United States of America – The Anti-Lynching Act

On March 29, 2022, United States President Joe Biden  signed the historic Emmett Till Antilynching Act. For the first time in the history of the United States of America, the lynchings of human beings is considered a hate crime. President Biden said, “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone, not everyone, belongs in America, not everyone is created equal….Racial hate isn’t an old problem – it’s a persistent problem. Hate never goes away. It only hides.”

Throughout the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan was active throughout Santa Barbara County and the surrounding counties of Ventura, San Luis Obispo, and Kern.

In her book, The Mexican Outsiders, author Martha Menchaca, professor at the University of Texas, Austin, states that in 1923, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties held a KKK membership drive. The organization garnered more than 400 new members locally, through that effort.

In the October 26, 1923, edition of The American Hebrew, an article entitled, A Jew Answers Klan Hatred with Reason and Fact, the author advises that the Santa Barbara County branch of the KKK was distributing pamphlets (Ku Klux Klarion) threatening residents for “alleged misconduct and immorality.”

Samuel Adelstein, identified as “an American Jew,” paid for an ad to run in the Santa Barbara Daily News. Mr. Adelstein wrote, “The Kln stands for hatred. Hatred is blind, mentally and spiritually.” Mr. Adelstein said that Jewish tradition respects all churches, and that any issues of unlawful activity are adequately handled by authorities, without the need for mob violence or vigilantism.

Anti-Lynching Crusaders

In the 1920s, an effort between the NAACP and the Anti-Lynching Crusaders, a group of women with members throughout the United States, wrote an agreement stating that they wished to, “Unite a million women to stop lynching.” The Anti-Lynching Crusaders joined with the NAACP to continue the work of Ida B Wells, journalist, who spurred activists to promote legislation prohibiting the act of lynching human beings in the United States of America.

In November of 1922, the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill failed to pass, and similar bills failed for the next 100 years. Learn more about the history of lynching in California here, on KCET.

Leila Weeks Wilson, author of the book, Santa Barbara, California, written in 1913, describes tales of hangings in Santa Barbara.  These lynchings were supposed to been performed at a large oak tree growing downtown, between Highway 101 – El Camino Real – and State Street.

The Volstead Act

Prior to the passage of the Volstead Act, streamlined channels were put in place to ensure access to the world’s finest liquid spirits–despite the new legislation that took effect on January 1, 1920. For people of means, Prohibition merely added a bit of effervescence to their lives. Narcotics–opium, White Horse heroin, marijuana–were also gaining in popularity, especially as the Jazz Age blossomed.

But for others, the Volstead Act was a tool used to increase the vulnerability of people of color, the poor, and a large wave of European Catholic immigrants that were imagined to threaten “the American way of life.” These groups were especially vulnerable to prosecution and imprisonment for violating Volstead, while privileged white Americans avoided consequences.

In her article, Why the Ku Klux Klan Flourished Under Prohibition (Smithsonian Magazine, 2017 12 05) author Kat Eschener explains the complex layers of intent that helped to usher in the era of Prohibition. The effort was driven by the white American elite, along with bankers, developers and land owners, the members of various white mens’ and women’s clubs, the Anti-Saloon League, and the KKK. Santa Barbara County was no exception.

As far back as 1906, Santa Barbara County entertained the Anti-Saloon League, as described in one article in the Santa Barbara Weekly Press. On February 15, 1906, the “Presbyterian church of this city,” Santa Barbara, announced a “mass meeting,” in support of the League.

The additional bureaucracy generated by Volstead required new governmental bureaus and branches to uphold the unwieldy Act. Myriad departments and offices and thousands of employees were needed to administer the law. Federal oversight increased throughout California and the nation.

So many well-placed individuals in Southern California were awarded choice appointments and promotions as a result of Volstead that the LA Herald called it “the Prohibition plum tree.” (1920 06 10)

Immigrants, people of color, and the poor, already subject to discrimination, mob violence, and harassment by the Anti-Saloon League and the KKK , were also the targets of federal and state legislative efforts aimed at further limiting their civil rights.

James P Phelan, First National Bank, and a US Senator, ran for re-election using the slogan, “Keep California White.” It was a sentiment shared by many in Santa Barbara County, and throughout the state despite the contributions made by Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Mexican, and other people of color. Without the skill and tenacity, the contributions and hard work of Santa Barbara County’s agricultural workers, our history would have been a very different one.

Pleasure Drives

When wealthy tourists discovered Santa Barbara County near the end of the 19th century, grand hotels catered to their every need by providing luxury accommodations, fine dining, music, dancing and social events for those who chose to “winter over” in Southern California. High-end shops in the area offered furs, jewels, and other extravagant merchandise. Outdoor diversions were especially popular for those who were no longer housebound by winter weather. Hotels arranged tours for hunters who sought wild game, or those who wanted to fish creekside, or from the sea. Visitors could enjoy golf, ‘sea-bathing,’ tennis, hiking, or yachting almost any day of the year.

One of the most popular pastimes was the pleasure drive. Carriages could be rented so tourists might spend the day driving along an oak-shaded road, the beach at low tide, or braving the extraordinary San Marcos Pass between Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley. These were rare and exotic landscapes for people who were from the Midwest or East Coast.

By the 1920s, the number of auto-enthusiasts throughout the country continued to grow. While many in the United States could not afford the luxury hotels, new auto courts and less expensive hotels grew like mushrooms, especially in Southern California. The area was a prime destination for tourists.  Locally, a variety of m.aps highlighted various points of interest throughout Santa Barbara County, including the mission trail – El Camino Real – identified by the slew of highway markers.

This era was also the beginning of modern photography. New technology put easy-to-use cameras in the hands of many Americans for the first time. Most families had photo albums filled with pictures of life’s memorable moments, especially those taken on vacation. California’s landscapes and incredible vistas became familiar photo backdrops in a pre-Instagram world.

Auto Enthusiasts

With the advent of better roads and more dependable cars, camping soon became a popular hobby. With little more than a car and some helpful tips, families could travel economically and find enjoyment in Nature, whether for a weekend or a month. The national parks were in the business of welcoming travelers and campers. Auto-camps sprang up throughout California. With advice from books like Motor Camping, authored by JC Long and JC Long, or The Motor Camping Book, by Elon Jessup, campers’ questions were anticipated and answered. Even families with small children and little extra money could enjoy time outdoors. The love of camping became a national pastime that only grew more popular with each passing decade.

Not for Everyone

Even with the advent of affordable, dependable cars and the many opportunities for camping outdoors, these pastimes were not available to everyone.

Prior to the 1960s when legislation secured services and supports for Californians who had developmental disabilities, families were routinely advised to institutionalize – and forget about – a family member who was differently abled. Invisibility was society’s answer. There was no accessibility with regard to transportation, housing, employment, or even the smallest of daily tasks and pleasures others enjoyed: dining out, entering a shop, attending a movie or play, going to a park or beach. Camping was, for most, completely out of range.

The era of the 1920s was also one of segregation and mob violence. People of color suffered the wrath of these vigilante groups, most of all.

Article from Big Pine Citizen, Volume 9, Number 52, 9 December 1922:

Washington – Administration leaders in the Senate abandoned the Dyer anti-lynching bill, admitting defeat by the combined Democratic and insurgent Republican filibuster. The decision to throw the bill overboard was reached at a secret caucus of Republican senators. The filibuster started last week and put a stop to the transaction of all business in the Senate.

The Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, legislation to prohibit the lynching of human beings in the United States of America, was not re-introduced until 1935. The bill was never passed because of opposition by Southern legislators. It wasn’t until March 29, 2022, that United States President Joe Biden signed anti-lynching legislation into law, for the first time in United States history.

Green Book

The Negro Travelers’ Green Book published in the 1950s, proved that people of color traveled in the United States of America at great risk to themselves and their families. The book lists hotels, restaurants, tailors, bars, auto mechanics, and other establishments considered safe for African American travelers. There are no entries listed for Santa Barbara County.

The 1920s and ensuing years, were just as restrictive for Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, and other people of color, who have endured limitations in their ability to travel freely throughout their own country.

Negro Travelers’ Green Book


The Selling of a Dream

For many years, Santa Barbara County was the winter playground of those who could afford to escape winter’s cold – and many other unpleasantries of life. They came from places like St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, and New York. These lucky few spent the darkest months of each year reveling in sunshine and daytime temperatures that rarely dipped below the mid-60s.

A spate of luxury hotels drew them to Southern California where outdoor activities kept them entertained. There were several in Santa Barbara County, among them the Potter Hotel, the Arlington Hotel, the Miramar, El Encanto, and the San Ysidro Ranch. Sea-bathing, hunting, fishing, yachting, and long afternoons touring the magnificent canyons, valleys, beaches or islands in the area were favorite pastimes. Opulent accommodations and fine dining rivaled many in the Midwest or East Coast. Soon, a number of the wealthiest built large, fabulous estates throughout the area, though most were sited in Montecito.

Health sanitariums, too, offered places the well-to-do might seek treatment for tuberculosis. The incurable disease was said to be improved by  leisure, fresh air, sunshine, and frequent trips to natural hot springs, all of which were found in Santa Barbara County.

But by 1920, Santa Barbara County began to draw thousands of dreamers, adventurers, hopefuls, regular people who responded to the relentless advertising campaign waged for more than a decade. Hoping to dodge life’s harsher elements in a place where promises seemed to grow on trees like oranges – said to be free for the picking – even real winter could not reach here. In this place, anyone’s past – and their troubles – could be left behind in favor of a new start at life.

At the time, 8.9% of California homes were wired with electricity, but that was greater than in many areas of the nation. The state was also first advertised as a car-culture, although only 6.5% of residents owned cars. In 1920, this was a modern world filled with possibilities for the future.

Not for Profit

The pamphlet, California, Where Life is Better, was published in 1922 by Californians, Inc, a group of entrepreneurs w

ho encouraged Americans to begin anew in California and create a better life than the one left behind. For those who were disappointed the harsh realities of life, the words and photos in the pamphlet became the stuff of dreams:

Whoever you are, if the spirit of the pioneer is in you – if you are a worker, a dreamer, a builder – there is a place and a chance for you in California. There is a chance for you to live healthfully…among people who are almost universally friendly and helpful to the stranger…California stands forth as a tremendous reservoir of power and productivity, of health and youth and hope.

At the time, for many, it seemed that California was truly a place of health, youth, and hope – vague words and promises that, nevertheless, resonated with many readers.

The end piece of the publication lists as the officers and directors of the incorporation the President of Standard Oil Company, the Vice-President of Crocker National Bank, the President of the Bank of California, Vice-President of Cornwall & Banker, and other men of great influence.

Their organization, as stated in the publication, “is the outcome of the desire of hundreds of business firms, associations, and individuals to establish for the state an impartial, non-profit-making body for the dissemination of exact, unprejudiced, authoritative facts.”

Like some of the more prominent civic clubs of the time, this “impartial, non-profit-making body,” was anything but.

El Camino Real

After the Great War, Americans had attained greater mobility than ever before – along with a new mindset. Cars were more dependable and roads were being laid across the nation at a frantic pace. People who had never traveled more than a few miles from home could now drive to the next city, another state, or even across the entire nation.

This leveling of technology provided a new outlet for the masses. By 1920, Victorian and Edwardian rigidity could not survive the unnerving realities of the previous five years. Chemical warfare and battlefield casualties revealed man’s potential for destruction on a horrific scale.  An influenza pandemic had claimed hundreds of thousands of lives around the globe (3% of the earth’s total population, as compared to .08 of the total population due to COVID.)

Each day seemed to bring greater and greater disparity of class and income. The US economy depended on child labor and dangerous working conditions. Political corruption was being exposed as never before. A heavy resurgence of hate groups in the United States did nothing to stop lynchings and increased mob violence. Members of the Ku Klux Klan were embedded in almost every community in the nation. The world saw fascism rise in Europe, Mexico and South America. Mussolini and Hitler were already drawing crowds of 50,000 supporters, presaging the next World War.

Real estate developers and investors had been marketing Southern California for more than a decade. Finally, the disillusioned and discontented were sufficiently mobile to venture all the way to California.

The men driving this wholesale marketing were not alone in the endeavor. Their wives formed armies of women’s clubs and community organizations in almost every city and berg in the state. Clubs such as The Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West, The California State Grange, and the California State Farm Bureau Federation were promoted as civic clubs, but they were heavily invested in lobbying. These groups promoted legislation that supported their advancement and power, but limited the rights of the laboring class, immigrants, and specifically, people of color.

Women’s clubs softened the approach, and though their aim was no different. By commemorating sites and events they deemed historically significant in California’s history, they controlled the narrative by advertising Southern California as a land of ease and plenty, a place of romance and myth.

California State Assembly Bill 1707 introduced El Camino Real, the Royal Road, as the historic path of benevolent Spanish padres who established 21 Catholic missions from San Diego through Sonoma. In actuality, El Camino Real is a story told by wealthy influencers of their day, a clever marketing ploy laid – free of cost – over a state highway funded by taxpayers.

Any original pathways through Santa Barbara County were footpaths established by the Chumash, who, for millennia, were sole residents in the area; they altered routes according to seasons, weather, and purpose.

Appropriation of the truth was the profitable lynchpin in the tale of El Camino Real.

The California Federation of Women’s Clubs set the first mission bell marker alongside the state highway in 1902, and called it El Camino Real. By 1920, there were about 370 bells installed up and down the state.

Although these clubs and organizations have softened their approach in more recent years, their legacy is part of the public record.

From the publication, Civil Rights–1959, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate, Eighty-Sixth Congress:

In litigation to take away the US citizenship of the American born of Japanese ancestry (Reagan v Kin, 1942), the Native Sons and Daughters argued that the Federal Constitution refers to “white people only” and that the phrase “We, the people of the United States” means, “We, the white people.” It insisted that we made a grave mistake when citizenship as granted to the Negro after the Civil War.

The Sunshine Gatherers

The Sunshine Gatherers is a short film made in 1921. It begins with the history of California’s Mission Era, as told in 1921. The beauty and agricultural wealth of the state are also promoted in this film made by Del Monte, purveyors of fruits and vegetables, who relied on low-paid agricultural workers to harvest California’s bounty and feed a nation.

Residents for More than 13,000 Years

Any history of Santa Barbara County, California – however brief – must begin with our First Nation people, the Chumash. Their society – sophisticated, spiritual, artistic, enduring – extends for more than 7000 square miles throughout areas now known as San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties, as well as a part of northern Los Angeles County.

At the turn of the previous century, there were no protections for indigenous cultural items found in and around Santa Barbara County, or anywhere else. As the Chumash lived for 13,000 years in Southern California, the trove of cultural artifacts, holy sites, and the bones of their ancestors was immense. Anthropologists pillaged the area in the name of research and study, with little regard for the living culture.

In 1907, in the bulletin, Bureau of American Ethnology, Vol. 6, published by the Smithsonian Institution, includes information about Chumash society on page 296.

According to the Santa Ynez Valley Band of Chumash – History page, about 22,000 Chumash were living in communities among the hills, in the valleys, along pristine seashores, and in a number of settlements on the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. They have always been hunters, gatherers, seafarers, artists, sophisticated stewards of land, sea, flora, and fauna of Santa Barbara County, California.

The Spanish

Following a number of Spanish expeditions, a contingent of their militia established a presidio in Santa Barbara in 1782. They were ensuring dominance over the indigenous people, allowing the Franciscan padres to establish 21 Catholic missions from San Diego northward to Sonoma. They also authorized a few enormous Spanish land grants – hundreds of thousands of acres each – to favored individuals. The missions were built by Chumash forced into unpaid labor and made to comply with foreign religious dictates. Brutality and European diseases took their toll. In fewer than 50 years the Chumash population that had lived in the region for more than 13,000 years was reduced by about 80%.

Eventually, the Spanish struggled to supply goods and government support to their military or the Franciscans in California from their European base.

The Mexicans

In 1821, Mexico, also under the rule of Spanish colonizers, revolted in a bid for independence. The Spanish had lost interest in the area and the military withdrew, leaving behind several powerful Spanish military leaders and their families as prominent citizens of Santa Barbara County. When Mexico won their freedom, Spain secularized the missions.

Mexico expanded its holdings, claiming a large area of the southwest as Alta California. They, too, distributed land grants, though in greater numbers. These large ranchos, 600 of them, were given to Mexican citizens or other foreigners who were favored by local governors.

When Mexico claimed Alta California, they promised to return mission lands to the Chumash, but did not make good on that promise.

The Americans

Like Spain, Mexico had difficulty ruling their large official holdings, as Mexico’s capitol lay a hard 2000 miles away. The situation worsened when the Mexican-American War began in 1846. In December 1847, General John C Fremont arrived in Santa Barbara to lay claim to the area on behalf of the United States of America. By April, 1848, the Mexican-American war ended; California was then administered by the US until official statehood was granted in 1850.

By 1920, generations of disease, racism, and brutality had reduced the Chumash culture almost to extinction. In the 1930s, Mary J. Yee (née Rowe) and Lucrecia García (née Ygnacio), worked closely with linguist John Harrington, to capture the sounds and meanings of the Barbareño language, the very breath of Chumash culture.

Chumash Culture – Visit Santa Ynez Chumash Pow Wow 2022

Today, there are 14 bands of Chumash living in California. Santa Barbara County’s First People, more than 5000 strong, continue to thrive and evolve. They are active in local educational activities, and share indigenous culture and wisdom with others.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Inter-Tribal Pow Wow will be held on October 1 – 2, 2022, at the corner of Meadowvale and Highway 246, in Santa Ynez, California. In 2015, the Santa Ynez Chumash held their first pow wow in 1965 to bring running water to residents who lived on the reservation. The 2015 video, Santa Ynez Chumash Pow Wow, provides the history of the event.

Anthropologists Study Chumash Culture – The 1920s

In the 1920s, AL Krober was considered to be the ultimate authority on indigenous people of California. Educated at Columbia University, he was awarded the first doctorate in anthropology by the university. As a professor of anthropology at UC Berkeley, Krober’s work included helping to develop the museum of anthropology on campus. He was honored with a building the university named after him, Krober Hall. (He also happened to be the father of author Ursula K LeGuin.)

Krober was also well-known for his work with a man called, Ishi, said to be the lone surviving member of the Yahi tribe in Northern California. Krober’s wife, Theodora Krober, authored a book entitled, Ishi – The Last of His Tribe, which was part of the curriculum for California’s school children in the 1960s.

In 2021, UC Berkeley stated that AL Krober, “the founder of the study of anthropology in the American West — is a powerful symbol that continues to evoke exclusion and erasure for Native Americans.” The building known as Krober Hall was then unnamed.

Once considered the authority on the indigenous people of California and their societies, Krober wrote Basket Designs of the Mission Indians of California, published by the Smithsonian Museum in 1922.  The book includes information about design elements and the use of baskets, as well as photographs of fine examples of the art.

He also wrote the Handbook of California Indians, published by the Smithsonian Museum in 1925.

For additional information about the Chumash, you may also visit the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum website, here.

I don’t find your life uninteresting…I would like to hear it as it sounded while it was passing.

~ Wallace Stegner

Reckoned by the Light of Stars, is my debut novel. The story is set in Santa Barbara County, California, in the year 1922.

I’ve always collected stories casually dropped by old timers, informative historical articles and artifacts that include even the smallest of totems; and the volumes written by credentialed historians, my  research has been incredibly focused: Life in Santa Barbara County, California, in and around the 1920s.

As I explored online resources I was surprised to discover troves of homely, everyday artifacts that added a depth of perspective I couldn’t have attained otherwise. This breadth of material helped me to imbue the characters and setting with the  intimacy that accompanies our most common of items. In the everyday I found the locus of context, a portal to identity.

Whether a schoolbook, a map, a note on the back of a photo, things we use that are so close as to be almost invisible, so ubiquitous as to be hardly noticed, place and character are revealed as unique in all the universe.

A View Into the Past

From the distance of 100 years, hindsight shines the bright light of truth on the past, one the current moment can never achieve. It’s easier to see truth, and lies posing as truth. With clarity of distance, genius and hubris – and their consequences – are undeniable. When viewed with humility and honesty, the past can also point the way to a better future.

Censorship, to include the banning of books, is a topic of interest in both time periods. But today we have unprecedented transparency and online access to information they did not. How will we use it?

When, 100 years from now, the future looks back at us, what will they see?

Each blog post will feature historical information I’ve found online while researching my novel, and a link to the material. While the novel is centered in Santa Barbara County, California, in 1922, national and global influences feature prominently, as well.

The Resources/Links page on my website includes a list of some of the items I used while writing the novel, as well as a few general repositories that I hope you will explore, too. Let me know what you find!

Highway of Dreams

Pictorial Mileage Road Book – Every Mile a Picture

The book, Pictorial Mileage Road Book – Every Mile a Picture, was published by the Motogram Company, of Richmond, California, in 1915. The book details a number popular routes in California’s new highway system. In 1915, roads were still primitive, rough and mostly unpaved–challenging for even the newest cars.

In a modern twist à la Google Street View, The Motogram Company publication included a photograph taken at every mile on every route they traveled throughout California (Santa Barbara, page 231.)

A few years earlier, sometime around 1910, a cadre of real estate developers, investors, bankers, and other hangers-on, launched a vigorous advertising campaign heralding Southern California as a carefree Land of Sunshine. They bought huge tracts of property and established new communities all across the southland. They formed coalitions, associations, men’s and women’s clubs. Hiding political lobbying beneath an altruistic cover crop, they planted seeds of encouragement to entice Americans to move further west, all the way to Southern California.

There were not many takers in those days, as few people could afford such a dream. Getting to Southern California was another issue. Cars were expensive to purchase and maintain and roads were unreliable. Horses still powered most modes of transportation.

By 1920, the crop was coming in. Transplants from the Midwest and East Coast were most plentiful, these non-hyphenate Americans who were the very target of the decade-long campaign, after all. In 1910, the population of Santa Barbara County, California, all 3789 square miles of it, was about 28,000; by 1920, the population of the county 41,000 residents, and growing.



Everyday Historical Artifacts

Writing my debut novel, Reckoned by the Light of Stars, required untold hours of research, of getting into bed with the past, if you will. Rather than seeing history through the eyes of those who have filtered research through their own lens to hand down an interpretation, then filtering that information even further myself, technology has allowed that I, as much as possible, could step into the past with the people who lived it, thanks to online resources, especially materials kept in the public domain.

It has proven such a worthwhile endeavor to discover for myself, through maps and children’s books, house plans and garden manuals, magazine and newspaper articles of the 1920s, to learn for myself what daily life was like in that era, it seems imperative I share with others what I have found.

Items preserved in the public domain belong to all the people, without restriction. This throws wide gates that were previously offered only through formal educational channels and privilege, or to those who traveled to various repositories.

Access seems more important than ever in an era that sees increasing pressure to censor or ban books and information from public schools and institutions; from those who would present true events in a less-than-true manner; or those who wish to dismiss the past altogether and just “move on.”

History can tell its own irrefutable story through period artifacts found in various online holdings, especially those items in the public domain. My hope is to inform and inspire readers to access this wealth of knowledge, to advocate for expansion, and to explore that which belongs to all, without restriction.

More About the Public Domain

For more information about the public domain, visit Cornell University:

Copyright Term and the Public Domain



Santa Barbara County of the 1920s

Santa Barbara County, California, is widely known as a uniquely beautiful area, a place where rugged coastal mountains ease down and gentle out toward the sea. It is a place of rolling hills and pristine beaches, of oak trees and sycamore and enormous swaths of springtime wildflowers. Here, the land is so fertile and the climate so agreeable that sundry crops – wine grapes and cannabis, lettuce, artichokes, strawberries, raspberries, flowers, and more – easily thrive. Ranchers raise cattle by the thousands. Enormous orchards produce oranges, lemons, and avocados that help feed the nation. The Pacific is generous with its gifts, and offshore, the chain of Channel Islands are known as the Galapagos of North America.

Here, in our cities and towns, some of the world’s wealthiest and most famous people reside. Tourists flock to the area throughout the year.

Much of the popularity and mystique of Santa Barbara County is attributed to stories set along El Camino Real, the Royal Road. Since the early 1900s, the mission trail is claimed to mark the historic route of Spanish padres from San Diego through Monterey, though truth tells a different story.

I grew up in a middle-class family in Solvang, the pretty Danish town in the center of the Santa Ynez Valley. I raised my own child in Santa Maria and Orcutt, a city and a small town located in the northernmost part of the county. And, for decades, I’ve lived downtown in the City of Santa Barbara. 

There is the Santa Barbara County I knew as a child, and the one that has slowly revealed itself over my lifetime. 

As a writer, I research truth in pursuit of the fictional story. Through my lifelong love of Santa Barbara County and my determined exploration of its past, I have found history’s complexity revealed in shadow and schism, as well as light and beauty. 

This blog is an invitation to discover the clues left by History itself, artifacts – easily uncovered in our present age – that inform truth, and in so doing, reveals the full beauty of Santa Barbara County, California.