True stories of the missions give a vivid picture of California’s early history. Tales of Indian raids, pirate attacks, courageous deeds, forbidden romance, stolen treasures, and more breathe life into any visit to a mission and any study of the mission era.

Sixteen stories are arranged in an order to present the history from the founding of the first mission in 1769 through the Spanish period, the Mexican period, and secularization and decline. As you listen, you will have a sense of what it was like to live in those times. This is no romanticized or politicized version of mission life, but glimpses into the struggles and triumphs of very real people.


- Printed and audio versions of 16 stories that bring history to life.
- 70 minutes of listening entertainment and education
- Additional pages of fascinating facts about life in the missions and the mission era
- Updates of additional material
- Teacher’s guide for using stories for teaching history
- Descriptions and other info about each of the 21 missions
- No social. No Internet connection required
- Kids and educational institutions friendly


> For Travel: As you travel, listen to entertaining stories that make seeing and touring the missions more exciting and meaningful.

> For Teaching: Teacher’s guide suggests ways to use the stories and other information to help students understand and feel the lives and adventures of the 19th-century priests, soldiers, natives, and their visitors. Makes history fun!

> General: Stories give a comprehensive—broad yet detailed—picture of a fascinating period of history. Enlightening as well as entertaining.


- The Missions
- Beginning a Mission (San Diego, 1769)
- Beloved Padre (Santa Clara, 1794-1830)
- A Marriage at the Mission (San Antonio de Padua, 1773)
- Mission Martyr (San Diego, 1775)
- The Indian Girl Who Saved a Mission (Santa Inés)
- From Russia with Love (Dolores, 1806)
- Good and Bad Pirates (Santa Inés, 1818)
- The Town that Destroyed a Mission (Santa Cruz, 1818)
- Chumash Revolt (Santa Inés, La Purísima, Santa Barbara, 1824)
- The Indian Who Outsmarted Three Armies (San Jose, 1829)
- The Battle Nobody Won (Santa Barbara, 1829)
- The Island Woman (Santa Barbara, 1835-1853)
- Farewell to San Luis Rey (1832)
- Murder at the Mission (San Miguel, 1848)
- The Last Mexican Governor (1846)

What’s New

Version 4.0

Updated for iOS 9.3.4.
iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad universal app.
Kids and educational institutions friendly.
No outside links. No social. No Internet connection required.

Ratings and Reviews

Hamster Calhoon ,

Nice straight forward app; but has iPhone footprint only …

Nice straightforward presentation of information with handy buttons on the bottom to quickly take you to those sections. I like the audio story feature; interesting historical narratives, well written and read. However, if you leave the story and come back, it doesn't remember where you left off, so you have to start all over again when you return.

It's designed for the iPhone, so when it's on the iPad, you have the 2x option, but that makes it a little blurry. The app doesn't rotate with changing orientation of the iPad.

The information on each of the 21 missions consists of a thumbnail photo, the mission name, a brief 1-2 sentence description, founded date - sometimes with some other information, address, phone number, and website link (handy).

Value - with other information presentation apps you may get more for less money, but there has been some effort put into this app, especially with the writing and reading of the historical narratives.

If this app rotated with iPad orientation and remembered where you left off for each story, I would give it 4 stars.

Developer Response ,

It's now a universal iPhone and iPad app (version 4.0).

12carol ,

This is a religiously biased app

I downloaded this app for my son's fourth grade classmates to listen to in my car on the way to their California Mission field trip. I thought it would be historical in nature. In reality it is an extremely biased attempt at explaining how great the Spanish were for trying to save the souls of the natives who are continually referred to as the "children" of the padres. At one point it says the natives were not used to working hard like they had to do at the missions. Really? You try living off the land and tell me that you are not working hard. I'm very disappointed and wasted $5 which is a lot for an app. Good thing I listened first before exposing my son's classmates. If you are looking for unbiased historical accounts, this isn't it.

Developer Response ,

I'm sorry. This is not a fair review.

Renee - Teacher ,

Limited Information

The stories add a nice element, but the app would be so much better if they took the time to extract more data about each mission. The only data about each mission - one sentence about it, address, when founded, and a link to the website.

Since CA Missions is a 4th grade curriculum area, it would have been helpful to have things like who founded each missions, bibliography data on the founders, crops and livestock information, about the mission in the current day, etc.

I realize the link to a website gives this information, but if there was a clean, standardized interface with all the basic information, it would really help 4th graders!

I also think some of the stories are a bit much for 4th graders, so I would look at that when putting this together and choosing the stories you are selecting.

Developer Response ,

Stores are the main focus but we'll add more useful information in the future. Thank you for your feedback.


Good Characters, Inc.
73.4 MB
Requires iOS 9.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2011-2016 Good Characters, Inc.


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