California Missions Conference


mission_santa ines_Image_courtesy_SB_Mission_Archive_Library

Mission Santa Ines. Image courtesy of SB Mission Archive Library.


Annual 3-Day Gathering Returns to Historic Site; Tours of Nearby Mission La Purisima Also Included

The 34th Annual California Missions Conference presented by CMF begins on Friday, February 17 at Old Mission Santa Ines. The two-day affair will once again bring together everyone associated with the California Missions and related historical sites, including researchers, scholars, historians, docents, curators, administrators and aficionados.

The Conference Committee has chosen Change and Continuity in the Mission Lands of California, as this year’s theme.

A great list of presenters has been assembled for the much-anticipated Saturday paper presentations in the historic Mission Church. Please click here for a complete list of the Saturday papers including themes and presenters.

Another highlight will be the Friday night program in the mission church where, through music and pageantry, the story of Santa Ines will be told including Chumash, Spanish, Mexican and US periods. This will be an event not to miss.

The Friday evening program will follow the hosted CMF reception for all Conference registrants, and will also include the Annual CMF General Membership meeting.

All attendees for the California Missions Conference must be registered. Registration forms and details can be found on the CMF website,

Some of the events, including the Saturday night Awards Banquet where outstanding contributions in the areas of research and mission preservation will be recognized, are very close to selling out. Awards banquet tickets will not be available on site at the Conference, and must be purchased on line prior to 5 PM, Monday, February 13 by visiting the CMF web site.


Sunday Mission La Purisima Tour Now Includes Complimentary Lunch Provided By Docent Group

The Sunday tour exclusive for CMF California Missions Conference registrants wil now include a post-tour lunch provided by the Mission docent group, Prelado de los Tesoros.

A ticket for the tour will be required and will be provided in the registration packets of all conference attendees that have pre-ordered the Sunday tour.

If you are planning on attending the free Sunday tour and lunch, be sure to register on the CMF web site prior to 5 PM, Monday, February 13.


Friday Mission Santa Ines And Adjacent Grist Mill Tour

Limited space remains for the Friday tour of Mission Santa Ines and the adjacent Grist Mill operated by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. The 2-5 pm tour will feature many of the behind-the-scenes treasures of Mission Santa Ines as well as the historic Grist Mill, one of the largest found along the Mission Trail. Pre registration is required, as well as a ticket, which will be included in your Conference registration packet. For more details and to sign up for the Friday tour, please visit the CMF web page prior to 5 PM, Monday, February 13.



CMF Executive Director David A. Bolton (center), Brother Brian Trawick, OFM, and CMF Director Emeritus Kristina Foss at the awards dinner celebrating the successful Save America's Treasure grant project at Mission Santa Barbara, a project administered by CMF. All three joined Robert Chattel of Chattel, Inc. who coordinated the three-year SAT project at Mission Santa Barbara, in accepting the CPF Award. The SAT program will be one of many topics discussed during the 19th Annual Missions Directors and Curators Conference, February 17, at Mission Santa Inés.


CMF Announces 2017 Award Recipients

CMF’s Mission Studies Committee has announced the recipients of its 2017 Awards, which will be presented during the Saturday evening Awards Banquet at Mission Santa Ines: outgoing CMF board chair Wayne Donaldson (Edna Kimbro Award), researcher Marie Duggan (Norman Neuerburg Award), dedicated Mission Santa Ines archivist Sheila Benedict (Chairman’s Award), devoted Mission preservation supporter John Jenkins (Chairman’s Award), and long-time CMF board member and mission preservationist Dr. Edith Piness (Chairman’s Award).


Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA
Mr. Donaldson was appointed by President Barack Obama as Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in 2010. He was formerly the California State Historic Preservation Officer serving two Governors from 2004-2012. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic University, Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland and has received his Masters in Public History and Teaching from the University of San Diego.  Donaldson is a former Chair of the State Historical Building Safety Board, past Chairman of the State Historical Resources Commission, past executive board member of the California Missions Studies Association and past president of the California Preservation Foundation.

He is an architect of innovative design, contractor, and author and has received several awards in preservation architecture including the National AIA Historic Resources Committee Fellow, the California Council, American Institute of Architects Award of Excellence and the Historic Preservation Award, and was elected to the AIA College of Fellows in 1992. Architect Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA celebrates its 39th year practice in California, Arizona, and Nevada.



Marie Christine Duggan
Dr. Marie Christine Duggan grew up in Berkeley, California and finished her education at the New School for Social Research in New York. Dr. Duggan studies how market forces shaped human lives in 18th century Spanish California and 19th century Mexican California. In 1995, Dr. Duggan located account books for nine California missions in Mexico’s National Archives, which were the basis for her 2000 PHD dissertation, Market and Church on the Mexican Frontier.  She received in 1997 the Norman Geiger Fellowship for research at the Santa Barbara Mission Archive Library and the Haynes Foundation Fellowship for Research at the Huntington Library. She analyzed the Santa Barbara Mission-Presidio accounts at the SBMAL, and the San Francisco Mission-Presidio Accounts at the Huntington.

In 1998, she received a fellowship from the Pew Program in Religion and American History at Yale University to analyze the De la Guerra business correspondence at the SBMAL. Quantitative analysis revealed the pattern of economic development in Spanish California, and showed the cessation of financing in 1810.  In 2005, she published “Laws of the Market vs. Laws of God” in History of Political Economy (HOPE) describing how the missionaries responded to the cessation of financing in 1810 by turning to international commerce in hides and tallow. In 2016 she published in Pacific Historical Review “With and Without an Empire: Financing of California Missions Before and After 1810.”

In 2012, she joined the Mexican Economic History Association (AMHE) and in 2014 the Iberian Society for the History of Economic Thought (AIHPE). She is currently writing a book: Piety and Profits in Alta California: Institutional Crisis and Change between 1769 to 1834, which situates California’s development in the context of the Spanish Enlightenment and Mexico’s trade with the Pacific Rim. She teaches economics at Keene State College in New Hampshire and is the mother of two children.


1st Annual Institute for the Study of Presidios Hosted by CMF
Friday, February 17, 2017

For the first time in its history, the California Missions Conference will host a "Institute for the Study of Presidios" which will deal with topics related to the various Presidio Districts, both present and historically. These Districts served as administration centers during the Spanish period and, in California, included four distinct districts: Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Barbara.

The inaugural session of the Institute for the Study of Presidios will be held on Friday, February 17 from 9-12:30 pm at Mission Santa Inés as part of the California Missions Conference weekend. Speakers will give a variety of presentations including talks on each of the four presidio districts, as well as related topics. The Institute will also include discussion about research in each of the four Presidio Districts of Alta California.

"We will also be talking about organizing research by Presidio districts which is timely with the on-going El Camino Real project efforts," said Dr. Jarrell C. Jackman, a current CMF board member who was recently named a CSPRA Honorary State Park Ranger as well as Commander of the Royal Order of Queen Isabella the Catholic for his efforts preserving and interpreting the Spanish history of Alta California. In proposing the idea of the Institute for the Study of Presidios, Dr. Jackman, who will chair the session, said: "It is a way of broadening the scope of research and interest of CMF and everyone involved."

The Institute for the Study of Presidios is open to all 2017 California Missions Conference registered attendees. Additional information, including speakers and more, will be distributed in the January edition of Correo as well as on the CMF website,


2017 Conference Lodging Options

CMF has arranged for "host" hotels for the conference, with each offering a different level of comfort and cost. The hotels are located just behind the Mission complex, and an easy walk to all of the Conference events except for the Sunday tour of Mission La Purísima.

The hotels are the 4-star Hotel Corque, a top of the line hotel owned and operated by the Santa Inés Band of Chumash, the more budget-friendly Svensgaard Danish Lodge, and the Royal Copenhagen Inn.

Please keep in mind that this is Presidents' Weekend, and the town of Solvang is a popular weekend getaway location.

For discounted rates at either hotel, please call the hotel directly and say that you are reserving under the group name, California Missions Foundation.

Hotel Corque, 400 Alisal Road, Solvang, 93464, (800) 624-5572

Svensgaard's Danish Lodge (Sold Out), 1711 Mission Drive, Solvang, 93463, (805) 688-3277

Royal Copenhagen Inn, 1579 Mission Dr., Solvang, 93463, (805) 688-5561


Annual California Missions Conferences

2017 To be held at Santa Inés
2016 San Juan Bautista
2015 San Buenaventura
2014 San Antonio de Padua
2013 El Presidio de Santa Bárbara and
Old Mission Santa Barbara
2012 San Rafael Arcángel
2011 San Miguel Arcángel
2010 San Luis Rey de Francia
2009 Tucson, Arizona
2008 San Carlos Borromeo de Carmel
2007 San Francisco de Asís
2006 San Diego de Alcalá
2005 San Fernando Rey de España
2004 San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
2003 Santa Cruz
2002 La Paz, Baja California Sur
2001 Royal Presidio Chapel, Monterey
2000 San Gabriel Arcángel
1999 Santa Inés Virgen y Mártir
1998 San Juan Capistrano
1997 Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó
(Baja California Sur)
1996 San Francisco de Asís
1995 San Francisco Solano
1994 San Diego de Alcalá
1993 San Antonio de Padua and San Miguel Arcángel
1992 San Luis Rey de Francia
1991 La Purísima Concepción
1990 The Presidio of Santa Barbara and
Mission Santa Barbara
1989 San Juan Bautista
1988 San Fernando Rey de España
1987 Santa Clara de Asís
1986 San Buenaventura
1985 San José
1984 San Juan Capistrano