2022 OCTA Winter Symposium

 “San Diego Historic Trails Symposium 

January 27-30, 2022 

San Diego, California

The Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA) and the Mormon Battalion Association is very excited to present the "San Diego Historic Trails Symposium," from Thursday, January 27 to Sunday, January 30. The symposium will focus on the historic trails of San Diego and the surrounding area, and will include looks at the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. eras, including local tribes, Spanish missions, Juan Bautista de Anza, the Mormon Battalion, 49ers on the Southern Route, the Butterfield Overland Stage, women, slavery, and military presence, among others. 

The Courtyard San Diego Old Town at 2435 Jefferson Street is our host hotel. It is conveniently located near the intersection of I-8 and I-5 and very close to the airport. OCTA has a room block with single kings and double queens available. Rates are $139 per night. Reserve your room online at www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1637102685152&key=GRP&app=resvlink or call the hotel at (619) 260-8500 and ask for the OCTA room block. Reservations must be made by December 26 to receive the discounted rate. There is free parking on the streets surrounding the hotel, but the hotel also offers a parking garage for an additional $25/night. 

If you go on the tours, bring hats and windbreakers. Though we fully expect sunny skies and 70 degree temperatures, weather in southern California can be unpredictable in late January.

  • Includes Thursday night keynote, all speakers during the day on Friday and Saturday, and lunch and snacks on Friday. There is no family/couple member price for this symposium. Optional Saturday and Sunday tours for an optional fee.

  • Includes Thursday night keynote, all speakers during the day on Friday and Saturday, and lunch and snacks on Friday. There is no family/couple member price for this symposium. Optional Saturday and Sunday tours for an optional fee.

  • Includes Thursday night keynote, all speakers during the day on Friday and Saturday, and lunch and snacks on Friday. There is no family/couple member price for this symposium. Optional Saturday and Sunday tours for an optional fee.


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AGENDA

Thursday, January 27, 2022 - All Activities this day at the Courtyard by Marriott

08:00 AM - 01:00 PM: OCTA board meeting followed by lunch

All day: A self-guided tour of historic sites between San Diego and Los Angeles will be provided to registrants who want to visit those sites on their own. After registration, you will be supplied with information and directions on how to visit these sites.

02:00 PM - 05:00 PM: Registration table open at the Courtyard by Marriott

05:00 PM: Dinner on your own

07:30 PM: Keynote Speaker - OCTA Vice President Steve Allison will speak on "The San Diego We Know and Love," which lives on in our shared history and our personal and family memories. Steve grew up in San Diego, and his grandfather’s 16mm films, boxes of photos, his journal, class photos, report cards, and the stories his brothers and he tell each other help him remember "My San Diego." As each succeeding generation moves into its future, its past begins to fade. What’s left for historians to sort through gets thinner and thinner the farther back in time we go. On the other side of photographs and newspapers, we pay homage to those intrepid writers and clerks who kept journals, military and cemetery records, payrolls, land transactions, wills, etc. Beyond that, traveling even farther into the past, the Kumeyaay oral histories paint pictures of their lives and traditions. To know of anything beyond them, we rely on archaeologists and geologists to decipher the earth's records. This presentation attempts to give context to our view of San Diego history from his personal experiences and what was known about San Diego before the Mormon Battalion arrived on this day 175 years ago. 


Friday, January 28, 2022 - All Activities this day at the Temple Beth Israel 

The Temple was built in Classic Revival style in 1889. It was San Diego's first synagogue and was constructed by the Congregation Beth Israel. It was later temporary quarters for many other religious sects before they established churches of their own. It was saved from demolition and moved to its current location across from the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center and is managed by San Diego County Parks and Recreation. It is located at 2454 Heritage Park Row, just a few blocks east of the host hotel.


07:30 AM: Registration table opens at the Temple Beth Israel

0:800 AM - 08:50 AM: The Kumeyaay Nation (Campo Band) and the Effect of European Takeover - Michael Connoly Miskwish 

Of all the groups, the California tribes have lost the most through disease, conflict, and disenfranchisement, yet they are with us still. What can they tell us from their perspective? Michael Connolly Miskwish of the Kumeyaay Nation will discuss these topics and also explain how the Catholic church and its missions influenced the Alta California culture and the indigenous peoples. 

09:00 AM - 09:50 AM: Settling the Mission and Presidio - Barry Goldlust, San Diego History Center

Separation from Mexico led to a distinct sub-culture and the Californios led an enviable lifestyle. Mr. Goldlust will recognize and include the multi-cultural mix in California of South/Central Americans, Pacific Islanders, Inuits, Russians, British, French, Americans, etc. He will also discuss ranching and oceanic trade and will include thumbnails of those non-Spanish who came early and stayed.

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM: Early Land Routes into California and the Boston Trade Ships - Frank Tortorich, OCTA member and authority/noted researcher of the Carson River Route, Mormon migration history, and the Mormon Battalion

The forbidding desert landscape kept overland travel to a trickle before 1846. Cooke's Wagon Road connected the older pack/trade routes into a continuous wagon road, the important precursor to the Gold Rush and later overland routes. While the land routes typically get our attention, there was a more important three-point trade circuit - California, South America and Hawaii/Asia. California supplied the hides and tallow, with San Diego as just one major trade anchorage. 

11:00 - 11:50 AM: Military Intervention in California, 1846-47: The U.S. Invasion, Occupation, and its Challenge - Lt. Col. Sherman L. Fleek, Command Historian, U.S. Military Academy, West Point

Lt. Col. Fleek will discuss the arrival of the navy and Fremont, as well as Fort Stockton and the "scoping out" of California in the Polk post-election period. He will then delve into the arrival of Kearny's Dragoons and the Army of the West's second task: to take and hold Alta California until peace. The Battle of San Pasqual will also be covered.

11:50 AM - 01:00 PM: Lunch (included in the registration fee)

01:00 - 01:50 PM: Kearny's Ace in the Hole to Hold California: The Mormon Battalion - Brandon Metcalf, Archivist at the Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City 

The arrival of the ship Brooklyn, the New York 7th Infantry, and the Mormon Battalion -- along with American settlers -- was Kearny's ace in the hole to hold California. Brandon Metcalf will discuss the arrival of the argonauts and the southern route to California via Cooke's Wagon Road. 

02:00 - 02:50 PM: The Women's Stories: The Five Women Who Arrived with and the Locals Who Served the Mormon Battalion in California - Laura Anderson and Mary Ann Kirk

An introduction to the five women who arrived in San Diego with the Mormon Battalion. They will also discuss the local women who served the Mormon Battalion in California, including Juana Machado Wrightington and Magell Mancheeta. 

03:00 - 03:50 PM: Say Their Names: Slavery in California - Kevin Henson (tentative speaker)

Biddy Mason, the US Army officer's servants, and slavery among the Spanish, Mexicans, Americans, and tribes are the theme of this talk. OCTA's video on Biddy Mason, a slave brought to California by her Mormon owners, will kick off this talk. The results of the work done by the Mormon Battalion Association on NARA military records will also be discussed, as will aspects of tribal and Spanish slavery. 

04:00 - 04:50 PM : The Relationship Between the LDS Church and OCTA - Elder D. Todd Christofferson 

Elder Christofferson will discuss his vision for the myriad and exciting ways in which the LDS Church and OCTA could work together toward the common goals of historic trail preservation, mapping and marking, research, promotion, and education. 

05:00 PM: Dinner on your own 

Saturday, January 29, 2022

09:00 AM - 03:00 PM: Enjoy the commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Mormon Battalion by taking in the various free activities, entertainment, and interactive booths found all throughout Old Town San Diego, especially in the portion managed as the state's most popular historic park. Attendees are invited to dress in period clothing and march in with the re-enactors. To participate in the re-enactment, contact Terry Wirth at (760) 685-4300 or [email protected]..

10:00 - 10:30 AM - Mormon Battalion Parade with the Marine Corp Band. Join us as 335 re-enactors march for about four blocks into Old Town San Diego to recreate that day on January 29, 1847 when the Mormon Battalion marched into San Diego. (Re-enactors will meet at the Cal Trans parking lot at Taylor and Juan Streets at 9 AM.)

12:00 PM - 01:00 PM: Tour of the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park (limited to 20 participants). A van will transport participants from the Mormon Battalion Historic Center at 2510 Juan St. to the museum and back again.

01:30 PM - 02:30 PM: Tour of the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park (limited to 20 participants). A van will transport participants from the Mormon Battalion Historic Center at 2510 Juan St. to the museum and back again. 

03:00 PM - 04:00 PM: The Women's Stories: The Five Women Who Arrived with and the Locals Who Served the Mormon Battalion in California - Laura Anderson and Mary Ann Kirk (a repeat of the Friday presentation; this presentation will be at the Mormon Battalion Historic Center)

An introduction to the five women who arrived in San Diego with the Mormon Battalion. They will also discuss the local women (the Californios and Indigenous) who served the Mormon Battalion in California, including Juana Machado Wrightington and Magell Mancheeta. 

04:00 PM - 05:00 PM: Co B's Sojourn in San Diego: The Story of the Mormon Battalion in San Diego - Greg Christofferson (this presentation will be at the Mormon Battalion Historic Center)

U.S. Army Surgeon John Strother Griffin wrote that "they have been engaged while here in digging wells, plastering houses and seem anxious to work." Greg Christofferson will discuss the work of the Mormon Battalion once they arrived in San Diego. 

0;500 PM: Dinner on your own

Sunday, January 30, 2022

07:00 AM - 05:00 PM: Van tour of the trail corridor for the 49ers Southern Route to California/Mormon Battalion/Butterfield Overland Stage/Juan Bautista de Anza expedition through San Diego County. Stops include interpretive sites in the barren Yuha Desert near Plaster City and into the beautiful Anza Borrego State Park, where we will visit important trail sites like Palm Spring, Vallecito Stage Station, Box Canyon, and Foot & Walker Pass, and finally into the grasslands surrounding Warner's Ranch, down into the San Pasqual Battlefield site, and wrapping up the day at the gorgeous Mission San Luis Rey. This is a tour you will not want to miss! The tour will depart from and return to the Courtyard Old Town. Lunch, snacks, drinks, and admission fees included. 



Saturday, January 29, 2022

  • Tour of the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park

    Tour of the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park

    Noon: One hour, docent-led tour of Presidio Hill and the Junípero Serra Museum, Presented by San Diego History Center. Located just above Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, the Serra sits on one of the most significant historical sites on the West Coast, the site of the first permanent European settlement in what is today the State of California. Limited to 20 each tour.

    A portion of this tour is conducted outdoors over varied terrain. Appropriate footwear is recommended. Please note: The Serra Museum is not ADA-accessible.

    Price $10.00

  • Tour of the Junípero Serra Museum

    Tour of the Junípero Serra Museum

    1:30 PM: One hour, docent-led tour of Presidio Hill and the Junípero Serra Museum, Presented by San Diego History Center. Located just above Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, the Serra sits on one of the most significant historical sites on the West Coast, the site of the first permanent European settlement in what is today the State of California. Limited to 20 each tour.

    A portion of this tour is conducted outdoors over varied terrain. Appropriate footwear is recommended. Please note: The Serra Museum is not ADA-accessible.

    Price $10.00


Sunday, January 30, 2022

  • Van Tour of trail sites in San Diego County, 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

    Van Tour of trail sites in San Diego County, 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM [29 remaining]

    Van Tour is limited to the first 42 who sign up and includes breakfast items, box lunch, snacks, drinks, and stops related to:
    -the Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition of 1776-77
    -the Mormon Battalion of 1846-47
    -the 49ers Southern Route to California
    -the Butterfield Overland Stage Route
    -Palm Spring
    -Foot & Walker Pass
    -Vallecito Stage Station
    -Box Canyon
    -Warner's Ranch
    -San Pasqual Battlefield
    -Mission San Luis Rey (1798 Spanish mission)

    This will be a spectacular tour through some of the more scenic and remote sections of San Diego County. Trail sites are spectacularly preserved (though some of them can be hard to find), so this is a tour you will not want to miss!

    Price $65.00


Special Instructions

Options for dietary restrictions (such as vegetarian or gluten-free) are available. Please use the space below or  contact us at (816) 252-2276 or [email protected] to discuss your needs and reserve these options.


Please read the liability waiver and indicate your acceptance by checking the box.

The undersigned agrees that neither the Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA), its directors, officers, employees, and agents, nor, to the extent legally permissible, any private or public (state or federal or instrumentality of either), landowner or tenant licensee in possession of any land on or over which any tour, field trip, or outing takes place, or through which it travels, in connection with or as part of any meeting or convention of OCTA, shall have any responsibility or liability, in whole or in part for any loss, damage, injury to person or property, delays and delayed departure or arrival, missed carrier connection, cancellations.

Changes in schedules, program, or itinerary, or mechanical defect or failures, or for any negligent act or omission of any nature whatsoever which results from, or arises out of, or occurs at or during any activities, programs, tours, field trips, or outing there at, or part thereof, or any accommodations, transportation, food, or other services or facilities furnished or supplies there at, or any additional expenses occasioned thereby, or any liability sustained or incurred as a result of any of the foregoing.

The OCTA board also voted recently to enact a proof of COVID vaccination to attend. The same policy that was in effect for last summer's Elko convention will also be in effect in San Diego. As most of our attendees are in the age group most impacted by the threat of COVID, the board voted unanimously to require proof of a COVID vaccination to attend the convention. Please either send a photocopy to OCTA HQ at: 524 S. Osage St., Independence, MO 64050, or email a photo of it to [email protected] You can also show proof of vaccination at check-in, but please do let us know if you plan to do so. We are striving to keep everyone safe and to still put on a great symposium. Thank you for your understanding.

All persons registering at or attending any such meeting , convention, or symposium shall be bound by the foregoing and deemed to have consented to the same by such registration or attendance.

$80.00

Registration fee is $1.00 plus 3% credit card fee:

$83.40

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