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Timeline

As of May 2000

Exploration and Beginnings of the Mission Period Founding and Early Growth of Mission Santa Barbara, 1786-1796
Economic Growth and Expansion of the Mission Complex, 1797-1833 Secularization and Structural Decline, 1834-1845
Beginnings of the American Period, 1845-1855 Expansion and Interest in Restoration, 1856-1924
Modern Restoration Efforts, 1925-1953 Stewardship and Modernization, 1953-present

Exploration Beginnings of the Period, 1542-1785

1542 Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed up the Santa Barbara Channel, and made first contact with the Chumash inhabitants of the area in October. He died the following year and was buried on San Miguel Island in January.
1602 Sebastián Vizcáino entered Santa Barbara Channel on a Spanish voyage of exploration on December 4, giving the body of water its current name because that was the Roman Catholic Feast Day of Saint Barbara.
1769 Gaspár de Portolá and Franciscan Padre Junipero Serra founded the Presidio and Mission at San Diego, initiating the Hispanic colonization of Alta California. By August, the Portolá Expedition had reached Santa Barbara but did not found a settlement.
1772 Commandante Pedro Fages and Father Serra set out on an exploratory expedition that reached the present-day site of Santa Barbara on September 6.
1776 Captain Juan Bautista de Anza passed through the area of Santa Barbara, leading a group of colonists to San Francisco Bay.
1780 Teodoro de Croiz, Commandant General of the Interior Provinces, authorized the establishment of a mission and presidio in the Santa Barbara Channel area.
1782 Santa Barbara Royal Presidio was founded on April 21 by Governor Filipe de Neve and Padre Serra. Lieutenant José Francisco Ortega was placed in command. Serving under him were seven officers, 36 soldiers, and nine Christian Indian attendants. The formal founding of Mission Santa Barbara was delayed.
1784 The command of the Santa Barbara Presidio passed from Comandante Ortega to Don Felipe de Goycoechea on January 25. His company consisted of 57 men, including three sergeants, two corporals and fifty privates; fifteen of these men were stationed at San Buenaventura Mission. The palisade around the presidio was completed by this time, and the water supply came from Mission Creek which flowed to the front gate. The military staff were partially self-supporting with wheat from about thirty acres sown by the soldiers to the west of the presidio.
1784 The first adobe housing construction began at the Santa Barbara Presidio on June 14 and included three storehouses, a guardhouse, barracks and three residences.
1784 Death of Father Junipero Serra. Comandante Ortega was relieved and transferred to Monterey. The complement of the military force at the Santa Barbara Presidio included 50-54 privates, two corporals, two-to-three sergeants, a second lieutenant (ensign), and a lieutenant. (Geiger 1965, Bancroft 1966)
1785 As of August 9, Goycoechea employed 20-30 Chumash in the ongoing construction of the Presidio, including the fabrication of roofing tiles for three warehouses, and the cultivation of crops (Whitehead 1996:129).
1785 Sixty roof beams hewn from timber cut at Monterey were shipped to the Santa Barbara Presidio on the frigate Favorita (Whitehead 1996:129).

Founding and Early Growth of Mission Santa Barbara, 1786-1796

1786 Presidio horses were pastured to the north of the Chumash village of Mescaltitan, located on an island in Goleta slough (no longer extant), and were guarded by nine privates and one corporal (Whitehead 1996:130).
1786 Goycoechea collected a supply of 20,000 adobe bricks in May for construction at the Santa Barbara Presidio. They were used to erect walls for the soldiers' barracks and sergeant's quarters. By September, the guardhouse, sergeant's quarters and five soldiers' residences were covered with tile (Whitehead 1996:131).
1786 The first marriage was performed at the Presidio for Joseph Calisto and Juana Vitala Feliz on December 3 (Whitehead 1996:133).
1786 Father Fermín de Lasuén founded Mission Santa Barbara on December 4, and officially recognized on December 14. No construction immediately occurred at the Mission site due to heavy, continuous rains. Mission fathers lived at the nearby presidio during this period. Temporary buildings of palisade were constructed, including a chapel, living quarters for missionaries, kitchen, and storerooms. Agricultural implements at the Mission included eight crowbars, 15 pickaxes, six ploughshares, 12 plough points, five machetes, 12 sickles, 12 large heavy knives, eight ploughs, and one wooden cart. (Engelhardt 1923:54; Geiger 1965)
1787 Construction at the Mission began early in the year. The earliest buildings were believed to form a single wing of the west side of the Mission quadrangle. All structures were built of poles and roofed with grass (a technique known as jacal), with the exception of the four rooms of unidentified function. Esperanza María was the first Chumash baptized, in the Mission's temporary log chapel. The Mission's first neophyte marriages and burials also occurred. Franciscan missionaries reported the production of 156 fanegas (equivalent to 265 bushels) of wheat, barley, corn, beans, peas, and horsebeans. Regarding livestock, missionaries reported 24 cows, three bulls, 19 tame oxen, 34 calves, 27 sheep, 87 goats, nine pack and saddle mules, 20 horses, 11 mares, and one stallion. The chapel at Santa Barbara Presidio was completed. The Mission received its first shipment of cloth. (Geiger 1965, Bancroft 1966)
1787 The first marriage of a presidio soldier took place at the new Mission Santa Barbara on June 12. Hilario Gimenez, a member of the guard, took Indian neophyte Juana Maria as his wife (Whitehead 1996:133).
1787 As of November 3, the presidio staffing was one lieutenant, three sergeants, two corporals and fifty privates. They utilized 124 horses and 109 mules for transportation. The church, houses of the officers, chaplain's quarters and five soldiers' quarters were completed and in use at the presidio (Whitehead 1996:134). Two sides of the quadrangle had been completed, a third side had been started, and a fourth side had been laid out (Whitehead 1996:135).
1787 Mission La Purisima Concepcion was founded near present day Lompoc by Father Lasuen on December 8 (Writers' Project 1941:187).
1788 During the first six months nothing was built at Mission Santa Barbara this year except for a corral due to food shortages in the first half of the year. During the next six months, the first tiles at the Mission were made. The four rooms begun the previous year were roofed with tile, as was the monjerio, and the house for the single men, which became a granary. A new house (33 x 14 feet) was built of poles and roofed with tile, as was a room of adobe to serve as a kitchen. The church was extended with walls of half adobe and roofed with tiles. (Engelhardt 1923:58; O'Keefe 1895:10)
1788 The quadrangle walls at the presidio were completed to form the enclosure and the roofs of the structures inside were finished with tiles (Whitehead 1996:137).
1789 A second church (82 ½ x 16 ½ feet) was erected, this time of all adobe, and roofed with tile. The former thatch-and-poles chapel was removed. Also constructed was a larger granary (85 x 19 feet), and nearby a new monjerio (33 x 19 feet), two rooms of 14 x 12 feet, one to serve as a henhouse, the other a jail, all built of adobes and tile. A room for the storage of horse and mule gear (25 x 14 feet) was constructed of poles, and roofed in tile. Additionally, a formal cemetery was laid out at the Mission. Note: Engelhardt mistakenly referred to the second church as being 108 x 17 feet. (Engelhardt 1923:61; Geiger 1963:6-7; Geiger 1965:41; O'Keefe 1895:10-11)
1790 Several buildings were constructed this year, all of adobes and tiles, as all buildings were after this year. They consisted of two apartments for the padres (27 ½ x 16 ½ feet). Each apartment had a parlor (16 ½ feet long) and a bedroom. A long building (165 x 16 ½ feet) was constructed containing eight rooms: the refectory, kitchen, toilet, tool room, wood room, jail, flour room, and a room for the women. The building was roofed in tile, and each room provided with a door and window. In addition, a new granary was built (33 x 19 feet), and a place where the pozole (meat and vegetable stew) was made. Note: in Egenhoff (1952:154) the flour room is translated to mean a mill, and O'Keefe describes it as a meal room. Neither Engelhardt nor O'Keefe mention the construction of the pozolera. (Engelhardt 1923:60; O'Keefe 1895:11)
1790 Sixty-one officers and soldiers were serving at the presidio along with six other men. They were accompanied by their wives and children for a total of 230 people living at the site (Whitehead 1996:140).
1791 A carpenter was brought to Mission Santa Barbara to teach his trade to neophytes. (Engelhardt 1923). Four new adobe buildings were constructed this year. They included a soldier's barracks (27 ½ x 16 ½ feet), a storeroom for carpenter's tools, and two rooms for farm equipment and tools. Note: O'Keefe describes the room as a carpenter's shop. (Engelhardt 1923:62; O'Keefe 1895:11)
1792 Two large corrals were built of stone. One (247 ½ x 206 feet) was for cattle, the other (206 x 137 ½ feet) for sheep. Note: Engelhardt translated 75 varas as 208 ft. (Engelhardt 1923:62; O'Keefe 1895:11)
1793 A third church (124 x 25 feet) of adobe was begun, and an adjoining sacristy (25 x 14 feet). Both buildings were tiled and plastered. A brick and tile portico was added in front of the church. (Father Paterna, the Mission's founding Franciscan, died early in the year.) Note: Engelhardt describes the sacristy as 26 feet (Engelhardt 1923:62; O'Keefe 1895:11).
1793 British Naval Captain George Vancouver visited Santa Barbara November 10-18 as part of his exploration of the Pacific. He described an oil slick on the surface of the sea off the coast of Santa Barbara. He found the small town to be more civilized than any other of the Spanish coastal settlements he had visited. He remarked that most of the ceramic tableware used by those living at the presidio was made in England. (Wilbur 1954; Whitehead 1996:142; Writers' Project, 1941:188). His book describing his travels, Voyage of Discovery, was first published in 1798. (Geiger 1965)
1794 The third church was completed at Mission Santa Barbara and remained in use until an earthquake in 1812. Constructed this year were a granary (71 ½ x 19 feet) with whitewashed walls, a weaving room (49 ½ x 19 feet) with a patio (27 ½ x 49 ½ feet), and a sheep corral (170 ½ square feet) with an eight-foot-high wall. An adobe wall (124 x 44 feet) was constructed around the cemetery. The top of this wall was covered with tiles. Note: Engelhardt translated 7 varas as only 17 feet, and applied this figure to the width of the granary and weaving room. He described the corral as 172 feet square with a 9 feet wall. (Engelhardt 1923:62-63; Geiger 1963:6-7, 1965:33; O'Keefe 1895:12)
1795 Franciscans at Mission Santa Barbara requested assistance from the San Luis Obispo and Purísima Missions due to drought (Geiger 1965). The roof on 2 ½ sides of the tile-paved quadrangle were renovated. Roof beams of pine replaced the old beams of sycamore and poplar. A new addition (69 x 8 feet) was added to the missionaries' quarters, and contained two bedrooms and two studies. Note: Engelhardt described the width of the quarters as 9 feet. (Engelhardt 1923:63; O'Keefe 1895:12)
1796 The one thousandth baptism of Chumash Indians occurred at Mission Santa Barbara. Weaving rooms were established. Typhoid and pneumonia were reported at the missions. (Geiger 1965, Walker and Johnson 1992) Workers continued to replace roof beams with new ones of pine on the remainder of the quadrangle. A front corridor (124 x 8 feet) facing in the direction of the presidio was built of brick pillars supporting a tile roof to protect the wing's adobe walls from southeastern storms. A patio corridor (49 ½ x 8 feet) was established along the weaving rooms with an adobe room (16 ½ x 8 feet) at either end. This completed the first quadrangle. (Engelhardt 1923:63-54; Geiger 1963:88-89, 126-129, 1965:42; O'Keefe 1895:12-13)

Economic Growth and Expansion of the Mission Complex, 1797-1833

1797 A second quadrangle, north of the first, was initiated with an entrance from the old Mission. Constructed were three granaries (69 feet long each), and an additional room (16 ½ feet long) that gave entry to two of the granaries. A smithy (25 x 16 ½ feet), chicken house (25 x 16 ½ feet), and a room for calves (27 ½ x 16 ½ feet) were also built. Note: Engelhardt describes the entrance to the granary as 29 feet (Engelhardt 1923:66; Geiger 1965:42; O'Keefe 1895:13).
1797 In April, presidio troops were being given daily drill in the handling of arms and was acting in a state of alert against an expected English invasion. France had declared war against Britain, Holland and Spain early in 1793, and had invaded Spain in 1794. In July 1795, Spain signed a peace treaty with France, and in August 1796, Spain allied itself with France against Britain. Spain's coonies were aware of the possibility of invasion by the English all during these years (Whitehead 1996:148).
1797 The presidio chapel was dedicated on December 12 (Whitehead 1996:149).
1798 Nineteen houses for the neophytes were constructed southwest of the Mission quadrangle as the beginning of the Indian village. Each apartment was 11 x 18 feet and contained a door and moveable window. They were whitewashed inside and out. A 5775 feet circumference, 8 feet high wall capped with tiles was built to enclose a kitchen garden, vineyard, and orchard. Note: Engelhardt describes each room as 12 ft. wide, and the wall as 8 ½ ft. high, and the circumference of the wall as 3300 ft. (equivalent to 1200 varas, as was reported by O'Keefe). The total population of Hispanics in the Santa Barbara area was 370. (Geiger 1965, Bancroft 1966; Engelhardt 1923:66-67; O'Keefe 1895:13)
1799 Another granary (124 x 18 ft.) was built. A 110 ft. square reservoir was planned. Note: Engelhardt mistakenly attributes some construction work of 1800 to 1799 (neophyte houses and corridor). At the Mission were 864 neophytes, 433 women and 431 men. The number of baptisms recorded at the Mission were 1,756, deaths 736, and 397 marriages. (Engelhardt 1923:67; O'Keefe 1895:14)
1800 A minor earthquake occurred resulting in little damage to the Mission. Thirty-one new neophyte houses were constructed in the village, all with doors and windows, mortared on the outside and whitewashed on the interior. Houses were built to form a street. Corridors of brick and mortar were constructed along three walls of the Mission quadrangle. Note: O'Keefe mistakenly reports the number of neophyte houses as 32. Father Estevan Tapis wrote a letter to Father Lasuén countering the charge from Captain Goycoechea that Mission Indians received insufficient food. The document contains important information on neophyte diet and Mission agriculture, and discusses conflicts with the Presidio regarding neophyte labor. A corporal was brought to the Mission to teach neophytes the trade of tanning. By this time, 60 neophytes were engaged in weaving. The Mission suffers only minimal damage during an earthquake. (Bancroft 1966, Engelhardt 1923:68, Geiger 1965; O'Keefe 1895:14)
1801 A diphtheria epidemic was reported in the missions. Thirty-one new neophyte houses were constructed in the village. An adobe house (58 x 16-½ ft.) was built, and divided into a bedroom, reception room, kitchen, and chicken house. O'Keefe described this house as for the use of the head gardener and his family, although his source for this is not given. (Egenhoff 1952:20;Walker and Johnson 1992)
1802 Thirty-one additional neophyte houses were built. The village was enclosed on three sides with an adobe wall 8 feet high. high. A building (55 x 16 ½ ft.) was built containing five tanks for tanning hides. Adjacent to the tannery was a majordomo's house (49 ½ x 16 ½ ft.) with a bedroom, reception room, and kitchen. A corridor was built along both the tannery and majordomo's house. In addition, five rooms (110 x 16 ½ ft.) were constructed for various purposes. (Engelhardt 1923:84-86; Geiger 1963:14, 1965:42; O'Keefe 1895:14)
1803 The two thousandth baptism occurred. The largest number of neophytes, 1,792, was recorded at the Mission during this year. The Mission's sheep herds were at their largest extent with 11,221 head. Forty-eight more neophyte houses were constructed (161 total in the village). In addition, a chapel (60 ½ x 25 ft.) dedicated to San Miguel was built at Cienguitas (or La Cienguita), a rancheria 2 leagues (approximately 6 miles) from the Mission. (Engelhardt 1923:86; O'Keefe 1895:15; Geiger 1965:42)
1804 The three thousandth baptism occurred. Reported at the Mission were 1,896 neophytes. Franciscans established San Marcos Rancho beyond the mountains as an expansion of the Mission's ranching activities. Mission Santa Inés was founded in part to take pressure off Santa Barbara's neophyte and livestock populations. Thirty-seven additional houses in the neophyte village were built. A large partially covered patio was constructed for various neophyte uses. Note: both O'Keefe and Engelhardt translated patio as a mud wall around a yard. (Engelhardt 1923:86; O'Keefe 1895:16; Geiger 1965)
1804 Mission Santa Ines was founded by Father Estevan Tapis on September 17 near present day Santa Ynez.
1805 Thirty-six more houses were constructed (234 total in the village), in addition to two large rooms for granaries and one for wood. Father Estevan Tapis wrote a letter to Governor Arillaga. The letter contained information on neophyte punishments and Franciscan ideas of freedom and duties. (Geiger 1965; Engelhardt 1923:87-88; O'Keefe 1895:17)
1806 A large stone reservoir was built 110 ft. square, and 7 ft. Deep under the direction of Father Ripoll. The "Indian Dam" was built across Mission Creek. These water collection devices were also constructed to serve the residents of the Santa Barbara Presidio. An earthquake occurred on March 24, causing extensive damage to the Presidio Chapel, but little damage at the Mission. A measles epidemic was reported at the missions. The presidial complement of soldiers increased to 66 men. (Engelhardt 1923:88; Geiger 1965:16, Walker and Johnson 1992, Bancroft 1970; O'Keefe 1895:18
1807 Eighteen additional houses were built in the neophyte village as the last additions (252 total). Four houses for soldiers were constructed, facing the church. A dam of rough stone and mortar was built across Mission (Pedregosa) Creek. The date of construction of the Rattlesnake Canyon Dam is unknown, but likely to be in 1807 or 1808. Also apparently constructed this year, but curiously not specified in the annual report, was the grist mill, upper reservoir, and long segments of aqueduct. (Engelhardt 1923:88; Geiger 1965:52-53; O'Keefe 1895:18)
1808 Hogs were introduced to the Mission. (Geiger 1965) The fountain and laundry were built in front of the Mission (for the benefit of humanity) and a house for pottery making. The annual report also notes unfinished work. (Engelhardt 1923:90; Geiger 1963:14-15, 1965:53; O'Keefe 1895:18)
1809 The Mission's cattle herds were at their largest extent with 5,200 head. (Geiger 1965) The priests' dwelling (facing towards the ocean) was enlarged with a wall of lime and stone and a flat roof meant to be walked upon. Engelhardt attributes the beginnings of this construction to 1808, and notes that it was not completed until 1811. (Engelhardt 1923:90; O'Keefe 1895:18)
1810 Mexico revolted against Spain for its independence beginning on September 16. (Geiger 1965) The Santa Barbara Mission priests only note that work started in the previous year was continued. (Engelhardt 1923:90; O'Keefe 1895:18)
1811 Ships from Mexico no longer brought goods to California, resulting in unpaid soldiers' wages. The Santa Barbara Presidio required the Mission to supply food and clothing. (Geiger 1965) The enlargement of the priests' quarters was finished, including a corridor of stone arches. Work began on the completion of the church's facade. (Engelhardt 1923:90; Geiger 1963:8-9, 88-91; O'Keefe 1895:18). An earthquake occurred on December 8 (Writers' Project 1941:188).
1812 A major earthquake struck on December 21, causing severe damage to the Santa Barbara Mission buildings, including the third church and its not-yet-completed façade and the Presidio compound. The priests recommended that the church be entirely replaced. A temporary church and a temporary chapel was built at their respective locations the following year (Geiger 1965:43; Engelhardt 1923:90-91; O'Keefe 1895:19). The same earthquake also destroyed Mission La Purisima (Writers' Project 1941:188).
1813 Father Ramón Olbés responded to a questionnaire sent to Mission Santa Barbara by a government official. This questionnaire, sent the previous year, solicited information on the natives of California and the progress of the missions. Missionary answers to questions on native education, Spanish speaking abilities, feelings toward the Spanish, virtues and vices, religion, social status, marriages, curing techniques, food sources, burial customs, and general conditions within the mission have great potential for describing the native condition and ideology. At the end of this year, the Mission counted 2,300 horses, the highest number of these herds. (Geiger and Meighan 1976, Geiger 1965). The priests reported only that all was the same as in previous years. O'Keefe states that the ruins of the old Church were taken down in this and the next year. In contrast, Engelhardt reports that the priests were baptizing in a temporary palisade chapel in the beginning of the year, and in the Church during the end of the year. He assumes that repairs were made to the old Church, and further asserts that the Fourth Church was built literally around the walls of the Third. Geiger confirms this assertion and further notes that portions of the Third Church were discovered during the restoration of 1952. (Engelhardt 1923:101; Geiger 1963:12-13; 1965:43; O'Keefe 1895:19)
1814 Extensive repairs were made to the Mission Santa Barbara neophyte village, caused by earthquake and heavy rains. (Geiger 1965:44)
1815 Additional repairs to structures continued. O'Keefe and Geiger note that construction of the new sandstone church (the fourth and present church) began in this year. This structure was built around the third adobe church. Father Ripoll, generally credited with the design of the fourth Church, was assigned to the Mission in this year. (Geiger 1965:43-44; O'Keefe 1895:19)
1815 Jose De La Guerra was appointed Comandante of Santa Barbara Presidio.
1816 The report prepared by the priests of Mission Santa Barbara for this year was the same as the last -- repairs to the Mission structures caused by the December, 1812 earthquake continued.
1817 Construction resumed this year. Twenty harnesses were added, along with tools for carpentry. A wing of adobe was built, containing a granary, room for calves, and room for tools and field implements. The roof of the front wing facing the presidio was remodeled from a flat to a gable roof. (Engelhardt 1923:102; Geiger 1965:44; O'Keefe 1895:19)
1818 Hippolyte Bouchard invaded Alta California. Some of Mission Santa Barbara's neophytes and goods were moved inland to Mission Santa Inés, causing disruption. Father Ripoll armed the neophytes with bows and arrows and knives. Thirty neophyte horsemen were armed with lances. No harm was caused at the Mission due to a truce between Bouchard and Captain José de la Guerra. Santa Barbara's first Yankee settler, Joseph Chapman, was captured from Bouchard, where he had been impressed into service. He later became known for the construction of a fulling mill at Santa Inés, among other accomplishments. (Geiger 1965, Engelhardt 1923). The priests report only that everything was as the year before, and repair and construction work continued. O'Keefe notes that construction work on the fourth church building was ongoing. (O'Keefe 1895:19)
1819 The report was the same as the previous year's.
1820 The fourth church was completed and dedicated on September 10 in the presence of the Mexican Governor of Alta California, ____ Sola. The priests described the new church facade as dressed stone and mortar, with walls of sold sandstone 5 ½ ft. thick, with stone buttresses. A massive two-story bell tower was also constructed. They also described the church interior with its plastered ceilings, paintings, and painted marble columns and altars. A statue of Saint Barbara was placed in the niche of the facade, and statues of Faith, Hope, and Charity were placed at the apex of the triangular facade. The floor of the church was described as burnished bitumen. O'Keefe describes the new church dimensions as 60 varas (165 ft.) long by 14 varas (38 ½ ft.) wide, with a height of 10 varas (27 ½ ft.) (Engelhardt 1923:111-113; Geiger 1963:6-13 1965:43; O'Keefe 1895:19-20)
1821 The Treaty of Córdova, announcing Mexico's independence from Spain, was signed. The College of San Fernando took an oath of allegiance to the new government. At Santa Barbara, the Spanish flag was lowered. The Franciscans reported a harvest at Mission Santa Barbara of 12,820 bushels of crops, including wheat, barley, corn, and vegetables. No new buildings were added to the Mission compound as it was considered to be complete (Geiger 1965:49)
1822- 1823 A measles epidemic was reported at the missions. (Walker and Johnson 1992)
1823 Mexico adopted a republican form of government. (Geiger 1965)
1824 Both Alta and Baja California constituted a territory under Mexican government rule. The Chumash neophytes revolted against the priests and soldiers in February. Initially set off by the ill treatment of a Mission La Purísima neophyte, and fostered by neophyte unhappiness with the mission system and military presence, the revolt quickly spread to other missions. Neophytes at Mission Santa Barbara armed themselves. During a skirmish with the Presidio guards, neophytes wounded several soldiers. Five neophytes died in the fray. Neophytes broke into the Mission's storeroom and carried away money and clothes. The vast majority of neophytes then abandoned the Mission, heading up Mission Canyon. Soldiers killed more neophytes in days following and sacked the neophyte village. A truce eventually stopped the revolt and soldiers were sent out to capture neophyte fugitives. Most neophytes returned to the Mission by June. Father Ripoll defended the Indians' actions, indirectly blaming the military. In Mission registers were listed 923 neophytes, 430 females and 532 males, a decrease of 43 neophytes from the previous year. (Geiger 1965, Engelhardt 1923, Bancroft 1970)
1825 Father Ripoll left Mission Santa Barbara rather than take an oath of allegiance to the new government. (Geiger 1965)
1826 In December the first Ayuntamiento was ordered by Governor Echeandia which changed the Santa Barbara Presidio from military to civil government (Writers' Project 1941:188).
1827 Auguste Bernard Duhaut-Cilly visited California, including Santa Barbara (Geiger 1965). Note: Duhaut-Cilly's writings on California are much cited. They are quoted in detail in Engelhardt's (1923), Egenhoff's (1952), and Webb's (1952) publications.
1827- 1828 Additional outbreaks of measles epidemics were reported. (Walker and Johnson 1992)
1828 American settler Daniel Hill constructed an adobe house with the first wooden floor in Santa Barbara. Now known as the Carrillo Adobe, the residence was named for one of California's most distinguished families (Writers' Project 1941:189).
1829 The first Mexican school was established in Santa Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:189).
1829- 1830 Alfred Robinson twice visited Santa Barbara. His later writings on this visit include information on neophyte life and the state of the Mission (Robinson 1891). He continued to visit the area and later married a daughter of the de la Guerra family. (Geiger 1965)
1831 Construction of a second tower was begun at Mission Santa Barbara (Geiger 1965:49).
1832 An unidentified epidemic, possibly influenza, swept through the missions. (Walker and Johnson 1992)
1833 Completion of the second tower of Mission Church at Santa Barbara. The Mexican National Congress passed the Law of Secularization declaring the mission no longer Church property. (Geiger 1965)

Secularization and Structural Decline, 1834-1845

1834 Governor José Figueroa presented a decree of secularization to the Alta California territorial assembly. Terms of secularization were that ten missions were to become pueblos immediately; lands, livestock, tools, and seeds were to be divided amongst Indians and majordomos; inventories of mission holdings and financial books were to be turned over to the government. Church goods and libraries were considered property of the Church. "Emancipated" neophytes were still not allowed to leave former mission properties without permission. (Geiger 1965, Engelhardt 1923)
1835 Richard Henry Dana, a member of the crew of the brig Pilgrim, visited Santa Barbara for the first time on January 14. He subsequently became a prosperous Boston maritime attorney and wrote Two Years Before the Mast which described, among other things, the pueblo and inhabitants of Santa Barbara in great detail (Writers' Project 1941:189).
1837 In a letter to the San Fernando College, Father Durán complained of the conditions ex-neophytes were forced to endure and what he perceived as a general state of anarchy. (Geiger 1965).
1839 William Hartnell was appointed Inspector of the Missions. He arrived at Santa Barbara in July and found financial accounts and the Mission in poor shape. Mission cattle numbered 1,770, sheep 2,250. In residence at the Mission were 246 neophytes. (Geiger 1965, Engelhardt 1923).
1840 The number of non-native inhabitants in the Santa Barbara area increased to 900. (Bancroft 1970).
1841 The death of the 3,997th Chumash neophyte was noted in the Mission registers. Eugene Duflot de Mofras visited Mission Santa Barbara (Geiger 1965). Note: Engelhardt (1923) summarizes many of de Mofras' observations of Santa Barbara.
1842 The Bishop of the Dioceses of both Californias, Francisco Garcia Diego y Moreno, selected Santa Barbara as his headquarters on January 11. Captain George Simpson of the Hudson Bay Company visited Santa Barbara on January 24 (Geiger 1965), and leaves writings detailing the state of the Mission grounds and church (Simpson 1847).
1844 A smallpox epidemic spread from Monterey to La Purísima. (Walker and Johnson 1992).
1845 Governor Pio Pico published a decree for the sale and leasing of mission buildings and lands, excepting the church, priests' residence, and school. Nicholas Den and his father-in-law Daniel Hill were leased Mission Santa Barbara including the lands of San Marcos Ranch and agricultural tools. Ex-neophytes were assigned small pieces of land and the rest were given their liberty. (Geiger 1965) Mission La Purisima was sold to American John Temple for $1,110 (Writers' Project 1941:189).

Beginnings of the American Period, 1845-1855

1846 Governor Pico sold Mission Santa Barbara excepting the church and priests' apartments to Richard S. Den for $7,500. Bishop García Diego and Father Durán died at Mission Santa Barbara.
1846 War was declared between the United States and Mexico. On August 4-5, Commodore Robert Stockton, commander of American forces in California, anchored at Santa Barbara and captured the town leaving a small garrison in charge. The Stockson garrison was captured by Mexican forces on October 1-2. On December 27, Major John C. Fremont lead American reinforcements over Gaviota pass to Santa Barbara and recaptured the town. The American flag was first raised in Santa Barbara in December. (Geiger 1965, Engelhardt 1923, Bancroft 1970; Writers' Project 1941:189).
1847 Company F of the New York volunteers, also known as Stevenson's Regiment, was stationed opposite the de la Guerra house in Santa Barbara. (Geiger 1965) On July 4, one hundred eighty men of the Regiment left Santa Barbara for Los Angeles (Writers' Project 1941:189).
1847 The American brig Elizabeth wrecked near Santa Barbara. Her salvaged cannon became an object of local intrigue and created the name for Canon Perdido Street (Writers' Project 1941:189).
1848 The Treaty of Guadalupe was signed, making California American territory. (Geiger 1965).
1848 On January 24, James Marshall discovered gold in the stream at Sutter's Mill on the South Fork of the American River in the foothills of Central California. By May 12, word of the find had spread and residents of the small town of San Francisco began to desert their homes to stake claims for gold. During his annual message to Congress on December 5, President James Polk announced that gold had been discovered in California touching off the Gold Rush of 1849.
1849 The first American school was established in Santa Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:189).
1850 1850 As a result of the 1849 Gold Rush, California's American population swelled enabling it to bypass territorial status and became the 31st state of the Union on September 9. On April 9, Santa Barbara had begun its legal existence as an American City. A post office was established and the First Common Council convened. Council President was Luis T. Burton and Francisco De La Guerra served as Mayor (Writers' Project 1941:189).
1850 A new Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey was appointed to govern Mission Santa Barbara. (Geiger 1965).
1851 The City of Santa Barbara was surveyed and its streets laid out by Captain Salisbury Haley (Writers' Project 1941:189).
1853 In July, Santa Barbara resident George Nidever rescued a Chumash woman who had been abandoned and living alone for years on San Nicholas Island (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1853 Mission Santa Barbara became an apostolic college. Rome divided California ecclesiastically, creating an Archdiocese at San Francisco. (Geiger 1965).
1854 The College of Our Lady of Sorrows (new location of the apostolic college) was established in Santa Barbara at State and Figueroa Streets. A new adobe church was dedicated the following year. (Geiger 1965).
1855 The first newspaper in Santa Barbara was established as a weekly called the Gazette published by B.W. Keep and R. Hubbard beginning on May 24. On July 5, the first shipment of quicksilver (also known as mercury which was necessary for amalgamation in the gold extraction process) arrived from mines in northern Santa Barbara County. (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1855 Bishop Tadeo Amat established residence at Mission Santa Barbara. The Franciscan apostolic college returned to the Mission, and Bishop Amat took over the buildings in town established by the college. Mission lands and buildings were considerably deteriorated. Franciscan fathers renovated and expanded the front wing of the quadrangle to accommodate a second story. Half of the front wing was raised and converted into living quarters. This was the first recorded renovation or addition to the Mission's buildings since secularization in 1833. (Geiger 1965:164).

Expansion and Interest in Restoration, 1856-1924

1856 A lighthouse was erected on July 3 as an aid to ships passing through the Santa Barbara Channel. The light was built about two miles north of the city at the present site of Shoreline Park. (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1857 Santa Barbara Mission Registers show the 1,427th Christian wedding of Chumash Indians recorded at the Mission. (Geiger 1965)
1858 On September 14, the 4,771st baptism of Chumash Indians was recorded in the Santa Barbara Mission registers. (Geiger 1965)
1860 Population in Santa Barbara was 2,351 (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1861 The first overland stagecoach from San Francisco to Santa Barbara arrived on April 1 (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1861 The Santa Barbara Mission was again used for public services. William H. Brewer, a member of a Yale University Scientific Expedition visits Santa Barbara (Farquhar 1930). He remarks upon the deterioration of the Mission buildings and lands. (Geiger 1965)
1862 City Council authorized leveling State Street for vehicular traffic (Williams, 1977:32).
1863- 1864 Santa Barbara County suffers from a drought which resulted in the closure of many area cattle ranches (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1864 Spanish was selected as the official language of Santa Barbara for all public records (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1865 President Abraham Lincoln signed over certain Mission lands and property to Mission Santa Barbara. (Geiger 1965, Engelhardt 1923)
1868 The Apostolic College began a school for boys for both day students and boarders, known as the Colegio Franciscano. More renovations were made to the Mission. (Geiger 1965)
1868 The Santa Barbara Post newspaper was started by E.B. Boust in May (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1869 Trinity Episcopal Church was founded in Santa Barbara as the city's first Protestant church May (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1869 Santa Barbara's first wharf was erected at the foot of Chapala Street (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1870 The population of Santa Barbara reached 2,970 (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1870 The remaining portion of the Mission's front wing has second story added, to be used for classrooms, dormitories, and private rooms (Geiger 1965:189).
1870 Overland Telegraph strung wires down State Street from poles (Tompkins, 1898:89). First message received from San Francisco on September 26 (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1870 English replaced Spanish as the official language of all public documents in Santa Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1871 Trees now known as the Cota sycamores were planted near the cemetery wall along Los Olivos Street (Geiger 1965:211).
1871 The Santa Barbara Press (formerly known as the Post) began production as a daily newspaper on July 1 (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1872 Pipes were laid to conduct water into the Mission's front interior quadrangle where a new fountain was construction. An interior pulpit within the Church, built in 1820, was taken down. Original altars were dismantled and replaced. The Communion railing and steps were replaced in the Church, and redwood wainscoting was erected along the bottom 6 ft. of the Church walls, covering the original frescos. A wooden floor was laid over the original tile floor of the Church. The 4,645th burial of an Indian was noted in Mission registers. An interior fountain for the second quadrangle was added. (Geiger 1965:200-201).
1872 Stearns Wharf was constructed at the foot of State Street and the first volunteer fire fighting company began to function (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1872 New York journalist Charles Nordhoff visited Santa Barbara and wrote a best selling book promoting the community's charms. His publication resulted in many more new settlers in the town and surrounding area (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1872 Jose Lobero opened the Lobero Theater as the first community playhouse in California (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1872 Santa Barbara's street lamps were lit with gas for the first time on February 21 (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1872 Ventura County was created out of Santa Barbara County by the State Assembly on February 22 (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1872 President Ulysses S. Grant confirmed to the City of Santa Barbara four leagues of pueblo land on May 31, enlarging the City by _____ square miles (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1872 The cornerstone for a new Santa Barbara County Courthouse was laid on October 7 in the space occupied by the present day Sunken Garden at the modern County Courthouse (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1873 Father Jose María Romo has the interior of the Mission church repaired and renovated (Geiger 1965:187).
1875 City Council allocated funding to grade State Street on a regular basis to keep it clean and to aid in controlling the build-up of mud (Burschinger, 1977:47).
1875 The first tourist hotel in Santa Barbara, called the Arlington, was completed on July 10 (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1875 Santa Barbara County Bank was organized in July (Writers' Project 1941:190).
1875 City formalized street numbers of businesses and residences along State Street (Burschinger, 1977:48).
1876 The Moreton Bay Fig tree in the Mission cemetery is reputedly planted.
1876 The first Santa Barbara County Jail was built (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1876 A single track of rails was placed along the west side of State Street from Sola Street to Stearns Wharf for horse or mule-drawn street cars (Craig, 1977:101-102).
1877 The Colegio Franciscano was closed due to increasing debt and decreasing number of students. (Geiger 1965)
1880 Santa Barbara's population was 3,460 (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1881 Repairs were made to the Mission's roof. Both rafters and tiles were replaced. (Geiger 1965:201).
1882 Santa Barbara City Council established the first free library and reading room on February 16 (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1884 The Santa Barbara Independent was first issued as a daily newspaper (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1885 The Apostolic College gave up its independent existence. The Mission joined an American province as a monastery. The modern growth of the Mission's Archive Library began. (Geiger 1965) Sometime prior to this year, a two-story wood-frame water tower was built directly behind the Mission church. The tower was removed in 1924 (Geiger 1963:78, 174). Plate 4 shows the general deterioration of the church and front wing. Plaster has fallen off and revealed the remnants of the 1811 stone parapet.
1886 Natural gas a crude oil were first extracted from the Santa Barbara Channel along the coast at Summerland (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1886 Sunset Telegraph Company installed lines on poles which also carried the pre-existing telegraph lines (Craig, 1977:107).
1887 Walter N. Hawley paved State Street from Sola Street to the beach for the convenience of guests at his Arlington Hotel (Tompkins, 1989:91).
1887 Santa Barbara Electric company founded in 1886 by Charles Fernald and Walter H. Nixon, lit State Street with electric arc lamps for the first time on March 19 (Tompkins, 1898:91; Writers' Project 1941:191).
1887 The worn twelve-foot-wide wooden sidewalks along State Street were rebuilt (Craig, 1977:106).
1887 A large vegetable garden was laid out west of the cemetery. The ground was modified and laid into tiers. An orchard was added later to the west of the cemetery at an unspecified time (Geiger 1965:211).
1887 The California land speculation boom reached its peak in Santa Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1887 The first Southern Pacific train arrived in Santa Barbara on a branch line from Saugus. Over 5,000 visitors came for the Transportation Pageant and Jubilee held in Santa Barbara to celebrate the train's arrival Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1888 Front shingle roof of monastery replaced with tiles. A tile roof had been absent since 1858. The brick pillars of the front colonnade were raised. The Church roof was entirely replaced (Geiger 1965:209). The original roof of the 1820 sacristy was lowered (Geiger 1963:80). The wall enclosing the cemetery is raised and completed (Geiger 1963:84). The interior colonnade (facing the garden) of the front south wing, originally constructed in 1800, were heightened but otherwise left intact (Geiger 1963:130).
1890 Population in the City of Santa Barbara reached 5,864 (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1890 City's first sewer system was installed requiring trenching for placement of sewer pipes (Tompkins, 1898:91).
1891 In April Benjamin Harrison was the first U.S. President to visit Santa Barbara. To honor him, city residents conducted a parade dressed in Spanish style clothing.
1891 Land north of the present Alameda Padre Serra, part of the present Mission Historical Park, was fenced in (presumably with an adobe wall). Olive trees were planted in this area (Geiger 1965:211).
1892 A large crucifix was placed in the cemetery (Geiger 1965:211).
1892 Water lines are first illustrated along State Street on Sanborn Insurance Map of Santa Barbara.
1893 The original roofless adobe charnel house (construction date unknown) was converted to 21 stone burial vaults for Franciscan friars (Geiger 1965:211). A doorway is cut into the south wall of the original sacristy, which was then converted into a choir. The original door on the west wall of the sacristy was converted into a window and the stone steps leading into the former doorway were demolished (Geiger 1963:110-112).
1895 The Santa Barbara News was launched as a daily newspaper (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1896 Consolidated Electric Company installed trolley wires to replace mule-drawn cars. Electric trolleys were in use until 1929 when they were replaced by buses (Craig, 1977:102-103).
1897 The Cold Spring Tunnel began to supply water to Santa Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1897 The west wing of the original Mission quadrangle is given an additional story-and-a-half. Portions of the original adobe walls were retained (Geiger 1965:209).
1898 By this date, the original tile floor of the interior corridor (facing the garden) of the front south wing was replaced by cement (Geiger 1963:128). The general pattern of walkways in the cemetery (and remains today) was in place (Geiger 1963:172).
1899 The first Santa Barbara Fiesta was held at Our Lady of Carmelo Church in Montecito on July 16.
1899- 1901 The adjacent structure of St. Anthony's Seminary was constructed. (Geiger 1965)
1900 Santa Barbara's population reached 6,587 (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1900 Santa Barbara Police Department is created with one chief and two officers. (S.B. News Press 2000)
1901 The Southern Pacific Railroad completed its track link from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles and San Francisco on March 31 (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1901 A door on the west side of the church was widened into a door with a window (Geiger 1963:148). Palm trees were planted to line the front arcade (Geiger 1965:211).
1902 Lands behind the Mission were sold to the City of Santa Barbara, which erected a large reservoir (Geiger 1963)
1902 The Potter Hotel opened on January 19 with a gala which attracted many wealthy visitors to Santa Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1902 A frenzy of oil drilling at the end of piers on Summerland's beaches hits a peak with 412 wells. It is the first offshore drilling that the nation - and possibly the world has ever seen. (SB News Press 1999).
1901 The Mission began to function as a theological seminary. (Geiger 1965)
1905 The Southern Pacific Railroad built a Mission Revival style passenger depot for $20,000 (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1905 The City of Santa Barbara completed construction of a new $50,000 electric power plant which served both residential and commercial users (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1905 A new L-shaped addition is built to adjoin the western end of the front wing of the Mission . The organ loft inside the Church was entirely renovated. The original 1820 floor was removed. A new organ (still in place and shown in Plate 5) was added to the Mission. A green-painted wood-framed barn, smithy, and carpenter shop were built west of the orchard (Geiger 1965:209, 211).
1906 April 18th, earthquake measuring 8.3 rocks San Francisco.
1906 A vineyard was planted in front of the Mission. They grew there until 1910, when they were replaced by green lawns. Lands bordered by Garden, Los Olivos, and Laguna Stress were enclosed by an adobe wall (Geiger 1965:211).
1908 This is the approximate date of the planting of palms around the interior Mission fountain constructed in 1872 (Geiger 1965:209).
1908 The Anna S.C. Blake Normal School began to function in Santa Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1909 The Santa Barbara State Normal School of Manual Arts and Home Economics (later Santa Barbara State College and now the University of California, Santa Barbara) was founded on a co-educational basis (Writers' Project 1941:191).
1909 The Santa Barbara Civic League was formed and planner Charles Mulford Robinson was engaged to prepare a City Plan.
1909 A door was cut into the Mission church wall to serve as a means of communication between the sacristy and sanctuary. It was later sealed in 1927 (Geiger 1963:148).
1910 Santa Barbara's population reached 11,659 (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1910 The American Film Manufacturing Company established itself in Santa Barbara to produce motion pictures under the Flying A trademark (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1910 The Women's Club of Santa Barbara donates an El Camino Real bell, placed near the entrance of the priests' living quarters at the Mission (Geiger 1965:211).
1911 For $150,000, the City of Santa Barbara purchased control of the privately held water system which delivered water from the Santa Ynez Mountain watershed into the homes and businesses of residents (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1911 The 125th anniversary of the Mission founding was celebrated. (Geiger 1965)
1911- 1912 Much interior renovation of the Church occurred, especially in the sanctuary, which was extended forward, had its floor raised and replaced with new concrete. A new altar replaced the one of 1872. The wood flooring of 1872 was pulled up and replaced with tiles and red cement to resemble the original. Similarly, the redwood wainscoting of 1872 was removed and the original frescoes repainted. Other alterations to doors, woodwork, and altars were also made. The whole Church interior received a fresh coat of paint. Outside of the Church, the interior Mission cloister garden was extensively redone (Geiger 1965:209-210).
1913 A large cross is placed on the front lawn of the Mission. Alameda Padre Serra is constructed for trolley cars (Geiger 1965:212), destroying part of the pottery building.
1913 Construction began on Gibraltar Dam to provide a reservoir of water for City use. (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1913 Ortega family descendant Thomas More Storke acquired the Santa Barbara News and merged it with the Santa Barbara Independent. He published the new newspaper under the name Santa Barbara Daily News (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1914 The Santa Barbara Police Department acquires its first automobile - a Ford touring car. Until the 1930s, the fleet consists of only one automobile at a time. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1915 The Panama-California Exposition was held in San Diego to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal. The Exposition had a long-term effect on Spanish Colonial style architectural designs in California.
1914 An independent western province of monasteries was established. Santa Barbara became its headquarters. Additional stone burial vaults were added (Geiger 1965:211)
1916 The first auto theft arrest takes place at Mission and De la Vina streets. Two youths steal a 1916 Buick in Reno and slap California plates on the front, but forget to remove the Nevada ones from the back. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1917 The Santa Barbara Central Library and downtown Post Office were completed in November in the Spanish Colonial Revival style.
1918 Construction was completed on Sheffield Reservoir as a water storage facility for the City of Santa Barbara water system (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1919 On May 28 the first "Santa Barbara Summer Fiesta" poster was published.
1919 A design competition for architects was conducted for a new County Courthouse.
1920 Santa Barbara Police get their first shooting range, in the form of a hillside in Sycamore Canyon. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1920 Santa Barbara's population was counted at 19,441 (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1920 The Santa Barbara Community Arts Association was formed in January composed of artists, musicians, writers and friends of the arts (Writers' Project 1941:192). They were established with a $50 loan.
1920 Gibralter Dam construction was completed (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1921 The Potter Hotel burned on April 13. The site is now the location of Ambassador Park on West Mason Street. Before the Potter was constructed, it was the site of Burton Mound, an archaeological deposit of prehistoric Chumash artifacts. After the hotel was lost in the fire, the site was made available to archaeologists for investigation and documentation. Many artifacts were taken to the Smithsonian Institution, but some remain in the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1922 The Community Arts Association organized a Plans and Planting division to concentrate on the beautification of Santa Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:192). The effort made Santa Barbara one of the first cities in the nation to utilize historic preservation in the planning process. In February, a City Council bond issue passed to establish the "City of Spain." Designers Bernhard and Irene Hoffmann first become involved in the architectural designs of the City.
1922 Utilizing land from a private donation by Caroline Hazard, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History constructed its first building (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1922- 1924 The north wing and the service wing along Mission Canyon were added to St. Anthony's Seminary. (Geiger 1965)
1923 Daisy Horton becomes the first woman hired by the Santa Barbara Police Department. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1923 Burton Mound yielded an abundant variety of Chumash artifacts from archaeological excavations at the site of the Potter Hotel (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1923 The City Planning Commission was established.
1924 Santa Barbara Police Department moves into the basement of the present City Hall. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1924 The Olmsted-Cheney Plan was presented to City Council for park and roadway planning.
1924 The Plans and Planting Committee of the Community Arts Association created the De la Guerra Studios to demonstrate the possibilities of creating distinctive Spanish Colonial architecture for Santa Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1924 The Community Arts Association opened the New Lobero Theater at its present location. (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1924 A citizen's group buys up land along the beach on Cabrillo Boulevard to save it from development. The property eventually becomes Chase Palm Park. (SB News Press 1999).
1924 Santa Barbara conducted the first Old Spanish Days Fiesta which has been held annually since then. (Writers' Project 1941:192).

Modern Restoration Efforts, 1925-1953

1925 Santa Barbara's first radio station, KDB, began broadcasting. (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1925 A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck on June 29 at 6:23 a.m., severely damaging many structures in the City of Santa Barbara, including the Mission buildings as well as St. Anthony's Seminary. Twelve lives were lost, Sheffield Reservoir was shattered and damage costs ranged between $10-20 million. At the Mission, most destruction was done to the church facade and towers, as well the upper story of the front wing of the monastery. Many renovations were made during the next few years. (Writers' Project 1941:192; Geiger 1965)
1925 The City Architectural Board of Review was first organized to review architectural plans for post-earthquake construction designs.
1926 Post-earthquake reconstruction efforts continued throughout Santa Barbara (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1924 The Blaksley Botanic Garden was established by Mrs. Anna Blaksley Bliss working through the Museum of Natural History. Today it serves Santa Barbara's horticultural interests as the Botanic Garden (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1927 The Santa Barbara Police and Fire Commission is established. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000) 1927 A substantial new source of petroleum was discovered in the Santa Barbara Channel at the Ellwood Oil Field which produced 86,000 barrels the first year (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1927 A substantial new source of petroleum was discovered in the Santa Barbara Channel at the Ellwood Oil Field which produced 86,000 barrels the first year (Writers' Project 1941:192).
1927 The damaged front wing of the Mission was repaired and again occupied (Geiger 1965:216). A new sacristy is constructed behind the church, and the door made for the sacristy in 1893 was converted to a window, although the stairs were left behind. Two new round windows were drilled into the an 1820 sacristy wall. A new baptistry was placed in the east tower, and a font built to imitate the design of the exterior fountain bowls was placed there (Geiger 1963). The nearby building known as Junipero Serra Hall was built as the social center of the parish, and was later used as a school. (Geiger 1965)
1928 The first rules and regulations for the Santa Barbara Police Department are established, and the first written examination for police officers is given for hiring eligibility. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1929 A new Santa Barbara County Courthouse was completed and dedicated on August 14 (Writers' Project 1941:193).
1929 Hundreds of offshore oil wells are now in production on piers along the South Coast, mostly at Ellwood. (SB News Press 1999).
1929 The County enacts a zoning ordinance for Montecito, the first for an unincorporated community in the state. (SB News Press 1999).
1930 1930 Santa Barbara's population was 33,613 (Writers' Project 1941:193).
1930 The Santa Barbara Breakwater was completed and presented to the City on June 30 creating the community's first safe harbor for commercial and private boats, but the project halts the natural flow of sand to beaches in Montecito, and lawsuits ensue. (Writers' Project 1941:193 and SB News Press 1999).
1930 The Faulkner Memorial Art Gallery opened on October 15 as a wing of the Santa Barbara Public Library (Writers' Project 1941:193).
1931 The first bank robbery of modern times occurs when an armed bandit holds up the County National Bank at State and Carrillo streets and gets away with $48.00. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1932 The Santa Barbara News and the Santa Barbara Press combined to form the Santa Barbara News-Press with Thomas M. Storke as editor-publisher. It was now the sole daily and Sunday newspaper in the City (Writers' Project 1941:193).
1933- 1934 Additional stone burial vaults were added to the Mission complex (Geiger 1965:211).
1936 Santa Barbara Police don the blue uniform for the first time. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1936 Santa Barbara becomes the first agency nationally in which all of its officers could perform first aid. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1936 The 150th anniversary, the sesquicentennial, of the Mission's founding was celebrated.
1936 A new airport opened in Goleta which serves today as the Santa Barbara Airport (Writers' Project 1941:193).
1937 The City of Santa Barbara completed its reconstruction of Sheffield Reservoir with an increased capacity (Writers' Project 1941:193).
1937 The first radio transmitter is installed in police vehicles, but it is necessary to drive to the top of the hill to be heard. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1937 A new Federal Building was completed in Santa Barbara at the site of the Presidio (Writers' Project 1941:193).
1937 The nation's first condor sanctuary is created in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Northern Santa Barbara County. (SB News Press 1999).
1937 Radio Station KTMS sent its first broadcast from Santa Barbara on October 31 (Writers' Project 1941:193).
1939 The Post Office building in Santa Barbara was purchased by the County to be adapted into the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Writers' Project 1941:193).
1940 Santa Barbara Police women begin wearing uniforms. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1940 Santa Barbara's population reached 34,438. (Writers' Project 1941:193).
1947 Police officers begin dealing with a vagrancy problem in town. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1947 A swimming pool is constructed behind the Mission facilities. (Geiger 1953:68).
1947 A new City Architectural Board of Review was founded.
1948 The south wing of St. Anthony's seminary was added. (Geiger 1965)
1949 The physical condition of the Mission church was described as perilous, due to continuing neglect and deterioration. (Geiger 1965)
1950 This is the last year that cattle were grazed at the Mission. (Geiger 1963:44).
1950- 1953 The Mission towers and facade were completely torn down and then restored (Geiger 1965).

Stewardship and Modernization, 1953 - Present

1953 Bradbury Dam is completed on Santa Ynez River, ensuring a longterm water supply for the South Coast from Lake Cachuma. (SB News Press 1999).
1954 The Santa Barbara Historical Society occupied five rooms in the front wing of the Mission until they moved out in 1964. (Geiger 1965)
1956 Green wood-framed buildings constructed in 1905 were torn down (Geiger 1965:211).
1956-1958 An extensive building program for expansion of the Mission facilities was started. Two new quadrangles were constructed. The grounds that once held Mission buildings from the early 1800s were built over. A museum was housed in the lower story of the front wing. (Geiger 1965)
1957 Residents of Santa Barbara vote for a bond for $817,000 to build a new police station on Figueroa Street. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1958 The Architectural Board of Review published a statement advocating traditional Mediterranean architectural styles for Santa Barbara.
1958 Standard Oil of California erects the first offshore oil platform in Santa Barbara Channel, two miles off Summerland. (SB News Press 1999).
1959 A new mausoleum is constructed in the area directly north of the Mission Cemetery (Snethcamp 1990).
1960 Police department moves from the basement of City Hall to the headquarters on Figueroa Street where it remains today. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1960 An advisory Landmarks Committee was created for review of the El Pueblo Viejo Landmark District in downtown Santa Barbara.
1961 Cemetery walks covered with asphalt (Geiger 1965:211). Skylights constructed in the front wings during the 1950-1953 restoration are removed (Geiger 1963:108).
1961 Architectural historian David Gebhard (1927 - 1996) joined the faculty at UCSB and became active in City architectural and planning review issues.
1963 Pearl Chase (1888-1979) organized the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.
1964 The Santa Barbara Police Reserve Corps is created. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1966 The Santa Barbara City Council petitions Congress to make all federal waters of the channel an oil-free sanctuary. (SB News Press 1999).
1969 The current archive-library wing was constructed on the west wing, replacing the earlier 1905 wing. (Franciscan Friars 1993:22).
1969 The January 28 blowout of a well at Unocal's Platform A in the Santa Barbara Channel causes an oil spill of major dimensions, fouling local beaches for months. The spill helps start the environmental movement. (SB News Press 1999).
1970 April 22nd, The Nation's first Earth Day is held in Santa Barbara. Demonstrators occupy Stearns Wharf, protesting its use by oil companies. (SB News Press 1999)
1970 Santa Barbara police assist in the Isla Vista Riots. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1970 The California Environmental Quality Act becomes law. (SB News Press 1999)
1971 Plans for 1,535 homes at El Capitan Ranch on the Gaviota Coast are defeated in a countywide referendum. (SB News Press 1999).
1972 The Santa Barbara Charter is amended to limit buildings to four stories. (SB News Press 1999)
1972 A program is developed to produce videotapes for police training purposes. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1973 California voters approve a ballot initiative setting up the state Coastal Commission. (SB News Press 1999)
1973 Because of a limited water supply, the Goleta Water Board imposes a moratorium on new hookups, slowing the pace of development. (SB News Press 1999).
1974 Santa Barbara downsizes its residential properties, preventing the construction of 23,000 additional homes that might have been allowed under the previous zoning. (SB News Press 1999).
1976 United States celebrates its Bicentennial.
1977 In an advisory election, Santa Barbara voters overwhelmingly endorse a population cap of 85,000. (SB News Press 1999).
1977 The County rezones 36,000 acres of farmland in the Santa Ynez Valley to ensure that housing tracts will not be built there. (SB News Press 1999).
1977 A new Historic Structures Ordinance was adopted by City Council and the Historic Landmarks Committee was reorganized.
1978 To combat a rise in DUIs, the Santa Barbara Drinking Driver Team is created. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1979 At odds with the city over their contract, the police union strikes for 21 days, the longest police strike in California history. (Santa Barbara News Press)
1979 Alone in California, Santa Barbara County voters reject the State Water Project pipeline that would connect them with the California Aqueduct. (SB News Press 1999).
1981 Santa Barbara voters amend the City Charter to state that the city must "live within local resources." (SB News Press 1999).
1985 County voters approve an advisory ballot measure in favor of stronger regulations for coastal oil development. (SB News Press 1999).
1986 Bowing to years of public protest, two of the world's biggest utilities - Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas - withdraw plans for a liquefied natural gas terminal at Point Conception. (SB News Press 1999).
1987 Newly appointed Police Chief Richard Breza begins to implement his community-oriented policing philosophy, which results in several crime prevention programs. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1987 The DARE program is established. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1987 After a court battle, Exxon accedes to county demands for air quality controls at offshore oil platforms. (SB News Press 1999)
1987 County Board of Supervisors restricts onshore oil development on the South Coast to two locations: Gaviota and Las Flores Canyon. (SB News Press 1999).
1987 The county and state reject Arco's plans for three new oil platforms off Coal Oil Point, and an on shore gas processing plant. (SB News Press 1999).
1989 Santa Barbara voters approve Measure E, limiting commercial growth in the city. (SB News Press 1999).
1989 The County Board of Supervisors places a ceiling on growth in Goleta, allowing 200 new homes and 80,000 square feet of commercial development per year. (SB News Press 1999).
1990 As a direct result of the county's victory against Exxon, Congress amends the federal Clean Air Act, delegating the regulatory authority for offshore oil platforms to local jurisdictions. (SB News Press 1999).
1991 The Citizen's Police Academy is created. (Santa Barbara News Press 2000)
1991 At the end of a six year drought, county voters approve the State Water Project pipeline from the California Aqueduct to Lake Cachuma . The cost will be more than $600 million. (SB News Press 1999).
1992 Santa Barbara inaugurates the first desalination plant in the county, but it quickly shuts down because the water is not needed. (SB News Press 1999).
1993 Unocal faces criminal charges for allegedly covering up a giant oil spill from leaking underground pipelines at the mouth of the Santa Maria River. The 40-year spill at Guadalupe Beach is one of the largest onshore spills in the United States. (SB News Press 1999).
1993 The County Board of Supervisors exempts the proposed 500,000 square-foot "big box" shopping center at Storke an Hollister roads from the growth limits in Goleta. (SB News Press 1999).
1993 The City Charter was amended to reconstitute the advisory Historic Landmarks Committee as a Commission.
1994 The state Coastal Commission bans Chevron oil tankers in the Santa Barbara Channel. (SB News Press 1999).
1995 The Mobil Clearview proposal for a 175-foot-high drilling rig next to Devereax Slough is blocked by UCSB. (SB News Press 1999).
1996 The County Board of Supervisors lifts the ceiling on growth in Goleta, increasing the potential for commercial development to 120,000 square feet per year; exempting housing projects with affordable units from the annual residential cap; and allowing the rollover of credits for unbuilt homes. (SB News Press 1999)
1996 Santa Barbara County voters approve Measure A, prohibiting oil development on the shores of the South Coast without a vote of the people, except in already established industrial zones at Gaviota and Las Flores Canyon. (SB News Press 1999)
1997 The State Water pipeline is completed. In Goleta, the water moratorium is lifted, removing a major barrier for new development. (SB News Press 1999)
1997 City was comprised of 18.6 square miles including five miles of ocean frontage. The population was 90,200 with a median age of 34. Median income was $33,667 per year with a 5.5 percent unemployment rate. Registered Democrats were 28,999 and registered Republicans were 16,821 (SB News-Press, October 12, 1997).
1998 Vail & Vickers Co. removes 7,000 cattle from Santa Rosa Island in Channel Islands National Park as part of a settlement with environmentalists. (SB News Press 1999)
1998 South Coast beaches are closed for most of the summer because of high bacterial levels in the surf. Local creeks are found to be polluting the ocean. (SB News Press 1999)
1998 The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and Citizens for the Carpinteria bluffs purchase 52 acres on the scenic bluffs. (SB News Press 1999)
1999 Santa Barbara's population is 91,900 and there are 80,000 people in unincorporated Goleta. (SB News Press 1999)

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2014