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Refugio Palms

Refugio State Beach is one of the true gems of the Gaviota Coast and a longtime local favorite. Campers, fisherman, hikers and surfers all enjoy the peaceful solitude and refuge found there. The statuesque palm trees that line the cove give a distinctive and majestic look to the area. Over the […]

Old Town Goleta Comparison 2

A while back, we did a page comparing this photo of Old Town Goleta to today’s Old Town. We thought it was time to do some more comparisons, since the more things change…..the more Old Town stays the same. Happily. So let’s begin! Above is the corner of Nectarine and […]

Isla Vista

Isla Vista. The mere mention of the name brings a flood of emotions, opinions and memories to a local. A lot has happened on this small area of land in a short amount of years. When you cram thousands of people into less than two square miles, you can expect […]

Orient Hand Laundry

We recently lost another long time Goleta business. Orient Hand Laundry closed their doors in 2023. When we heard they were closing, I went over to talk to the owner, Kin Yu, who has been an Old Town acquaintance for decades. I found him and his wife cleaning up the […]

The Beck House

If you’ve ever gone to the Santa Barbara Humane Society, or just driven past it, you have probably seen this historic old farmhouse sitting proudly at the front of the property. It’s down near the end of Overpass Road, on what was once the Beck walnut farm. Luckily, it is […]

Model A Day

Recently I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at a meeting of the Santa Barbara Model A Club about a topic that is near and dear to my heart, the Tecolote Canyon. I was happy to do so, and we had a great time, but my big payoff […]

St. Raphael’s Church

St. Raphael’s Catholic Church has been at the same location on Hollister Avenue for as long as most of us can remember. But the church has a long history in Goleta that goes back to another century and a few different locations. During the mission period, small chapels were built […]

Two Hangars

If you drive down Fairview by the airport, just past McLeans Auto Body, make a right at Matthews St. and follow the signs to Fed Ex. Keep driving past Fed Ex and you will drive right into these two historic hangars. They’re easily overlooked, but have sat here proudly since […]

Ellwood Pier Removal

There has been a lot of media about the removal of the old oil piers at Ellwood lately. And unfortunately, it seems this has caused a lot of confusion. Headlines like, “Two oil piers set to be removed at Haskell’s Beach” and “Haskell’s Beach May Be Free of Oil Piers […]

The Main-Begg Farmhouse

Not long ago, we did a story called Saviors of Goleta History. The Main-Begg Farmhouse project is a perfect example of what we were talking about. A group of forward-thinking locals are working to restore and preserve a beautiful example of an early Goleta farmhouse built in 1911. The Main-Begg […]

Saviors of Goleta History

Our local history stays alive through the efforts of individuals and occasionally socially conscious corporations. Certain people can see past the five minutes directly in front of them and realize the value of preserving our past for future generations. The folks at the Goleta Valley Historical Society have done a […]

Dos Pueblos Chumash

Dos Pueblos is Spanish for two villages, but to locals, that’s the name of our high school. And the name of a ranch on the outskirts of town. But why would this ranch and our high school be named “Two Villages”? Good question…. Dos Pueblos is in fact the oldest […]

Bird Island

Just off the coast from Sandpiper golf course, these four structures sit quietly. Several times a day people look at them and ask each other, what are those? And usually the answer is a random guess. Here’s the story. In the early 1930s, Ellwood was a booming oil field. It […]

Goleta Asphalt

If you know what you’re looking at, this boring clump of ivy holds a lot of historical importance. This is all that’s left of Goleta’s once booming asphalt industry. But let’s start at the beginning. Tar, oil and asphalt have always been present in Goleta. The native Chumash had many […]

The Ellwood Queen

We all know Ellwood Cooper left his mark on the Goleta Valley, in a good way. He planted thousands of trees around our area and many of them still exist. But there is one tree that stands above them all, literally. The Ellwood Queen is a prime specimen of a […]

Tecolote Canyon

At the far west end of Goleta, the Tecolote Canyon winds down from the uppermost reaches of the Santa Ynez mountains. The canyon descends rapidly into a pastoral valley and down to a beach that that has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. At the mouth of the […]

The Telephone Station

Near the corner of Patterson and Hollister Avenue sits this quaint little building. With ornate window designs, fresh paint and a neat red tile roof, it resembles a proud senior citizen, all decked out in her Sunday Best. A well kept remnant from a simpler time that has never stopped […]

The Goleta Slough

The Goleta slough as we know it today is a narrow, semi stagnant waterway that winds through the large marsh beside the airport. Not much to look at really, but believe it or not it was once a large body of water that was used as a port of call […]