Cate School Volunteer Day at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park February 29, 2016

by Michael H. Imwalle

Students applying mud plaster to adobe garden walls at the Northwest Corner complex. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Students applying mud plaster to adobe garden walls at the Northwest Corner complex. Photo by Mike Imwalle.


On Monday February 29th, 2016 Cate School teachers Annalee Salcedo, Wendi Butler, and Taylor Wyatt arrived at the Presidio with eighteen students to volunteer for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. Associate Director of Historic Resources Anne Petersen welcomed the group and  and Archaeologist Michael Imwalle provided a brief introduction to the history of the Presidio and adobe construction. After we a brief safety meeting with master adobero Tim Aguilar, SBTHP Maintenance Supervisor Eduardo Garcia gave them an introduction to “Whitewashing 101.”

Cate volunteers whitewashing the buildings and defense wall of the Northeast Corner complex. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Cate volunteers whitewashing the buildings and defense wall of the Northeast Corner complex. Photo by Mike Imwalle.


Students divided into four teams and leapt into action (I couldn’t resist) assisting Tim and Isidro Ruiz with plastering the garden walls on the Northwest Corner. Another group worked at sifting decomposed granite for repairing paths and walkways at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara SHP and the Casa de la Guerra. Under Eduardo’s direction two groups worked on preparing and whitewashing buildings and walls around the Northeast Corner complex. Thanks to students Tessa Denison, Charles Shi, Stefan Suh, Isabela Montes de Oza, Maddie Goodman, Julie Phan, William Barron, Eunbie Coe, Jennifer Soh, Kate Tunnel, Malachi Schrager, Morgan Pierce, Henry Dawson, Elizabeth Douglas, Anna Hasson, Diarra Pouye, Elliott Rosenthal, and Zac Towbes for all your hard work!

2016 Cate School student and faculty volunteers. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

2016 Cate School student and faculty volunteers. Photo by Mike Imwalle.


Without hard working volunteers like those from Cate School, it would be impossible to maintain all the adobe structures in the park. We appreciate your annual contribution and look forward to working with you again next year!

Mike Imwalle is the archaeologist at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. 

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