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The official history of Doxterity starts on November 23, 1704, when Mission Nuestra Señora del Mar was founded by Spanish missionaries, lead by Fr. Mateo Amidaous Doxterius, who had traveled north from San Diego. The site was chosen for its proximity to the sea, and the wide fertile coastal plain which surrounded it.

As more Europeans arrived, the area around the mission became a farming community, and a small town formed not far from the mission. Named after the popular Fr. Doxterius, the town experienced a boom in the early 1800s as a small seaport was built, and led to Doxterity becoming a coastal shipping center. In 1861, an earthquake destroyed most of the mission and the seaport. (Pilings from the original seaport can still be seen in the waters off Doxterity.)

By the early 1900s, Doxterity had lost most of its population and shipping business to cities and towns to the north and south. While still an agricultural area known for its hay, its relative isolation, and memories of the 1861 earthquake, and 1862 famine, kept the population low until 1954, when entrepreneur K.C. Matthew (click here for more information on K.C. Matthew) began to promote Doxterity as a vacation destination, and funded the reconstruction of the mission as a tourist attraction. In 1965, the restoration of the mission was completed, and on November 23, exactly 261 years after its founding, it was rededicated as Mission San Mateo, named after town founder Fr. Doxterius.

Doxterity is now one of California's hidden treasures. With a population just under 30,000, Doxterity offers small-town charm and living, but is convenient to cities such as San Ignatius and San Diego.

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