In Passing: Judy Pearce
By Hattie Beresford   |   October 21, 2020

Judy Guitteau Pearce died last month after a long bout with cancer. Her kind heart, enthusiastic and friendly character, and her deep passion and first hand knowledge of the history of Santa Barbara and Montecito will always be appreciated and severely missed. Judy kept the stories of early Montecito alive, those passed down to her […]

Fiesta del Museo
By Hattie Beresford   |   August 6, 2020

Though the beautiful and elegant Fiesta del Museo is cancelled this year, Project Fiesta: A History of Old Spanish Days is not. And what better place to see the latest exhibition than outdoors in the spacious and beautiful courtyard of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, where fresh air and social distancing create an idyllic environment? […]

St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church – Part II
By Hattie Beresford   |   July 30, 2020

St. Paul’s has been nominated for inclusion on the list of Santa Barbara City historic landmarks and is working toward state and national recognition as well. Organized by architect Robert Ooley, F.A.I.A., a group of volunteers has been gathering historic information about the church to support the nominations; I was lucky enough to be among […]

St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church – Part 1
By Hattie Beresford   |   July 23, 2020

St. Paul’s has been nominated to become a Santa Barbara City historic landmark and is working toward State and National recognition as well. Organized by architect Robert Ooley, F.A.I.A., a group of volunteers has been gathering historic information about the church to support the nominations; I was lucky enough to be among them. The African […]

The Incredible Jerry Forney
By Hattie Beresford   |   July 9, 2020

I have to say, when I first heard his story, it read like tall tale or legend, much like the stories of Paul Bunyan and John Henry. Bigger than life heroes, for sure; so the skeptical side of me decided to do some fact checking. What I discovered, despite the erroneous claim that he was […]

Montecito’s Latter Day Adobes
By Hattie Beresford   |   June 25, 2020

Isolated from most of my historical resources, I am turning to the work of those who have come before me, most especially, my friend and mentor, the late Maria Herold, longtime volunteer curator of the Montecito Association History Committee. Maria’s passion for the history of Montecito led her to walk every street, knock on every […]

Potter Tales: Genesis
By Hattie Beresford   |   May 21, 2020

When Jose Lobero expanded the old adobe Sebastopol schoolhouse and created his Opera House between 1871 and 1873, Chinatown was already established on the first block of East Canon Perdido street. At that time, the street was nothing more than a narrow dirt track and an article from November 1873 stated, “This narrow and disagreeable […]

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic Strikes Santa Barbara
By Hattie Beresford   |   April 2, 2020

Note to Readers: In 2007, when I wrote about the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic in Santa Barbara, I never thought its story would ever be timely and relevant to today. I am sorry to have been wrong. I offer it again for your curiosity, instruction, and hope. They got through it then, and we’ll get […]

The Hill-Carrillo Adobe
By Hattie Beresford   |   February 20, 2020

Old Relics Vanishing. One by one the old adobe houses, the ancient landmarks of Santa Barbara, are gradually vanishing and modern buildings are taking their places. There are certain memories that cling to these old places, some of which date back one hundred years, which to some must seem like the severance of old friends […]

Hill-Carrillo Adobe
By Hattie Beresford   |   February 20, 2020

Thomas C. Parker, president and director of Hutton Parker Foundation, really knows how to celebrate history, and he is willing to share. The Foundation has recently completed a multimillion-dollar restoration of the historic Hill-Carrillo Adobe and is offering the beautifully appointed building to non-profit groups for meeting space – for free! In addition, one wing […]

Henry Chapman Ford
By Hattie Beresford   |   December 26, 2019

“It is a perhaps a little humiliating to us that we should have to wait till a stranger should come across the continent to reveal to us the beauties that lie at our door,” said the Reverend J.W. Hough at the library soiree in the Odd Fellows Building on State Street in September 1875. He […]