Native Daughters Help Mission Project

Native Daughters of the Golden West support the San Juan Bautista Mission Preservation Fund project to strengthen and rebuild the historic structure.

Members of the San Juan Bautista Native Daughters of the Golden West Parlor 179 joined up with members of the Salinas and Santa Cruz Native Daughters Parlors to present a $5,000 donation to the Mission San Juan Bautista Preservation Fund this past weekend.

The donation brings the massive project one step closer toward protecting the place of worship and treasured historical landmark.

Tami Adam with the Mission Preservation Fund pointed out that the group recently received $13,000 from the Community Foundation for San Benito County. The grant was matched, bringing in a total of $26,000. 

“These donations are a big deal for us because not only does this show support from our own community but it will allow other foundations/funds to follow suit and become lead donors,” Adam told BenitoLink.

Reporting on the progress of the fund, she said, "Our total to date (including pledges and our matching grant) is approximately $375,000. I know we have a long way to go, but it’s a start. We have begun to fund the ‘soft costs’ associated with this project and are determined to raise the funds necessary to 'Save Mission San Juan Bautista.'"

Native Daughters of the Golden West is a fraternal and patriotic organization founded "on the principals of Love of Home, Devotion to the Flag, Veneration of the Pioneers and Faith in the Existence of God."

The nonprofit Mission Preservation Fund is designed "to strengthen, preserve and conserve the architectural and structural integrity of the historical property and the artifacts of the Mission San Juan Bautista."

It is running a campaign to raise funds for an estimated $14 million preservation project that would rebuild and replace the huge Mission roof and strengthen the adobe walls with steel rod reinforcement.

This historic Mission is an icon for the city of San Juan Bautista, the state of California, and is designated California Historic Landmark 195. The goal of the fund is the strengthening, preservation and conservation of the structure. It is also to save the Mission experience for future generations to enjoy as a part of the rich history of the Mission Period and its place in California history.

High-priority deterioration issues noted by the report are:

~ Repair and strengthening measures are necessary to improve seismic resistance.

~ To correct deterioration from lack of waterproofing, roof underlayments need replacement, there are many broken tiles, rotted roof timbers, and flashing details require repair and improvement.

~ Cement plaster throughout the church and museum is accelerating damage from moisture intrusion because it doesn’t allow the adobe to breathe. This must be replaced and the walls refinished with lime.

~ Windows and doors need repairing to prevent the intrusion of water.

~ Drainage systems need to be installed or improved to prevent the deterioration of the adobe walls.

~ Plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems all need upgrading.

~ The stone cemetery wall shows erosion and loss of mortar with vegetation growing out of stone and adobe masonry joints, which indicates surface drainage from the cemetery through the wall is uncontrolled. 

Upcoming San Juan Mission Preservation events:

~ Informational booth at the San Benito County Fair on Thursday, Sept. 29 through Sunday, Oct. 2

~ Historical evening with Margaret Breen Oct. 23. As part of a community-building and awareness effort, fund organizers are having an event with guest speaker Doris Dwyer, PH.D., presenting an interactive historical account of Breen, a Donner Party survivor and resident of San Juan Bautista in 1846-1874 at the Mission. Doors open at 3 p.m. There will be a wine and cheese reception with a silent auction immediately following. Cost per person is $25.

Preservation Fund Contacts:

  • Tami Adam: [email protected] – 408-592-7863                                              
  • Bruce Shaw: [email protected] – 831-663-4400
  • Mission San Juan Bautista Preservation Fund: P.O. Box 222, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045.

Pictured in the photo:

  • Cece Johnston, NDGW State Chairman Mission Restoration. Member SJB No. 179
  • Roberta Paul, President, San Juan Bautista Parlor No 179
  • Elza Paul, Member SJB No. 179
  • Fr. Jerry Maher
  • Sharon Johnston, Past Grand President NDGW, Member SJB No. 179
  • Tami Adams, President, Mission SJB Preservation Fund
  • Rosemary Perez, Member Aleli Parlor No. 102 Salinas
  • Nora Lee Lawson, Member SJB No. 179
  • Bill Lawson, Member SJB No. 179
  • Judy Cain, Member SJB No. 179
  • Anita Sciutto, Member Santa Cruz Parlor No. 26
  • Georgianna Froom, Member SJB No. 179
  • Denise Pence, Member SJB No. 179
  • Claudia Fisher, Member SJB No. 179
  • Missing from photo but in attendance: Karole Candlen, Member SJB No. 179





Leslie David

Leslie David is a Bay Area independent reporter/producer and is a BenitoLink founding board member. She has produced for radio, television, newspaper and magazines in both California and Wyoming. She was with KRON-TV News in San Francisco as camera-woman, editor and field producer, where she won the Commonwealth Club's Thomas Storke Award with Linda Yee for their series on the Aids Epidemic. She started as a small market news reporter shooting her own 16mm film at KEYT-TV Santa Barbara. Leslie lives on a ranch with her family in San Benito County.