Lockwood and Huguette
By Hattie Beresford   |   March 22, 2022

Lockwood de Forest (Sr.) was already considered one of the best-known landscape painters in the United States when he made his first appearance in Santa Barbara in late 1902. Captivated by the landscape, he painted over 100 oil sketches of the countryside by February 1903. That month, 112 of them were exhibited at Mrs. Tadd’s […]

Plaza del Mar and the Bandshell
By Hattie Beresford   |   January 18, 2022

In 1886, the Santa Barbara waterfront was connected to three, often odiferous, esteros and littered with dilapidated shacks and the detritus of the hide and tallow industry. Despite the fact that there were several crude wooden bathhouses, the area was generally a “wild waste of sand, tin cans, and dead animals,” according to historian C.W. […]

 

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Arroyo Hondo Preserve, a Historical Touchstone
By Hattie Beresford   |   November 23, 2021

Above the riparian corridor of Arroyo Hondo, a bleak Daliesque landscape reveals the aftermath of October’s Alisal Fire. Chaparral that hadn’t burned in too many years fed the wind-driven fire into the canyon from the east. Despite the grazing program of sheep and cattle on the hills flanking both sides of the lower canyon, the […]

Riding the Rails in Idaho
By Hattie Beresford   |   November 16, 2021

In mid-September, my husband Michael and I hit the road and traveled to Kellogg, Idaho, to ride the rails. Our locomotion, however, was pedal-powered and the iron rails had long been torn out, leaving behind two rail corridors: one of the Union Pacific Railroad and the other of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific […]

Visiting the Reagan Library
By Lynda Millner   |   October 26, 2021

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley was the destination of our bus filled with members of the Channel City Club. In between visits I always forget how spectacular it is – especially Air Force One. This flying White House is dramatically displayed in the 90,000-square-foot pavilion, along with a Marine One […]

‘Irish Above All’
By Lynda Millner   |   October 26, 2021

For all you Irishmen and women out there, the American Irish Historical Society would be of interest. They recently held their first get together since the pandemic and are right now the only working chapter in the United States. But it is an international society. The meeting was held at President Frank McGinity’s unique home. […]

A Brief History of the Development of Montecito
By Hattie Beresford   |   August 12, 2021

Erroneously translated as “little mountain,” the name El Montecito is an archaic use of the Spanish word meaning woodland or countryside. It was being used to designate the eastern part of the Pueblo Lands of Santa Barbara as early as the 1780s. Considered a wilderness, it only became populated when retiring soldiers of the Presidio, […]

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Viva Community Chorus and La Primavera
By Hattie Beresford   |   July 22, 2021

In 1919, Santa Barbarans had learned to work together for the war effort, and the time was ripe for a new era to begin, one that would start with the formation of a community chorus and blossom into a cultural renaissance. The community chorus idea had been borne of the idealism of the Progressive Era […]

A Successful Prelude: John Dwight Bridge and his Impact on Santa Barbara’s Cultural Renaissance
By Hattie Beresford   |   May 13, 2021

The moon was nearly full that blustery March night in 1933, when a lone figure paused on the platform of Salina, Kansas, the closest train depot to the geographic center of the nation. Withdrawing the last of his money from a pocket of his corduroy trousers, he carefully placed the quarter and nickel on the […]

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Marguerite Ravenscroft
By Hattie Beresford   |   April 22, 2021

Her friends remembered her as eccentric, fun-loving, and generous and called her Peggy. In the late Elane Griscom’s 1990 Montecito Magazine article about Marguerite Ravenscroft, Kit McMahon, then archivist of the Montecito Association History Committee, remembered that Peggy once gave a $50,000 loan to a friend from cash tucked away in various spots in her […]

Polo and Ponies
By Lynda Millner   |   March 11, 2021

One of the things that fascinated me when we first moved to Santa Barbara in the mid-‘70s was the polo field just south of town. We soon became social members even though we lived in town and spent many a Sunday watching and learning about polo and its ponies. Yes, they are called ponies. We […]

Red-Letter Days for CAMA
By Hattie Beresford   |   March 11, 2021

On March 6, 1920, the Morning Press reported that the petroleum industry was booming in Ventura, prohibition agents were arresting bootleggers and rumrunners, and fruit vendors were setting up stands along the highways so booze-deprived drivers could quench their thirst by sucking on oranges. (I kid you not, there was an article in the newspaper!) […]

Founding the Granada Theatre
By Hattie Beresford   |   March 4, 2021

When Edward Johnson, principal stockholder of the Portola Theater Company, purchased the California Theatre on W. Canon Perdido Street in 1920, he envisioned a bright entertainment future for the town. At that time, there were only four movie houses, and one, the Strand Theatre, was being replaced by a motorcycle shop. By 1922, Johnson had […]

When Booker T. Washington Came to Santa Barbara
By Hattie Beresford   |   February 25, 2021

In March 1914, Santa Barbarans were filled with anticipation because the famous leader of Tuskegee Institute, Booker T. Washington, was coming to town to speak at the State Normal School of Manual Arts and Home Economics. Articles in the Morning Press told the story of his rise from the privations of slavery to becoming one […]

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