Beyond Missions: Documenting Mexican and Mexican-American Adobes in California


In the foreword to their 1931 review of nineteenth-century adobe houses in California, historical architects Donald Hannaford and Revel Edwards express despair at the state of such research in their time, noting that "printed material on the subject" could only be generated via discovery in the field. Eighty-five years later, research is still lacking. California’s famed colonial missions tend to draw the bulk of archaeological attention while research associated with Mexican- and Gold Rush-era adobes sits largely in the hands of conservation specialists, amateur historians, and national, state, and local parks personnel. To be fair, much work has been accomplished in the hands of the latter. However, the problem statement as presented by Hannaford and Edwards still holds: since the level of study and publication remains largely local and avocational, data associated with Mexican- and Gold Rush-era adobes is not readily available in all or even most cases, making comparative study difficult. We aim to remedy the situation, facilitating the comparative study of nineteenth-century California adobes by developing a comprehensive database documenting their condition, comparable attributes, and associated research. This poster presents the preliminary results of that effort, highlighting several emerging comparative studies in the process.

Cite this Record

Beyond Missions: Documenting Mexican and Mexican-American Adobes in California. Albert Gonzalez, Heather Atherton, Javier Hernandez. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404873)

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Geographic Keywords
North America - California

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;