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flag  History of Santa Barbara, California, USA

Journey back in time to Santa Barbara, California, USA

Visit Santa Barbara, California, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

Do You Have Santa Barbara Roots? Share MY Ancestral Story!

Santa Barbara, California, USA - Bath House and Plaza Del Mar, Santa Barbara, Cal.  One of the oldest parks in the city located across from the harbor and Los Baños Pool with grass

Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

The Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino sailed through the channel between Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands in December of 1602 on St. Barbara’s feast day, December 4th, hence the name.

First permanent Europeans showed up on this area in 1782.

In 1850, after American-Mexican War the city officially became US territory.

Santa Barbara experienced an intense population growth: during the Gold Rush times in the mid-19th century, after the WWII and during the oil boom in the 1950-1960s.

There is MUCH more to discover about Santa Barbara, California, USA. Read on!

Santa Barbara Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Bath House and Plaza Del Mar, Santa Barbara, Cal.
Santa Barbara, California, USA

Bath House and Plaza Del Mar, Santa Barbara, Cal.

"One of the oldest parks in the city located across from the harbor and Los Baños Pool with grassy areas, a band shell, and large shade trees The park has shared use with Santa Barbara City College for sports activities."
Hope Ranch
Santa Barbara, California, USA

Hope Ranch

"Hope Ranch is named after Irishman Thomas Hope, who purchased the land in 1861 for sheep ranching. Following his death in 1876, his heirs sold the ranch for $250,000 to the Southern Pacific Railroad, who intended to develop the land. It was not until Harold Chase purchased the land in 1923 that the area was developed into the residential area that exists today." wikipedia
Hotel Arlington
Santa Barbara, California, USA

Hotel Arlington
Samarkand Persian Hotel

The Persian themed luxury hotel was in operation from 1920 to 1940.
Santa Barbara, California, USA

Samarkand Persian Hotel

The Persian themed luxury hotel was in operation from 1920 to 1940.

"It all began in 1915 when Dr. Prynce Hopkins, who had been a headmaster at an all boys school in Mission Canyon, bought 32 + acres to build a second school. Built adjacent to Oak Park, the new school was bordered by what is now Las Positas, State Street and Tallant Road. It was designed to resemble the Persian opulence of the past. Ultimately, the school fell apart after Dr. Hopkins left Santa Barbara. His mother, Mary Hopkins had other visions for the Persian paradise; she remodeled and created The Samarkand Hotel to capitalize on west coast tourism. Although the hotel was beautiful and lavish, the opening of The Biltmore took much of their clientele and The Samarkand ultimately had to close its doors."
Visit Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California, USA

Visit Santa Barbara

Discover Santa Barbara: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1854 - Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, a county in the S. W. part of California, has an area estimated at above 3000 square miles. It is bounded on the W. and S. by the Pacific, on the E. and N. E. by the Coast Range, and partly on the N. by the Santa Maria creek, and is drained by the Santa Clara and San Buenaventura, and other small streams, which flow into the Pacific ocean. The Coast Range in some parts attains the height of 4000 feet. A large portion of the county is suitable for grazing, but the soil of about one-third is well adapted to the cultivation of grain. Along the streams it is very fertile, with facilities for irrigation. Agriculture is in a very rude state, and material for fencing scarce. Beans, barley, Indian corn, potatoes, fruit, cattle, horses, and sheep are the staples; many melons are also raised. In 1852 this county produced 0083 bushels of beans ; 4748 of barley ; 2316 of corn ; 3323 of potatoes, and about 10,000 pounds of grapes. There were 1560 tame cows, 30,055 I wild cows,... Read MORE...

1859 - June 17 - Hot Santa Ana winds in southern California roasted fruit on one side at Santa Barbara.
June 17, 1859
1868 - Concerning a monster vine which is growing near Santa Barbara, on the southern coast of California, the story is substantially as follows:
A Spanish girl, having ridden her mule a day's journey with a grape cane for a switch, took a fancy on her arrival home to stick it into the ground to see if it would grow. It did grow, and was allowed to extend itself without pruning. A few years ago, when she had attained a green old age, and the vine covered an acre of ground, a petition in her behalf was presented to Congress, and securing the passage of an act confirming to her the title to a qurter-section of [sic] of public land on which it stood. The annual yield was then put at eight thousand pounds; and according to a recent visitor the crop now upon it is estimated at ten thousand pounds.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
October 17, 1868
1869 - A shrewd Yankee - a Mr. Packard, of Fall River, Mass. - has shown what can be done in the way of wine and silk culture.
Some years ago he bought a ranche of two hundred acres in Santa Barbara, at a dollar an acre. He has now 50,000 vines, producing 20,000 gallons of wine; is engaged in silk culture, last year producing 200,000 cocoons, and is also cultivating the olive.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
July 17, 1869
1886 - In Santa Barbara, Cal., they fine young men who practice on the clarionet [sic].

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
March 6, 1886
1895 - Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, a post-town, seaport, and capital of Santa Barbara co., Cal., is on the Pacific Ocean, about miles W.N.W. of Los Angeles. Two daily and 3 weekly newspapers are published here. The town contains 2 or 3 colleges, 7 churches, 2 banks, a flouring-mill, and 2 planing: mills, and has extensive exports of wool.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Santa Barbara, a city, subport of entry, and capital of Santa Barbara co., Cal., on the Pacific Ocean, about 90 mils WNW. of Los Angeles, on the Southern Pacific R. Its beautiful location and partial encirclement by hills and mountains have given to it the name of the American Mentone. Santa Barbara is noted for its display of flowers. The city has extensive fruit-growing interests. Several collegiate institutions are located here. The famous mission church of Santa Barbara dates from 1786. Pop. in 1900, 6587. The mean temperature for winter is about 52 degrees; summer 68 degrees.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906

Santa Barbara, June 29. - (AP) - Ten million dollars damage and twelve known dead and virtual destruction of most of the business buildings on State street resulted from the earthquake. Associated Press man first to use only phone available and sent in this information.

San Francisco, June 29. - (By the A.P.) - Santa Barbara, the picturesque little city, perched high above the ocean in Southern California, suffered disaster, the extent of which has not been determined, from an earthquake, which was general over Southern California shortly before 7 a.m. today, but which apparently struck lightly in other towns.

The Associated Oil Company received over private lines from Santa Maria, a report that many large buildings in Santa Barbara had been leveled...

Santa Barbara, whose situation...

1929 - January 9 - KDB-AM in Santa Barbara CA begins radio transmissions
1953 - July 24 - KEYT TV channel 3 in Santa Barbara, CA (ABC) begins broadcasting
1988 - June 19 - A team of 32 divers in Santa Barbara, California, cycle underwater on a standard tricycle to complete 116.66 miles in 75 hours and 20 minutes.
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Santa Barbara:
Stearns Wharf: Start your visit at Stearns Wharf, one of the city's iconic landmarks. This historic pier offers shopping, dining, and beautiful ocean views. Don't forget to try the ice cream at McConnell's Fine Ice Creams.

Santa Barbara Beaches: Relax on the beautiful sandy beaches that line the coastline. East Beach, West Beach, and Butterfly Beach are popular choices for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball.

Lotusland: Explore the magical gardens of Lotusland, a former estate with unique cactus gardens, cycad gardens, and exotic plants. Tours are available, but be sure to book in advance.

Santa Barbara Courthouse: The Santa Barbara Courthouse is not your typical government building. It's a stunning piece of architecture with beautiful murals, a clock tower, and manicured gardens. Climb the tower for panoramic views of the city.

Santa Barbara Zoo: This small but charming zoo is a great place to visit, especially if you have kids. It's home to a variety of animals,... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Santa Barbara Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Santa Barbara, California, USA

We currently have information about 7 ancestors who were born or died in Santa Barbara.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Santa Barbara, California, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Santa Barbara.

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Genealogy Resources for Santa Barbara

California Newspapers

Our Santa Barbara Gift Ideas

Buy it NOW!Proud Descendant of the USA Coffee Mug - 11oz Ceramic

"My ancestors came from the USA. That explains a lot about my love for Thanksgiving, parades, and believing that ketchup is a vegetable!"   Pinterest   
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Updated: 10/10/2023 6:44:11 PM