In 1723 Father Jaime Bravo established Todos Santos as the site of the mission of Nuestra Senora del pilar de La Paz. It eventually reached mission status & was named Santa Rosa de Todos Santos in honor of its benefactor, Dona Rosa de la Pena. At this time the population of the La Paz mission was transferred here & then unfortunately abandoned in 1749. Since this time it has carried the name of Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Todos Santos.
Todos Santos prospered during the last half of the 19th century & first half of the 20th century on sugar production & in 1850 there were eight sugar mills in the area. Sugar production lasted nearly 100 years & most of the beautiful colonial-style buildings & handsomely built homes were financed by sugar monies. Many of these buildings fell into ruins in the 1950’s when there were droughts, the water table dropped drastically & began to dry up causing a great loss of cane crops. This along with the low prices of sugar after WWII caused a great financial decline for the area & forced many of the families living there to move elsewhere.
Now the rich farmlands have been re-worked & the town prospers from an abundance of vegetable& chili farming, avocado, papaya & mango orchards, fishing & ranching. Since the early 1980’s there has been an influx of tourist activity due to the paving of Mexico Highway 19 from La Paz through to Cabo San Lucas. In recent years many artisans & craftsperson’s have moved into the area & Todos Santos is becoming known as a cultural & artistic center. There is great optimism that tourism will be the industry of the future!!