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A well-worn scrapbook of photographs and enthusiastic musings about the Rincon scene captured a pivotal moment in surfing’s rise in California, just as it began the transition from an outlaw sport for rebels like Dick Metz to a mainstream activity backed by a just-forming wave of films, tele…

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Ruth Elder, actress and aviatrix, made an international splash in 1927 when she attempted the first trans-Atlantic flight by a female pilot just five months after Charles Lindbergh made his famous crossing. Though she fell just short of her aviation goal, the attempt made headlines around th…

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Although most legal matters today are directed to the county’s court facilities in Santa Barbara, court cases nearly 100 years ago were held in a small room beneath the city’s water tank building.

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Editor’s note: This wonderful compilation of Russell Cup history was originally published in Carpinteria Magazine in 2019. In celebration of last weekend’s victory by Carpinteria Warriors at the 101st Russell Cup, we proudly present these highlights of the meet’s storied past. 

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These exuberant surfers were not the first to surf famous Rincon Point but they were among the first to rediscover the point after World War II, riding the waves of the Queen of the Coast on their monster wooden boards.

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The Coast Highway at Linden Avenue looking west, circa 1947, epitomized small town charm. The water tank on the right held the town’s water supply and proclaimed, “Carpinteria—World’s Safest Beach.” Another sign with the same slogan can be seen just beyond the Standard Gasoline Station in th…

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The first welcome sign to Carpinteria was built around 1920 at the east end of town near Santa Claus Lane. Although the history of the name “La Carpinteria” (The Carpenter Shop) is not complete, the name was derived when the Spaniards witnessed the Chumash Indians making plank canoes. It mus…

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The 1930s was the decade of the Great Depression, FDR, The New Deal and the Dust Bowl. It would seem the least likely time to spawn outstanding athletes at a small school like Carpinteria High School, yet it was the era when some of the most accomplished and record-holding athletes competed …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Editor’s note: This nugget of Carpinteria history was originally published in the Summer 2016 edition of Carpinteria Magazine.

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A favorite quote of mine about “warriors” is credited to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher circa 500 B.C. “Out of every one hundred men, 10 shouldn’t even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is…

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Editor’s note: Portions of this nugget of Carpinteria history were written by David Griggs and originally published in the Summer 2007 edition of Carpinteria Magazine.

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Editor’s note: This nugget of Carpinteria history was written by Lea Boyd and originally published in the Summer 2016 edition of Carpinteria Magazine. 

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Editor’s note: Lima beans rose and fell. An asphalt mine and airports came and went. Corporate headquarters checked in then checked out. One draw to Carpinteria however, remains unchanged even as decades roll from far-off future to way-back past: the beaches. This nugget of Carpinteria histo…

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Editor’s note: Lima beans rose and fell. An asphalt mine and airports came and went. Corporate headquarters checked in then checked out. One draw to Carpinteria however, remains unchanged even as decades roll from far-off future to way-back past: the beaches. For the next two issues, CVN tak…

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Editor’s note: This nugget of Carpinteria history was written by David Griggs and originally published in the Winter 2012 edition of Carpinteria Magazine. 

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With this column, my year long journey of relating the history behind the pictures of Throwback Thursday comes to an end. In such a tough pandemic year of Covid-19, I have found a measure of peace and joy bringing these stories to you. I will leave you with one of my favorite memories – alth…

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Semi-pro baseball was immensely popular in Carpinteria in the 1930s.  It was also, initially, a segregated sport.  As the decade progressed, however, teams evolved, integrating year-by-year.  Sports have a way of breaking down racial barriers as the players get to know each other on and off …

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James and Pearl Slaybaugh started the process of creating a racetrack on their Carpinteria Bluffs property in 1946, and they had a great deal of help from the Carpinteria community to do it. Men like Ray Rollins, Joe Escareno Sr., Tom Ota and others pitched in to grade the track with their l…

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The Ayala Grapevine was planted by Joaquina de Lugo Ayala on the family farm in 1842 between what became Santa Monica Road and Cravens Lane. It was regarded as the world’s largest grapevine of its time.  It was also the most iconic “living thing” in the Carpinteria Valley, certainly the most…

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Carpinteria High School Warrior athletes copped league championships in football, track and baseball in the 1948–49 school year.  The Warriors were also top contenders in basketball and tennis. It was not uncommon for the student athletes to participate in three, or more, sports programs.  O…

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The Mountain View Inn, or Shepard’s Inn as it became widely known, was surely the biggest tourist attraction that the Carpinteria Valley had to offer at the turn of the 20th century. It was established circa 1890, but its roots go back to 1878.

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The first Mexican market in Carpinteria appears to have been opened by Tony Sanchez in 1927. Always a small grocery store, it was situated on the southeast corner of 7th Street and Holly. It was perfectly placed for its primary clientele, the Mexican immigrant population living west of Linde…

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Carpinteria’s growth as a sleepy agrarian village took a dramatic turn before the beginning of the 20th century with the establishment of asphalt mining operations. The men who arrived to work the mines increased the population by several hundred people. Modernization, such as it was, was sp…

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In the 1940s, dozens of young women spent their working days sorting and packing lemons at the local packinghouse. At that time lemon orchards covered Carpinteria Valley, and the avocado was just a glimmer in the valley’s eye. The business of lemons employed a significant portion of Carpinte…

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Lemonade stands are an American tradition. Every open air market and festival has one. The sight of kids setting up a stand along the roadside of a neighborhood to earn some spending income is familiar. In Carpinteria, of course, a lemonade stand was, and is, a natural. But, a roadside orang…

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With sports returning to television ever so gingerly, and many college and high school football conferences shut down because of Covid-19, sports diversions have jumped in to fill the void. A University of Southern California Trojan football website recently provided a series of articles hon…

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With the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1902, the decline of the Chinese presence in Carpinteria gave way to another Asian presence, the Japanese. Actually, another Asian group arose simultaneously, the Filipinos, but they tended to blend with the Mexican immigrants, sharing the Spanish language a…

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The Chinese presence in Carpinteria from a historical perspective is slight. There are so few recorded memories of Chinese residents as to make them seem almost invisible and inconsequential to Carpinteria’s development. But they were here and they contributed to daily life in the Valley. Ou…

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During the silent film era, there was no greater Hollywood star on the planet than Charlie Chaplin, the “Little Tramp” of the silver screen. His star power and creative genius was so strong that he continued to make financial and critically successful films into the 1960s. This included writ…

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To hear many Carpinterians tell it, for an actual great hamburger you had to wait until The Spot opened in 1958. Originally Sheri’s Café for about a half-dozen years previous to The Spot, the place was a tiny shed-like structure. Cecil and Garnet Hendrickson gave it its new name. They poured…

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The closing of Fosters Freeze this summer ended a near 80-year tradition as the “spot” for burgers at Carpinteria and Walnut Avenues.  Fortunately, Carpinteria’s other traditional burger place continues at The Spot on Linden Avenue near the beach. Opened in 1958, it has passed the 60-year ma…

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In 1958, Oliver B. Prickett—Ollie to his friends—was an established character actor in Hollywood. Under his movie name, Oliver Blake, he had appeared in the classic Casablanca, played a recurring role in the Ma and Pa Kettle movie franchise as “Geoduck,” and was a part of Bob Hope’s entourag…

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In the year 2020, only the most dedicated cinephile would know of Warner Oland, best known as Charlie Chan of the 1930s Hollywood movies. Oland, however, was a star. He made a smooth transition from the silent film era into sound films. He was at the height of his fame when he unexpectedly d…

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Originally the Coast Drive In (aka the 101 Drive In) at the southeast corner of Carpinteria and Walnut avenues from the 1940s until about 1955, this hangout spot for teens morphed into the Snack Shack in 1957 for a few years, then settled in for the long haul as Fosters Freeze in 1961. Servi…

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Schools in California were integrated by law starting in the fall of 1947. The court ruling in Mendes vs. Westminster of Orange County on April 14, 1947, declared that children in “Mexican Schools” were being denied access to social equality which was unconstitutional and unlawful.

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In Carpinteria history, the Rockwells—a pioneer family arriving in the Valley in 1874—are remembered primarily for a tragic event befalling their patriarch, John Vernon Rockwell in 1914. Strong rainfall that year precipitated the flooding of all Carpinteria’s major creeks causing heavy damag…

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It was New Year’s Day, Thursday, Jan. 1, 1959. Lou Panizzon, a senior at Carpinteria High School, was going about his assigned chores at the Chevron Service Station at his part time job over the Holiday Season break, owned and operated by John Moyer. The weekly edition of the Carpinteria Her…

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In 1948, a group of enterprising people, the Santa Claus Corp, created a village of shops themed and named after Christmas images. The village sat on the Coast Highway near Carpinteria’s Old Town in the direction of Padaro Lane. They paid artist Kenneth Vaughn $500 to build a huge head and t…

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In its earliest days, the Carpinteria Valley’s beaches, from Rincon to Summerland, gave telltale signs of oil deposits beneath the surface. We can still see them today, and a stroll on the beach can force one to get a Tar Off towelette to clean the feet.

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James and Pearl Slaybaugh started the process of creating a racetrack on their Carpinteria Bluffs property in 1946. A year later in 1947, their dream was a reality. Races were held on Monday nights, and the roar from the track could be heard from the Rincon to Old Town. Midget racers were fe…

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Santiago Campos, known to Spanish-speaking Carpinterians as “Chago” and to the English-speaking community as “Jim”—yes, this is my grandfather and namesake—came to Carpinteria in 1928, settling initially in Old Town. The family rented a house from the Manriquez family near Pear Street along …

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The first Catholic Church in Carpinteria was established in 1894. It was named “La Iglesia San Jose” and was a used building purchase. It had been built in 1872 by the Methodists on Upson Road, a road that still exists today, but looks more like a long driveway off the west side of Santa Mon…

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