California Missions Foundation and
California Mission Studies Association

Dec 2015

A Note from the CMSA President:
CMSA and CMF Merger and the Work Ahead
Dear CMSA Family,
I hope this message finds you in good health and full of holiday spirit. Like many, for me, this is a special time of year. It is a time to reflect on personal triumphs and failings, to recount the acts of kindness that have sustained my personal and professional life, and, above all, to take stock of my blessings.
For CMSA, it has been a momentous and productive year. These activities are beginning to bear fruit. Soon, this year's Boletin will find its way to your home. The 33rd Annual California Missions Conference is beginning to take shape. Please mark your calendars and sign-up online for February 12-14 in San Juan Bautista. In two weeks, the CMSA and CMF merger will be complete. These are exciting times for those who care about California's early history. I look forward to being of service to the new California Missions Foundation and, thus, to all of you in the new year.
The ink is now dry on the merger agreement between CMSA and the California Missions Foundation (CMF). The signatures of officers from both organizations carried forward CMF'S board resolution and CMSA's overwhelming membership approval to merge the organizations. On January 1, 2016, the two organizations will be one. The new CMF will constitute a unified, strong group working toward the restoration, preservation, study, and interpretation of missions, presidios, asistensias, ranchos, and other early California sites.
New Board Members
As agreed upon in the membership-approved bylaws and merger agreement, both organizations would enter the merger as equals. Both CMSA and CMF will have 14 founding members. Last week, the existing CMSA board approved five new members.
Olivia Chilcote
Glenn Farris
Allen Kemp
Peg Hyland
Michelle Lorimar
All of the candidates are highly qualified and represent the intellectual and regional diversity of CMSA. These five new members will join the existing board and will help carry out the core functions and ideals of CMSA through the California Mission Studies Committee of the new California Missions Foundation organization.
New Leadership and Staff Support
One of the first things that the new, merged organization will have to decide is its leadership structure. Members of both organizations are committed to choosing its new officers from the existing leadership of both organizations. The new bylaws call for a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. In addition to these key leadership positions, the new board will select committee chairs for the all-important California Mission Studies Committee and the Missions Foundation Grants Committee, the two principle committees of the new CMF.
Whatever the outcome of this process, current and future members will be well served. The combined board is full of smart and dedicated people.
For its entire history, CMSA has been an all-volunteer organization. The core activities of CMSA, especially its annual conference and the Boletin, will continue under a strong California Mission Studies committee. This work, however, will have the added benefit of being supported by a paid staff. David Bolton, the immediate past president of CMSA serves as CMF's Executive Director and CEO. Gabriela Gonzalez serves as the Director of Administration. For your reference, here is the contact information for the CMF office:

California Missions Foundation
PO Box 23035
Santa Barbara, CA 93121
Phone: 805-963-1633
On a personal note, I want to express how proud I am of serving as the President of CMSA. I came to my first CMSA conference when I was 19, as a student of Dr. Bill Fairbanks. I followed him from one conference to another and I am proud to have also have followed in his footsteps as CMSA president.
I know that our future as an organization is bright and I look forward to working side by side with all of you in contributing to the important work that lies ahead for our exciting combined CMF organization.
Ty O. Smith


2015 Boletin Cover Image

At 214 pages, it may be more aptly described as a book. Although the biggest ever edition of the Boletin caused some production delays, with a lot of hard work from contributing authors and the Publications Committee of CMSA, this year's Boletin is off to press. With bulk paper, binding glue, and ink, the good folks at 360 Digital Books will turn our digital file into a real life, hold-it-in-your-hand journal. This year's edition is chock-full of first-rate scholarship. Contributing authors range from well-known mission scholars to emerging, important voices in the field. 2015 dues-paying members should expect their copies in mid-December. Here is a list of articles to whet your appetite
David Hurst Thomas, Bilocating the American Mission Borderlands with Saint Serra.
Lee Panich, Mission Santa Clara in a Changing Urban Environment.
Glenn Farris, A British Nationalist in California in 1837 and 1839: The Journal of Richard
Brinsley Hinds.
Olivia Chilcote, Pow Wows at the Mission: Identity and Federal Recognition for the San Luis Rey Band of Luiseńo Mission Indians.
Yve Chavez, Cynthia Neri Lewis, and John Macias, Imagery, Materiality, and Evolving Histories at Mission San Gabriel.
Jennifer A . Lucido, A Bastion Too Far: The Underdevelopment of the Royal Presidio of Monterey, 1770-1840.
Robert H. Jackson, Dominican Missions in Mexico Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries.
Juan Martín Rojas Chávez and Antonio Porcayo Michelini, Archaeological Investigations at the Mission of San Fernando Velicat., Baja California.
Antonio Porcayo Michelini, The Immaculate Conception, Father Junipero Serra, and the Bifacial Crucifixes of San Fernando Velicata, Baja California.
Jarrel C. Jackman, Letter Exchange Between Norman Neuerburg and Edith Webb, 1944-1946.
John M. Foster, "They're Just Rocks":San Miguel Mission Native Quarters, Making Sense of Tragedy.
Margret A. Graham and Russel K . Skowronek, Feeding the Congregation at Mission Santa Clara de Asis.
Paul G. Chace, Animal Bones Can Talk: Interpreting San Diego Presidio Fauna.


You will also soon receive 2016 membership forms and materials related to the upcoming conference (February 12-14). Information and online registration is also available on the website at:  
Whether you choose to renew your membership and register for the conference electronically or via post, please do renew or join. There are exciting times ahead for the new CMF. 

Mission San Juan Bautista. 33rd Annual Conference
to return to SJB for first time since 1989.

The Board of Directors has unanimously chosen Mission San Juan Bautista as the host location for the upcoming Conference, scheduled for February 12-14, 2016. The three-day event, which begins on Friday and wraps on Sunday, will return to Mission San Juan Bautista for the first time since 1989 -- the sixth year of the annual gathering.
Other than Missions San Jose, San Juan Capistrano and Santa Clara, no other location has waited longer to re-host the California Missions Conference than Mission San Juan Bautista.
The Conference will begin Friday with an optional lunch at the Mission, followed by the California Missions Institute sponsored by CMF and its California Mission Studies Committee. It will be a full afternoon of workshops focusing on historic site interpretation. All conference participants are welcome to attend, but the afternoon program will be particularly useful for employees, docents and administrators of missions and other early California sites. Tours of the surrounding neighborhood of San Juan Bautista, including California State Parks and Native American sites, will also be featured.
Friday evening, as is tradition, there will be a hosted reception for attendees, followed by a musical performance in the mission church and the annual business and general membership meeting.
The Conference will continue on Saturday with paper presentations, a marketplace (including book vendors), lunch, and afternoon roving sessions. The annual Banquet will be held on Saturday evening. The banquet will include a keynote talk and the prestigious California Missions Awards ceremony.
On Sunday the Conference wraps up with an optional historic site tour for those unable to make Friday's tour or for those who attended the Friday afternoon historic sites' workshops.

Map of Baja and Alta California.

The California Mission Studies Paper and Publication Committee has chosen, "El Camino Real de las Californias" as the theme for the upcoming conference. 
According to long-time CMSA member and current CMF board member Dr. Jarrell Jackman: "Along El Camino Real that began with presidios, pueblos, ranchos, and missions, a new civilization was born harnessing the energies of many peoples and cultures and laying the foundations for the Californias we all live in today." The committee invites papers that explore the El Camino Real de las Californias both as an actual route of travel and as a conceptual passage that connected the people and places of early California from Baja to Alta California.
If you would like to submit a presentation for consideration for the upcoming 2016 California Missions Conference sponsored by the California Missions Foundation and the California Mission Studies Committee, please send via email to
  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 December 15, 2015 attention California Missions Conference Program Coordinators.


Hilton Garden Inn, Gilroy.

The Hilton Garden Inn in nearby Gilroy has agreed to be the host hotel for the 2016 California Missions Conference and is offering a special Conference rate of $129/night for Conference attendees. 
In order to book your room for the 2016 California Missions Conference, please call the hotel directly at 408-840-7005 and ask for reservations. Or you may book your room at or by calling 1-800-Hiltons. Please be sure to use the group code "CMF" when booking your room to receive the special Conference price.
Again, the Conference will be held over President's Weekend, so hotel rooms will fill up.
Hilton Garden Inn Gilroy
6070 Monterey Street
Gilroy, CA 95020


The 1st Annual California Missions Institute will be held as part of the California Missions Conference, on the afternoon of Friday, February 12, starting at 1:00. The California Missions Foundation and its California Mission Studies Committee is sponsoring the institute. CMF invites all conference registrants to attend, but the content will be especially useful for professionals (paid and volunteer) working at sites related to early California. Institute activities may include lectures, workshops, and other skills-based activities. The institute will serve as a formal training for professionals. After attending institute sessions, participants will bring back to their workplaces practical information, knowledge of best practices (in a variety of areas), and practical techniques related to cultural resource management, such as preservation, public history, and interpretation.
CMF has set aside some funds to sponsor attendance and travel. If you could benefit from such funding, please email: for an application. 


On November 7, CMSA board member, Bettie Allen passed away after a sudden illness. Bettie Allen had been a long-time member and served on the board of CMSA for several years. She most recently served as Vice President of CMSA from 2011 to 2015. Bettie had a long association with the Sonoma area and served as a docent at Mission San Francisco Solano and brought her passion for the region and her appreciation for docent activities to her work on the CMSA board. She will be missed. Services in celebration of her life are being planned for early 2016. Details are forthcoming.




The California Missions Foundation is pleased to offer a new way to show your support, by donating stock. When you donate stock to CMF you will not be responsible for paying taxes on said stock, however you will still receive full tax credit for the amount of the stock on the day you contribute. To donate please have your broker call UBS Financial Services at (201) 352-6300, with the following information:


Account Name: California Missions Foundation

DTCC Clearing Number: 0221

Account #: XN04920


As always please call Executive Director David A. Bolton at the CMF office with any questions at (805) 963-1633.




You can help us to preserve California's historic missions and all their cultural treasures! 

Please call our office at (805) 963-1633 to donate by credit card, or click the button below to donate via PayPal!   


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About California Missions Foundation

Nothing defines California's heritage as significantly or emotionally as do the 21 missions that were founded along the coast from San Diego to Sonoma. Their beauty, stature, and character underlie the formation of California. All 21 missions are California Historical Landmarks; many have also been designated National Historic Landmarks. The missions are among the most popular tourist destinations in the state, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Founded in 1998, the California Missions Foundation was established with the objective of preserving and protecting the missions. The Foundation is the only statewide organization dedicated to the long-term preservation and restoration needs of all California missions and their associated historic and cultural resources for public benefit.

On January 1, CMF is enthusiastic about its merger with CMSA, bringing together two equals and forming the biggest combined organization dedicated to the preservation and studies of the California Missions and related historic sites. We are honored with your continued participation, and we look forward to offering you a stronger organization as we continue to honor all that has been important to the CMSA family. Welcome to a new CMF, as we become one large family on January 1

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