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Mills Drugs and Graham’s Grocery occupied the northeast corner of Carpinteria and Linden avenues, as pictured here in the 1940s. Mills was an institution for many decades, a place where kids flocked for candy and ice cream and adults filled prescriptions and caught up with neighbors.

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As local surfers gear up for the 2022 Rincon Classic – returning for its 40th iteration after a one-year Covid-19 hiatus – a nearly forgotten Rincon contest from the 1980s marks its 35th anniversary. In 1987, Don Balch and his future wife Kathleen gathered professional longboarders from thro…

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Long before the Festival of Trees and Lions Park facility rentals, the Carpinteria Lions Club raised the majority of its community project funding through its annual Labor Day weekend carnival. Pictured here in the early 1960s, the carnival was typically held near Linden Beach —originally on…

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The Spence family celebrated Christmas in Orange County with all of their animals, along with the Dec. 23, 2021 holiday issue of CVN. From left is Anna Spence, Cutie Pie, Tom Spence, Roscoe, Gina Dellanina-Spence, Beau and CVN Assistant Editor Evelyn Spence. 

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Winter sports are just getting underway at Carpinteria High School, and this year’s basketball team is aiming for a nothing-but-net kind of season. The school’s tenure on the court dates back many a decade, as evidenced in this photo. This team from the mid-1920s was coached by Joe Fraga, a …

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Perhaps more striking than what this aerial photo from 1972 contains is what it is missing. The orchard on the upper right corner is now Eucalyptus and Manzanita streets, flanked by tract homes, with Heath Ranch Park alongside. The orchard along the left edge of the photo is now part of the …

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As Santa packs his sled and prepares to visit all of Carpinteria’s good girls and boys, does he reminisce about the hey day of his namesake lane? As pictured above, the Santa Claus Lane of 1969 buzzed with activity centered around the jolly old elf and other bright and shiny symbols of Chris…

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The accompanying image captures a golden moment in our local surfing culture. Carpinteria High School students posed in fall 1966 at Rincon Point for a yearbook photo that has surely become one of the most iconic scenes in the Point’s long history. Besides its beauty and color, the image cap…

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Notes on this photo identify it as the home of Robert Couch on Linden Avenue. Take a close look. See the distinctive rock faces on the mountains? Now note what’s absent—just about everything manmade that exists in the same landscape today. 

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When The Palms sprung up on the corner of Linden Avenue and 7th Street in 1912, it was the pride of Carpinteria. A Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce publication highlights the brand new 18-room hotel’s “modern conveniences,” including hot and cold water in every room. 

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What’s a Carpinteria history column without a periodic mention of La Vina Grande, the town’s pride and joy in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Planted in 1842, the grapevine’s base circumference measured to be 9 feet, 9 inches in 1906. At that point, a trellis supported a quarter acre of vine…

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It’s well known that rincón is Spanish for “corner” or “elbow” and that Spanish explorers (most notably de Anza’s 1776 expedition) first used “Rincón” and its derivative “Rinconada” to describe the sharp bulge or point on the coast created by Rincon Creek’s sediments. Add English to the mix …

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Peggy Donovan and her sons, Larry, right, and Jack snap a photo in front of the family restaurant on Linden Avenue. The Donovans initially opened the Irish Hut in the mid-1940s on Carpinteria Avenue, in the building occupied by Friends of the Library Used Book Store today. Not long after tha…

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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 Wullbrandt Way. 

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Pedro “Pete” Jimenez, who loved to tell colorful tales of early Carpinteria, appears above circa 1939. This photo is on display at the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History, along with several of Jimenez’s woodcutting tools. 

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The Heath family once represented the top tier of Carpinteria’s social strata. Pictured above on his horse, Honey, is R.S. Heath in 1918. The photo was taken just a few years after the family sold its 200-acre ranch, which included a sprawling Victorian home built by Russel Heath in 1881. Ru…

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Few have had more of an impact on surfing’s technology, art and culture than the “barefoot mad scientist” of Byron Bay, Australia: George Greenough. And although it’s been a while since Greenough has ridden waves at Rincon, for a decade and more he used the Point’s waves to develop and maste…

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The proud tradition of Warrior football started in 1928, and by the time the 1932 team took the field, as pictured, the roster had doubled. Before the reign of football, rugby was a popular Carpinteria High School sport.

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Carpinteria boasts a ripe history of aviation, and much of it can be attributed to the high-flying, boundary-pushing Bauhaus family. William Bauhaus unfortunately fell victim to his love of flight. He was a passenger in the plane pictured when it fell from the sky and buried its engine four …

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Carpinteria’s Stanley Park offered a rustic-yet-comfortable escape from the city along the banks of Rincon Creek. Located upstream of where Highway 150 and Gobernador Canyon Road intersect today, the resort, complete with craftsman-style lodge, dining room and tent cabins, was developed by D…

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As things go, it wasn’t exactly the crime of the century. But when Steve Bissell (b. 1947) and a friend drove up the big hill behind Rincon Point in February 1973, ignoring a few “No Trespassing” signs along the way, the resulting masterpiece became a crucial element – the defining photograp…

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The notes on this photo speak for themselves, but it’s worth adding that the 1938 team was led by Carpinteria High School Hall of Famers Phil Olds and Gordon Milne, who were honored as Most Valuable Back and Most Valuable Lineman, respectively. Lou Panizzon, longtime coach, educator and CVN-…

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The Carpinteria Woman’s Club holds a tree planting ceremony circa 1925 on the property that would hold the clubhouse a few years down the road. Paid for in full as of Jan. 3, 1924, the $1,300 land at 1059 Vallecito Road has now been held by the club for over nearly 100 years. Master carpente…

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This story, like many from my childhood in Carpinteria, begins and ends on 8th Street. Bob Franco, my lifelong friend, also grew up on 8th Street. After school, we would sometimes go to Bob’s grandmother’s house to visit and have an afternoon snack. The Franco family moved to the United Stat…

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A new exhibition at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) is currently exploring the intersection between surfing and art. The show also provides a great chance to bone up on California surf history. And best of all, the exhibit pays proper attention to our own Rincon Point as one of the worl…

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If the avenue on the east end of town doesn’t prove it, this photo certainly does. The Bailard family has called Carpinteria home for a very long time. The name is partly cut off by the photo’s edge, but it appears the shop depicted above was a Bailard-owned general merchandise store at a ti…

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The corner of Linden and Carpinteria avenues was once the go-to spot for a new harness and shoes for one’s primary mode of transportation. Coast Road, now Carpinteria Avenue, led travelers up and down the coastline, where, to the west, Summerland offered Spiritualist meetings. A turn north o…

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The Daylight train headed for Los Angeles chugs through the Carpinteria station in 1954. Carpinteria saw its first train come to town on Aug. 19, 1887. In the early days of train service, a tug on the cord prompted the engineer to stop anywhere along the route. Pick ups happened along the wa…

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“Listen, Gidget,” he said with a big smirk, “there are other things than surf-riding, praise the Lord.” 

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In the 1840s, a young Russel Heath came down with gold fever and joined the masses of young men who journeyed to California to strike it rich. Gold mining never paid off substantially for the New York native, but he did amass wealth and respect as one of the early American settlers of Carpinteria. 

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Early automobile drives along the California Coast Highway led across the same bridge over Rincon Creek that motorists cross today. Now the Bates Road route sees mostly local traffic while Highway 101 serves as the main people-moving artery. 

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The word Rincon commonly pops up in business names in Carpinteria. Back in 1915, when Rincon Garage was built and opened, it was used in reference to the brand new wooden causeway connecting Carpinteria to Ventura along the coast. The garage was located on the eastside of Linden Avenue where…

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Scores of Carpinteria High School commencement ceremonies have taken place where a muddy pool appears in this photo. The school’s amphitheater was constructed alongside the rest of the Foothill Road school in the late 1960s, but a 1969 storm that caused extensive damage throughout the new ca…

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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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