• 0

Looking back a century ago, Summerland’s oil boom resulted in a simultaneous boom in school enrollment. The one-room schoolhouse that opened in 1890 with 10  students was forced to hold 50 to 60 children in grades one through eight in the early 1900s.

  • 0

Though the asphaltum seeps along the Carpinteria coastline were used by the Chumash to caulk the seams of their tomols (plank canoes), it wasn’t until the late 1800s that the sticky substance was pulled from the earth in large quantities.

  • 0

The Linden Avenue of 1918 is a far cry from the Linden Avenue of 2019. Instead of the hustle and bustle of tourists and locals driving, bicycling and walking from here to there, we see a lone auto in the distance with a horse nearby. Instead of shops and restaurants rubbing elbows from Carpi…

  • 0

Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off tourist season in Carpinteria, and a packed State Beach can be counted on between now and Labor Day. As pictured back in 1923, a portion of today’s state park was the Fish Auto Camp, and much like today, campers from the hot interior of the state flo…

  • 0

Carpinteria holds a place, albeit a small place, in the history of flight. Our little town boasted the South Coast’s most popular airfield prior to the 1930s construction of Santa Barbara Airport on Goleta slough and pasture lands. Local air shows, like the one pictured above circa 1929, dre…

  • 0

George Gilbert McLean opened his Carpinteria Realty office in 1917 at 5030 Carpinteria Ave., most recently occupied by Rabobank. McLean’s office was like a “dollhouse” as described by Albertine Rodriguez in a 1968 article appearing in the Carpinteria Herald. Rodriguez also mentioned that the…

  • 0

Though remodels have occurred, embellishments have been added and landscaping has softened its look, the Stein home on the corner of Dorrance Way and Linden Avenue still bears a striking resemblance to its 1925 forebear, the Near Beach Hotel. The hotel was constructed by Rev. John Woods Dorr…

  • 0

Editor’s note: Nigel Gallimore submitted these historical notes in response to a previous Throwback Thursday on Santa Barbara Polo published in Vol. 25, No. 26 and a letter published in Vol. 25, No. 27.

  • 0

Much like Andy Griffith in Mayberry, Al Bevilockway kept the Carpinteria streets crime-free as Carpinteria’s one-man police squad between 1956 and 1958. When he was hired for the job in 1956, he owned and operated the Pine Haven Texaco station on the corner of Carpinteria Avenue and Yucca La…

  • 0

Until 1960, the only role that girls had in the Russell Cup Track and Field Meet was as a queen. Russell Cup queens, later renamed princesses, were elected by their peers to award trophies to event winners. While the tradition of Russell Cup princesses continues today, after 1960, girls were…

  • 0

Reg Reynolds and his well-frequented bait and tackle shop at 586 Palm Ave. are the source of salty, sweet memories for many locals whose Carpinteria history stretches back a way. Described by David Moore as “a little bit of a wonderland,” Reynolds’ shop, which was open between 1930 and 1972,…

  • 0

The Cravens family has a long and complex history in the Carpinteria Valley, all of which can be traced back to the 1828 birth of an Alabama boy named Thomas. The ambitious Thomas Cravens out-dreamed the boundaries of his home state at a young age and let the magnet of the Gold Rush pull him…

  • 0

At the turn of the 20th century, only three polo clubs existed in the entire United States, but on March 24, 1911, “Las Canchas Polo and Tennis Club” (or what is known today as the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club), now the third oldest polo facility in the United States, was admitted int…

  • 0

Aside from added landscaping and updated cars and camping gear, the view from the Carpinteria State Beach campground has not changed much since this photo was snapped in 1941. The railroad still stripes the background, the trees on Palm Avenue are much the same, and today’s Palm Loft Apartme…

  • 0

Carpinteria’s obsession with avocados was preceded by an obsession with beans. In the late 19th century and throughout the first half of the 20th century, local agricultural land supported a booming bean business. According to a historical account of the local bean industry written by Carpin…

  • 0

The tiny community of Summerland boasts a big history. In the late 1800s, the embryonic town was well known as a Spiritualist colony but soon after Spiritualists began gathering there, the town attracted a very different movement.

  • 0

In 1883, Dr. William Marquis and his wife Emma moved to Carpinteria, where they purchased property in Rincon Canyon. The couple had married in 1875 in Jefferson County, Indiana, but lived for a year and a half in Colorado, at an elevation of 6,500 feet, before moving to Carpinteria. Accordin…

  • 0

Though Carpinteria’s ethnic makeup has been dominated by European descendants and Mexican-Americans since the town’s earliest days, Chinese immigrants have also played an important, if small, role in the community. As with the rest of California, construction of the railroad brought a group …

  • 0

In 1876, James and Belle Shepard moved to a ranch a few miles east of Carpinteria along Rincon Creek. They planted many acres of small fruits and berries on the property and sold the produce to Santa Barbara and Ventura markets. Marketing their harvest was difficult, however, because Casitas…

  • 1

When airplanes were like science experiments, Carpinteria was a cutting-edge laboratory. The Bauhaus brothers developed an early passion for all things flight-related and began building their own planes after a 1917 visit from Lincoln Beachy, a noted stunt pilot of the day. The brothers, Fra…

  • 0

A walk down Linden Avenue leads through Carpinteria’s busy retail core, an area alive with summer crowds and local traffic. The street has humbler beginnings, however, and once upon a time, it was the home of the First Presbyterian Church of Carpinteria.

  • 0

Serving the burgeoning wave of automobile owners, Rincon Garage was constructed in the early 1900s in the 900 block of Linden Avenue along what is now called Wullbrandt Way. The garage was owned by Walter Dowling and Frank Stewart, two entrepreneurs who benefited from Henry Ford’s success wi…

  • 0

The Carpinteria Masonic Lodge’s long history began on the second floor of the Knights of Pythias building on Linden Avenue at 9th Street (now Wullbrandt Way). Charter members Guy Bliss, Charles Anderson, Westley Hickey, James Deaderick, Amos Olney, Jerome Tubbs, Henry Fish, DeWitt Humphrey, …

  • 0

When the clouds parted this week, Carpinterians were treated to a fleeting glimpse of snow-covered mountains. Some locals should remember the town’s up-close and personal experience with snow 70 years ago, when the seaside community received inches of the white, fluffy precipitation. The ano…

  • 0

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…

  • 0

Shaping the face of Carpinteria, Reverend John Woods Dorrance developed the first local subdivision, the Dorrance Tract, between 3rd Street and the railroad tracks in the 1920s or 1930s. The tract, shown above in its early days, boasted paving, electricity and city water.

  • 0

Winter, spring, summer and fall, Santa spent many happy seasons welcoming travelers to Carpinteria. The street that eventually became Santa Claus Lane began its famous history as a segment of the old coastal highway, a portion of which was purchased by the McKeon family in 1948. The McKeons …

  • 0

Long before Girls Inc. and Foothill Nursery occupied the property along Foothill Road between Casitas Pass Road and Seacoast Village, John and Ruth Rock owned the land, raising crops as well as their four daughters there in the first half of the 20th century.

  • 0

For the first half of the 20th Century, the Rockwell house at 4846 Carpinteria Ave. silently witnessed the joys and sorrows of a family’s rocky history in young Carpinteria. The Rockwell family story, however, begins years before the house was built.

  • 0

Early Carpinteria history is incomplete without a mention of Stephen Hart Olmstead—a local pioneer who once owned a 400-acre swath of land encompassing most of today’s downtown Carpinteria. In 2003, Chris Hecox wrote an account of the Olmstead family’s local history in a column called “Snaps…

  • 0

Forswearing cold and miserable winters, George Chaffey, a North Dakota man in his 70s, decided to follow the sunshine from his chilly home to the warmer West Coast in the early 1900s. Like most people preparing for a move, he packed his important belongings. Unlike most people preparing for …

  • 0

Though it is the only known two-story adobe ever built in Carpinteria, the Villalba house is rumored to have a more extraordinary ending than beginning. The house stood on Carpinteria Avenue near Holly Avenue and was built by Roman Villalba in the late 1860s. According to local lore, after R…

  • 0

Just a holler away from Bailard Avenue sits a white house tucked under oak trees that has seen its fair share of Carpinteria history. The home now belongs to the Hubbs family, which has helped to retain the classic, country feel of the original structure built well over a century ago for the…

  • 0

In the world of automobiles, getting stuck with a lemon is the worst possible scenario, but in turn-of-the-century Carpinteria, lemons often led to highly fortuitous scenarios. Sim Shepard planted the first lemon orchard in Carpinteria around 1880, according to a 1968 article by Albertine Ro…

  • 0

With the 32nd Annual California Avocado Festival on deck this weekend, it’s difficult to imagine a time before Carpinteria Valley fell in love with the avocado. But the valley’s rich soil has nurtured the roots of many major agricultural products, from beans to lemons to walnuts.

  • 0

Just as Carpinteria embraces its small town charm, it has long embraced its newspapers. The first newspaper inked with the local goings on was the Carpinteria Courier, which was published out of Summerland for at least some of its late-1800s history.

  • 0

On Sept. 21, 1965, after months of passionate debate and political polarization, Carpinterians voted 895 to 635 to form a new city out of the unincorporated town of Carpinteria. The young city encompassed 0.8 square miles and boasted a population of 6,651 residents. The first City Council se…

  • 0

In 1893, seeking loftier discussions than those of Lima beans and artesian water, the ladies of Carpinteria Valley created a woman’s club. The concept originated with Belle Oglesby Franklin, who went door to door calling on her friends and neighbors and inviting them to participate in her ne…

  • 0

In 1893, seeking loftier discussions than those of lima beans and artesian water, the ladies of Carpinteria Valley created a woman’s club. The concept originated with Belle Oglesby Franklin, who went door to door calling on her friends and neighbors and inviting them to participate in her ne…

  • 0

The Lescher family home, with its decorative gables and two-storied porch, offered a comfortable-yet-elegant residence for a 19th century family in the untamed Carpinteria Valley. The home was located northeast of Casitas Pass and Foothill roads, and between its walls, little Ada Lescher com…

  • 0

In 1966, The Carpinteria Herald reported that Carpinteria had been listed in The Los Angeles Times as one of 25 key Southern California cities in terms of opportunity for growth and strategic location. The little town’s population of 6,688 was expected to boom to well over 20,000 by the year…

  • 0

In August of 1967, Carpinteria’s Youth Council organized an all-day festival of beach competitions for local teens, giving the youth a chance to shake off their beach energy before returning to the classroom. Some of the festival winners from 40-plus years ago are still in Carpinteria today.

  • 0

When August hits, the novelty of summer is gone for many school kids and the boredom plague has begun to spread. The high of freedom inevitably wears off and kids must get creative to stay active and busy. More than 30 years ago, a Carpinteria Herald photographer captured nine locals filling…

  • 0

Brimming with energy, ideas and ambition, P.C. Higgins played an integral role in Carpinteria’s history. “Mr. Higgins is one of the most progressive citizens in the valley, and is the first and foremost in all matters looking to its permanent betterment,” stated an article published in a spe…

  • 0

Ground broke for a new Carpinteria Boys Club site on Foothill Road on Aug. 1, 1973 after a grant from Santa Barbara Foundation provided the funding to move the club out of an Aliso School classroom and into its own facility. Newly hired director, Rich Medel, worked out of a real estate offic…

  • 0

Standing in just the right spot on Linden Avenue, equidistant are both of Carpinteria’s unchangeable natural treasures—the mountains and the sea.

  • 0

Traffic on Highway 101 can drive a person insane. But there are thanks to give for all the rounds of improvements that have brought the 101 to its current state. Imagine today’s commuters on the highway of 100 years ago, which we now know as Carpinteria Avenue and which is shown above near t…

  • 0

By the 1930s and ‘40s, America’s love affair with the automobile was in full swing. Most families had at least one car and used vehicles to make the long trip to Santa Barbara and get around sprawling, rural Carpinteria Valley. Despite the car’s ubiquity, few teens owned their own—most had t…

  • 0

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 …

  • 0

The Linden Avenue of 1918 is a far cry from the Linden Avenue of 2018. Instead of the hustle and bustle of tourists and locals driving, bicycling and walking from here to there, we see a lone auto in the distance with a horse nearby. Instead of shops and restaurants rubbing elbows from Carpi…

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!