News from Along the Mission Trail

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July 13, 2020

FIRE AT MISSION SAN GABRIEL
7-11
July 11, 2020

 

The Aftermath

As word continues to spread about the devastating weekend fire at Mission San Gabriel, historians, preservationists and concerned citizens from all walks of life are showing concern and compassion.

Images of the blazing fire and the destruction it caused sent shockwaves from California to Spain, many places in between and many places beyond.

It had been nearly 100 years since fire caused such damage to one of the 21 California Missions. But unlike the 1926 fire that burned Mission Santa Clara to the ground, this weekend's fast moving roof blaze at Mission San Gabriel left the walls standing.

Early Saturday morning, as firefighters were battling the Mission San Gabriel fire from inside the church, pieces of the roof began falling forcing the firefighters to move their efforts outside. The fire ravaged for sometime, starting in the choir loft and quickly moving through the wood roof to the front of the church and the roof area above the historic altar. The roof above the altar was the most stubborn to put out. It was a double roof, and firefighters struggled to keep the flames down. As a result, the area of the altar sustained the most water damage, and the condition of the church's historic altar and related statues is unknown.

 

Interior of Mission San Gabriel before (above) and after (below) the fire.

 

Mission San Gabriel's altar and statues were built by noted Mexican carver Uriarte. His works filled nearly half of the California missions but the altar at San Gabriel is one of the last remaining, according to historian and CMF Director Emerita Kristina Foss. The altar and statues are believed to have been crafted in the late 1700s and brought to the church shortly after the church's completion in 1805.

Natural disasters are not new to Mission San Gabriel. In 1987, the massive 5.9 Whittier Narrows earthquake caused major damage forcing the church to be retrofitted and the mission's altar and statues to be conserved. The conservation efforts were done by long-time CMSA members Norman Neuerburg, and Carol Kenyon and Patty West of South Coast Fine Arts. Structural engineer Mel Green coordinated the retrofit efforts.

The statues seen in the photo of the altar (above) include:

Our Lady

Saint Matthew

Saint Anthony of Padua

San Joaquin

Saint Francis de Assisi

And the mission's Patron Saint, San Gabriel Arcángel    

According to Patty West, the altar and statues survived the fire this past weekend but an assessment of their condition has not yet been conducted. "We are hoping they are only covered in black soot and smoke from the fire," she said.

The church has been red tagged by local authorities, and structural engineers were on site Monday analyzing how to stabilize the church walls.

Also inside the church at the time of the fire is a large painting of Immaculate Conception that hangs over the Baptistery. The painting had been put back in the church just this past week after having been removed for a multi-week restoration of the historic church walls to mitigate water moisture damage.

Regarding the Immaculate Conception painting style, Patty West said: " Where is Norman when you need him (referring to the revered preservationist). I know we lined the painting onto a solid support because all of the edges were missing and we had to inset canvas. The artist actually painted a faux frame onto the canvas. It was incomplete on the edges of the painted frame so, with Norman's help, we sketched in the outer details and i painted it in to blend with the original. Then we had to paint white around the outer edge to make it appear to be floating on the wall of the charge."

Kristina Foss added: "The painting is Lima School which features detailed, well-populated backgrounds and lots of gold leaf. It had an Incan influence versus the Aztecan sense of color and design that permeated art from colonial Mexico."

Noted historian and former Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Dr. Jarrell Jackman said that the mission roof at San Gabriel that burned this weekend was a later Victorian style and not the original style that the mission would have originally had. Many preservation experts are hopeful that the upcoming roof repair will feature a style more in line with the historic, original style rather than a later version.

Other items including the Stations of the Cross had not yet been returned to the church after being removed for the recent renovations. This helped save most of the mission's vast collection of colonial art and artwork. The items had been scheduled to be returned to the church this coming week in anticipation of next week's church re-opening following months of closure due to Covid-19.

"This is really the only good news to come out of this tragedy," said California Missions Foundation Executive Director David Bolton after visiting Mission San Gabriel Monday morning. "It gives everyone a ray of hope in this time of darkness."

On Saturday, word of the San Gabriel Mission Fire quickly spread throughout the state, and employees at the various mission sites began communicating, according to Janet Bartel at Mission San Diego. Father Tom Elewaut at Mission San Buenaventura, recently named Missions Director for the L.A. Archdiocese  and on the heels of playing a big role in calming his local Serra Statue protests, said that local authorities in Ventura had place two police cars in front of his misdion “as a precaution.”

Review of security cameras at Mission San Gabriel continues. An electrical fire has not been ruled out. According to those who have spoken to the alarm company, a series of alarms at Mission San Gabriel began ringing shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday morning, the last of which was the burglary alarm.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Arson investigators arrived at the mission Monday morning at 10 am to meet with mission staff. According to mission officials, the church has insurance, but the ultimate repair price tag is unknown. Tremendous fundraising will most likely be necessary, and CMF has set up a fund to assist the repair efforts at Mission San Gabriel. In addition, CMF has offered its assistance to Los Angeles Archdiocese officials.

Mission San Gabriel was founded on September 8, 1771 east of its present location. It was moved to San Gabriel in 1775. It took 26 years to build the present church. And following a massive earthquake and this devastating fire, it still stands today.

 

What Was Saved

Most of Mission San Gabriel's large collection of colonial period art and artifacts were miraculously saved as many items had been pulled out of the church recently in anticipation of the wall repair, and were scheduled to go back in to the church this week. Other items were housed or stored in the mission's museum that sits adjacent to the Mission church sacristy.

The Museum at Mission San Gabriel sits adjacent to the church sacristy
and was fortunately untouched by the flames this past Saturday.

Luckily, firefighters were able to stop the fast moving rooftop flames from reaching the museum thus saving the mission's large art and artifact collection, including the original Stations of the Cross painted by Juan Antonio a native Tongva from the village of Topanga.

The original Stations of the Cross painted by native Tongva Juan Antonio.

The stations are rare in that they were painted by a native Californian. Juan Antonio is one of only three known California indigenous painters from the Mission era.  Originally, he painted these Stations of the Cross for Mission San Fernando, but when that mission fell into ruin in the late 1800's, the stations were transferred to Mission San Gabriel's collection.

Mission staff and volunteers, including noted scholar Dr. Steven Hackel and Terri Huerta, were quick to help move the collection out of the museum early Saturday. All of the pieces, except those still in the church, have been moved to off-site storage following orders from Los Angeles Archdiocese officials.

Mission San Gabriel houses a large collection of colonial period art and artifacts.

 

Next Steps

Los Angeles Archdiocese officials are working with structural engineers on the best plan to stabilize the standing church walls. Once the walls are stabilized, the altar and related statues can be examined and treated. Noted structural engineer Mel Green, who oversaw the retrofit of the mission following the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, has been consulted again by mission officials regarding the rebuilding of the church roof. He has indicated to church officials that if everything goes well, the repairs could be completed prior to the scheduled 250th commemoration of the founding of Mission San Gabriel. The event will occur on September 8, 2021. Los Angeles Archbishop José Horacio Gómez toured the burnt mission on Saturday and Sunday, and said that he will do everything possible to make sure that the mission church is rebuilt prior to the 250th commemoration.

CMF has set up a fund to help rebuild historic Mission San Gabriel. If you would like to support the rebuilding efforts, please click this link and specify in the note that you would like your donation to go toward Mission San Gabriel's rebuilding efforts.

 

Another Historic California Mission Fire

Although earthquakes have wrecked havoc on California missions multiple times, devastating fires have been less common in modern times. Prior to this weekend's San Gabriel mission fire, it was nearly 100 years since fire leveled the rebuilt Mission Santa Clara.

This article appeared in the United Press Dispatch on October 25, 1926:

"Fire today destroyed one of California's historical structures, when St. Clare's church on the campus of the University of Santa Clara was burned to the ground.The fire started at 7 o'clock this morning in the Mission building, which was built in 1822 and the flames spread to the Muschall boy's chapel and several dormitories, which were badly damaged.Priceless relics, including the famous Spanish chimes and original paintings were lost.Students and priests risked their lives to save the mission's original crucifix.

The monetary damage was over $100,000."

 

July 11, 2020

Massive Fire at Mission San Gabriel

An early morning fire at Mission San Gabriel destroyed the church's roof and much of the interior, according to reports. The fire in the historic church broke out around 4 am, and fire crews were quick to respond, however the church was already overtaken by flames. The Mission, number four in the historic chain of 21 California Missions, was looking ahead to its 250th year commemoration in 2021.

Mission San Gabriel was established in 1771 and moved west to its present site in 1775.

Local media reports say that the fire caused the mission roof to collapse, and "the interior was gutted up to the altar with pretty much only the walls still standing". The initial effort was for firefighters to attack the fire from inside the burning church, but officials say that when pieces of the wood roof began to fall on firefighters, the effort moved to fighting the fire from outside. After the fire was extinguished, officials could not re-enter the historic mission church due to its instability. Sprinklers had not been installed in the roof due to its historic construction.

The cause of the fire has not been determined. The mission church had not been used for mass since March due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.

"This is tragic news, and a shock to everyone," CMF Chairman Michael Imwalle said. "CMF will do everything possible to help mission officials rebuild this historic structure."

The mission was in the middle of major repair work inside the church in preparation for next year's 250th commemoration. The walls had been recently repaired following water damage and the pews had been redone. In addition, CMF helped fund roof repairs above the mission's museum, located adjacent to the church just beyond the sacristy. Another recent project was CMF assistance to repair and reenforce support for the church's historic bells.

CMF had scheduled to hold its 2021 conference at the Mission which sits just east of Los Angeles and served as a major crossing point for settlers coming into Alta California from both the Baja California peninsula as well as inland from Sinaloa and Sonora.

This is the first time a California mission has been closed and severely damaged since the 2003 San Simeon earthquake wrecked havoc and forced the closure of Mission San Miguel.

"It's moments like this that bring all of us together to help rebuild an important piece of California history," said CMF Executive Director David Bolton.

CMF has set up a fund to help rebuild historic Mission San Gabriel. If you would like to support the rebuilding efforts, please click this link and specify in the note that you would like your donation to go toward Mission San Gabriel's rebuilding efforts.

 

July 1, 2020

Recognizing the Feast Day of Saint Junípero Serra

We commemorate the Feast Day of Saint Junípero Serra each year on July 1. Saint Junípero Serra was a Spanish Franciscan friar and missionary who lived from 1713-1784, founding 9 of the 21 California Missions from San Diego to San Francisco.

Click here to read about the Feast Day, as well as statement from CMF regarding the  controversy surrounding the Serra statues.

 

 

July 1, 2020

Missions Re-opening

San_Buenaventura_Mass

Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, Missions and related historic sites are reopening in different ways.  Several missions have resumed Masses, some have reopened their museums and are providing tours, while others remain closed.  Re-openings are fluid and we recommend contacting each location directly before scheduling a visit.

Mission San Buenaventura is currently open with restrictions (see photo).

 

 

 

July 1, 2020

CMF Unveils 2019 Annual Report

It gives the organization great pleasure to present our 2019 Annual Report. Each year the Annual Report provides the opportunity for CMF to acknowledge its contributors as well as highlight some of our preservation and education programs. Please click here to view 2019 CMF Annual Report.

 

 

July 1, 2020

Grant Deadlines Extended

We have extended our deadlines to apply for Mission and School Grants due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Mission grants are currently being accepted through July 31 and School Grants are being accepted through September 30, 2020.

Please click here for more information on how to apply:

https://californiamissionsfoundation.org/grants/, or email us directly at grants@californiamissionsfoundation.org.

 

April 22, 2020

Foods And Recipes Along The Mission Trail

David Bolton at Pozole Fest

As we spend a lot more time than usual at home, and as many are cooking in home more than ever, CMF Executive Director David Bolton shares some of his articles and recipes from a series of articles penned on the foods found along the Mission Trail: "Buen Provecho"!

californiamissionsfoundation.org/buen-provecho

 

April 22, 2020

CMF Opens 2020 Grant Window

CMF is announcing that we are now accepting 2020/2021 grant applications for preservation projects at our California Missions and related historic sites. Grant criteria, guidelines and applications are available on the CMF website. Please click here for more information on how to apply:
https://californiamissionsfoundation.org/grants, or email us directly at grants@californiamissionsfoundation.org.

 

April 22, 2020

CMF Partners To Provide Emergency Pandemic
Plans For Each Of The California Missions

CMF is joining forces with Hytrophy Reverse Disaster to provide customized disaster plans at no cost to the 21 California Missions upon request. Throughout the next few months, Hytrophy will organize, develop, segment, and implement a comprehensive disaster plan for each of California's individual missions. These plans will enhance safety measures for missions, historical sites, and rich collections of artifacts as well as patrons, staff members, and volunteers in the event of a pandemic or other emergency situation.

The customized disaster plans will be provided but not limited to the following scenarios: pandemics, evacuations, shelter in place, lock downs, wildfires, active shooters, and floods. In order to create individualized plans, Hytrophy disaster planners will conduct site visits at each mission in order to customize plans that are accessible for staff members, and volunteers to implement. As requested, Hytrophy will provide in-person trainings to key personnel from each mission. Plans will be accessible through mobile applications and, if requested, written copies will be physically stored at each mission.

"This partnership will help provide an important resource for our California missions, and will be a great tool as everyone comes out of this current pandemic," said CMF Executive Director David Bolton.

These emergency plans will include COVID-19 procedures and policies, and will also include a plan for evacuation, shelter-in-place, and lockdowns for other emergencies like earthquakes, wildfires, and floods.

"These custom disaster plans will cover the current COVID-19 threat, as well as those for earthquakes, wildfire, floods, and even mass shootings," said Hytrophy CEO Patrick Hardy, a former National Private Sector Representative for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency. "These disaster plans will give staff and guests the tools they need to stay safe and respond easily and effectively during any disaster."

Hytrophy considers preparedness, response and recovery as high priorities for any business. Its disaster planners have received the most elite disaster preparedness training in the world, including with such agencies as: FEMA, US Department of Homeland Security, American and British Red Cross, and the US Department of Energy.

 

March 16, 2020

Save the Date!

CMF staff conducted a 2021 Missions and Presidios Conference site visit recently at Mission San Gabriel and the nearby Huntington Library in Pasadena. We are continuing planning efforts there for the CMF Annual California Conference, set for February 12-14, 2021. Please Save The Date, more information will be distributed as final details are confirmed.

Bookmark the Conference Page to get the latest updates on the 2021 Conference!

 

March 16, 2020

California Missions Videos

Designed for you to enjoy during these times of limited contact and travel, please click, view and share the videos.  Video courtesy Cultural Global Media archives and music provided by our esteemed CMF member Dr. Craig Russell and vocal ensemble Chanticleer.

Click here to go to the video page

 

February 28, 2020

Another successful CMF Conference!

Recently, CMF presented the 37th Annual California Missions and Presidios Conference at Carmel and Monterey. Read about it and see pictures of all the award recipients here.

 

February 5, 2020

2020 CMF Annual Missions and Presidios Conference

Just over a week remains until the 37th edition of the California Missions and Presidios Conference, presented by California Missions Foundation, at Monterey and Carmel. This year's attendance has surpassed previous years, and the scheduled events will provide great entertainment, an excellent opportunity to network, and a weekend of valuable information and historical knowledge.

 

January 15, 2020

Commemorating 250

The acclaimed Boletín, journal of the California Missions Foundation, recently published the 250 Special Edition.  Commemorating the first 5 Alta California Missions: San Diego de Alcala - 1769, San Carlos Borromeo de Monterey - 1770, San Antonio de Padua - 1771, San Gabriel Arcangel - 1771, and San Luis Obispo de Tolosa - 1772.

Sharing a historical account of the founding of Monterey, Ruben G. Mendoza and Jennifer A. Lucido of CSU Monterey Bay wrote: "The Best Port One Could Desire" The Land and Sea Borne Quest to Establish the Real Presidio de San Carlos de Monterey, 1602-1770.  In this article Ruben and Jennifer review both primary and secondary sources bearing on the expeditionary evaluations of Cabrillo and Ferrelo (1542-1543), Cermeno (1595), Vizcaino (1602-1603), and the Sacred Expedition of 1769-1770.

Read the article

Digital version of the Boletín available in the CMF Store

 

December 12, 2019

2020 CMF Missions and Presidios Conference Details Announced!

 

Set for February 14-16, 2020, the upcoming gathering of Missions and Presidios experts, staffs, Docents and followers is shaping up to be another memorable occasion as we continue to commemorate the 250 most recent years of California history.

This chapter of our state's long history focuses on 1770 and the founding of Alta California's first capital: Monterey. It came one year after the first Spanish mission in our state was established at San Diego in 1769, and just before mission establishments at San Antonio de Padua (1771), San Gabriel (1771), and San Luis Obispo (1772).

CMF is looking forward to Monterey and Carmel as the 2020 conference locations and, as an organization, we would like to thank our upcoming hosts: Diocese of Monterey, Royal Presidio Cathedral of San Carlos, Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Río Carmelo, Cal State University, Monterey and Casa Munras as our host hotel and venue for CMF's Annual Saturday evening Awards Banquet.

Looking ahead to Presidents Day Weekend in February, CMF will welcome to Monterey and Carmel all conference attendees for an unforgettable weekend of valuable networking, information, entertainment and history.

Click here for all the details!

 

December 12, 2019

An Evening To Remember!

CMF Stages 250th Commemorative Concert in Monterey Royal Presidio Cathedral

In recognition of the 250th anniversary of the founding of San Carlos Presidio and Mission, CMF is joining forces with long-time CMF member Dr. Craig H. Russell for a magical evening of music:

Hymns, Processions, Masses, and Dances:

A Celebration of Monterey on the Occasion of its 250th Birthday

A lecture-recital by Dr. Craig H. Russell and Grace Seng, Emily Lanzone, Barbara Spencer, Kathryn Summersett, and Jessica George

In commemoration of the founding of Monterey on 3 June 1770 and the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi just a few days later, on June 12, Professor Craig Russell (and the professional musicians he has assembled) will explain and perform much of the same music heard at this auspicious occasion. They will delve into the communion hymns for Corpus Christi that were presented in the quadrangle that Serra had arranged outside, with the four communion tables defining the square's corners. The exquisitely lovely "¡O qué suave!" and "¡O Rey de corazones!" were most likely two of these hymns, and their lilting melodies, varied surface rhythms, clear phrase structure, and jaunty dotted rhythms are astonishingly "modern"-almost Mozartian!-demonstrating that the Franciscans had brought the most up-to-date stylistic trends to California's shores. Prof. Russell and ensemble also will delve into the sequences from Corpus Christi and Pentecost that Serra brought with him to Monterey. They were catchy, repetitive, and memorable-the perfect music to entice new listeners to follow the friars in their evangelizing zeal.

Also, Professor Russell and ensemble will explore the music of Juan Bautista Sancho, arguably the most sophisticated musician in North America in the early nineteenth century. After leaving his directorship of music at the Convent de Sant Francesc in Palma de Mallorca, he journeyed to the New World to adopt his new life as a missionary. By using manuscripts at Stanford, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, and San Fernando, Prof. Russell has reconstructed a performable edition of Sancho's gorgeous Misa en sol for two sopranos and instrumental ensemble. Vocalists Kathryn Summersett and Jessica George will sing the florid and virtuosic vocal lines, while violinists Grace Seng and Emily Lanzone, cellist Barbara Spencer, and baroque guitarist Craig Russell supply the instrumental accompaniment. As a worthy complement to the Sancho mass movements, the musicians will present various aria-like sections from Ignacio Jerusalem's mass settings found in the Santa Barbara and San Fernando missions: whereas Sancho almost could be mistaken for Schubert at times, Jerusalem is our equivalent of a Joseph Haydn. In truth, California (even in its earliest years) had a vibrant musical culture that in some ways approached the beauty, sophistication, and technical virtuosity of Mother Spain and other European centers. Craig and company hope to bring that beauty to life.

And no exploration of Monterey and Alta California in 1770 would be complete without a musical excursion or two into the secular repertoire. Using the manuscripts of Santiago de Murcia, Sebastian de Aguirre, Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz, and others, the ensemble will play a few top-40 hits that our founding-Franciscan brethren would have known by heart. Craig will play the spunky marionas, and the strings will play a fandango-the most well-known genre of the Mission Period.

 

December 12, 2019

2020 CMF Awards Announced

The CMF Awards Committee has selected the 2020 recipients for prestigious awards to be handed out at the 2020 Conference Awards Banquet on Saturday, February 15 at Casa Munras in Monterey. The CMF awards recognize individuals and organizations that have played a significant role in Missions and Presidios related organizations, CMF as a whole, and missions and presidios studies, research and service.

Alan S. Kemp - Norman Neuerburg Award

Brian Kelley - Norman Neuerburg Award (2018)

Mary Susa - Edna Kimbro Award

Mary Wood - CMF Chairman's Award

Joan Steele - CMF Chairman's Award

Carmel Mission Docents - CMF Chairman's Award

Dr. Knox Mellon - Lifetime Achievement Award

 

October 30, 2019

Fall Luncheon

The California Missions Foundation hosted a special Fall Luncheon at the oceanfront, Coral Casino to support the art restoration project of Old Mission Santa Barbara's historic Christ Paintings on Copper from the late 18th Century.

This group of copper paintings depict five stories of Christ: "Christ at the Well of Jacob," "Christ at the Home of Simon," "Christ's Entry into Jerusalem," "Christ Asleep in the Boat," and "Christ Walking on the Water."

This rare artwork was on display at CMF's luncheon alongside our beautiful California coast where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first arrived in 1542. It was an amazing opportunity for many to help support the conservation of a more than two-hundred-year-old historic copper painting at Old Mission Santa Barbara.

The California Missions Foundation is honored to play such a significant role in supporting the conservation of these historic treasures at all of the California Missions and Presidios for the educational and historical enjoyment of generations to come.

Thank you to everyone that joined us on a beautiful October Midday, and to those who contributed to this meaningful conservation project.

 

October 30, 2019

California Missions 250 Tour Series a Great Success!

Commemorating 250 years of California Missions and Presidios, the California Missions Foundation is hosting a series of Exclusive Missions Tours.  This opportunity benefits our restoration and preservation efforts for the historic California Missions and Presidios.

CMF recently hosted the first Tour of the series on October 12-13.  It was a fabulous weekend featuring a rare overnight in the recently-refurbished courtyard rooms of Mission San Antonio de Padua, plus Mission tours at Mission San Luis Obispo and Mission San Miguel.

Check this off of your bucket list, an overnight at a Mission with a courtyard evening candlelight dinner!!

It was an unforgettable and unique experience that began with a scenic ride up the coast aboard the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, a champagne welcome at Mission San Antonio, a mission and museum tour led by expert Dr. Robert Hoover, a wine reception and attendance at a special Gallery unveiling of the Mission's new Field Gallery, a Four Nations Candlelight Dinner in the historic mission courtyard, and live entertainment by acclaimed mission era artist Craig Russell.  Day two began with a full breakfast in the Mission Hall and Sunday morning mass in the Mission Chapel.  The chartered departure led the guests to Mission San Miguel for a tour, then onto Mission San Luis Obispo where they were greeted with lunch and a presentation by mission expert Dr. Daniel Krieger. The trip concluded with a relaxing train ride home and personal home drop-offs, providing the ultimate door to door service.

Continue following CMF news and social media platforms for more upcoming Exclusive California Missions 250 Tour Series opportunities!

Please Save the Date! An overnight at Mission San Antonio with a courtyard candlelight dinner, October 10, 2020.

Click here to view photos from the event!

 

October 30, 2019

CMF Board Meeting at San Gabriel

California Missions Foundation board members and staff gathered recently at Mission San Gabriel for their final meeting of the year. Topics included Foundation grants, the upcoming Annual Conference at Monterey (February 14-16, 2020), the Boletín, Foundation outreach, new members and planning for the future.

The all day session included a tour of the Mission's historic church, completed around 1806, and the museum, located in the historic Padres quarters and today the holding place for one of the largest collections of mission era art and artifacts.

Mission San Gabriel, the third of Alta California's 21 missions, will be celebrating its 250th birthday in 2021. CMF will be holding its annual conference there that year as part of CMF's 250 Series.

September 10, 2019

EXCLUSIVE CALIFORNIA MISSIONS 250 TOUR SERIES

Commemorating 250 years of California Missions and Presidios, the California Missions Foundation is hosting a series of Exclusive Missions Tours.  Our first tour will be October 12-13, 2019.  For more information and to make your reservations, please contact the California Missions Foundation at 805-963-1633

 

July 16, 2019

250 YEARS
REENACTMENT COMMERORATES JULY 16, 1769

FOUNDING OF SPANISH ALTA CALIFORNIA

Soldados de Cuera, Native Californians and a Franciscan father depicting Saint Junípero Serra, came together on a hill high above San Diego - the original site of the first Mission and Presidio type garrison in Alta California - to commemorate what many call the Founding of California, exactly 250 years ago today.

Among others, the City of San Diego uses this date, July 16, as its official birthdate, and today, along with the rest of California, it celebrates its 250th Birthday.

Not only was Alta California's first Mission and Presidio founded on this date, but also came the official recognition of the adjacent ocean port and the seeds of a united California under the Spanish, and later Mexican and U.S. flags. The San Diego area Kumeyaay, and other native communities, also contributed greatly to the building of these historic buildings, and to the success of California.

"July 16 is an important date in California history," said David Bolton, Executive Director of California Missions Foundation, organizers of the California 250 Reenactment Ceremony. "On this date in 1769, Spain began its efforts to unify all of the people of this region under the California name and Spanish flag."

 

July 16, 2019

ALL ABOARD THE BUS

With the recent end of the school year, CMF successfully concluded another year of our All Aboard the Bus Program – our 14th year. Every spring, Title 1 fourth grade students from throughout the state board buses and head to their local mission to learn about California history first hand.

Through our AATB Program these elementary school 4th grade classes in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties are eligible to apply for a transportation grant allowing them to venture outside of the classroom and to take an adventure through history.

Feedback from a variety of teachers continues to indicate that these field trips help motivate students in the classroom for all of their studies. These field trips have proven to be a great learning vehicle throughout the state.

What the students are saying:

Miguel,age 8, from El Camino Elementary: “I loved going to La Purísima Mission, it was really cool to see all the old artifacts from the Spanish times.”

Stephanie, age 10, from Dominguez Elementary: “Going to the Santa Barbara Mission was so fun because it looks so beautiful and like a happy place, I liked the Rose Garden the best.”

Manny, age 8, from El Gabilan Elementary: “Going to the Santa Cruz Mission was really fun because I don’t get to go to new places a lot, the mission was really pretty and fun to learn about because it was something I had never seen before”.

Through these field trips students are able to understand the importance of preserving historic artifacts and buildings.  In all, more than 3,000 fourth grade students in Los Angeles, Monterey, and Santa Barbara Counties were able to visit their local mission or related historic sites via CMF’s “All Aboard the Bus” program.

The “All-Aboard-the-Bus” Field trip Grant Program looks forward to continuing to inspire future generations to pursue educational endeavors, and to take an interest in history, preservation and restoration of the 21 California Missions and related historical sites. We thank everyone statewide that have helped to make this valuable education program successful.

As CMF looks to the 2019-2020 school year, we would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, The Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation, Upjohn California Fund, the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, William J. Hannon Foundation, and Montecito Bank and Trust.

 

July 16, 2019

CMF’s EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RECEIVES SPANISH KNIGHTHOOD

David Bolton, executive director of the California Missions Foundation and a 51 year resident of Santa Barbara, has officially entered Spain’s Royal Order of Isabel la Católica following an elaborate ceremony at the historic El Presidio Real de Santa Barbara.

In front of a throng of family, friends, and colleagues, Mr. Bolton became a Commander of the Royal Order, one of Spain’s highest civilian honors. Ambassador Javier Vallaure, Spain’s Consul General in Los Angeles, presided over the ceremony and presented Mr. Bolton with both the official Decoration signed by His Majesty, King Felipe VI, as well as the Medal and ribbon of the Royal Order.

“This is a truly great honor, and I share it with everyone that continues the effort to recognition Spain’s legacy in the Americas and to also help preserve the buildings, culture and traditions the Spanish people and their descendants have left on this side of the Atlantic,” said Mr. Bolton, who also serves as a board member for the Washington DC-based US-Spain Council and Santa Barbara’s Old Spanish Days Fiesta.

Following the decoration ceremony in front of the El Presidio Chapel, guests were invited inside for a candlelight gala dinner. The event coincides with Santa Barbara’s Founding Week activities that mark the anniversary of the establishment of the Santa Barbara Presidio and town in 1782.

Click here to view the knighting ceremony.

 

March 20, 2019

CMF SELECTS LOCATIONS FOR THE NEXT FOUR
CALIFORNIA MISSIONS AND PRESIDIOS CONFERENCES

Monterey to Host 2020; San Gabriel 2021, San Luis Obispo 2022, and Sonoma 2023

The CMF Board of Directors used the widespread upcoming 250 year commemorations throughout the state as it selected the next four sites for the annual Presidents Day weekend Conference of California Missions and Presidios.

Monterey, where the Portolá Expedition landed in 1770 after founding San Diego, was chosen to host the 37th edition of the CMF Conference next year in 2020. Monterey was the site of the first official Presidio in Alta California founded in 1770, and it is fitting for the 2020 CMF California Missions and Presidios Conference to be held in this historic city. Like this year in San Diego, scholars from the U.S. and abroad will come together to present on a variety of topics including presidios, missions and native Californian history.

In 2021, San Gabriel will be the site of the 38th Annual California Missions and Presidios Conference -- 250 years after it was founded in 1771. This mission, the fourth in the Alta California chain, eventually led to the founding of Los Angelesas it served as the departure point for the early families who created El Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles.

In 2022, Mission San Luis Obispo will host the 39th Annual CMF Conference, 250 years after its 1772 founding, and in 2023, Sonoma, home to Mission San Francisco de Solano, will host the 40th California Missions Conference, 200 years after its founding in 1823.

 

March 20, 2019

2019 CMF AWARDS HANDED OUT IN SAN DIEGO

Richard Carrico receives Norman Neuerburg Award; Carol Kenyon the Edna Kimbro; and CMF Chairman's Awards go to Ignacio Felix Cota, the Docents at Mission San Juan Capistrano and Drs. Rose Marie Beebe and Robert Senkewicz

During the Saturday evening Awards Banquet at the recent CMF Conference, a handful of honors were bestowed on a group of talented and dedicated individuals.

Long-time Professor at San Diego State University Dr. Richard Carrico, who is a devoted archaeologist and researcher of early San Diego native history, received the 2019 Norman Neuerburg Award.

Carol Kenyon, who has served on the CMF board since the foundation's inception in 2000 and who was one of the state's leading Mission art and artifact conservators, received the 2019 Edna Kimbro Award.

2019 CMF Chairman's Awards went to Ignacio Felix Cota, an active descendant of the early Portolá Expedition who spent years uncovering his family's history leading to the successful installation of San Diego monument recognizing the state's early founders; the Docent Society at Mission San Juan Capistrano -- a committed group that was instrumental in the founding of CMSA in 1984 and continues its important role today; and Drs. Rose Marie Beebe and Robert Senkewicz, considered among the top scholars of early California Mission and Presidio history.

 

March 20, 2019

CMF OFFICERS CHOSEN

During the recent Conference, the Board of Directors of CMF met to discuss a variety of topics including preservation grants, sites for future California Missions Conferences, and also to install news officers for the Foundation.

By a unanimous vote, the following slate of officers were elected for terms ending on June 30, 2020:

Chairman
Mike Imwalle

Vice Chair
Dr. Edith Piness

Treasurer
Dr. Glenn Farris

Secretary
Mary Wood

March 20, 2019

2019 CALIFORNIA MISSIONS AND PRESIDIOS CONFERENCE
IN SAN DIEGO WAS A GREAT SUCCESS!

CMF Members, historians, docents and others who appreciate the California Missions and work to study and preserve them gathered recently in San Diego for the 36th Annual California Missions Conference.

Read all about it and see the photos here.

 

March 20, 2019

CMF SELECTS LOCATIONS FOR THE NEXT FOUR
CALIFORNIA MISSIONS AND PRESIDIOS CONFERENCES

Monterey to Host 2020; San Gabriel 2021, San Luis Obispo 2022, and Sonoma 2023

The CMF Board of Directors used the widespread upcoming 250 year commemorations throughout the state as it selected the next four sites for the annual Presidents Day weekend Conference of California Missions and Presidios.

Monterey, where the Portolá Expedition landed in 1770 after founding San Diego, was chosen to host the 37th edition of the CMF Conference next year in 2020. Monterey was the site of the first official Presidio in Alta California founded in 1770, and it is fitting for the 2020 CMF California Missions and Presidios Conference to be held in this historic city. Like this year in San Diego, scholars from the U.S. and abroad will come together to present on a variety of topics including presidios, missions and native Californian history.

In 2021, San Gabriel will be the site of the 38th Annual California Missions and Presidios Conference -- 250 years after it was founded in 1771. This mission, the fourth in the Alta California chain, eventually led to the founding of Los Angelesas it served as the departure point for the early families who created El Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles.

In 2022, Mission San Luis Obispo will host the 39th Annual CMF Conference, 250 years after its 1772 founding, and in 2023, Sonoma, home to Mission San Francisco de Solano, will host the 40th California Missions Conference, 200 years after its founding in 1823.

 

March 20, 2019

2019 CMF AWARDS HANDED OUT IN SAN DIEGO

Richard Carrico receives Norman Neuerburg Award; Carol Kenyon the Edna Kimbro; and CMF Chairman's Awards go to Ignacio Felix Cota, the Docents at Mission San Juan Capistrano and Drs. Rose Marie Beebe and Robert Senkewicz

During the Saturday evening Awards Banquet at the recent CMF Conference, a handful of honors were bestowed on a group of talented and dedicated individuals.

Long-time Professor at San Diego State University Dr. Richard Carrico, who is a devoted archaeologist and researcher of early San Diego native history, received the 2019 Norman Neuerburg Award.

Carol Kenyon, who has served on the CMF board since the foundation's inception in 2000 and who was one of the state's leading Mission art and artifact conservators, received the 2019 Edna Kimbro Award.

2019 CMF Chairman's Awards went to Ignacio Felix Cota, an active descendant of the early Portolá Expedition who spent years uncovering his family's history leading to the successful installation of San Diego monument recognizing the state's early founders; the Docent Society at Mission San Juan Capistrano -- a committed group that was instrumental in the founding of CMSA in 1984 and continues its important role today; and Drs. Rose Marie Beebe and Robert Senkewicz, considered among the top scholars of early California Mission and Presidio history.

 

March 20, 2019

CMF OFFICERS CHOSEN

During the recent Conference, the Board of Directors of CMF met to discuss a variety of topics including preservation grants, sites for future California Missions Conferences, and also to install news officers for the Foundation.

By a unanimous vote, the following slate of officers were elected for terms ending on June 30, 2020:

Chairman
Mike Imwalle

Vice Chair
Dr. Edith Piness

Treasurer
Dr. Glenn Farris

Secretary
Mary Wood

January 10, 2019

2019 CMF CONFERENCE PAPERS SCHEDULE RELEASED!

Click below to download and print the Speaker Schedule for the 2019 conference.

Papers Schedule

October 27, 2018

REGISTRATION FOR 2019 CMF CONFERENCE NOW OPEN!

In February, 2019, the Conference events will be hosted at Mission San Diego de Alcala, the Serra Museum and original site of Mission San Diego on today's Presidio Hill (San Diego History Center), the campus of University of San Diego, and the San Diego Maritime Museum. See all the details here.

Register Online

Mail-in Form

October 27, 2018

CALL FOR CONFERENCE PAPERS

THEME SELECTED FOR 2019 CMF CONFERENCE IN SAN DIEGO

The California Missions Studies Committee has selected the theme for the 2019 CMF California Missions Conference slated for February 15-17 in San Diego:

Cosoy to San Diego: First Overland Encounters, California 250.
Commemorating California’s 250th Anniversary

The Committee explained that the selected theme does not rule out anything being presented for the period prior to 1769, but a large focus of the conference would be on the events of 1769.

For the 2019 California Missions Conference, the California Missions Foundation's Paper and Publications Committee invites paper and panel proposals that explore the events of 1769 in the mission lands of California. After millennia of sovereign land occupation by California Indian groups, the Spanish began to colonize Alta California beginning in 1769 with the establishment of Mission San Diego de Alcalá – the first official European settlement in our state.

The theme of Cosoy to San Diego: First Overland Encounters, California 250 should be considered broadly. Scholars from various disciplines can explore events leading up to 1769, events in 1769, and events after 1769.

If you would like to submit a presentation for consideration for the upcoming 2019 California Missions Conference, please send the following via email to Conference@californiamissionsfoundation.org: 1. An abstract of 100 to 200 words. Indicate if it is a single presentation (20 min including questions), or a panel session (60 min.) 2. Names of all presenters, affiliation(s), contact information (including e-mail) 3. Audio-visual requirements. Abstracts are due via email by November 15, 2018 to the attention of the California Missions Conference Program Coordinators: conference@californiamissionsfoundation.org.

 

October 27, 2018

SPECIAL 2019 EDITION OF BOLETÍN COMMEMORATING CALIFORNIA’S 250TH
EARLY PUBLICATION DATE ANNOUNCED

The CMF Publications Committee recently voted unanimously to move forward the publishing of the 2019 edition of Boletín to the spring, allowing this edition to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the first official Spanish settlement in California, the dedication of Mission San Diego de Alcala on July 16, 1769.

With this in mind, the Committee is looking for submissions that follow the above conference theme, Cosoy to San Diego: First Overland Encounters, California 250, and it is now accepting articles and article proposals for the 2019 Boletín.

The journal is a peer-reviewed academic journal that features the best of California Mission Studies from a wide variety of disciples.

The Boletín committee is also willing to entertain articles/proposals on any topic related to California's pre-statehood history. Generally, the committee is committed to accepting as many articles as possible, but there are restrictions on time and space for which the committee must account. In all cases, decisions to accept or deny an article/proposal will be based on the following criteria: Relevance to the conference theme, the Article's timeliness and/or distinctiveness, the Article's relationship to other articles (the Boletín should showcase the diversity of the field of mission studies. The committee will try to achieve balance by not accepting too many articles related to a particular region, discipline, or subject).

Interested authors should submit paper proposals by December 15 15, 2018. A timeline for completion of the articles will be established between the committee and selected authors.

Questions can be directed to the Committee at: Boletin@californiamissionsfoundation.org

Click here to see the style guide

 

October 27, 2018

CMF ANNOUNCES 2019 DOCENTS WORKSHOP DETAILS

Friday, February 15, 2019, 9:00-12:30
"Unraveling the Elements of a Good Story:
A Docent Participation Workshop"

California Missions Foundation is proud to unveil a special workshop for Docents from throughout the state on Friday, February 15 from 9 am -12:30 pm in San Diego. A kick off for the three-day California Missions Conference presented by CMF, this informative Docents Workshop will bring together active docents from several historical sites providing a platform for the exchange of information, ideas and networking.

The Workshop is free for all registered conference attendees, but an rsvp is required via the californiamissionsfoundation.org website under 'Store."

Some of the topics to be discussed:

  • Telling the complete story about the indigenous people, the Spanish and the Franciscan padres
  • Covering the 4th grade curriculum.
  • Story telling that enables our audience to image living in the early mission days
  • Using the proper language that is not insulting or offensive
  • Sources of Mission information
  • Training: how often and who does it?
  • Merits of each docent developing their own tour script instead of every one using the same one.
  • Ability to handle negative remarks, gracefully
  • How to show hospitality
  • How to handle crowds and the inability to have access to rooms

This special day for Docents will kickoff at 9 am with a guided tour of the original site of Mission San Diego de Alcalá at today's Presidio Hill. Participants will then transfer to the adjacent Serra Museum for the Docent Workshop.

October 27, 2018

 

MISSIONS CURATORS AND DIRECTORS WORKSHOP
RETURNS TO 2019 CALIFORNIA MISSIONS CONFERENCE presented by CMF

For the third straight year, CMF's California Missions Conference this coming February 15-17, 2019 will again feature a Friday Workshop for the Mission and Presidios Curators, Directors and Administrators. The Workshop will be held from 9 am-12:30 pm on Friday, February 15 at La Sala at Mission San Diego de Alcalá.

The CMF Missions and Presidios Workshop will focus on building conservation, Garden restoration and the NPS cultural landscape programs plus art care and conservation, fundraising, CMF Grants and a variety of topics that our historical sites coordinate tirelessly on a daily basis.

Besides the educational presentations, Mission and Presidio staffs will have the chance to discuss their common issues and engage in joint problem-solving. The conference has also regularly honored those who aid the Missions and Presidios with a Distinguished Award that will again be presented this year.

One of the important things to come out of the first two CMF Workshops was the creation of a detailed contact list for continued contact and networking. CMF keeps that list up to date today.

CMF's continued support of the Missions and Presidios Workshop will provide another top quality 2019 informative exchange as well as support for those charged with the day-to-day protection of the missions' and presidios' heritage of buildings, artifacts and cultural legacy.

July 1, 2018

2017 CMF Annual Report Now Online

The California Missions Foundation's 2015 Annual Report is now online and available to read. Click the link below to learn about all the exciting contributions CMF has made to the missions community in 2017.

2017 Annual Report

 

July 1, 2018

Call for Articles for the Boletín, the Journal of the California Missions Foundation

The CMF publications committee is now accepting articles and article proposals for the 2018 Boletín. The journal is a peer-reviewed academic journal that features the best of California Mission Studies from a wide variety of disciples. 

The committee is especially interested in articles that reflect the theme of the 2018 California Missions Conference: Partnerships. 

"It is always something we should promote and always something to strive for," said California Missions Studies Chair Mike Imwalle.

The Boletín committee is also willing to entertain articles/proposals on any topic related to California's pre-statehood history. Generally, the committee is committed to accepting as many articles as possible, but there are restrictions on time and space for which the committee must account. In all cases, decisions to accept or deny an article/proposal will be based on the following criteria: Relevance to the conference theme. The Article's timeliness and/or distinctiveness The Article's relationship to other articles (the Boletín should showcase the diversity of the field of mission studies. The committee will try to achieve balance by not accepting too many articles related to a particular region, discipline, or subject). 

Interested authors should submit paper proposals by July 15, 2018. A timeline for completion of the articles will be established between the committee and selected authors. 

Questions can be directed to the Committee at: Boletin@californiamissionsfoundation.org 

Click here to see the style guide

Conference and Publications Committee: Mike Imwalle, Chair, David Bolton, Maureen Bourbin, Mary Wood

July 1, 2018

20 Years of CMF

As the 250 anniversary of the founding of Alta California draws closer, the California Mission Foundation celebrates its own twenty-year history anniversary and its work with the California Missions and Presidios. Click here to read about a few of the hundreds of projects completed at over 25 Missions, Presidios, and Asistenicias.

July 1, 2018

CMF Embarks on Its 12th Year of Sending 4th Graders on Imprtant Field Trips to Their Local Missions

For the 12th consecutive year, the California Missions Foundation is sending fourth grade students on field trips to their local mission through its annual "All-Aboard-the-Bus" Field Trip Grant Program.

Read all about it here

March 20, 2018

CMF Board Elects Officers for 2018

 In accordance with the CMF By Laws, the CMF Board of Directors elected its officers for the current year during the winter board meeting held in conjunction with the recent California Missions Conference. Jim Lazarus, formerly the vice chair of CMF, was unanimously elected Board Chair. He will be joined on the CMF Executive Committee by newly-elected Vice Chair Alan Kemp, Secretary Dr. Edith Piness and Treasurer Mike Imwalle.

February 18, 2018

CMF Announces 2018 Award Recipients

The California Missions Foundation is pleased to announce its selections for the 2018 Norman Neuerburg and Edna E. Kimbro Awards. The awards were presented at our annual California Missions Conference which was held at Mission Santa Clara, February 16-18, 2018.

Two Norman Neuerburg awards were presented for 2018.

A 2018 Norman Neuerburg Award was presented to Mr. Brian Kelly, for his Mission preservation achievements as a volunteer project manager and construction coordinator for the Diocese of Monterey.

A 2018 Norman Neuerburg Award was presented to Dr. Iris Engstrand for her scholarship as a Distinguished Professor of History at the University of San Diego and her ongoing service to the Mission Studies community.

The 2018 Edna E. Kimbro Award was presented to Ms. Theresa Brunner for her preservation achievements as the Mission Curator at Mission San Rafael Arcangel, in addition to her invaluable organizational support for both the California Mission Studies Association and California Missions Foundation.

Brian Kelly
Considered to be the "Harry Downie" of his generation, Brian Kelly has served the Monterey Diocese for over thirty years as a trusted volunteer project manager and construction coordinator on a variety of construction, restoration and repair projects. The list of historic preservation and restoration projects Brian Kelly has helped to guide is impressive, including the seismic retrofitting of the Royal Presidio Chapel in Monterey, the Carmel Mission Basilica, Mission San Antonio de Padua, and Mission San Juan Bautista. Brian's effectiveness and passion for the Missions have led to the completion of projects which will continue to serve the public for generations to come.

Brian received his degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University and earned his MBA from Stanford University.  After serving in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, Brian began a career with Granite Construction Company as an Engineer. He would later become a Division Manager and a Vice President of the company. Brian retired from Granite Construction in the early 1980's to focus on community volunteer projects and personal development.

 

Dr. Iris Engstrand
In 2017, Dr. Iris Engstrand retired from the University of San Diego as a distinguished Professor of History, after serving California's academic and civic communities for nearly five decades. Iris completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in history at the University of Southern California and focused her professional career on the Hispanic Period in California and the Southwest.

Her special interests include 18th century Spanish scientific and exploring expeditions and the influence of the enlightenment on Spanish California. Iris's research on Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo led to her involvement with the San Diego Maritime Museum's reconstruction of the 16th century vessel San Salvador. Her community service, professional activities, publications and honors are too numerous to enumerate, but among these is the Royal Order of Isabel de Catolica, awarded by King Juan Carlos of Spain, for her outstanding cultural contributions.

 

Theresa Brunner
Theresa Brunner's devotion to Mission San Rafael Arcangel reflects her family's legacy at the Mission, which now spans five generations. Having established herself as an art historian and educator, Theresa assumed the duties of San Rafael's curator in 2005. Her many projects have ranged from overseeing the preservation of Saint Junípero Serra's vestments to coordinating the restoration of Indian baskets at UC Berkeley.

Theresa has also provided invaluable service to the Mission Studies community. She has orchestrated lecture series, special celebrations and exhibits for Mission San Rafael, both at the Church and at outside venues, such as the Marin County Civic Center. She has provided perennial support in organizing California Mission Studies Association's events. Theresa was the principle organizer for CMSA's very successful conference at Mission San Rafael in 2012. Theresa's most recent accomplishment as a volunteer curator was organizing the 200th anniversary celebration of the founding of Mission San Rafael Arcangel.

Theresa currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Missions Foundation and is a former Vice-president of the California Mission Studies Association Board.

 

2018 Chairman's Award

A pair of CMF chairman's awards were also handed out during the 2018 California Missions Conference. Mechelle Lawrence-Adams, executive director of Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Derek and Valerie Sanders representing Linden Root Dickinson Foundation were recognized for their outstanding efforts in the area of missions preservation. 

The Linden Root Dickinson Foundation, a private family foundation, was started in 1990, with Mrs. Dorothy Linden Root and her daughter, Mrs. Joan Linden Sanders, as the primary benefactors and guiding lights. The importance of giving had been instilled in them by Mr. Ray Dickinson, father of Mrs. Root. The foundation has a variety of interest areas including education, historical preservation, children's welfare, relief funding, and social services. For many years, Linden Root Dickinson has provided generous funding for a long list of preservation and conservation projects throughout Alta California's Mission chain, and the foundation has been a valued partner of CMF.

Meanwhile, at Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mechelle Lawrence-Adams has carried out hundreds of programs, campaigns and endeavors to support a long term sustainability plan for this critically important California and Orange County landmark. Her 15 years at Mission SJC's helm as executive director, she has raised well over $10 million net working hand in hand with the Mission San Juan Capistrano Preservation Foundation, staff, volunteers, and community partners.  

Mechelle oversees a staff of 65 and volunteers of 305.  She has overseen the hiring and development of a museum and preservation team to ensure the conservation of over 40 historically paintings, including specifically finding a long lost, forgotten c. 1801 painting hidden for over 40 years. As the site's chief preservation officer she has enthusiastically led the Museum rooms' and exhibits' upgrades. Recognizing the importance of the future generation in ensuring the continued appreciation of the landmark, Mechelle has paved the way for successful, impactful, and measurable education programming. She is also deeply dedicated to ensuring the rich history that comprises the 240 year span of Mission San Juan Capistrano is inclusive and represents a wider array of perspectives, including those of family, female, Native American, padre, and soldiers. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her preservation work in Orange County.

June 30, 2017

CMF Annual Report

The California Missions Foundation is pleased to publish the Foundation's 2016 Annual Report. Thank you to everyone that helped to make it a successful year. Read the Annual Report here.

 

June 30, 2017

CMF Grant Helps to Identify Unmarked Burial Site at Old Mission Santa Inés

A major project to determine if there are additional burials outside of the Old Mission Santa Ines walls was recently made possible by a CMF grant. After a two-phase effort that included both ground penetrating radar as well as a trained canine unit, historic burials were indeed discovered just outside of the current Mission cemetery walls and beneath ground where the Mission holds its annual summer Fiesta.
Long-time CMF member and Mission archivist Sheila Benedict has been reviewing the mission's burial records for more than decade and, in all, counted just under 2,000 names that were not marked in the present-day cemetery footprint. Based on her hunch, an institute team specializing in aged human remains was arranged using a grant from the California Missions Foundation.
In the end, a broad burial site, much larger than the current cemetery, was found. Ms. Benedict says that the origins of those buried is unknown, adding that they could be native Chumash, or a combination of Chumash and Spanish soldiers.
Both mission staff and Chumash tribal elders were on-site for the multi-day project. Any future marking or moving of the burials will be done with close approval of the Chumash, said Ms. Benedict.
The Chumash tribal chairman, Kenneth Kahn, told a local newspaper that "he appreciated the great working relationship the tribe and the mission have currently," adding "the Chumash Tribal Elders Council is mostly concerned with protecting the newly confirmed burial site."
"We've always understood that thousands of our people are on site there resting, and we want to make sure that we respect that and that any perimeters are respected as well," Kahn told the newspaper. "We know that a lot of activities take place on the mission grounds, and we want to make sure that there aren't any activities happening on top of the grave sites."

 

June 30, 2017

CMF Launches a Strategic Planning Process

On a bright morning in early May, members of the CMF board gathered in San Francisco. They came by car and by plane from all over the state and assembled in an office conference room on the Embarcadero. The purpose of this meeting was to begin the process of creating a strategic plan. Once completed, this plan will guide the activities of CMF for the next three years. For a plan to be truly strategic, it must attend to three distinct, yet interrelated concerns: 1) organizational structure, 2) stakeholder needs and expectations, and 3) measurable goals and objectives.
With these concerns in mind, members of CMF's board engaged in a day-long workshop. The core of this meeting was a SWOT analysis workshop wherein the group contemplated CMF's many strengths and engaged in critical reflection of its weaknesses. The group then explored potential opportunities and grappled with future trends that may threaten CMF's ability to meet its mission. Having gathered this information, the strategic planning committee will soon begin consulting with CMF members and key stakeholders to further this initial analysis.
Another important aspect of this planning process will be the study of similar institutions to get a sense of organizational models and success stories from similar institutions.
CMF can do anything, but it cannot do everything. The strategic planning process allows for an analytical and systematic examination of what CMF is and what it can be. Equipped with this information, the board, its membership, and key stakeholders, can develop specific and measurable goals prioritized to maximize CMF's efficiency and its capacity to meet its mission.
The Strategic Planning Committee expects to complete the planning process and to publish the strategic plan by early fall.

 

March 20, 2017

CMF Board Elects Officers for 2017

In accordance with the CMF By Laws, the CMF Board of Directors elected its officers for the current year during the winter board meeting held in conjunction with the recent California Missions Conference. Dr. Ty O. Smith, formerly the vice chair of CMF and the former president of CMSA, was unanimously elected Board Chair. He will be joined on the CMF Executive Committee by newly-elected Vice Chair Jim Lazarus, Secretary Dr. Edith Piness and Treasurer Mike Imwalle.
February 11, 2017

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: researcher Marie Duggan (Norman Neuerburg Award), outgoing CMF board chair Wayne Donaldson (Edna Kimbro 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).

 

2017 Edna Kimbro Award Recipient

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.

 

2017 Norman Neuerburg Award Recipient

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.

November 9, 2016

2016 Boletín on the Press and Soon to Be on your Doorstep

Fall is traditionally a time of harvest. As in past years, the CMF Publications Committee is busy reaping the scholarship that was planted during last year's conference and that has otherwise grown within our community of mission scholars and enthusiasts. This year's Boletín is at the press! The good folks at 360 Digital Books are again turning our digital file into a real life, hold-it-in-your-hand journal. Dues paying members at the Regular and Supporter's Circle Levels or higher should expect their copies to arrive in early December. Again, it has shaped into a quality publication. Here is a list of just a few of the articles to whet your appetite:

David McLaughlin, Twenty-One Missions - Hundreds of Historical Illustrations

Glenn Farris, Who Were the Likely Residents of the "Casas Para Familias" at Missions La Purisima Concepcion and San Juan Bautista?

Martha Ann Francisca Vallejo McGettigan, The Great Pageants of Mission San Juan Bautista: Bringing the History of California to Thousands

Robert H. Jackson, The Huatápera and the Sixteenth Century Franciscan and Augustinian Doctrinas among the P'urépecha of Michoacán

 

August 25, 2016

Old Mission Santa Barbara to Receive 2016 Preservation Award from CPF

The California Preservation Foundation has announced that Old Mission Santa Barbara will be a recipient of a 33rd Annual Preservation Award at a gala dinner in Orange County on Thursday, September 29. OMSB is receiving the prestigious award for the work performed under a Save America's Treasure's Grant awarded to the California Missions Foundation. CMF administered the three year project.

The award recognizes the extensive work at the Mission, both interior and exterior, which included repairs and painting of the Church's façade, repair of water damage in the convento wing, retrofit stabilization of the historic crypt, and the opening of the second story Rose Window.

The matching grant from the Interior Department and the National Parks Service was the final of four Save America's Treasure grants awarded to California Missions Carmel, San Miguel, San Luis Rey and Santa Barbara.

Tickets for the gala must be purchased by September 22 by visiting
www.californiapreservation.org

August 25, 2016

Mission San Antonio Continues retrofit Project

Following successful retrofit work on the Mission church, efforts have now been focused on the historic convento wing also in need of mandated retrofitting. Mission officials have made great strides toward their ultimate goal of retrofitting the entire quadrangle, but according to Mission Administrator Joan Steele, a lot of work and fundraising is still needed to complete the multi phase project.

"Currently we have reached a milestone: Completion of Phase II (the South Convento) of the Retrofit/Restoration Project is within sight (goal being mid to late October, 2016.)," said Ms. Steele. "Work on Phase III has already begun. Roofing tiles have been removed from the Western Convento wing and the preparatory work in the attic has commenced. Between the parish business, the construction work, the daily visitors and the Retreat Center guests, the Mission is a busy place!"

At Mission San Antonio de Padua during a recent site visit, CMF Board member Dr. Robert Hoover (left), Mr. John Jenkins of the Field Foundation (right), and CMF Executive Director David A. Bolton.

At Mission San Antonio de Padua during a recent site visit, CMF Board member Dr. Robert Hoover
(left), Mr. John Jenkins of the Field Foundation (right), and CMF Executive Director David A. Bolton.