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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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In the early days of the California Fruit Growers Exchange (CFGE; Sunkist), a perhaps apocryphal story tells that lemon growers were charged a higher fee than their orange growing counterparts for advertising. Oranges were the stars of the citrus industry, easy to peel and eat.  The CFGE wou…

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Peering into the faces of the Carpinteria High School nine, one can only imagine how brightly they may have forseen their futures. In the case of the 1920 Carp team, it was a mixed bag, as it is for every collection of players within any team sport. This team was special, however, right off …

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In “La Carpinteria” (1960), Georgia Stockton writes that early Carpinteria Valley residents lived in villages. She uses the term, villages, in the way that one might think of the Chumash or Canalino peoples living in the Valley predating California statehood. But Stockton’s usage is for the …

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Let’s review our Bancroft, shall we? California’s tome of 19th century history reports that the notorious outlaw, Joaquin Murrieta, was killed in 1853 by a posse of bounty hunters, led by Captain Harry Love, that was seeking a $1,000 governor’s reward from the California state legislature fo…

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AM Top 40 radio was at its apex in the 1960s. The wide variety of musical styles of the 1950s on AM radio had given way to the teen idols of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s to, perhaps, the inevitability of the Beatles and all the guitar bands that imitated their style.

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The Thunderbowl Race Track, built atop the Carpinteria Bluffs, was a Monday night weekly source of thrills and spills from 1947-57.  Opening day, Aug. 4, 1947, drew an overflow crowd of 6,600 in the grandstands, with 2,000 turned away. The oval was about a ¼ mile around with a pit stop area …

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In 1928, Violet Ray anti-knock gasoline was introduced by 3,500 dealerships into the Pacific Coast states from San Diego to Canada. Carpinteria had one of the dealerships under the proprietorship of Federico Gonzalez at the intersection of 7th Street and the Coast Highway (Carpinteria Avenue).

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By the 1930s, Carpinterians had a keen interest in their local baseball “nines” and the players attached to them. We are not talking about high school teams, now. No, we are talking about semi-pro ball clubs and the pride that was attached to them by communities, large and small.    

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In the fall of 1965, I was a senior at Carpinteria High School (CHS). We had an exciting football team, always a good thing for what was once a football-crazed town. And, there was a hotly contested election going on. Would Carpinteria be incorporated into a city, yes or no? The yes vote won…

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Some fruit box label collectors focus on collecting labels with children on them. Others focus on those depicting dogs. And others simply focus on great artwork. The Champ Brand out of Carpinteria has all three, and, as such, is a much sought after label. The fact that it is also a very rare…

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Nowadays, it seems rare to pick up an issue of the CVN that doesn’t have some comment, pro or con, about a proposed hotel near the train stop at Linden Avenue along 5th Street. Well, more than 130 years ago, Carpinterians were faced with a similar dilemna. The situation, however, was reverse…

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The U.S. Census comes around at the beginning of each new decade. In 2020, it kicks off on April 1, a Herculean and April Fool’s Day task rolled into one. Just how does one go about including everyone? Carpinteria was a good example of the undercount, and perhaps some creativity, when Arthur…

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A trickle of Mexican immigration to Carpinteria in the 1910s became a tidal wave in the 1920s, fueled by refugees of the Mexican Revolution, the effects of World War I taking farm boys off the ranches, and the ascent of citrus production causing a labor shortage.

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The Summerland School of 1890 was established on Whitney Avenue, the highest street on the hillside of Summerland.

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Two of the earliest schools in the Carpinteria Valley were the Rincon School, 1872, and the Summerland School, 1890. In traditional fashion, they had large bells to ring in the school day, recesses and other important alerts.

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Main School opened in 1938, two years after the Aliso School had opened as a de facto segregated school in Old Town Carpinteria. The photo depicted in this week’s Throwback Thursday appears to be from Main School’s grand opening. Pictures of Frank Wykoff, principal of both Main and Aliso Sch…

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The first movie theaters in Carpinteria were on Linden Avenue. The Carpinteria Valley News references one in 1916 at the Knights of Pythias Hall at the corner of Linden and what is now Ernest Wullbrandt Way, proprietor H. W. Campbell. In 1927, Oliver B. Prickett’s Carpinteria Theatre followe…

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Spook Brand produce was introduced to Carpinterians in the March 15, 1934 (Volume II, No. 4) edition of the Carpinteria Chronicle in a news brief titled “Hail, Lowly String Bean.”  

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Lee and Ruth Haggin were originally from Iowa, arriving in Carpinteria in 1950 in their retirement years. They appear to have followed their son, Vin, to California. Vin had captained a PT Boat in WWII and made a rather late-life decision, entering a California seminary after the war.

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Clark Durant Hubbard established the C. D. Hubbard Fruit Company in Carpinteria, California in 1912. He came to Carpinteria from San Fernando, where he started the Hubbard Association, and was one of the founding members of the California Fruit Growers Exchange which would eventually become …

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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 …

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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…

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This year’s Holiday Spirit Parade will be a new twist on an old classic, but the picture at right illustrates that the parade has undergone multiple revisions over time. This image, judged to be from the 1960s or 1970s, shows a marching band making its way along Carpinteria Avenue, blocking …

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Well deserving of the tree-lined road named in their honor, the Ogans are written into history as one of the original Carpinteria pioneering families. Their arrival stretches back to 1869, when James Simeral and Elizabeth Ogan led their ox teams into the valley. The couple had left their hom…

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The Rodriguez adobe gained enough fame around the turn of the 19th century to land on the front of a postcard, one of many cards in a series depicting scenes from around Carpinteria. Its celebrity came not from the craftsmanship or distinctiveness of the house itself, but from the massive ro…

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Editor’s note: The Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District’s long history in the valley is recorded in a booklet published in 1984 to honor the district’s 50th anniversary. Relying on information from this publication, Coastal View News is covering the district’s history in a series of “Throwba…

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Over 100 years ago, Carpinteria started shaking off its image as a rural outpost and shaping into a true town. The tiny schools consolidated, a branch library and town hall opened, new businesses cropped up downtown and the valley’s population swelled. At the same time, residents of the grow…

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Carpinteria Unified School District has suffered from declining enrollment over the last decade, but in the mid-20th century the school population was growing at a rapid clip. With Aliso and Main schools filled and plans to convert Main into a junior high school, a new elementary school was …

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Main School opened in the winter of the 1938-1939 school year, much to the relief of teachers and students who had spent the last two and a half years in tent classrooms. The tent school, erected in 1936 when the two-story Union Grammar and High School was condemned after being deemed unsafe…

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