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The Ellwood Special

Have you ever noticed there’s a street off Hollister Avenue in western Goleta called Ellwood Station Road? You may not have, because there’s not much on it and it goes pretty much nowhere. But in the late 1800’s this road led to a very important train station, and the end […]

The Witness Tree

To most Goleta folks, this is a picture of the now closed Sizzler restaurant. Big deal, right? But nestled in the clutches of this empty restaurant is a centuries old sycamore tree that has witnessed the change of Goleta from bean fields and dairy farms to concrete and traffic jams. […]

Airport Drive In

  If you’re a local, this photo will trigger a flood of memories. This is the corner of Hollister and Fairview looking towards the airport in the late 1960’s. Gas at Bob’s Seaside service station was 27 cents a gallon, and recaps were $9.95.Swingers Golf Center was in full swing and the […]

Gaviota Village

Driving up the coast from Goleta, just before Gaviota State Beach, you may notice this rock wall surrounded by pine trees off to the right. It doesn’t look like much today, but these are the few remnants that are left of a grand plan that just wasn’t meant to be. These old iron […]

The Marines Invade Goleta

World War II brought a lot of changes to our world, and Goleta was no exception. Our little airport served as the backdrop for a Marine air station that served as a training base for multiple squadrons that went on to support combat operations in the Pacific Theater. This sleepy little agriculture […]

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 past […]

Goleta’s First Pier

When we think of Goleta pier, this is what we think of. It’s one of Goleta’s main attractions, popular with fisherman, tourists and locals. But most folks don’t know that it wasn’t the first pier Goleta had. Goleta’s first pier was down the beach about a half a mile. It […]

Tucker’s Grove and Judge Crow

Tuckers Grove. One of Santa Barbara and Goleta’s favorite parks for parties, picnics and club gatherings. Every local knows it well and maybe we even take it a little for granted. But it could have been just another neighborhood if not for some proactive citizens that got up and took […]

The Gaviota Pass

Goleta is a unique place. We are surrounded by the beautiful Santa Ynez Mountains on one side and the blue Pacific Ocean on the other. The steep mountains run into the sea at Gaviota and Rincon, isolating us from the outside world. This was a predicament for the first European […]

Santa Cruz Market

Editor’s Note– “Around 1965, my mother took a carload of kids along with her to go grocery shopping at the only store in town, the 101 Ranch Market. After shopping, she loaded the kids back into the car and headed home. As she pulled into her driveway out in Ellwood, one […]

The Tecolote Cut

Ever notice these signs along the side of the freeway? El Camino Real means The Royal Highway in Spanish and it was created by the Spaniards to get between the missions throughout California. Originally, the Camino Real was just a footpath, but in 1859 the Overland Mail Company started a campaign […]

Goleta’s Oldest Building

What is the oldest building in the Goleta Valley? Most folks have never heard of it, or have any idea of its existence. But this little building played a major role in the history of Goleta, the success of the Santa Barbara Mission and the wine industry of California. Nestled […]

Haskells Beach

Haskells Beach has long been one of Goleta’s best kept secrets.  A hidden jewel that has been popular with Goleta locals for decades, but it’s much more than just a pretty beach. Haskells has been a pleasing location for humans all throughout history. While Chumash is the most commonly known name […]

Pampas Grass

Most folks know what Pampas Grass looks like. It volunteers all around Goleta. It pops up in empty fields, at the beach, alongside the freeway, and even on the side of cliffs. But do you know where it came from and how it got spread all over Goleta? This would […]

The Guppies

If you lived in Goleta in the late 60’s and early 70’s, you may remember seeing these almost comical looking aircraft flying around, but do you know they served a very serious purpose and helped man land on the moon? They were called Guppies, and their story is quite interesting. It […]

Goleta’s Whaling Station

Next time you’re at Goleta Beach, look towards UCSB and notice the dark rock formation at the base of the bluffs. This lovely location once was the scene of blood and carnage, all in the name of commerce. A shore whaling station was located here for about twenty years starting […]

Attack on Ellwood

At 7 PM on Feb. 23, 1942, Goleta residents were settling in to listen to President Franklin Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat on the radio. The Japanese had just attacked Pearl Harbor two and a half months earlier and tensions were high for folks living on the coast. Meanwhile, a 365 foot long Japanese […]

Kate Bell’s Cactus

If you ever walk from Haskells Beach towards Santa Barbara, you probably have noticed the hillside below Sandpiper golf course has a large, unruly patch of cactus growing on it. We’ve always seen it there, but never really thought much about it. We figured the oil companies planted it to […]