Being from Southern California, I've always been interested in the missions. At one time or another, I've visited every one from San Diego to Napa. I've also seen several of them in Baja California.
I began to research them about 7 or 8 years ago and found Father Junipero Serra a most interesting figure. I read all about he was responsible for cruelly enslaving thousands of Indians and brought them many terrible diseases that wiped them out.
I discovered most of that to be pure liberal/progressive male bovine excrement based on tiny sample and the writings of a bigoted, Mid-western Protestant with a deep hatred for Catholics in general.
As I result, I wrote three historical novels on Father Serra which have been published by a publishing house that appear on Amazon.com
However, there was a whole lot I learned about the area, the time, and the people who brought us what is there today. So many of the things NOT in the novels have been posted on my blog - the same name as the thread's title.
You are all most welcome to check it out at http://msgdaleday.blogspot.com
I also have another called A Soldier's Stories @ http://lvcabbie.blogspot.com
I hope you enjoy and look forward to seeing comments.