Mission San Fernando was built in 1797 by Father Fermin Lasuen of the 17th Order. It was built in a settlement that is now Encino Rancho in Mission Hills, which is to the north of Los Angeles. It was also home to the first gold discovery for Alta, California. This was the fourth mission to be established in California within a few months. At the time the main roadway for exploring California ran right by the mission, which is why the site was chosen.
By 1845, the Governor decided the mission buildings needed to be sold. In 1846 it became the Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana and headquarters for the Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. The buildings were used for various purposes in the late 1800s, such as the Butterfield Stage Lines. It was also a warehouse. In 1974 it became a chapel after repairs for a 1971 earthquake were made. It continues to be a chapel, and comedian Bob Hope was interred there in 2003. Bob Hope Memorial Gardens commemorates this man's life at the mission.
The mission was dedicated to being self-sufficient even in the early days. The Mission Bells still remain and are of high historical value.