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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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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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