New Street Signs in Montecito

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 30, 2020
A street sign at Picacho Lane was replaced last week as part of an ongoing sign maintenance project overseen by the Montecito Community Foundation

Montecito Community Foundation replaced two more street signs last week, on East Valley Road at San Ysidro and Picacho Lane. Over 200 signs are maintained by the Montecito Community Foundation, which is supported wholly from the community’s generous monetary gifts.

“What sets Montecito apart from so many other communities are the little details that are painstakingly attended to but not always recognized,” said MCF president Mindy Denson. “Nothing represents this more than our handcrafted wooden road signs that you see marking every street and intersection. Our rustic signs have been part of the landscape here for over a hundred years!”

This tradition started in 1919 when the post office first offered home mail delivery to Montecito residents. Before home delivery service could happen, every road and lane needed to have a sign and every house had to have a number. In October 1919, the County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to give Montecito residents the wood for the signs, with the stipulation that Montecito firemen would make them. The signs initially numbered about 200; 36 of them were damaged or completely destroyed in the 1/9 debris flow, and replaced by the MCF.

Since its incorporation in 1966, the Foundation has organized and paid for the construction and maintenance of the signs. All funding comes directly from the Montecito community’s gifts to the Foundation, with no support from the County.

Denson reports that Foundation funds for signs have been nearly exhausted, and hopes our readers will consider a tax-deductible contribution to the Montecito Community Foundation so that the care and preservation of this unique Montecito tradition will continue.

To donate, or for more information, visit


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