Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor
Old California: The Missions, Ranchos, and Romantic Adobes.
By Bret Shipman. Los Angeles: Camaro publishing Company, 1987. Map. Drawings. Bibliography. 93 Pages. $4.95 Paperbound.
Old California purports to be a “touring guidebook to the most important historical places of early California mission and rancho days — 1769 to 1845.” It also claims to be a “complete guide.” It is organized by missions, mission-related attractions (such as Mission Inn ), selection of rancho adobes, and Spanish forts. Aside from catering to the romanticization of the past, the book is terribly out of date. For San Diego, for example, it says the Casa deBandini is closed to the public until its interior is completely renovated-but Shipman invites visitors to the Casa Pedrorena restaurant. Of course, San Diegans and their visitors have been eating inside the Casa Bandini for years (until the 1989 fire, anyway), but Casa Pedrorena has been boarded up for some time. Likewise the book says that the Serra Museum contains an “extensive research library.” That library was moved to the Casa de Balboa in 1984! If the San Diego information is so out-of-date, why should we expect anything else in the book to be accurate?