We all are shaped by our experiences in our lives. As a New Englander and a sea captain in his late teens, William Goodwin Dana, founder of Nipomo, had the unique experience of participating in America’s burgeoning trade with East Asia in the early 19th century. Beyond the fact that he resided in Canton, China for two years and Calcutta, India for one year before managing a trade depot in Hawaii for five years, the details of his stay in Asia are sketchy.

What must it have been like for young men like William to stay in these far-off lands, see the people of these countries and experience their cultures? What was the Asian trade business like, what skills did he and other residents like him acquire and what characteristics did young men like him share that led them to be chosen for these positions? Finally, how did these years prepare William to be one of the premier entrepreneurs and civic leaders of Alta California and Don of Rancho Nipomo?

On Sunday, March 18 at 2:00 PM, a presentation by Alan Daurio titled “How Life in the East Indies Influenced William Dana’s Life as Don of Rancho Nipomo” will answer these questions and give the audience a sense of the adventure that these years in Asia held for young William. DANA members are able to attend the talk for free, otherwise, admission is $5.00. Free tours of the historic Dana Adobe will start at 1:00 PM.