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A Brief Look at Santa Barbara History

Santa Barbara History

Statue to Father Junipero Serra at Mission Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara History is Rich

Santa Barbara history begins approximately 13,000 years ago with the arrival of the first Native Americans. For more than 10,000 years, the Canalenos (coast dwellers), or Chumash, lived in this region an enjoyed the rich abundance of nature around them.

In  1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo explored the Baja and Alta California coast and claimed it for Spain. A trade route was then established between Mexico and the Philippines, and safe harbors were needed for treasure ships, which prompted further expeditions to explore California.

In 1602, Sebastian Vizcaino made such a journey, during which he mapped the area. And, on December 4th – the feast day of Saint Barbara – he entered into the channel and named the area in honor of the virgin martyr.

Between 1769 and 1822, four presidios, three pueblos (towns) and 21 missions were established in what is now California. El Presidio Real de Santa Barbara was founded in 1782. About the size of a city block, it was constructed of adobe bricks and took approximately ten years to complete.

Today, the Presidio is being rebuilt on its original site, based on extensive research and investigation, so that visitors may have the chance to experience 19th-century life in California. With one visit to the area, you will notice this rich history is alive throughout the architecture of Santa Barbara homes and Montecito estates.

The renowned Santa Barbara Mission, known as the “Queen of the Missions,” was established in 1786 and was the tenth in a line of more than 21 missions. Originally used to Christianize the Indians and to teach them farming and other skills, the mission has evolved into its beautiful appearance of today and is famous for being the only mission with two bell towers. During this time, the area became part of Mexico following the Mexican War of Independence.

In 1848, the expanding United States acquired the town, along with the rest of California, as a result of defeating Mexico in the Mexican-American War. Slowly, Santa Barbara transformed from a dusty cluster of adobes into a Gold Rush town, a Victorian-era resort town, a center of film production, and oil boom town, a military town during World War II, and finally the economically diverse and exceptional resort destination of today.

Throughout the Santa Barbara history along with its varied past, Santa Barbara homes and Montecito estates were subject to two devastating earthquakes (1812 and 1925) and the city has rebuilt itself in a Spanish Colonial style – reminiscent of its past.

Today, potential homebuyers will find a wealth of beautiful estate properties, condominiums and townhomes, and exceptional residences that are beautifully designed to blend with the natural landscape and present a myriad of stunning architectural choices.

To learn more about the Santa Barbara History or the Santa Barbara real estate market, please don’t hesitate to connect with me – Cristal Clarke – your leading luxury Santa Barbara Realtor. With more than two decades of knowledge and experience in this market, I look forward to sharing my expertise with you. Connect with me today to get started.

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