Founded in 1797 by Father Lasuen to complete the mission chain from San Luis Obispo to Mission Dolores in San Francisco, San Miguel was located in the Salinas Valley as a mid point between the San Luis Obispo and San Antonio Missions. Under the direction of Esteban Munros, the Indians painted the walls and ceilings with ornate designs; the original murals are today the best preserved in California. San Miguel had no bell tower, its 2,000 lb. bell rang out from a wooden platform in front of the mission and now sits in its own campanario behind the church. The mission has an annual fiesta on the third Sunday in September to celebrate the Feast Day of its patron, Saint Michael, chief of the Archangels and Prince of the Heavenly Armies.