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Goleta School Kids 1925

  Goleta native and history aficionado, Judy Ensign, recently let me borrow this great photo of Goleta school kids from 1925. They are standing in front of the Goleta School, not to be confused with the Goleta Union School on Hollister Ave. This beautiful school was built in 1911 and located at […]

The Kelloggs

  Kellogg Avenue is one of Goleta’s main roads. But who was Kellogg? Well, the Kelloggs were a successful family and they did a lot for the Goleta Valley and Santa Barbara. It all started with this guy. This sturdy young man is Florentine Erwin Kellogg and he was an American […]

Stephen Rutherford

  Ever wonder who this street in Old Town Goleta is named after? We did. And we found out about one of Goleta’s most motivated immigrants. Stephen Rutherford was a sharp real estate investor and he played a major role in the development of Goleta, but very little was written […]

Ellwood Gas Station

  If you’re driving past Sandpiper Golf course on Hollister Avenue, you can’t help but notice this distinguished looking building, standing proud among the weeds. An almost forgotten landmark in Goleta, the Barnsdall-Rio Grande gas station is a reminder of a simpler time. Located beside what was once a vast oil field, […]

Architectural Influence

   The historic Ellwood gas station was meant to make a statement. In the late 1920’s the Barnsdall Rio Grande oil company wanted to build a filling station that was second to none. They interviewed many of the most prestigious architectural firms and eventually settled on Morgan, Walls and Clement out […]

Saving the Barnsdall Gas Station

“The only thing more destructive to historical landmarks than a bulldozer is procrastination on the part of preservationists.” Walker A. Tompkins, historian It’s still there. Right where it’s been since 1929, when oil rich executives decided to build a showpiece filling station to celebrate the wild success of their Ellwood […]

Waiting for Salvation

When this building was constructed in 1929, surely no one imagined it would still be around in 2016. And who would have imagined that such a tiny little structure could become such a powerful pawn in a political game? Unfortunately, that appears to be just what is happening. On December 20, […]

Victory at Ellwood? Not Quite….

On June 11th, 2015, officials from the City of Goleta and Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts gathered to announce that the property and structure would be donated to the city. Rumors of the donation had been circulating for a while and one press conference was cancelled, but this time it happened, or so […]

Hollister Arch

Take a drive up Glen Annie Road and you might notice this unusual arch over a random driveway. It’s more than just a pretty gate, it is yet another overlooked Goleta Historical Monument. In 1870 W.W. Hollister bought 5000 acres from the heirs of Nicholas Den. He named his new […]

Goleta’s First Parade

In December of 2016, the Old Town Community Association held the first Christmas parade in the history of Goleta. Some folks thought it was the first parade ever in Old Town, but it was definitely not, just the first Christmas parade. This was most likely first ever parade in Goleta. Lifelong Goleta resident Marilyn […]

Who was Hollister?

Hollister Avenue. It’s Goleta’s main street and we drive on it everyday.  It runs all the way through Goleta,  from Haskells Beach until it turns into State Street just east of Modoc Road. But who was Hollister? And why is this main thoroughfare named after him? If anybody deserves to have a street named after […]

Goleta Union School

  This distinguished looking building with its majestic Spanish architecture sits in the heart of Old Town Goleta. A front park with a gazebo, beautiful trees and a winding brick path give it the feel of a town square. Known today as the Goleta Community Center, every local knows this as the hub […]

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 newly […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]