|The Mission Museum's 1939 replica of the San Luis Rey Mission.|
One of the best things about being a freelance writer living in wine country is that I get to to meet and interview so many wine industry people who love the work they do, from winery owners and winemakers to tasting room tenders and cellar rats.
I particularly enjoy profiling wine country folks who use their profits to accomplish a bit of good in the world.
On that score, I've admired Fred and Nancy Cline from the moment I stepped into the small museum they built on the grounds of Cline Cellars. The California Missions Museum houses a one-of-a-kind collection: large, hand-crafted replicas of all 21 California Missions. The replicas were built in 1939 by a team of German woodworkers for the World's Fair held that year in San Francisco.
The collection managed to stay intact until the late 1990s, at which time it was set to be auctioned off piece by piece. The history-loving Nancy Cline, believing that the Mission replicas should remain a set, purchased them all at auction. The Clines then built a home for them at Cline Cellars, opening the doors to the public. Admission is free. Last year 4,000 California 4th graders visited the museum as part of their history curriculum.
Just this year the Clines purchased and refurbished an historic hotel in Tonapah, Nevada. It makes for an interesting story, which you can read in my recent published profile of Nancy Cline.
|The Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, NV|