Several years ago SBTHP board member Tim Aguilar showed us a Mission-period bench he had acquired. Tim noted that a few benches of the same design would be appropriate additions to the Presidio Chapel. Although we know that most of the residents of the Presidio would have kneeled on floor mats during services, a few benches like Tim’s likely lined the walls during the early-nineteenth century. A recent donation by Virginia Ridder made reproduction of Tim’s bench possible. Thanks to the hard work of Tim and many interns, students, an experienced carpenter, and a talented blacksmith, we now have seven reproduction benches lining the walls of the Presidio chapel. Want to view the world from the perspective of an early nineteenth-century Spanish resident of the Presidio? Next time you visit, pop into the Chapel and take a seat!
Carpenter Moises Rodriguez cutting wood for the benches. Photo by Mke Imwalle.
Archaeology intern Frank Arredondo assembling the benches. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Blacksmith Moises Solis from La Purisima Mission State Historic Park making hand-forged nails for the benches. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Tim Aguilar priming the benches. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
2011 Presidio Archaeology Field School students (with their instructor, SBTHP Board President Bob Hoover, on the left) add the final coat of paint. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
The benches installed along the walls of the Presidio Chapel. Photo by Mike Imwalle.