On May 21, Michael R. Hardwick gave a lecture in the Chapel at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park about his hot-off-the-press new book, La Purísima Concepción: The Enduring History of a California Mission. The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation was pleased to host this first speaking engagement to support the book and help celebrate the work of this longtime volunteer, member and Lifetime Honorary Director of the organization.
Hardwick shared with the audience his early experience an an archivist at Mission La Purisima and his continuing interest in the Mission, now a State Historic Park, near Lompoc, CA. Hardwick’s historical account of the site is the culmination of his life-long commitment to the study and interpretation of Mission La Purisima.
After Hardwick’s lecture, the audience of friends, colleagues and the interested public, joined Hardwick for an outdoor reception, during which SBTHP staff presented him with a congratulatory cake to celebrate the book launch.
About the Book:
In two centuries, La Purísima Concepción went from a fledgling frontier mission to a renowned California State Historic Park. Once home to many Spanish soldiers, settlers and hundreds of Chumash Indians, La Purísima held the seat of the California Mission government under Father Mariano Payeras. It withstood catastrophic events, including widespread disease in early years and a great Southern California earthquake in 1812. Emerging from ruins for the last time in 1934, after restoration by the Civilian Conservation Corps, structures appear today as they did in the early nineteenth century. Author and archivist Michael R. Hardwick chronicles the story of La Purísima and the resilient people and culture that made a lasting influence.
You can find your copy of La Purísima Concepción for sale in La Tiendita, the gift shop at El Presidio SHP, or through our online shop via this link.