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 […]

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 […]

Once Upon a Time in Montecito
By Kim Crail   |   May 20, 2021

Join us on Thursday, May 20 at 5 pm for a virtual talk titled “Wintering in Montecito” with local historian and Montecito Journal columnist Hattie Beresford. Santa Barbara has drawn winter visitors ever since the 1870s when travel writer Charles Nordhoff promoted Santa Barbara as a health resort. The salubrious waters at Hot Springs Resort […]

Citizen Ganna: How Lotusland’s founder helped inspire one of the greatest films of all time
By Pauline O'Connor   |   May 20, 2021

Released 80 years ago this September, director Orson Welles’s debut film Citizen Kane has been inspiring countless arguments, articles, books, documentaries, parodies, and homages ever since. Playing a significant part in the film’s enduring mystique is the widespread belief that its two main characters, bombastic newspaper mogul Charles Foster Kane and his much-younger mistress, alcoholic […]

Tale of the Hobo Artist: John Dwight Bridge Enters Existential Crisis That Leads Him Around the World
By Hattie Beresford   |   May 20, 2021

In the early 1920s, the artist John Dwight Bridge was a popular and important force in the cultural renaissance fostered by the Community Arts Association. Having proven himself in earlier productions of the Community Arts Players, he may have reached his apex when he took on the role of Nicola, the Bulgarian manservant in George […]

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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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 […]

Cultural Moments
By Lynda Millner   |   February 11, 2021

With Valentine’s Day coming up, what did Jose Lobero (born Giuseppe in Genoa, Italy) love? He loved opera and in 1873 he built a theater to house that love. It began as an old wooden schoolhouse and became the largest adobe structure in California for its time, housing the only opera house south of San […]

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The Rotunda
By Lynda Millner   |   January 28, 2021

Did you ever wonder about the Plaza del Sol or the Rotunda at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, formerly Fess Parker’s Resort? Was it originally for bullfights because it’s patterned after the bullring in Sevilla, Spain. Why was it built there anyway? The arches are reminiscent of the façade of the Old Mission.  The […]

The Story Behind the Fountain on Sycamore Canyon
By Hattie Beresford   |   January 7, 2021

At the intersection of Stanwood  Drive and Sycamore Canyon Road, a memorial fountain approaches its 100th year. Known as Jack’s Trough or Courtney Fountain, it was designed in 1925 by Lutah Maria Riggs of the George Washington Smith architectural firm for thrice-married Marguerite Doe.  Known as the “Million Dollar Heiress” in her hometown of San […]

For Love of the Land
By Hattie Beresford   |   December 3, 2020

The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County recently welcomed a new executive director with local roots, Meredith Hendricks, who brings 20 years of conservation, land management, and leadership experience to the County. Her successes with conservation and preservation projects in the San Francisco area will come into play as the Land Trust works to finalize […]

Casa del Herrero to Reopen Next Week
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 3, 2020

Montecito’s Casa del Herrero will reopen to the general public next Wednesday, September 9. Closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Casa is ready to safely welcome tour guests back to the estate. While indoor spaces remain closed, guests will now engage in a reimagined self-guided garden tour. “The Casa’s original owner, George […]

People of Montecito: Barbara Doran
By Megan Waldrep   |   August 27, 2020

Tell Us About Your Time at Bellosguardo I am one of the last people alive to have known Anna E. Clark and her youngest daughter, Huguette (of the Clark estate, Bellosguardo). My father worked for the Clarks and we lived on the property in a home they built for our family. The Clarks were from […]

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