Misión San Francisco de Asís was founded in 1776 in the Ohlone village of Chutchui. Construction of the adobe church began in the spring of 1782 by California Indians, and was overseen by Padre Benito Cambon who was under direction of Padre Junípero Serra. The mission complex is popularly referred to as Mission Dolores after a nearby stream, Arroyo de Nuestra Senora de Dolores (“Creek of Our Lady of Sorrows”). Its dedication took place on August 2, 1791, nine years after construction began.
The sites established along El Camino Real in Alta California were intended to bring the region into the Spanish Empire by introducing Spanish law and government, establishing colonies and towns, and bringing native peoples into both the Spanish Empire and Roman Catholic faith. Mission Dolores significantly impacted the San Francisco Bay Area tribes of the Ohlone (or Yelamu), Patwin, Miwok, and Wappo. During the Spanish Era, approximately 1000 native persons lived at the mission at any one time.
Today, Mission Dolores is still an active parish of the Roman Catholic faith and states its mission is the same today as it was in 1776: to establish a community of faith.