Jim Campos Joe Escareno Chronicle

From left, Jim Campos and Joe Escareño, Jr. hold two of the three volumes of the long-forgotten newspaper, The Carpinteria Chronicle. 

Joe Escareño, Jr., and his sister, Barbara, were cleaning out their aunt’s garage—Jessie Dominguez’s, who passed away recently—when they came across three near complete volumes of the Carpinteria Chronicle. These were Volume I (1933-34), Volume II (1934 only), and Volume VI (1938-39). Their first instinct was to trash the old newspapers, but fortunately for Carpinteria and California history, they quickly reconsidered and gave their childhood friend, Jim Campos, who has co-authored two books on Carpinteria history, a look at their discovery.  By consensus, they decided to donate the Chronicle to an institute that would preserve and make the old newspapers available to the public-at-large, free of charge. UCSB met the criteria. The Chronicle can be viewed online at alexandria.ucsb.edu/collections by searching Carpinteria Chronicle. 

The discovery of the Chronicle, until now almost entirely lost to history, reminds of the education and pleasure derived from revisiting the community’s past. For example, on this the 100th anniversary of the Volstead Act in 1920, the end of Prohibition in 1933 was particularly big news in the Chronicle. Carpinteria had voted in 1874, 64 percent in favor of being a “dry” community. Even though the State Supreme Court nullified the decision within a week, public opinion was decidedly against the consumption of alcohol throughout its early history. There is a sense of a conflicted community in the Chronicle coverage of liquor sales arriving at the train depot for distribution at various locations where one could BYOJ (bring your own jug). 

Among other topics to be consumed by getting online to read the Chronicle, is the construction of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in 1934, the themes of local elections, and the building of the Aliso and Main elementary schools. The Chronicle will have much to contribute to future CVN Hindsight stories.

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