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 […]

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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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 […]

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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 […]

Montecito’s Winter Residents
By Hattie Beresford   |   September 12, 2019

In 1874, author Charles Nordhoff, at the behest of the Southern Pacific Railroad, published a second edition of his California for Health, Pleasure and Residence. In it, he languished praise on Santa Barbara as the loveliest spot in California and promoted its health benefits. Soon the small influx of Easterners escaping the harsh winter months […]

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The People Behind Montecito’s Roads (Part II)
By Hattie Beresford   |   August 29, 2019

Loureyro Roadis named for the family of Spanish-born José Maria Loureyro, a Basque who came to California in the 1850s. He served as president of the Santa Barbara City Board of Trustees in the 1860s and early ‘70s. In 1865 he approved an ordinance regarding the development of the streets in Santa Barbara, and in […]

The People Behind Montecito’s Roads Part I
By Hattie Beresford   |   August 8, 2019

While Montecito’s roads were a nameless, mazelike mess in the 1870s, by 1899, with the introduction of Rural Free Delivery postal service, order and identification began to be placed on the street system. (See MJ “Early Roads in Montecito” July 18, 2019.) All would remain dirt roads, however, until 1909, when the first few roads […]

Early Years of Rancho Tajiguas
By Hattie Beresford   |   May 30, 2019

Lying among the rolling hills and fresh arroyos of the Gaviota coast, Rancho Tajiguas has been a favored spot for times immemorial. The 1769 Portola expedition, which prepared the way for Spanish settlement of Alta California, camped for the night at its mouth and were welcomed and entertained by the Chumash peoples living in two […]

On the Road with Arlo
By Hattie Beresford   |   March 14, 2019

The Atchison family came to Santa Barbara from Centralia, Washington, in 1912 seeking health for the father who suffered from chronic stomach problems. Alas, salubrious Santa Barbara was not able to work its magic on Garrett, and he died that July. His wife Sarah had set up housekeeping in a home on Carrillo Street, and […]

The De la Cuesta Family and the Highway
By Hattie Beresford   |   January 31, 2019

In 1912, Santa Barbara motorists heading toward North County had a major decision to make. Where were they going to cross the Santa Ynez River? There were only two bridges, one near Lompoc and the other, aptly called Mission Bridge, that crossed the river at today’s Solvang. To get to either required negotiating dozens of […]

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