Two State Councils, one in the Fall and one in the Spring, connect California Questers to the rich history of our state through local speakers, displays, and visits to homes and historical locations all over California. Meeting Hosts:Contact our Second Vice President for information or if you have trouble printing the forms.

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In Memoriam

Fall Council Meeting
October 12-15th

The Adobe Heartland of California

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Membership Enrollment Contest:
The membership contest continues for this fiscal year. The chapter enrolling the most new members receives $100. Second place chapter receives $50.00. A representative from each of the winning chapters must be present at the General Business Council Meeting to receive their awards.
*Associate members can only be counted once- in their "home" chapter.

Adobe, the name for a mud brick, has its origin as far back as the ancient hieroglyph djebet. This word became tobe in Coptic and then al-tuba in Arabic. When the Arabs occupied southern Spain, they brought the word adobar with them, and then the Spaniards lugged the brick and the word to the New World where it all became adobe.

So here we are, 4,000 years and 7,000 miles later, meeting in buildings made of mud brick! Monterey’s adobes serve as museums, chapels, legal offices, restaurants and shops.

What better place for a Questers Council Meeting than here amid all this restoration and preservation!

For over 200 years Monterey has been a trading and fishing port, a military garrison, a religious center, a land grant business center, a political and regional capital, and home to many peoples. And from the beginning of the Spanish settlements, everyone took part in building and occupying these wonderful dwellings called ADOBES. The mud bricks are made of clay, some straw, molded, dried, placed, plastered and whitewashed to a fine brilliance. As far as we know, there are no professional adobe brick makers in our state. Volunteers make repairs now!

As Questers and guests of Monterey, we will be staying at the site of one of the first residences built outside the walls of the old Presidio garrison in 1824. The Casa Munras was home to Don Esteban Munras, an owner of a very large and productive land grant, and a social and political leader in Monterey. Parts of the original adobe dining room and porch have been protected and may be seen in an alcove off one of the meeting rooms. In 1941 the Casa Munras was converted into lodging and guest rooms.

Christianity and gold were the great motivators for the Conquistadors and the Franciscan friars. Maintaining order and protecting conquered land was the duty of the Spanish military.

So for our first adobe tour, we will visit the Royal Presidio Chapel, San Carlos Cathedral. It is the oldest building on the Monterey Peninsula and the oldest church in continuous use in California. It was used for worship by the Spanish governors, representatives of the King of Spain, and was situated within the first Presidio built in our state. The cathedral has recently been renovated. The tour will be led by docents from the cathedral and will include the museum at that location. (See goody bag for map; the tour is within walking distance.)

Adobe #375 is so lucky to have fellow Quester Patty Barret and member of the Historic Garden League available to lead an exterior tour of the Monterey State Historic Park. She will share the gardens and an overview of the history of the adobes. This is an hour tour on level surface and covers a distance of a quarter mile. It includes Casa del Oro garden, herb garden of Jos. Boston Store (1850’s mercantile open for shopping), Custom House Museum (cacti and succulent garden), Pacific House History Museum and Memory Garden, First Brick House and garden, Whaling Station and First Theater gardens. The walk is a wonderful introduction to the Adobe Heartland. (See goody bag for maps and meeting location. Interior tours appreciate donations to help maintain the adobes.)

If you have time, on your own, visit Casa Serrano, owned and operated by the Monterey History and Art Association. It is a visual treat. Construction of this graceful adobe was begun by Thomas O. Larkin in 1845. It was sold unfinished to Florencio Serrano who completed the adobe and raised a family of six. Mr. Serrano served as the second alcalde (mayor) of Monterey succeeding Walter Colton. In 1959 the History and Art Association completely restored this lovely home, furnishing it with a grand piano, tables, benches and chairs made in Monterey, a Federal secretary, and a John Belter chair. Casa Serrano also houses a large collection of work by sculptor and artist Jo Mora. Other artists represented are: Armin Hansen, E. Charlton Fortune, Charles Rollo Peters, M. Evelyn McCormick and Myron Oliver.

Other sites to visit on your own: Casa Soberanes, Larkin House, Stevenson House, Colton Hall and jail (California’s first Capitol), Presidio Historic Military Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cannery Row, and the Aquarium.

And if you want to venture further, the following are only a few miles away: Carmel by the Sea, Carmel Mission, 17 Mile Drive and Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove Coastal Drive, Point Pinos Lighthouse, Cannery Row Antique Mall, Holman’s Antique Plaza, and the Marsh building (Asian art and antiques), not to forget beaches, golf, and whales!

Monterey in October is sunny by day and cool by evening, so bring layers to wear with your shawl, fan, and mantilla. Comfortable walking shoes will save your feet for your dancing pumps and help you get into churches and adobes. Hope to see you soon for a true Monterey fiesta!

Tourist information: Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-555-6290


Monterey Visitors Center located at 401 Camino El Estero (by the lake) is a long low adobe building, which, in 1843, housed the French Consulate. It was the home of the first French consul to Mexican California.

Teri Stott (contributors, P.Barrett, M.Bristow, M.Ford, G.Gonzales, P.Hessler, New Yorker, K.Mignano, R.Slogan, C.T. Meyers, San Jose Mercury)

The Spring Council meeting was held in historic Sonoma in the storied Valley of the Moon, 45 miles north of San Francisco. The meet­ing’s host chapters are Don Castro, Valley Har­vesters, and Valley of the Moon.

The highlight of our Council meeting was the private Questers’ tour of Jack London State Park, including the House of Happy Walls museum and the London Cottage.

“Nothing could be finer than Visalia, California, in Octo-o-ber!”



The California Questers State Fall Council Meeting was held in Visalia, hosted by Kaweah Kollectors #1428and Sierra Searchers #1305.


Early Bird Thursday

Carpool trip to nearby Exeter to enjoy its outstanding murals and antique stores. Visit the TulareCounty Museum at Visalia’s Mooney Grove Park.Two mini-lyceums were offered on Tea Leaf Ironstone China and an impersonation of Mary Clark Graves, Donner Party survivor.

A Trolley Car ride around Visalia to view beautiful historic homes and buildings – all boasting bronze plaques, placed via a Kaweah Kollectors’ preservation project. Also an inside view of Visalia’s
Historic Fox Theatre and of two classic homes.
Dinner at the Vintage Press. Local historian Terry Ommen will presented a program on “Tulare County’s Brothels & Outlaws.”


California Questers State Fall Council meeting. Tthree more mini-lyceums - Vintage Quilts & Their Care, Victorian Mourning Traditions, and Strange and Weird Show and Tell.

Saturday evening banquest included “Weddings of Yesteryear.” Wedding gowns were modeled and displayed. A special ‘surprise’ wedding event was presented.Jan Braley and her husband renewed their vows.


Historic Paso Robles Inn

Your Spring Council Meeting was held in historic Paso Robles. Host Chapters were Agua Caliente (Hot Springs) in Paso Robles, Cinco Ciudades (Five Cities) in the Arroyo Grande area, and De Tolosa (from Bishop of Toulouse, France, founder of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa)
Tours included thePioneer Museum, Mission San Miguel Arcangel, the historic Rios-Caledonia Adobe, andd the Carnegie Library.
Friday and Saturday dinners featured Mini-Lyceums. The programs featured ‘living history’ when Agua Caliente’s Grace Pucci portrayed Louisa James, wife of one of the founders of Paso Robles and Paderewski also shared his history with the group on Saturday.

On Friday, members had the opportunity to visit the Shinn Historic Park and tour the 1876 Victorian farmhouse with Bavarian accents.

The McConaghy Estate, in San Lorenzo,was another tour option. Niles was the Saturday destination.

The Hilton Hotel in Pasadena was the venue for the 2014 Spring Council Meeting in March, Hidden in Plain Sight - Pasadena Treasures.

For those Questers arriving early, Friday was taken up browsing the local antique shops or the Bustamante Antiques Show, taking a tour of the Tournament of Roses House or visiting the USC Pacific Asia Museum.

The Friday night reception and dinner was at the Pacific Asia Museum.

On Saturday afternoon members could choose a tour of the Fenyes Mansion or Gene Autry Museum.

For those Questers with energy - and money - left, the following day was the monthly Sunday Rose Bowl Flea Market, a real opportunity to shop.

The Live Oak, Sleeping Indian, and Rancho Monserate chapters planned an assortment of events. They toured two local homes: one with rare antique spool cabinets, vintage mini-sewing machines, and doll collection; the other is the home of a recognized authority on Terri Lee dolls.Each evening,showcased collections from members,They also visited the Rancho Guajome Adobe (below), which all three of our chapters were active in furnishing.

Live Oak chapter respectfully dedicated this Fall Council to the memory of Gloria Rowe.  Her contributions to our chapter were many and her friendship irreplaceable. We miss her.

We toured the Gamble House, an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts, built in 1908.
Also available was a visit to the Huntington Library



Council attendees visited the Santa Clara Mission and the the Harris-Lass House.




Quester visitors toured the original Carnegie Library History Museum

“Think Pink!” On Friday evening, all gathered in the Garden Room of the Madonna Inn.

Two historic house tours were on the agenda for Friday afternoon.The Hays-Latimer-Leichter Adobe and the The Avila House.
Saturday afternoon featured a tour of the Dallidet Adobe and gardens.

A visit with “Abraham Lincoln,” a tour of the Forestiere Underground Gardens, and wine tasting at California’s premier producer of Portuguese-style port wine highlighted the activities for the Fall Council Meeting in Fresno.