bear. The museum also boasts the smallest post office in the United States, and pictorial histories of Valley Center’s many famous residents, including Col. and Mrs. Irving Solomon, in whose memory the museum is founded.