The Santa Rosa Chapel, a National Historic Registry landmark and one of the oldest churches in the county, was built in 1870. The final Mass was celebrated in the chapel on May 26, 1963. After its closing, the chapel and cemetery fell into a state of neglect and disrepair with both the chapel and cemetery incurring vandalism. In 1978, Cambria natives Marina Curti and Clementine Newman formed the Santa Rosa Chapel committee and spearheaded the restoration project for seven years. The chapel was rededicated for community use on September 16, 1984.
The efforts of these two extraordinary women and their Santa Rosa Chapel committee resulted in the treasured site we have today, perfect for non-denominational weddings, christenings and other celebrations.
Caring for a historical landmark is a labor of love for the committee of volunteers. "Maintenance and repair needs are what you might expect for a building this age", according to Dawn Dunlap, chair of the annual Polenta Dinner fundraiser. Ongoing maintenance needs include exterior paint for the chapel, and reengineering, grading and repaving of the chapel's long, steep driveway . According to Dunlap, a local historian, there was no damage from the San Simeon Earthquake. "The earthquake didn't move a single candlestick or statue."