California Mission Studies Association Conference in Santa Barbara!

by Anne Petersen

On February 15-17, 2013, the California Mission Studies Association (CMSA) held their annual conference in Santa Barbara, due in large part to the efforts of  CMSA board president and executive director of the California Missions Foundation, David Bolton, a Santa Barbara resident and owner of Cultural Global Media. The conference attracts scholars, staff and volunteers at early California historic sites, and others interested in the study of the California missions, presidios and pueblos.

Soldado David Martinez welcoming conference attendees at Casa de la Guerra.
Soldado David Martinez welcoming conference attendees at Casa de la Guerra. Photo by Roger Knox.

On Friday February 15, attendees enjoyed lunch (including some spectacular pozole) outside in the rear yard near the Presidio Chapel, followed by paper presentations in the Chapel.  UC Riverside historian and CMSA board member Dr. Steve Hackel presented a keynote address on the many ways Father Serra is remembered on this, the 300th anniversary of his birth. In the evening attendees toured the Junípero Serra in Mexico exhibit at Casa de la Guerra, and enjoyed dancing by Las Fiesteras of Reina del Mar Parlor no. 126, Native Daughters of the Golden West, music by Luis Moreno, a welcome from Los Soldados del Reál Presidio de Santa Bárbara and more wonderful food!

The conference moves to Santa Barbara High School on Saturday. Photo by Anne Petersen.
The conference moves to Santa Barbara High School on Saturday. Photo by Anne Petersen.

Paper presentations on Saturday February 16 were relocated from Mission Santa Barbara to Santa Barbara High School at the last minute due to the overwhelming attendance at the conference—over 200 participants, the biggest CMSA conference ever!

After the sessions, attendees adjourned to the Montecito Country Club for a banquet and awards presentation.  SBTHP is proud to represent three of the evening’s award winners.  Congratulations to Life Honorary Directors Mary Louise Days and Jeremy Hass for winning the President’s Award for their contributions to CMSA over the years.  Special recognition goes to our own archaeologist Michael H. Imwalle for winning the Norman Neuerburg award, the highest honor bestowed by CMSA, for his steadfast contributions to knowledge of early California sites through decades of archaeological work.

Reenactment of the founding of the Presidio of Santa Barbara. Photo by Michael H. Imwalle.
Reenactment of the founding of the Presidio of Santa Barbara. Photo by Michael H. Imwalle.

The conference wrapped up at the Presidio on Sunday February 17 with a well-attended reenactment of the founding of the Presidio, a mass in the Presidio Chapel, a docent gathering and optional Presidio tours.  Congratulations to the CMSA board and volunteers for a wonderful conference enjoyed by all.

Anne Petersen is the Associate Director for Historical Resources at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

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