September 1, 1769 The lake in Guadalupe was named Laguna Grande de San Daniel by the Portola expedition.
November 10, 1775 The official birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.
December 8, 1787 Original Mission La Purisima founded.
September 17, 1804 Mission Santa Inez was founded.
December 21, 1812 Most of Mission Santa Ines destroyed by an earthquake.
July 4, 1817 A new mission Santa Inez (originally destroyed by an earthquake December 21, 1812) was dedicated.
March 16, 1823 Troops from San Luis Obispo rushed to La Purisima to crush the rebellion caused when Indians were fed up of feeding and clothing the idle Spanish soldiers. The flogging of a Chumash boy was the last straw.
June 3, 1833 The 35,485.90 acres of Sisquoc Rancho was granted to Maria Antonia Caballero (and confirmed to James B. Huie o June 17, 1856).
April 6, 1837 William Goodwin Dana took legal possession of the 32,728.62 acres of Rancho Nipomo.
April 6, 1837 Tomas Olivera was granted the 8,900.75 acres Rancho Tepusquet.
May 16, 1837 Benjamin Foxen acquired the 8,874-acre Rancho Tinaquaic.
March 21, 1840 Rancho Guadalupe was granted to Jose Teodoro de Arellanes and Diego Oliver by Gov. Juan Alvarado.
September 12, 1840 Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado granted the 8,841.21 acres Casmalia Rancho to Antonio Olivera.
May 4, 1844 A two-story seminary, dedicated to Our Lady of Refuge, was built at Mission Santa Inez.
November 3, 1844 Todos Santos & Salvador Rancho was granted to William Hartnell.
April 17, 1845 Rancho Sisquoc was granted to Maria Antonia Dominguez de Caballero. James Huie purchased the property in 1851 for $12,500.
November 13, 1849 Henry Tefft was elected as San Luis Obispo’s first Assemblyman.
June 17, 1856 Jua Pacifico Ontiveros acquired Rancho Tepusquet from Matthew Biggs.
March 1861 Congress passed a law providing for regular mail service in California.
March 5, 1863 Juana Estudillo, after stepping in to bail Antonio Arellanes out, acquired the Rancho Guadalupe as well as part of the Casmalia and El Cojo Ranchos.
July 10, 1864 When Charles Clark married Elizabeth Jane Clayton, Joel Clayton, Elizabeth’s father, gave Point Sal to the couple as a wedding present.
November 1868 John Prell built the first house in what was to become Central City.
November 1868 The Battles family arrived at Suey Canyon.
May 17, 1869 Tom Miller, son of the town’s first school teacher, was the first child born in the town now known as Santa Maria.
October 1869 The home of R. D. Cook, now known as East Main and McClelland streets, was completed and ready for occupancy. The house was 24 feet long and 16 feet wide, with one room upstairs and one room downstairs. The site later became the home of the Gaiety Theater.
February 1870 The Pleasant Valley School held its first class, with 15 students in attendance.
May 14, 1870 The Graciosa School District was established.
October 18, 1870 Theodore LeRoy assumed the debts of the Estudillo family in return for a deed of trust covering the family’s property in both San Leadro and Guadalupe.
December 22, 1870 The first marriage in the Santa Maria Valley took place when Rebecca Miller married John James Holloway.
October 27, 1871 David Laird, in purchasing 226 acres of land south of town, became the first farmer to purchase Rancho Guadalupe land.
November 1871 Theodore LeRoy filed a subdivision map of Rancho Guadalupe, and set aside LeRoy Park for the use and enjoyment of the town’s inhabitants.
August 7, 1782 Gen. George Washington issued an order establishing the Honorary Badge of Distinction, otherwise known as the Badge of Military Merit. The award of the Purple Heart ceased with the end of the Revolutionary War but was revived in 1932, the 200th anniversary of the Washington’s birth. The Purple Heart represents the most honorable characteristics in a service member and citizen. It was has been awarded to more than 1,535,000 recipients.
August 28,1872 A post office was established at La Graciosa with Charles H. South serving as postmaster.
December 6, 1872 Thomas Hart, a blacksmith from England, became the first resident owner in the new town of Guadalupe when he purchased eight lots from Theodore LeRoy.
March 28, 1873 Guadalupe Post Office was established with John Dunbar as its first Postmaster.
May 7, 1873 The first formal religious society (The Methodist Episcopal) was organized under the pastoral charge of D. Haskins, at a meeting held at Fleisher’s Hall.
May 28, 1873 The post office in Guadalupe was established.
July 2, 1873 Martin Tunnell filed an application for a homestead on 160 acres of land in the Mt. Diablo Meridian, paying the required 25 cents per acre.
April 10, 1874 The Guadalupe Telegraph was first published by Haines & Porterfield.
June 12, 1874 Guadalupe Lodge No. 237 F & AM was established in a meeting held at the Odd Fellows Lodge.
July 12, 1874 A meeting of Masons in good standing was held at the Odd Fellow’s Hall for the purpose of establishing a lodge for Free and Accepted Masons in Guadalupe.
August 21, 1874 The Guadalupe Masonic Lodge voted to purchase land (together with the Odd Fellows) to be used as a cemetery.
September 21, 1874 The Guadalupe Lodge No. 237 F & AM first met as a chartered lodge.
April 12, 1875 Central City Townsite was formally recorded. The townsite was laid out with 40 acres from the quarter sections of Rudolph Cook, Isaac Fesler, Isaac Miller and John Thornburgh.
June 1877 The first Casmalia school opened.
July 3, 1877 Juan Pedro Olivera donated an acre of land upon which to build a school. School was first named “Santa Maria” and later renamed “Olive.” The Olive School was closed in the fall of 1950 and was sold to the Sisquoc Grange for $1,350.
July 13, 1877 Catherine Lind was the first to be interred in the Catholic Cemetery on Point Sal Road in Guadalupe. Antonio Bonetti who died April 19, 1908, was the last.
December 31, 1878 Reuben Hart married Harriet W. Sharp in a ceremony performed by Madison Thornburgh, Justice of the Peace. Witnesses were W.T. Morris and George W. Lewis.
January 31, 1880 Chute Landing, financed by William Laird Adam, J.H. Rice, Paul Bradley, A.J. Triplett, S.D. Triplett, J.K. Triplett, Charles Bradley, A. Leslie and other Santa Maria men, was incorporated.
May 26, 1880 Theodore LeRoy, after having bid $638,665 at the foreclosure sale in Alameda County, acquired the 43,682-acre Rancho Guadalupe as well as the Rancho San Leandro and the Rancho Casmalia.
September 1880 The “Golden Fleece” was the first vessel to pull in at Chute Landing.
January 13, 1881 The Sisquoc Post Office opened, with Frederick Wickenden as Post Master.
May 1881 The Pine Grove School District was formed.
June 4, 1881 The first meeting of what was to become the Hesperia Lodge No. 164 F & AM was held in Central City.
July 7, 1881 The Post Office in La Graciosa was discontinued.
April 15, 1882 The entire town turned out to celebrate the driving of the last spike into the track connecting Santa Maria with San Luis Obispo and Port Harford. For the first time, farmers were able to get their produce to big markets. Passenger service began on the first of June.
April 22, 1882 H.J. Laughlin and S. Clevenger published the first edition of the Santa Maria Times.
April 1882 Central City became Santa Maria.
October12, 1882 Hesperian Lodge No. 264 F. & A.M. was chartered with Addison Henry Orr serving as its first Master.
October13, 1882 Tambo, the infamous hotel keeper, was tarred, feathered and run out of town.
January 1, 1883 An Odd Fellows lodge was chartered in Santa Maria.
July 9, 1883 The Santa Maria Cemetery opened.
July, 1883 Gertie Buel Hopper was the first person to be buried in the new Santa Maria Cemetery.
August 1883 Dr. Gillespie became the first person to be buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Ballard.
September 1883 A raging fire destroyed the T.A. Jones & Son store resulting in a stock loss of about $2,000. Other stores and offices suffered damage, including Judge Thornburgh’s office. The Judge managed to save everything except his Notary seal and a map of the town.
December 1883 Santa Maria’s first brick building was put up by T.A. Jones to replace a two-story wooden structure that had gone up in flames September 3 of the same year. The second story of the new building became a lodge room for the Santa Maria Masons, the office of Judge Thornburgh and a reading room for WCTU. The Santa Maria Times moved in the following January.
January 1884 The project of moving bodies from the old Thornburgh Cemetery and re-entering them in the Santa Maria Cemetery began.
January 1884 The Santa Maria Times moved into a new building in the 100 block of South Broadway. The original building had been destroyed by fire the year before.
May 29, 1884 The Northeast side of Main street went up in flames, destroying many businesses.
September 26, 1884 The Citizens Committee of Santa Maria published a notice telling “Joe Harp, C. Potter, George Crawford, John Doe Drapper, Worth Brown, Dick Duke and others,” to leave town before the following Sunday, or they’d be “dealt with accordingly!”
October 27, 1884 Tepusquet School opened on land that Ramon Ontiveros had donated.
December 1884 The Campodonico Store, at the corner of Guadalupe and 9th streets, in Guadalupe, opened for business, offering commodities ranging from groceries to clothing, plus grain and hay.
November 1887 The Pacific Coast Railway reached Los Olivos.
May 1888 Nipomo School opened with 291 students ranging in ages from 4 to 17 years.
August 1, 1888 The Hart House (later the Bradley Hotel) officially opened with a grand ball held at McMillan’s Hall.
August 13, 1888 Lompoc, founded in 1874, incorporated with a population of 1015.
April 18, 1890 Lucas Hall, a two-story frame building located on Pine street between Main and Church streets, first opened its doors to the public. Many years later, after numerous changes of ownership, it was painted red and the name was changed to Ye Olde Red Barn. The building was torn down in September of 1958.
May 1, 1890 The Santa Maria Bank organized with L.M. Kaiser serving as president and Antone Pezzoni as vice president. The bank became a branch of Security First National Bank in 1922.
May 7, 1890 Edmond Crisswell shot and killed the 40-year old Constable “Doc” Southard outside the Seventy Six Saloon on Whiskey Row.
May 12, 1890 Santa Maria’s first and only lynching took place when a group of vigilantes stormed Crisswell’s Seventy Six Saloon and hung him from the rafters.
January 1891 Building was begun on the Santa Maria Union High School. It was finished in June 1892 at a cost of $12,000.
June 1891 Santa Maria Unio school district was formed.
July 1, 1891 Agricola School District’s Board of Trustees hired S. B. Schauer to teach a four month term at a salary of $65 per month. The job included keeping accounts of expenditures, act as librarian and janitorial work.
August 1891 Santa Maria Union High School District, the oldest Union High School district in the state, was formed. Prior to 1891, high schools in California could only be built and maintained in incorporated towns. This made it difficult, if not impossible for small communities to support a high school without generous donations from private parties.
November 10, 1891 The new FairLawn addition to the town of Santa Maria was filed in the Recorder’s Office in Santa Barbara.
July 27, 1894 The Gilt Edge Creamery opened in Guadalupe.
September 1894 Students moved into the new high school building built on 10 acres of property purchased from Ezra Morrison for $1,500.The building cost the district $12,000.
October 5, 1894 Twenty-five women gathered at the home of Mollie Smith to inaugurate the Ladies Literary Society. The club, now known as the Minerva Club, is the oldest working women’s club in California.
June 24, 1895 The first vote for incorporatio of Santa Maria was defeated by 10 votes.
July 6, 1895 The first train stopped at the new Guadalupe depot, a building paid for with funds raised by the townspeople. The depot stood two stories high on the passenger side, and one story high on the freight side.
July 6, 1895 The Campodonico store opened in Guadalupe.
August 10, 1896 Nancy Kelsey, the first white woman to enter California over the perilous and uncharted Sierra Madre mountains, died in Cottonwood Canyon.
November 10, 1896 Casmalia’s first post office opened with Frank A. Vandoit as Postmaster.
January 1897 Work began on the building of Union Sugar Factory. First sugar produced at factory came to Santa Maria September 20, 1899.
April 28, 1897 St Peter’s Episcopal Church held its first service at the Christian Church. The church didn’t have a building of its own until 1932.
June 1897 The Goldtree Tract was purchased by Unio Sugar.
September 1897 Union Sugar Company acquired land on which to build a refinery. The company incorporated on September 27.
October 7, 1898 The Minerva Library Club changed its name to the Ladies Literary Club.
July, 1899 Twenty-four year old Robert Easton, a Berkeley engineer, came to the Rancho Sisquoc to look the place over and returned to stay on January 1, 1900. He became ranch manager in 1903.
September 20, 1899 Union Sugar Company began sugar production in Betteravia.
October15, 1899 Work was completed on the Union Sugar complex in Betteravia.
January 11, 1900 The Santa Maria Hotel went up in flames taking with it all of the wooden buildings and houses in the area.
January 1901 ‘The Gap’ was closed when the Southern Pacific Railroad coastline track was completed at Gaviota, thus eliminating the need to take a stage from Santa Barbara to Los Olivos to connect with the Narrow Gauge Railroad to San Luis Obispo.
March 31, 1901 Southern Pacific completed its coast railroad line between San Francisco and Los Angeles via San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.
July 3, 1901 Thirteen year-old Harry Blochman, adopted son of Ida and L.E. Blochman, was murdered in a bean field opposite the high school.
August 1901 After digging two dry holes, Western Union Oil Company struck oil at Careaga’s well #3. This first oil discovery in the hills brought in about 50 barrels a day.
September 1, 1901 With capital of $25,000, Valley Savings Bank, with William H. Rice serving as president, opened on the corner of Broadway and Main Streets. The property was later the site of Security First National Bank.
October 1901 After drilling down about 1,540 feet, workers finally struck oil at Careaga No. 3, thus constituting the first oil strike in the valley.
July 31, 1902 The ‘granddaddy of all earthquakes’ hit Los Alamos.
December 20, 1902 Benjamin Wiley, Santa Maria’s first settler, died at the age of 77.
June 1903 Deane Laughli brought the first car into Santa Maria.
July 2, 1903 Pinal Oil Company, Pinal No. 3, came in about 2,500 barrels a day.
November 3, 1903 The Guadalupe Japanese Association, originally called Kyowa Kai, was organized.
January 1904 Santa Maria Union High School graduate, Evelyn Stokes, purchased the Guadalupe Moon.
May 1904 The city lit up when the Santa Maria Electric Light and Power Company turned on the electricity. The Times proposed changing the street lights from oil to electricity.
July 10, 1904 The town of Orcutt was surveyed and mapped.
August 15, 1904 The Careaga Post Office, situated at the Pacific Coast Railway’s Careaga Station, was established. The Post Office closed October 12, 1909.
October 1, 1904 Reuben Hart inaugurated a new water system with a plant located a half-mile south of the center of town, now the 600 block of south Broadway. Three pumps, using oil from the Pinal wells, provided 500 gallons per minute.
October 24, 1904 A post office was established in Orcutt with George Ferguson serving as the town’s first postmaster.
December 2, 1904 With a mighty roar, a column of oil and gas shot up through the rig floor to a height of 150 feet. Oil began to pour down the gullies and creek beds. Thus, Hartnell No. 1, forever to be known as ‘Old Maud,’ and the biggest producer of oil the world had ever seen, was born.
April 18, 1905 Santa Maria Electric Light and Power Company turned on electricity for Santa Maria.
August 20, 1905 The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated for the first time for Catholic families in Santa Maria by Rev. Mathias Tiernes at McMillan’s Hall.
September 12, 1905 Santa Maria voted to incorporate as a ‘Municipal Corporation of the Sixth Class,’ with 202 voting for incorporation and 139 against.
September 18, 1905 Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors confirmed the incorporation of the city of Santa Maria.
September 21, 1905 The first meeting of the new City of Santa Maria’s Board of Trustees (now the City Council) was held in the Director’s room of the First National Bank of Santa Maria, then located on the northwest corner of Lincoln and Main Streets. Alvin Cox was elected president and Thomas Preisker became the city’s attorney.
September 23, 1905 The cornerstone was set down at the new Hesperian Lodge No. 264 F & AM home at the corner of Church and Broadway
February 8, 1906 Buena Vista Park was dedicated.
February 11, 1906 Cornerstone was placed for a new Catholic Church (St. Mary of the Assumption) at Cypress and Miller.
March 2, 1906 The Ladies Literary Club name was changed to the Minerva Library Club of Santa Maria
March 12, 1906 Santa Maria Realty Company, predecessor of the Santa Maria Gas and Power Company, organized with Madison Thornburgh serving as President, Thomas B. Adam as Vice President and John E. Walker as Secretary.
July 9, 1906 The Minerva Library Club of Santa Maria was incorporated.
July, 1906 The Ladies Literary Society became the Minerva Library Club.
October 20, 1906 Dome Oil Company incorporated.
January 6, 1907 A storm rolling in from the ocean stalled above the Central Coast where it remained for four days, leaving the Lompoc Valley soaked with 7 inches of rain. Before the ordeal ended, train tracks and ties were torn up, the Robinson Bridge that had been enlarged the year before, collapsed. In addition to the Lynden schoolhouse being lifted from its foundation and smashed into kindling, 40 acres of cropland were washed away. On the positive side, though, thousands of acres were layered with rich black sediment, the gophers were gone and Lompoc Valley’s flower industry began.
January 7, 1907 Santa Maria Gas & Power Company was organized with Madison Thornbugh as president. Pipelines were put down from the Brookshire Oil Lease to Santa Maria. Natural gas began serving the city on April 3.
January 1907 The Minerva Library Club purchased a lot for $750, a lot intended for use as the site of the Carnegie Library. However, Carnegie decided to use city property instead. The Minerva Club property is now owned by the First United Methodist Church.
April 3, 1907 Natural gas was turned into City’s distributing system. By the end of the month the company was supplying 30 customers, most of them living in fear that the gas would fail any minute, leaving them all stuck with useless appliances.
June 17, 1907 Santa Maria City Council approved plans for Carnegie Library.
February 15, 1908 Santa Maria Fraternal Order of the Eagles, Aerie No. 1745 was chartered with 146 members signing the document.
August 1908 With Frank Darby as contractor, construction began on the Carnegie Library. The building was completed in May of the following year.
October 1908 Cornerstone was laid for what would soon be the Carnegie Library. Building was completed the following year.
January 1909 The Rev. Junjo Izumida arrived in Guadalupe as the first resident minister of the Guadalupe Buddhist Church
March 1, 1909 Southern Pacific Railway Company advertised special rates to run March 1 to April 30 $51.45 from Boston; $25 from Kansas. “What better way to bring your friends to California.”
May 1909 The Carnegie Library opened.
November 9, 1909 The Bicknell Post Office was established. The office closed February 29, 1940.
January 8, 1910 George Curtis Tunnell was born in San Francisco. Tunnell served as a former mayor of Santa Maria and City Council member. He also served on the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors. Happy 100th birthday, Mr. Tunnell!
January 18, 1910 The Women’s Improvement Club took on the Board Of Trustees (now the City Council) for allowing the use of Buena Vista Park as a smallpox quarantine camp, calling it a ‘menace to the public!’
March 1910 The Avila pipeline carried its first oil.
January 11, 1911 Plans were unveiled for a fire department in Santa Maria.
October 1911 Dean Laughlin was appointed fire chief, receiving $20 per month. Fire fighters made $2 per hour while fighting any fire in the city.
January 27, 1913 Frank Crakes became the city’s fire chief, earning $25 per month. Firemen received $2 an hour, but only while they were fighting fires.
February 1913 The steel girded truss bridge connecting Guadalupe with Oso Flaco opened.
August 1913 The Buddhist Church in Guadalupe (at 209 Main St.) incorporated as the Guadalupe Buddhist Mission.
September 8, 1914 Leland ‘Butch’ Simas was born in Santa Maria. The family later moved to Garey. Simas played catcher on the Santa Maria Union High School baseball team, which won the CIF championship. He later played both professional and semi-pro baseball before returning to Santa Maria. Was one of the key organizers of the annual Elk Rodeo.
July, 1915 The spelling of Guadaloupe was changed to Guadalupe.
January 23, 1916 The Supreme Court declared income tax constitutional.
April 1916 Pacific Telephone and Home Telephone merged under the name of Santa Barbara Telephone Company.
February 17, 1917 The Santa Maria Times announced that a list of men available for military service would be given the next week. The following week, about 35 local men answered the call to duty and left for Santa Barbara.
May 16, 1917 The Santa Maria Inn, built by Frank McCoy, opened for business. With 25 bedrooms and baths, plus the kitchen and dining room, it was the epitome of elegance.
March 9, 1918 The Auto Club of Southern California opened a branch office at the NW corner of Broadway and Church.
April 16, 1918 the Santa Maria Times announced that it would be issuing a daily newspaper.
June 26, 1918 The military bega drafting me to serve in World War I.
October 5, 1918 Mildred Hawley, Mattie Walker, Maud Walker, and Elsie Smith became the first women employed by Union Sugar when they came down from Sacramento to work as experienced laboratory chemists.
January 1919 The Automobile Club of Southern California opened its 15th branch office in Santa Maria.
May 5, 1919 Western Union Oil School Careaga District became Bicknell School/Bicknell District, named after John D. Bicknell who was a promoter of oil production in the area.
August 1919 The Guadalupe Japanese School, serving the Santa Maria Valley and vicinity, opened. With Shinobu Matsuura as principal, the school functioned through 1928.
January 15, 1920 Twenty-one local girls met to form the A to Z Club.
January 16, 1920 Prohibition began.
February 16, 1920 The A to Z Club formed at Hart’s Hall.
April 1920 The first Santa Maria Union High School passenger bus began picking up students in the oil fields. This 21/2 ton vehicle, with a seating capacity of 40, took two hours to complete its run.
July 1, 1920 The Guadalupe Masons and Odd Fellows turned the cemetery in Guadalupe over to Santa Barbara County.
July 11, 1920 Setsuo Aratani shipped the first carload of lettuce from the valley to Texas.
August 26, 1920 The Santa Maria Times announced that the 19th amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, was in effect.
January 17, 1921 Fire broke out at Roemer, Roemer & Silva at the corner of Broadway and Mill practically destroying the entire building. The damage was estimated at more than $100,000.
February 10, 1921 Ethel Pope’s third year English class turned out the first edition of ‘The Breeze.’
June 1921 Work bega o the new Santa Maria Unio High School building.
November 28, 1921 The new two-story wooden dormitory for children of Japanese field workers was recognized as the Japanese Children’s Home of Guadalupe.
May 19, 1922 The new Methodist Church, located on the corner of Cook and Broadway, was dedicated.
December 5, 1922 The Santa Maria Chapter of Rotary International, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Rotary Club, was chartered.
May 1923 Cecil B. DeMille began filming the silent movie, ‘The Ten Commandments’ on the sand dunes of Guadalupe.
July 23, 1923 The Old Timers of the Santa Maria Valley, now the Santa Maria Valley Pioneer Association, was organized at a dinner held at the Bradley Hotel.
September 8, 1923 One of the worst disasters in the history of the U.S. Navy took place when seven U. S. Navy destroyers ran aground at Honda Point (off what is now Vandenberg Air Force Base, killing 23 sailors.
November 5, 1923 Los Angeles Illustrated News quoted Cornelius Vanderbilt as saying that the Santa Maria Inn was ‘by far the best little hotel in the west.’
November 11, 1923 About 15,000 spectators turned out to watch the parade commemorating the signing of the Armistice, an event that had taken place five years earlier. No one has ever identified the 100 Ku Klux Klansmen who joined the marchers, dressed in their full regalia.
January 18, 1924 Fire broke out at the Chinese Buddhist Church in Guadalupe. The fire spread to surrounding structures, with damage estimated to be $100,000.
January 1924 G. Allan Hancock joined the board of directors of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad as president.
October 15, 1924 Harriston Post Office was established. It was situated in the general store next to Pacific Coast Railway and Harris Station, and was closed April 15, 1934.
February 1925 Capt. G. Allan Hancock purchased the Santa Maria Railroad (which was in receivership) at a court-ordered sale held on the steps of the courthouse.
April 1925 The Guadalupe Gazette began publication.
May 1925 Construction began on the Santa Barbara County Hospital on the west boundary of Buena Vista Park. The first patient was admitted in September of 1926.
June 29, 1925 Bertram Hancock was killed whe the Arlingto Hotel in Santa Barbara collapsed during a earthquake. His father, Alla Hancock, who was critically injured, was hospitalized for 10 days.
November 13, 1925 Paul Harris, Founder of Rotary International, visited the Santa Maria chapter of the organization
December 22, 1925 Marked the first broadcast of Captain Hancock’s radio station (KXFC), Santa Barbara County’s first radio station.
February 16, 1926 The call letters of the broadcast station of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, heretofore known as KFXC, were changed to KSMR.
March, 1926 Santa Barbara’s first radio station opened by Captain Hancock in studio located in the Santa Maria Valley Railroad office building at Jones and McClelland.
May 1926 Land was purchased to build the new Japanese School in Santa Maria at 134-138 N. Western Ave.
September 1926 The 30 member Community Orchestra, under the direction of William E. Strowbridge, was organized in Santa Maria.
November 1926 ‘Friends of Jesus,’ now the Christ United Methodist Church, was organized in Santa Maria.
January 1927 County Hospital opened with nine private rooms (five large and four small), two three-bed wards and two two-bed wards.
January 1927 The property at Boone and Lincoln streets, the future site of the Minerva Club’s clubhouse, cleared escrow.
February 2, 1927 When work was completed for an Elks Lodge in Santa Maria, 100 Elks called for a club charter.
June 25, 1927 Santa Maria Elks Lodge No. 1538 was organized.
June 26, 1927 Louis Noire Crawford was elected Exalted Ruler of Elks Lodge No. 1538.
Note It wasn’t until 1927 that the title ‘mayor’ came into use by an act of the state legislature, resulting in Arthur Fugler becoming the first legally designated mayor of the city.
April 5, 1928 Harry Dorsey’s $250,000 Santa Maria Theater opened at 207 S. Broadway, with Buster Keaton starring in United Artists ‘ “Steamboat Willy”.
May 22, 1928 The Community Arts Association was formed when representatives of the Community Orchestra, the Harmony Club and those interested in opera production met in the studio of radio station KSMR.
May 23, 1928 Santa Maria Host Lions Club, the first Lions Club in Santa Maria, was founded.
May 31, 1928 The Southern Cross, with Charles Kingford-Smith and Charles Ulm in the cockpit, left on its historic flight to Australia, thus beginning the world’s first trans-Pacific flight, a flight funded by Alan Hancock.
June 9, 1928 A contract was signed by the Minerva Club with O.C. Marriott & Company to begi work o its new clubhouse. The total cost was $12,959.92.
June 1928 Setsuo Aratani took his baseball team o a three-month tour of Japan.
June 1928 Flora Rivers was elected clerk and assessor for the City of Santa Maria, a positio that she was destined to hold for 16 years.
August 7-11, 1928 Over 17,000 people attended the first official Santa Barbara County Fair. Originating in 1891, it was first known as the ‘Santa Maria Valley Fair.’
August 1928 Setsuo Aratani’s baseball team, the Aratanis, sailed from San Francisco to Japan on the ‘Korea Maru’ on a good will tour. The four-month tour ended with the team returning to the United States, having racked up 25 wins, 1 tie, and 4 losses.
September 1928 With the closing of the Careaga Orby School, located seven miles west of Los Alamos, the children were bussed to Orcutt, an arrangement that continues today.
October 21, 1928 The Hancock Foundation College of Aeronautics, a nonprofit educational institution, was established on Hancock Field By Captain G. Allan Hancock, president and sole proprietor of the corporation. The school, located on 80 acres of land purchased from George Tunnell, opened with five planes.
October 1928 The first meeting of the Minerva Library Club was held in its new clubhouse on the corner of Lincoln and Boone streets.
October 1928 A great crowd gathered at Hancock Field to witness an “air show.” Army, Navy and private aircraft all participated in the event and thousands of spectators thrilled at the performance of pioneer planes.
December 11, 1928 Frank Shields, destined to be one of the most powerful leaders the town has ever known, reported for work at Santa Maria’s branch of the Bank of Italy. Within two years, the bank’s name was changed to the Bank of America. Shields served as vice president and manager of the local branch until he retired in December of 1964.
January 5, 1929 The city’s population reached 7,097, while 11,500 people lived in the valley.
January 18, 1929 Santa Maria Union High School’s winter class graduated 24 students.
January 21, 1929 For the first time in many years, the hills surrounding Santa Maria were covered with snow.
January 30, 1929 The Daily Times reported that 16,500 acres of valley property were being leased by oil companies
July 13, 1929 Santa Maria Athletic Club was formed.
February 15, 1929 State officials lauded Santa Maria grammar schools as the best in California.
March 9, 1929 Organization of the Hancock Foundation College or Aeronautics was announced.
April 16, 1929 Palm Court street paving was approved by the City Council.
May 1, 1929 The first class of aviation students enrolled at Hancock Field School.
May 1929 The first “talkies” came to Santa Maria Theater when Harry Dorsey brought in “The Innocents of Paris.”
June 20, 1929 The hottest day in history recorded temperatures of 105, causing the pavement to buckle up as high as a foot in some areas of the city.
July 26, 1929 The Free Advertiser reported that Santa Maria could now enjoy a paved highway, “the whole eleven miles, thanks to the efforts of Supervisor Leo Preisker.”
August 14, 1929 The California Highway Patrol was created by the state Legislature to ensure the safety of California highways and that of all who use them. Originally part of a division of DMV, it became a department of its own in October 1947. The Department of the California Highway Patrol and the position of commissioner was created to head the new department. In 1995, it merged with the California State Police.
September 4, 1929 The Santa Maria Times reported that the Knights of Pythias would house the county courthouse here.
September 16, 1929 The Reverend Yasuo Oshita from Japan was appointed as the first permanent Pastor of the newly organized Japanese Union Church of Santa Maria, a position that he held until 1957.
October 2, 1929 600 acres of Dominion Oil Company was bought out by Gilmore
February 12, 1930 Guadalupe Post No. 371 of the American Legion was chartered.
May 9, 1930 Los Rancheros Visitadores, said to be one of the largest group of its kind, organized.
July 8, 1930 The Southern Cross, came home to Santa Maria two years after its historic flight to Australia, the world’s first trans- Pacific flight.
June 7, 1931 The Cook house, built in 1869, was moved to the northeast corner of Church and McLelland.
September 9, 1931 The War Memorial building was dedicated in Guadalupe.
February 22, 1932 Washington Memorial Grove was dedicated to pay honor to the 200th birthday of the first president of the United States. Washington Grove was renamed Waller Park after Lionel Waller’s death in 1941.
February 23, 1932 The Santa Maria Opera Associaton presented the 4-part opera, ‘Carmen’ at the high school auditorium with Julia Beeson Smith playing the part of Carmen and tenor, Morton Scott, playing the part of Don Jose.
April 18, 1932 Marion Rice was named mayor of Santa Maria, an office that he held until 1946.
April 28, 1932 John Paulsen left for Los Angeles to participate in the dedication of the new Olympic Games swimming pool.
May 24, 1932 John Paulsen set the world record for 50-yard breast stroke at the local “Plunge.”
July 23, 1932 John Paulsen received word that he was eligible to compete in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles.
January 15, 1933 The new St. Peter’s Episcopal Church was consecrated.
February 1933 The Japanese Association donated 50 cherry trees to the George Washington Memorial Grove, hoping these trees would symbolize the goodwill and everlasting friendship between the two cultures.
March 3, 1933 California governor ordered a 3-day bank holiday, but allowed patrons access to safe deposit boxes.
March 5, 1933 President Roosevelt ordered a 4-day bank holiday.
May 1933 Santa Maria Union High School baseball team won the CIF Championship.
July 15, 1933 Union Sugar, which had been closed since the 1927 season, announced that it would reopen in 1934 and hire 300 men.
December 5, 1933 Prohibition ended and several local restaurants were ready to serve wines. Along with the application for a liquor license, the petitioner was required to include signed documents from five owners of real property attesting to his good moral character.
January 1, 1934 Ground breaking took place for the new City Hall, the first city-owned municipal building.
September 1934 Santa Maria’s new City Hall, designed by Louise N. Crawford and Francis Parsons was dedicated.
October 1, 1934 The first meeting of Santa Maria’s Board of Trustees (now the City Council) was held in the new City Hall building.
November 1934 Approximately 3,000 field workers and packers went on strike for 10 days, virtually paralyzing the produce industry in Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Lompoc and southern San Luis Obispo County.
November 1934 Mayor Marion Rice presided over the first City Council meeting held in the new City Hall after the building’s completion in September of the same year.
November 1934 A 7-year restoration project, with 200 men, began on the La Purisima Mission by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Union Oil and the Catholic Church donated most of the land for the Mission’s restoration.
February 20, 1935 Construction began on the Veterans Memorial Cultural building.
June 1935 The Pleasant Valley School closed with Thelma Chamberlai Battles serving as the school’s last teacher.
February 28, 1937 Henry ‘Pat’ Stubbs, first member of Congress from the 10th Congressional District died in Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D. C.
June 1937 The Los Alamos Grange was organized as part of the California State Grange, the oldest general farm associatio in California.
October 3, 1937 The Japanese Union Church, located at 219 Mary Drive, was dedicated.
October 28, 1938 Congratulations arrived from Minnesota’s state capital to ‘Brother Trebon’ for the inauguration of his newspaper, ‘The Courier.’ Edward Trebon was the newspaper’s editor and publisher, Glenn Seavey served as the news editor and Helen C. Witt was the society editor. Subscription price was $2 per year.
January 1939 Vaqueros de Los Rancheros began at a meeting held at the Commercial Hotel in Guadalupe. Among the Charter members were Dan Sheehy, Charles Maretti, Charlie Campodonico, Bob Camp, Eddie Fields and George Petersen.
March 31, 1939 a kickoff dinner to help raise funds for the Sisters Hospital was held in the social hall of the Methodist Church.
March 1939 Former President Herbert Hoover visited the Santa Maria Club and spent the night across the street at the Santa Maria Inn as a guest of the owner, Frank McCoy.
June 19, 1939 A contract signed betwee the United States government and the Hancock School of Aeronautics stated that the school would provide both primary flying and ground training to Army personnel to matriculate before January 1, 1941.
July 1, 1939 Initial contract for aviation cadet primary training was entered into between the Hancock College of Aeronautics and the United States Government.
September 17, 1939 Hancock College of Aeronautics was dedicated to the “future security of the USA.”
November 11, 1939 The Ida M. Blochman Memorial Court at Santa Maria Union High School was dedicated.
November 22, 1939 Ground was broken for the 35-bed Our Lady of Perpetual Health Hospital. The hospital, better known as “Sisters’ Hospital”, was located at 125 Airport Drive (now College Drive).
December 31, 1939 With about 2,400 lines in service, the Associated Telephone Company Ltd. acquired the Santa Barbara Telephone Company, and Bob Easton was appointed vice president and director. In January 1953, Associated Telephone became General Telephone Company.
December 1939 Bob Rivers enlisted in the Army Air Corps and received his flight training at Parks Air College in East St. Louis, Ill. Rivers was later taken prisoner of war.
April 13, 1940 Santa Maria’s first super market, ‘Bert’s Food Market’ (Bert Rosenblum) opened at 301 S. Broadway. The store was later sold to Roy Gallison and Charles Felmlee. The store was demolished in 1988 to make room for the West Side Mall.
September 1,1940 FDR signed into law the first peacetime military draft in U.S. History.
November 15, 1940 Construction began on the 37,000 acre Camp Roberts, said to have been the largest training base in the country during WWII.
March 1941 The U. S. Army acquired approximately 86 thousand acres of land comprised of 5 Mexican land grants.
July 15, 1941 Santa Maria’s new library, designed by Architects Crawford and Davis, was dedicated. It was one of the last libraries built on the West Coast until the end of World War II.
September 1941 Construction of Camp Cooke began, and was activated the 5th of the following month.
October 5, 1941 The U. S. Army activated Camp Cooke. The base was used during World War II as an armored and infantry training site.
October 30, 1941 Santa Maria Gas Company merged with Southern Counties Gas Company (now Southern California Gas Company).
December 7, 1941 The newly restored Mission La Purisima Concepcion de Maria Santisima was dedicated after 200 young men from the government Civilian Conservation Corps had spent seven years restoring the site. The mission is the largest and most thorough restoration done in the historic West, and is now a unit of the California State Park system.
December 10, 1941 The first of many blackouts took place on the California Coast, with all lights being put out from Monterey to the Mexican border.
February 1, 1946 Camp Cooke was placed on inactive status. Property was leased for agriculture and grazing.
February 9, 1942 As part of a wartime effort to preserve resources, Daylight Savings Time began.
February 18, 1942 FBI rounded up Japanese in the valley and sent them to the Poston Relocation Center. Those remaining in the area were taken to Tulare Assembly Center and then to the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona.
February 24, 1942 A Japanese submarine fired on and missed the Elwood oil plant near Gaviota.
February 1942 Santa Maria Army Air Base was activated.
February 1942 The Santa Maria Chapter of the American Red Cross and Motor Corps was established.
April 27, 1942 Given 72 hours to gather together everything that they could carry, Guadalupe Japanese families were boarded into buses and taken to temporary quarters in Tulare. Most were later moved to the internment camp in Gila River, Arizona.
April 30, 1942 Japanese people in Santa Maria assembled at Christ United Methodist Church to be taken to relocation centers.
May 1, 1942 Santa Maria Army Air Field was activated as a B-25 bomber base on 3.600 acres. The airfield is now the site of the Santa Maria Public Airport.
May 17, 1942 Les Webber, a 1935 Santa Maria Union High School graduate, signed a contract to play with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Webber’s major league career ended in 1948.
October 15, 1942 The first women were employed at the Hancock School of Aeronautics when Selective Service began making inroads on the male civilian personnel, all of whom were eligible for the draft.
November 26, 1942 President Roosevelt ordered nationwide gas rationing.
December 1, 1942 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered nationwide gas rationing.
January 1, 1943 Leo Preisker, who served as Santa Barbara County’s Fifth District Supervisor for 27 years, officially retired.
August 4, 1943 Bond sales at the Veterans’ Memorial Building resulted in Leona Haslam being the proud owner of Colonel Mann’s Tennessee Walking filly, Trelauney. Haslam later donated the horse to the Elks, and the rest of the story became the history of the Elks Rodeo.
August 9, 1943 The Bureau of Naval Personnel issued a Purple Heart to Kenneth Cooper, United States Navy Fire Controlman 3rd Class. Cooper, along with his brother, Clarence, died aboard the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
September 16, 1943 After bombers were determined to be too heavy for runways, the Army Airfield became the final training site for P38 Lightning fighter groups.
November 18, 1943 Elks Lodge No. 1538 founded the Elks Recreation Foundation.
December 24, 1943 First activity of the Elks Recreation Foundation was held at the Veterans Memorial Building.
January 1944 Santa Maria Valley Railroad’s depot was destroyed by fire.
March 1944 The federal government ordered construction of Prisoners of War camps to house hundreds of German Military members captured overseas.
April 2, 1944 Official confirmation was received from the War Department by the Hancock School of Aeronautics, that on or about June 27, 1944, the government would be pulling out of the school.
June 3 and 4, 1944 The first Elks Rodeo was held at the present Santa Maria Fairpark at Stowell Road and Thornburg Streets.
June 16, 1944 The first trainload of Germa POWs arrived at Camp Cooke from Camp Warner at Tooele, Utah. The me had bee captured in North Africa.
June 30, 1944 The Hancock College contract with the U.S. government was terminated.
August 12, 1944 The first Women’s Military Unit (WACS) arrived at the Santa Maria Airfield. Pending completion of the WACS quarters, the enlisted women were assigned to Ward 10, of the Field Hospital.
August 1944 FBI special agent William B. Nolan was assigned to Santa Maria as the only agent in the only agency bounded on the south by Gaviota, on the north by Monterey County, on the east by Kern County and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
October 1944 Studio Theatre, located at the 200 block on east Main Street held its grand opening.
January 30, 1945 A P-38 airplane, on routine maneuvers, crashed into Rusconi’s Café, tearing the roof off of the Economy Drug Store. Mrs. Rusconi, and John Doff, a cook, and Pilot Elmer Steffy, were killed in the crash. Two hours later, another P-38 crashed in a field 2 miles southwest of Santa Maria.
May 8, 1945 President Truman announced in a radio address that World War II had ended in Europe.
June 1945 Reports that from 1944 until present, 633 P-38 pilots had graduated from the Santa Maria Army Air Field Training Regiment.
June 1945 P-38 training was discontinued at the Santa Maria Army Air Field.
August 15, 1945 V.J. Day. Surrender documents were signed September 2, 1945, aboard the U.S.S. Missouri.
August 30, 1945 A homecoming was held at Camp Cooke when the 13th Armored Division from California returned after service in Europe. The Black Cat’ outfit was among the first to return from the war and was assigned to retraining for deployment on the Asian Front.
September 2, 1945 Japan formally surrendered.
September 2, 1945 Hancock leased its school facilities to USC for $1 a year. A 4-year degree course was offered by the University through the Allan Hancock Foundation.
September 5, 1945 Rev. Yasuo Oshita, minister of the Japanese Union Church on Mary Street, became the first Japanese to return home from the internment camps.
September 22, 1945 Although the local war price and rationing board closed, rationing of tires, shoes and food, including sugar, was still in force.
January 1946 The Santa Maria Valley Roping and Ridging Club was formed.
February 28, 1951 Camp Cooke reopened.
April 16, 1946 Marion Rice, after serving as mayor of the city of Santa Maria, retired.
May 16, 1946 The German POW Camp at Camp Cooke was closed.
July 27, 1946 Guadalupe became the fourth incorporated city in Santa Barbara County.
August 3, 1946 Guadalupe incorporated, with a population of about 4,000.
October 11, 1946 32,000 visitors jammed Santa Maria to watch the two-day air show, which brought into town ‘Wrong-Way’ Corrigan, and the elite of the U. S. Air Corps.
November 1946 Santa Barbara County acquired an interim permit for Santa Maria Army Air Field.
January 7, 1947 The Santa Maria Country Club incorporated as a nonprofit corporation.
August 1, 1947 The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce incorporated.
November 27, 1947 The Santa Maria Redskins beat the Hemet Tahquetz Packer 7-6 when George Gallison, who had never played in a game before, caught a 35-yard pass in the end zone to tie the game. Frankie Reis kicked the extra point to win the game. Jim Gamble served as General Manager throughout the club’s 7-year existence.
April 19, 1948 Elk’s Field, the city’s new baseball park, was dedicated. In the season’s opening game, the Indians beat the Los Angeles Bank of America team by a score of 11-1. Mayor Alfred Roemer threw out the first pitch to Councilman L.W. Peterson, Past Exalter Ruler of the Elks.
October 3, 1948 Official groundbreaking took place for the Guadalupe Community Church.
January 10, 1949 Snow fell on Santa Maria.
January 26, 1949 The Santa Maria Times announced that dial telephones were soon to be installed in Orcutt.
March 25, 1949 Parking meters became official in Guadalupe.
July 16, 1949 The new Greyhound bus depot at 315 N. Broadway, featured the French Dip Restaurant, Ray’s Yellow Cab Company, Stephen’s Travel Bureau, a waiting room, baggage room and an office.
October 14, 1949 Park Aire Drive-In opened in the 200 block of east Donovan.Road on October 19, 1954
June 10, 1950 The newly organized Santa Maria Valley Little League held opening day ceremonies at McClelland Park, now know as Simas Park.
August 7, 1950 Camp Cooke reopened. The base was used during the Korean War as an armored and infantry training site.
January 1951 Morris Stephan was sworn in as Justice of the Peace of the 7th Judicial District of Santa Maria. By a decree of the Superior Court, the Justice Court became the Municipal Court in 1961. Stephan was later appointed by the governor as Judge of the Superior Court in Santa Barbara County. He retired from the bench in 1972, after having served in Judicial Offices for 22 years.
February 1, 1953 Camp Cooke again inactivated.
September 2, 1951 The new Blochman School opened in Sisquoc.
April 26, 1951 Philip M. Herardo died of wounds received in South Korea on February 13, 1951. Herardo was the first of the Korean evacuees to die at the Camp Cooke Hospital.
January 1, 1953 Associated Telephone Company became General Telephone of California.
January 1953 The U.S.O. in Santa Maria closed.
February 2, 1953 The old Olive School and land was sold to the Sisquoc Grange for $1,300.
February 22, 1959 Jose Manuel Guizar, born January 10, was the first baby to be baptized in the new Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Guadalupe.
October 23, 1953 Train wreck in Guadalupe
March 23, 1954 First naturalization class for Japanese who wanted to become U. S. citizens was held in the Japanese Community Center building at 134 N. Western Ave.
July 20, 1954 Trustees of the Junior College voted to buy four acres of airport property and name the new school ‘Allan Hancock College.’ They leased all needed facilities for $1 per year.
October 19, 1954 Because of an error in a deed correcting a restriction in an earlier deed to the property, The Minerva Library Club changed its name to the Minerva Club.
January 15, 1955 William Macdonald, who formed the Macdonald Seed Company on Bonita Road in 1925, was killed in a car wreck near El Capitan, 30 miles north of Santa Barbara.
May 15, 1955 The Japanese Union Church of Santa Maria, located on N. Mary Drive, changed its name to ‘Christ Methodist Church.’
September 7, 1955 Santa Maria Valley Historical Society organized and incorporated as a nonprofit organization, with Ethel May Dorsey serving as its first president. More than 200 people signed as charter members.
September 10, 1955 The first location of the Santa Maria Historical Museum opened in the basement of the Carnegie Library. The museum was to know two other locations before moving into its current location at 616 S. Broadway.
September 11, 1955 Commemorating the last day of the 8-day Santa Maria’s 50 year anniversary celebration, a time capsule was buried in the patio of city hall.
May 25, 1956 A fire, apparently caused by gas leaking from one of the fire trucks, destroyed Santa Maria’s fire station. Only one truck survived the blaze.
July 1956 Construction of the Vaquero Dam began. The name was changed to Twitchell Dam on September 20, 1957 and the final cost was $12.4 million
August 1956 The Santa Maria Valley Historical Society received keys for its new headquarters located above the South Counties Gas Company, on Main and Lincoln streets.
September 1, 1956 Frank Crakes, after serving with the fire department for 44 years, with more than 36 as fire chief, retired from city service.
November 16, 1956 The Secretary of Defense directed the U.S. Army to transfer 64,000 acres of its 86,000 acres to the U.S. Air Force. The former Camp Cooke was renamed Vandenberg Air Force Base.
November 7, 1957 Santa Maria’s population hit 14,177.
December 7, 1957 The Secretary of Defense directed the transfer of South Camp Cooke (almost 20,000 acres) from the Army to the Navy for use as a projected national missile range.
July, 1958 Elwin E. Mussell sold the Santa Maria Free Advertiser to the Santa Maria Times Publishing Company.
October 4, 1958 Cooke Air Force Base was designated as Vandenberg Air Force Base, honoring the late General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, the Air Force second Chief of Staff.
November 24, 1958 The Orcutt Mineral Society formed with 21 members signing the charter.
December 1, 1958 Dick Maretti and Clarence Minetti purchased the Palace Hotel (now the Far Western Tavern) from Elvezia and Angelo Ferrari, and opened the bar on the same day.
December 16, 1958 The Space Age was launched when Vandenberg Air Force Base sent its first missile up into the sky.
January 1959 ‘This is Our Valley’ came off the press.
February 28, 1959 The world’s first polar orbiting satellite, the Discoverer, lifted into space at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
March 15, 1959 The new St. Mary’s Church was dedicated by His Eminence Cardinal McIntyre.
July 13, 1959 Mayor Curtis Tunnell and the city council voted to declare Whiskey Row a redevelopment area.
August 1959 The disciplinary barracks of Camp Cooke was transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. The complex is now known as the U.S. Penitentiary at Lompoc.
October 1959 Thirty-seven people gathered together in the living room of Tom and Meg Smith to found the Santa Maria Civic Theater. Within six weeks, the group’s first play, ‘The Tender Trap,’ was on board. Allan Hancock was the group’s first patron.
November 10, 1959 Orcutt Mercantile, owned by Cerfee and Anita Luis, burned down.
February 11, 1960 A groundbreaking ceremony was held at 1072 Olivera St. in Guadalupe for a new Buddhist Church. Dedication of the new church was held the following October.
July 6, 1960 Joe Potter, long time manager of Hancock Field, died. Potter had flown with and for Captain Hancock since 1939.
August 25, 1960 Eugene Lenz became the second man from Santa Maria to compete in the Olympic Games. John Paulsen was the first.
October 1, 1960 The new Buddhist Church at 1071 Olivera St. in Guadalupe was dedicated.
October 23, 1960 First service of Bethel Lutheran Church was held in an enclosed patio at the home of Mrs. and Mrs. Clinton Cromwell.
October 25, 1960 Altrusa International, Inc. of Santa Maria was chartered.
November 7, 1960 The City Council adopted a resolution to proceed with the condemnation of three lots on the corner of Broadway and East Main Street. This led to the eventual destruction of Whiskey Row.
January 9, 1961 The swing of a sledge hammer by Santa Maria Mayor Casey Kyle marked the beginning of the actual demolition of the first section of Whiskey Row to make way for the First Western Bank and Trust building on the northwest corner of Main and McClelland streets.
May 3, 1961 The nation’s first silo launch of a Titan I took place at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
August 19, 1961 Construction began on the $3.8 million shopping center at Stowell and Broadway. Lease arrangements were made with Thriftimart Market, Thrifty Drug Stores, W.T. Grant Company, Karl’s Shoe Store, Crocker Bank, Sally Shops, Cornet Stores plus several service shops. Completion was expected to take place in March of 1962.
August 1961 The Santa Maria Valley Senior Citizens Club was organized with 20 charter members and annual dues of $1.
September 17, 1961 Rice School was dedicated to William Hickman Rice.
September 24, 1961 The Arellanes School was dedicated to Don Juan Bautista Arellanes.
February 12, 1962 Fesler School was dedicated to Isaac Fesler.
May 2, 1962 John Rudometkin, a 1958 Santa Maria Union High School graduate, was named USC’s “Athlete of the Year,” the prestigious university’s top athletic award.
May 17, 1962 The name of Airport Avenue was changed to College
September 28, 1962 Ribbon cutting opened the new freeway.
January 21, 1963 Ernest Righetti High School opened.
January 1963 Whiskey Row was demolished.
February 1, 1963 ‘Santa Maria Beautiful’ was founded, with Ethel May Dorsey serving as founding president.
March 24, 1963 Groundbreaking of the Orcutt Presbyterian Church of Patterson Road took place.
March 1963 St Louis de Montfort Church was built.
June 6, 1963 A preliminary census showed that Santa Maria had a populatio of 31,200.
June 1963 Glen Montague joined the faculty of Ernest Righetti High School where he established the choral program and served as Director of Student Activities.
September 1963 Santa Maria Beautiful chose the geranium as the city’s flower.
October 2, 1963 Ground-breaking ceremonies took place for the new building to house KCOY-TV (channel 12) at Miller, just south of Donovan Road.
October 12, 1963 Ground-breaking ceremonies were held for the CBS station at the southwest corner of Donovan Road and North McClelland street.
October 20, 1963 Oakley School was dedicated to Cary Calvin Oakley.
January 1964 The Santa Maria Jewish congregation voted to purchase 1 2/3 acres of land on Alvin Street (for $12,500) in order to build a synagogue.
February 17, 1964 The geranium was officially recognized as Santa Maria’s city flower.
March 16, 1964 KCOY TV, Channel 12, went on the air and began serving the Central Coast.
May 16, 1964 Simas Park was dedicated and named for Leland ‘Butch’ Simas.
May 19, 1964 The Visiting Nurse Service incorporated as a non-profit organization.
May 24, 1964 The Ethel Pope Auditorium was dedicated.
January 17, 1965 El Camino Junior High School was dedicated to John Thornburgh.
May 31, 1965 G. Allan Hancock died one month short of his 90th birthday.
August 3, 1965 The 52 year-old Main Street School was ordered demolished after the Santa Maria Elementary School District decided that its condition had deteriorated to the point where it was no long safe to use the building. Demolition took place on the following September 23.
September 1965 Glenn Montague accepted the position of director of choral activities at Allan Hancock College, while agreeing to continue to direct the Righetti Choir for a year.
October 16, 1965 The Orcutt Mineral Society held its first annual Gem & Mineral Show, “Rainbow of Gems” at the Veterans Memorial Hall.
October 19, 1965 J. C. Penney held its grand opening ceremonies in the Santa Maria Shopping Center
April 19, 1966 George Hobbs, Jr., in his sixth year as city councilman, was named mayor of the city of Santa Maria.
May 1966 Santa Maria Valley Senior Citizens Club incorporated as a non-profit mutual benefit corporation.
June 21, 1966 Frank Crakes passed way. Crakes, who joined the Santa Maria Fire Department in 1912, succeeded Dea Laughli as fire chief in 1921. He served as the city’s fire chief until he retired in 1957.
July 5, 1966 The San Ramon Chapel became the first official historic landmark in Santa Barbara County.
July 16, 1966 The City Council voted $25,000 to develop the unwanted property once known as Whiskey Roy into a city park, naming the proposed park, ‘Central Plaza.’
August 8, 1966 Demolition of the 58 year-old Carnegie Library began, and was completed the following day. Opened in 1909, it had served as Santa Maria Library until the new library was built in 1941.
August 20, 1966 Santa Maria Contractor, J.A. Roberts, who had submitted the lowest bid of $11,500, began tearing down Santa Maria’s 137-foot-tall water tower. The tank had been abandoned three years before when a 6 million-gallon, $200,000 reservoir was built on top of a hill south of town.
August 20, 1966 The cornerstone of the old Carnegie Library was opened. Among those in attendance at this historic event were Hattie Hart Scott, Louella Williams, Gaylord Jones and Walter Stokes, all of whom had witnessed the cornerstone laying on October 3, 1908.
March 4, 1967 The four-story 125-bed Marian Hospital opened on a ten-acre site donated by Allan Hancock.
April 24, 1967 Central Plaza, located on the corner of Broadway and East Main streets, the former site of Whiskey Row, was dedicated.
April 1967 Ground was broken on the corner of Alvin and Valerie streets for the new Temple Beth-El.
June 7, 1967 The fountai in Central Plaza was dedicated to local dance instructor Marjorie Hall.
July 12, 1967 The Chamber of Commerce announced it was moving from city hall (after 30 years) to 505 S. McClelland Ave.
October 4, 1967 Temple Beth-El, located at 1501 E. Alvin, held dedication services. The building was designed by Shalom Kelner, a native of Haifa, Israel, and a graduate of Cal Poly.
November 16, 1967 Groundbreaking ceremonies took place at Dana Way & Kensington for the building of the Martin Luther Tunnell School
January 18, 1968 The Santa Maria Bank building, standing on the northwest corner of Main Street and Broadway, became a pile of rubble as it was demolished to make way for a Mobile Oil service station. The plaque of the ship Santa Maria was donated to Los Padres National Bank.
January 20, 1968 Union Sugar Company announced the closing of the town of Betteravia. The Betteravia Store, operated by Jack Burrow for 22 years, had a half-price sale to empty the store. Burrow had taken over the store in 1946.
March 29, 1968 First services were held at the new St. Joseph’s Church in Nipomo.
April 25, 1968 Realtor John Ruffoni announced that he purchased the Bradley Hotel from members of the pioneer Bradley family for $200,000.
June 26, 1968 Police Chief Harold English, who served on the Santa Maria Police Force for 26 years, with 12 as chief, announced his retirement.
August 10, 1968 The 40-acre Preisker Park, site of the former city dump, was dedicated and opened to the public.
August 26, 1968 Groundbreaking took place for the new Elks Lodge building.
September 28, 1968 Los Padres Naitonal Bank building, located on the Northeasst corner of Main and Miller Street, was dedicated. The bank was bought out by Wells Fargo in 1972.
October 6, 1968 Elks Lodge 1538 moved into its new lodge at 1309 N. Bradley Road.
November 10, 1968 Tunnell School was dedicated to Martin Luther Tunnell.
February 25, 1969 Twitchell Dam flood gates were opened for the first time in the history of the 10 year-old dam.
June 1, 1969 Temple Beth-El, Santa Maria’s first synagogue, was dedicated.
June 20, 1969 Ground was broke for the Pepper Tree Shopping Center.
September 16, 1969 Santa Maria City Councilmen approved the first reading of an ordinance to establish regulations and procedures for the removal of overhead utility facilities, and the installation of underground facilities.
February 28, 1970 The Better-avia Post Office was closed.
April 1970 The Bradley Hotel, built in 1888 at the southeast corner of Main and Broadway streets, burned down. Fireman William Alvin Newton was killed in the blaze.
March 2, 1971 The 127 ft tall Richfield Tower, located for 44 years at the Arco Service Station at 2236 South Broadway, was torn down.
October 8, 1972 Buena Vista Park, the oldest park in Santa Maria, was dedicated as a Historical Landmark.
November 1972 A Diamond Jubilee celebration marked 75 years of Episcopalian services in Santa Maria.
November 11, 1973 The flagpole, which had formerly stood at the intersection of Main and Broadway, was designated as a Santa Maria City Landmark. The flagpole is currently in front of City Hall.
January 20, 1974 The dedication and grand opening of the Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum took place at its new home at 606 S. Broadway. The museum had been built on surplus city property with funds raised by the Historical Society’s members.
April 1974 The Allan Hancock College choir, under the direction of Glenn Montague, became the first community college choir in the United States to perform behind the Iron Curtain, in Romania.
June 1, 1974 Rear Admiral Owe Siler, who graduated from Santa Maria Unio High School in 1938 and from Santa Maria Junior College in 1940, was appointed Commandant of the United States Coast Guard.
June 29, 1974 The Centennial Celebratio of Guadalupe’s Masonic Lodge No. 237 was held at the Elks Lodge o North Bradley Road.
September 20, 1974 The Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum, located at 616 S. Broadway, was dedicated.
September 27, 1974 Fairlawn School was dedicated to Benjamin T. Wiley.
October 4, 1974 Ground breaking ceremonies took place at the Hesperian Lodge’s new Temple at 700 Lakeview Road, property that was purchased from Elwin Mussell.
October 1974 The Dudley Hoffman Mortuary moved from Church and Lincoln streets to its present location on east Stowell Road.
December 18, 1974 Santa Maria Union High School graduate Bryn Smith signed his first professional baseball contract with the Baltimore Orioles.
July 7, 1975 The first meeting of Hesperian Lodge No. 264 was held at its new temple on Lakeview Road.
August 31, 1975 The San Ramon Chapel was dedicated as California State Landmark #877. Mass was celebrated by the Rev. Bertin Foxen, great-grandson of Benjamin and Eduarda Foxen.
August 1975 Sears became the first store to open in the new Santa Maria Town Center.
September 12, 1975 The new Masonic Temple at 700 Lakeview Drive was dedicated.
October 7, 1975 The site of the first city-owned waterworks was dedicated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark. The fire siren, which stood on top of the water tank, is on display at the Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum.
February 9, 1976 The Rubel building, located on the corner of Broadway and Cypress, was torn down.
July, 1976 Santa Maria Town Center opened. The expansion (including Robinson-May) was finished in 1990.
November 14, 1976 The Reverend Anthony Runtz, then pastor of St. Louis de Montfort Church, agreed to resume the celebration of Sunday Mass at the San Ramon Chapel.
May 15, 1977 The Los Alamos School changed its name to the Olga Reed School.
October 1977 The City Council passed Ordinance No. 77-923, repealing the city code section that allowed parking meters.
September 1978 Rancho Tinaquaic received a 100 year certificate from the state of California. However, the corporation was actually eligible in 1937 since the ranch had been granted to Benjamin Foxen in 1837.
October 2, 1978 The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce took steps to copyright the Santa Maria Style Barbecue.
November 1978 The county split measure went down to defeat.
April 10, 1979 The Reuben Hart residence was moved from 500 W. Boone St. to McClelland street, across from the library.
June 1979 Bert and Polly Bell closed the B & B Coffee Shop.
February 1, 1980 After spending a million dollars to renovate the place, the Santa Maria Inn’s owner, Henry. R. Smith announced that the Inn was ready to re-open.
April 3, 1980 After 60 years, the Santa Maria Club, ‘The place to go in Santa Maria,’ closed its doors for the last time.
September 7, 1980 Santa Maria began the celebration of its 75th birthday with the dedication of the Reuben Hart House at Simas Park.
April 1, 1982 Martin V. Smith re-opened the Santa Maria Inn with Victor Marzorati, ‘Prime Minister of South Broadway, ‘ as the new General Manager. Local real estate broker Myrna Winter had represented Mr. Smith in the purchase of the Inn.
July, 1982 After serving Santa Maria for 59 years, the La Brea Ice Company, originally known as the Santa Maria Ice and Storage Company, closed its doors.
September 19, 1982 The site of Pacific Coast Railway Depot, located at West Main and Depot, was designated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark.
April 1984 The Elwin Mussell Center opened.
August 1984 Plans were made to build a flight museum in Santa Maria. The grand opening of the Museum of Flight took place July 21, 1990, with five vintage planes on display.
May 16, 1985 The Santa Maria Inn, 801 S. Broadway, was designated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark.
September 12, 1985 Santa Maria’s city hall, located at 110 E. Cook, was designated as a city landmark.
July 1, 1986 Santa Maria City Hall, located at 110 E. Cook St., was designated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark.
January 1987 Pine Grove Cemetery became part of the Santa Maria Cemetery District.
May 25, 1987 Santa Maria’s Memorial Monument was dedicated as a tribute to all veterans who have honorably served in the Armed forces of the United States of America.
August 1987 Princess Hall, built on Pine Street, between Main and Church streets, was torn down.
March 1988 Robin Ventura played with the U. S. Olympics gold winning team in Seoul, Korea.
May 30, 1988 The Veterans Memorial Cultural Center, at Pine and Tunnell Streets, was designated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark.
June 1989 Casmalia’s School District Board voted to change the name of the elementary school from ‘Casmalia School’ to ‘Winifred D. Wollam School.’ The name was officially changed the following September.
September 12, 1989 Robin Ventura, 1985 Righetti High School graduate, played his first game with the Chicago White Sox.
January 1990 Butch Simas was elected to the Santa Maria Sports Hall of Fame.
April 18, 1990 Robin Ventura, 1985 Righetti High School graduate, hit his first home run in a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox.
November 7, 1990 The explosion that caused the total destruction of a gas station and garage on Guadalupe Street in Guadalupe was caused by vapor in a lantern igniting when the welder lit his torch to repair the fixture. In addition to both the welder and his assistant being killed in the explosion, there was much damage throughout the town. The Basque House, formerly the Commercial Hotel, was closed and has yet to be reopened.
November 20, 1990 The site of the first Masonic Temple (on South Broadway, across from the Robinson/May complex), was designated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark.
December 25, 1990 Snow fell in Guadalupe.
July, 1991 Bryant and Trott, after more than 100 years of being in the hardware business in Santa Maria, closed its doors.
November 6, 1992 The Royce R. Lewellen Justice Center was dedicated.
January 1993 Nipomo’s Community Presbyterian Church was dedicated.
January 1993 Scoop Nunes, Santa Maria’s ‘Mr. Baseball’ was inducted into the Santa Maria Hall of Fame. He had been inducted into the National Semi-Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in Wichita, Kansas, in August 1977.
April 9, 1993 Bryn Smith, 1973 Santa Maria Union High School graduate, pitched the first game in the new Mile High Colorado Rockies stadium. The Rockies won 11-4.
April 27, 1993 Nipomo received a $900,000 grant to build a new library.
April 1993 Jim May was elected President of the Countywide Mission Council Boy Scouts of America.
August 1993 Holly Sugar closed its Betteravia plant.
April 19, 1994 The Coca Cola Building, located at Jones and McClelland, was designated as an object of historical merit.
June 1994 Glen Montague retired as Director of the Alla Hancock choral group.
August 18, 1994 The bas relief of the ship Santa Maria, currently hanging in the Wells Fargo Branch office at Miller and Main streets, was designated by the city manager’s office as an object of historical merit.
March 31, 1995 Unocal (Union Oil) donated 107 acres of land to establish the Elks Rodeo’s new home.
July 13, 1996 The Pioneer Association held its 72nd annual picnic at the newly opened Pioneer Park, located at the corner of Foster and Blosser streets.
July 20, 1996 Ribbon cutting was held for the opening of the new library in Nipomo.
August 31, 1996 34 year-old Blaine Johnson, a leading figure in Drag Racing, was killed while qualifying at the 1996 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
November 1996 Thirty five years after the town of Betteravia came to an end, Union Sugar began tearing down the company’s remaining buildings, thereby closing an important chapter of Santa Maria’s history.
August 12, 1997 Scoop Nunes, Santa Maria’s “Mr. Baseball,” was inducted into the National Semi-Professional Baseball Congress in Wichita, Kansas. Nunes, a local sports legend and longtime manager of the Santa Maria Indians, died in November 2003.
December 11, 1997 Santa Maria Athletic Club’s Redskins (Santa Maria’s only semi-pro football team) held its 50th reunion at the Rancho Bowl with Jim Gamble (the club’s manager) as Master of Ceremonies. Managers passed out trophies (50 years overdue) to the team’s outstanding players.
December 16, 1997 The Rubel House was named an Object of Historical Merit.
February 1998 Robin Ventura, a 1985 Righetti High School graduate, was inducted into the Oklahoma State University’s Hall of Fame.
June 20, 1998 Santa maria was named a All-America City by the National Civic League
July 18, 1998 Grand opening ceremonies were held to commemorate the new Amtrak station in Guadalupe.
July, 1998 Santa Maria became an “All-America City.”
August 7, 1998 Joni Gray was appointed to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors by Gov. Pete Wilson and was elected to complete the unfinished two-year term of Pete Staffal the following November 3.
November 11, 1998 Boy Scouts of American Troop No. 91 (originally designated as Orcutt’s Troop No. 1) celebrated its 70th anniversary.
December 1, 1998 Robin Ventura, Righetti High School graduate, signed as a free agent with the New York Mets.
July, 1999 Lester Hayes was awarded one of the first Meritorious Community Service awards given to community leaders and volunteers recognized as having made significant contributions impacting Santa Maria ‘s leisure lifestyle.
September 20, 1999 The Mission Bell on Guadalupe Street (“Camino Real”) was dedicated. The acquisition of the bell was made possible by the California Federation of Women’s Clubs.
November 17, 1999 The Dunes Center in Guadalupe was dedicated.
June 10, 2000 Rosalind Perlma Park at Mai and Broadway was dedicated.
October 17, 2000 Ground was broken at Thompson and Mehlschau Roads for the new Nipomo High School.
April 2001 The Dana Adobe in Nipomo became a State Historical Landmark.
May 2001 John Rudometkin, 1958 Santa Maria Union High School graduate, was inducted into USC’s Hall of Fame.
December 7, 2001 Robin Ventura was traded by the Mets to the New York Yankees.
March 1, 2002 Community Bank of Santa Maria opened its doors for business at 1493 South Broadway. One year later, the bank moved to its permanent quarters in the Santa Maria Shopping Center.
March 20, 2002 The Santa Maria Times announced that Gary Leffew would be inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.
June 2, 2002 The Rancho de Guadalupe Historical Museum opened at 1005 Guadalupe St. in Guadalupe.
August 10, 2002 Gary Leffew, 1962 Santa Maria Union High School graduate, was inducted into the Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame. Leffew grew up on the Suey Ranch.
September 4, 2002 Opening day of the new Nipomo High School.
October 6, 2002 The grand opening of the New Beginnings Community Church took place.
June 3, 2003 Mayor Lavagnino presented a proclamatio to Rod Rodenberger declaring this date as ‘Santa Maria Indians Day’ and congratulating the team on its 60th anniversary.
July 30, 2003 Robin Ventura, Righetti High School graduate, was traded by the New York Yankees to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
July, 2003 Righetti High School student Taylor Salazar earned Rookie of the Year honors at the High School National Finals Rodeo in Farmington, New Mexico.
December 16, 2003 Alice Patino was appointed by her fellow city councilmembers to serve as Mayor Pro Tem in 2004, thereby becoming Santa Maria’s first woman to serve in that capacity.
March 4, 2004 Quarterback Mark Brunell (St. Joseph’s High School Graduate) signed a contract with the Washington Redskins.
April 19, 2004 David Amido, Rob Buchanan, John Rubcic and Karen Smolley Texeira were inducted into the Righetti Warriors Booster Club Hall of Fame.
May 29, 2004 26 athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout the years were inducted into Guadalupe’s new Hall of Fame.
August 17, 2004 The opening of Pioneer Valley High School marked the first time in 42 years that a new high school was opened in Santa Maria.
September 11, 2004 The Time Capsule buried in 1955, was unearthed in front of city hall.
September 12, 2004 The year-long celebration of Santa Maria’s Centennial, began with a community kick-off picnic at Elks Lodge.
October 2004 Robin Ventura, Righetti High School graduate, announced his retirement from professional baseball.
December 2004 Luke Branquinho, son of Brandy and Johnnie Branquinho, of Los Alamos was crowned the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s Steer Wrestling Champion of 2004 at the National Finals in Los Angeles.
January 30, 2005 As part of Santa Maria’s Centennial Celebration, the widely acclaimed Diversity Faire opened at the Town Center Mall.
March 2005 Longtime Hancock College men’s basketball coach, Bob White announced his retirement from coaching but would stay on as a full-time mathematics instructor.
June 5, 2005 The U.S. Air Force Demonstratio Squadron, better know as the “Thunderbirds”, announced its new pilots for the 2006 demonstratio season. Included in this group was Nicole Ellington Malachowski, the first female pilot in its 52 year history. Malachowski was born in Santa Maria Hospital in 1974 and later attended Bruce and Adam Schools, and Fesler Junior High School. The Ellington family moved to Upland in 1987.
June 21, 2005 Santa Maria resident Andy Wilson was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. Wilson received a lifetime achievement award.
August 29, 2005 After 80 years of family ownership, the descendants of Capt. G. Allan Hancock decided to sell the Santa Maria Valley Railroad.
September 11, 2005 Santa Maria’s Centennial celebration closing ceremonies, and a spectacular fireworks show took place at the Fair Park.
September 12, 2005 Santa Maria celebrated its 100th year of incorporation.
October 31, 2005 The DeBernardi Brothers Dairy, the last dairy in Santa Barbara County, sent its approximately 400 cows into retirement. The dairy, located on east Main Street, was started by Gilio DeBernardi in 1946.
January 10, 2006 Judge Zell Canter announced his retirement after having served almost 25 years on the Superior Court bench of Santa Barbara County.
March 25, 2006 Hancock’s Bulldog Field was dedicated as the John Osborne Field. Osborne was a long-time baseball coach and athletic director at the college.
April 26, 2006 Righetti High School graduate Robin Ventura was elected as part of the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.
October 1, 2006 Descendants of Capt. Hancock sell the Santa Maria Valley Railroad to the Coast Belle Rail Corp, Rob Himoto, president.
December 19, 2006 Hilda Zacharias was sworn in as Santa Maria’s third female city councilmember in the city’s history.
December 13, 2008 Luke Branquino of Los Alamos won the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association coveted World Steer Wrestling championship at the 50th annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
March 26, 2011 St. Joseph girls’ basketball team won the CIF Division Championship by defeating the Bishop O’Dowd team with a score of 53 to 42.
October 3, 2011 Mayor Lavagnino announced that he wouldnt be running for re-election in 2012.
October 6, 2011 Righetti High School graduate, Robin Ventura, was named Manager of the Chicago White Sox