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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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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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In 1939, Carpinteria students moved out of a drafty, noisy tent school behind today’s Carpinteria Middle School and into a newly constructed, long-awaited elementary school on 8th Street. The school would eventually come to be known as Main School, a reference to its use as the main elementa…

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Built on the corner of Carpinteria and Maple avenues in 1890, J.B. Andrews’ grand home clearly reflected the good taste and refinement of its residents. Now the same home stands on the corner of Oak Avenue and 8th Street, where the color and ornate detailing has changed, but the home’s elega…

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A 50-foot whale stranded at Miramar beach made for just as much a spectacle way back when as it would now—though the fashion among looky-loos certainly has changed quite a bit.

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Located on the 4900 block of Carpinteria Avenue where Lemos Pet Supply and Crushcakes Cafe now stand, The Grocery Store provided Carpinterians with a friendly, local market in the 1970s. The store moved into the space after Safeway relocated to Linden Avenue (where Smart & Final now operates).

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Much has changed in Carpinteria Valley since this aerial photo was taken in 1966. The keen eye can locate a number of changes: the old lemon grove on the corner of Linden Avenue and Ogan Road—now a residential neighborhood; the agricultural fields across from St. Joseph Catholic Church—now t…

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Carpinterians continue to mourn the loss of Austins Homecenter and speculate on what might eventually fill the vacant space at 700 Linden Ave. Since the future of the space remains unclear, we can take a glimpse into the past instead.

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From left, Joe Wullbrandt and Bass Mackey pose in a 1923 Model T in front of Carpinteria High School (now Carpinteria Middle School) in 1937. Cars representing all eras of automobile history will be on display at the Rods and Roses Auto Show on Saturday, June 29, along Linden Avenue.

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Long before patio dining came to 5096 Carpinteria Ave., the property across from Maple Avenue housed the McLean family, including a solemn Baptist minister and his son, a real estate agent with a photography hobby that landed him a spot in Life Magazine.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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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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, …

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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…

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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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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.

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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 …

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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.

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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.

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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…

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