In 1939, Reginald Treloar Ogan composed a term paper titled “Mountain-Seashore, at your Door,” in which he wrote about the history of Carpinteria and described in detail the state of the 3,300-person town in the late 1930s. Born and raised in Carpinteria behind a long line of relatives with the same claim, Ogan made keen observations about the growing agricultural town.
“Mountain-Seashore, at your door” documents the positives and negatives of the day in a straightforward manner that may lack modern political correctness but offers interesting insights into the history of Carpinteria. In the third week of a three-week series, Coastal View News brings readers back to 1939 to examine the neighborhoods of Carpinteria that Ogan referred to as “the better residential area,” “the poorer residential section” and “the Spanish and Mexican living areas.”
When Reginald Ogan wrote his term paper, “Mountain-Seashore, at your Door,” Carpinteria’s wealthy lived on the beachfront or in the new neighborhood north of the Coast Highway made up of Vallecito Road, Vallecito Place and the Henderson Tract, now Star Pine Road. Many of the homes in this neighborhood were built by English-born carpenter Joe Hendy, who had relocated to Carpinteria in 1921.
“Retired men living off their income or their bank account, school instructors, more successful business men and owners of considerable lemon acreage are in general the owners of these homes,” Ogan stated.
Along the beach, many of the structures served as vacation homes. According to Ogan, these homes were owned by “wealthy stock-holders, moving picture actors and retired manufacturers.” Owning a beach house came with a price, however, and Ogan noted that, “Last winter some of the homes were swept out to sea, others were ruined, and others suffered damage into the thousands.”