September Newsletter

President's Message 

6.0 EARTHQUAKE HITS NAPA. We all heard the news late last month about the damage from the quake in Napa. We were just there in February of this year for a great Symposium hosted by one of our own Regional Vice Presidents Todd Shulman (Region 35 Napa/Solano, [email protected]). Todd sent us pictures that just made me want to cry. I think it behooves all of us to stop and think about our own museums, libraries and schools that house our artifacts and treasures (It’s your memories-It’s our treasures-It’s their future).  The CCHS offers insurance through Dohrmann Insurance (209-478-1400).  The CCHS has no responsibility for Dohrmann: we just offer it as a sideline.

Starting this month we are having Official Executive Committee meetings on a monthly basis. With all the business we need to transact, this will work much more efficiently than the usual three times a year. This way we may have more time for other activities at the Symposiums. If you have any business that you would like us to put on the agenda, please contact me.

Our new CCHS MEMBERSHIP BROCHURE will be out this month.  If you would like some copies of the brochure, you can pick them up at the October Symposium or contact Cathy at [email protected].

The latest edition of the CALIFORNIA HISTORIAN will also be available at the Symposium (another reason to attend). This edition will be special because it will commemorate our 60th Anniversary - you don't want to miss it. If you would like additional copies, please contact Cathy

Hope to see you at the Fall Symposium!

John Lenau
President, Conference of California Historical Societies
[email protected] 
(760) 249-4650 

Second Vice President's Message

"History should always be studied early in the morning, before anything else can happen..." or so says Peppermint Patti in Charles M. Schultz's Peanuts cartoon.

Pay attention history buffs:  take early advantage of this history bargain.  Crave adventure? Looking for fun? How about one of those long weekend mini vacations at about half the cost of arranging something with a travel group?

Whether you are just cutting your teeth in history or long in the historical field, the Conference of California Historical Societies has put together a dream package Fall Symposium for Oct. 23-25 in lovely Sonoma County.  Be an early bird and save money on this fun adventure by registering by Sept. 12.  Also make sure you make reservations at the conference hotel, the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott by September 23 to receive the special Symposium rates. Get the details by going to

The CCHS is a group of history-oriented individuals and organizations who come together to learn from each other and to celebrate the history of California's communities.  Part of the Fall Symposium includes the remarkable history of Sebastopol and nearby adventure spots that include the once Russian bastion we now know and love as Fort Ross.  Learn about the continuing ties between Fort Ross and St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Kashaya Pomo Indians. You will learn about the Enmanji Japanese Buddhist Temple during and after WWII, the Luther Burbank Experimental Farm, and a bit of local history at the Western Sonoma County Museum.

So while you are having that first cup of coffee in the morning, go online and register for the CCHS Fall Symposium and have yourself a grand adventure!  

Please consider joining the growing roster of Regional Vice Presidents. I would be happy to tell you more about how you can support CCHS and make a difference in your region. Contact me at [email protected].

Michael Otten

2nd Vice President
Conference of California Historical Societies
[email protected]
(530) 888-7837 

Fall Symposium: October 23-25, 2014

The Early Bird Deadline is Quickly Approaching: Register by FRIDAY, September 12 to get the best rates!  Register Now!


The deadline to register for the Fall Symposium with the special Early Bird Rate is this Friday. Rates start as low as $225 for members - that's a savings of $25 per person!  The Fall Symposium is your opportunity to explore all that Sonoma County has to offer with behind the scenes access to all the best historical sites.  You'll learn about:

  • Why there is an ax scar in the side of the Enmanji Japanese Buddhist Temple
  • The "mad scientist" of plants Luther Burbank and his creations such as plumcots, the Shasta daisy and the spineless cactus
  • Why Russians come out in droves, traveling over 5,000 miles, to visit Fort Ross

Register Now!

About The Luther Burbank Experimental Farm

In 1885, Luther Burbank bought his 15-acre farm on Gold Ridge in Sebastopol, CA in Sonoma County. During his career, he introduced over 800 varieties of fruits, flowers, vegetables, and grains. He developed many of California's plums and prunes, the ancestor of the Idaho potato, the Shasta daisy, and novelties such as plumcots, the thornless blackberry, and the spineless cactus.  Learn about Luther Burbank and how he came to discover methods for crossbreeding plants.  View Luther Burbank documentary.

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Conference of California Historical Societies
Bringing together California's historical community to share California's heritage, learn from one another and strengthen our communities.