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A Guide To Santa Barbara Street Names


ALISOS (ah-lee'-sos) is the Spanish word for the Alder tree which origi­nally grew along the sides of this street.

ANACAPA (a-nah-ca'-pah) received its name because the street points in the direction of the island of that name. It is an Indian word that implied "deception in appearance" which was applied to this island because of the mirages that so frequently give it a distorted appear­ance.

ANAPAMU (a-nah-pah-moo') was a famous local Indian chief who ruled over many tribes. Their territory covered a large portion of the early Santa Barbara area.

ARRELLAGA (a-ree-yah'-gah) was named in honor of Jose Joaquin de Arrellaga, one of California's most distinguished Spanish gover­nors. He served from 1792 to 1794, and again from 1800 to 1814.

BATH (English pronunciation) was formerly called Los Banos which is the Spanish word for "baths." This street led to that area of the beach which people favored for bathing.

CACIQUE (kah-seek') was the Chief of an Indian tribe.

CANADA (can-ya'-da) is the Spanish word for "canyon." This street was so named because it extended into a large ravine.

CANON PERDIDO (kan-on' per-dee'-do), which is Spanish for "lost cannon," was named because of the following incident: Early in the spring of 1848, the American brig Elizabeth was wrecked on Santa Barbara's West Beach. Among the property salvaged was a bronze cannon which remained on the beach long after the remaining prop­erty had been removed. Early in May it disappeared. Apparently it had been stolen by native Californians; at least that assumption was made to Governor Mason who levied a tax of $500 upon the city for its return. Subsequently, a storm exposed the cannon and the memory of this incident was preserved by naming a street Canon Perdido—the lost cannon. Unfortunately, the cannon was eventual­ly sold to a scrap metal dealer and it was sent to San Francisco.

CARPINTERIA (kar-pin-tare-ee'-ah) was the route usually taken to the town of Carpinteria. Gaspar de Portola and his soldiers marched into the Carpinteria Valley in mid-summer, 1769. They named the area Carpinteria for the carpenter shop that was located on the beach near what is now the south end of Oak Avenue.

CARRILLO (kah-ree'-yo) was named in honor of the prominent Car­rillo family. Raimundo Carrillo was a commandante of the Royal Presidio and Don Joaquin Carrillo was the first District Judge after the organization of this county. Carrillo and State were the two 80-foot wide streets provided for in the Haley Survey.

CASTILLO (kas-tee'-yo) is the Spanish word for castle or fort and the street was so named because it led to the Old Spanish fort on the Mesa.

CHAPALA (cha-pah'-lah) was named after a lake in the state of Jalis­co, Mexico, an area from which some of our early settlers came.

CHINO (chee'-no) derived its name from Rancho del Chino where a Mexican War battle was fought. (See Gillespie and San Pasqual.)

COTA (ko'-tah) was named after the Cota family, one of whom served as first lieutenant to Captain Ortega.

DE LA GUERRA (de' lah gair'-rah) was named in honor of Don Jose de la Guerra, the most prominent grandee of the late Spanish and early American periods.

DE LA VINA (de' lah vee'-nah), which was originally called Vineyard Street, received its name because it passed through a vineyard planted by Judge Albert Rickard.

FIGUEROA (fig-gay-ro'-ah) was named to honor Governor Jose Figueroa appointed Governor of Alta California in 1832. He issued the famous Secularization Proclamation in 1833.

GARDEN (English pronunciation), which was also known as Jardines, at one time passed through the lower portion of the De la Guerra gardens.

GILLESPIE (English pronunciation) was named after Captain Gillespie who fought in the battle of San Pasqual.

GUTIERREZ (goo-tair'-es) is a local family name, but in this instance, the street is named in the memory of Don Octaviano Gutierrez, a member of the city council.

HALEY (English pronunciation) was named for Salisbury Haley who was responsible for the Haley Survey of Santa Barbara.

INDIO MUERTO (in'-dee-o moo-air'-toe) translated from Spanish means "dead Indian." The remains of a deceased Indian were found when this street was being surveyed.

ISLAY (iz '-lay) is the Indian name for the wild cherry that grows on the Santa Ynez mountains. It was a source of food for the natives.

LAGUNA (lah-goo'-nah) received its name because the street extended into a lake or lagoon which formed during the rainy season.

MASON (English pronunciation) was named after Governor Mason, the man who levied the $500 fine in connection with the lost cannon incident.

MICHELTORENA (mitchell-to-ray'-nah) was named for Manuel Micheltorena, appointed Governor of Alta California in 1842.

MILPAS (mill'-pas) is an Indian word for a "sowing patch." The rich quality of the soil in an area where Indians grew patches of grain is all that was needed for this street to receive its name.

MISSION (English pronunciation) is the street that leads to Santa Bar­bara's Old Mission.

MONTECITO (mon-tay-see'-toe) was so named because it led towards the beautiful valley of Montecito which is east of Santa Barbara. In Spanish, it translates "a little wood."

NOPAL (no'-pal) is the Indian word for the "prickly pear cactus" and the street received its name from the great quantity that grew in the vicinity. When served as a food delicacy, the Spanish word is "nopales."

ORTEGA (or-tay'-gah) was named in honor of Jose Francisco Ortega, the founding organizer of the Royal Presidio and its first Commandante.

PEDREGOSA (ped-ree-go'-sah) is the Spanish adjective for "stony." The street is named after the Arroyo Pedregosa, the original name for our present Mission Canyon, which still has its multitude of sandstone river rocks.

PITOS (pee'-tos) is the Spanish word for "flutes" or "fifes" made by the Indians from reeds which grew in abundance where the street now passes.

PUNTA GORDA (poon'-tah gor'-dah) refers in Spanish to a flat rounded point which related to a bank to which the street extended.

QUARANTINA (kwar-ran-tee'-nah) is the street which reached the beach in an area where ships were once placed in quarantine.

QUINIENTOS (kee-nee-en'-tos) is the Spanish word for "five hundred." The street derived its name from the $500 tax imposed upon the city as a result of the lost cannon incident.

RANCHERIA (ran-chay-ree'-ah) was so named because of a rancheria, or Indian village, formerly existing in that area.

ROBBINS (English pronunciation) was named for Captain Thomas Robbins who came to Santa Barbara in 1827. He was granted Las Positas y Calera Rancho, the major portion of which is known to­day as Hope Ranch Park.

SALINAS (sah-lee'-nas) in Spanish is 'a salt marsh,' which is where the street ended.

SALSIPUEDES (sahl'-si'-pweh-des) is Spanish for "get out if you can." It refers to the rough physical features of the terrain with its many gullies and gulches.

SAN ANDREAS (san an-dray'as) took its name from Andres Pico who commanded the Californians in the battle of San Pasqual.

SAN BUENAVENTURA (san bway-nah-ven-too'-rah) refers to the town of Ventura, our neighbor to the east. In Spanish, it signifies "good venture" or "good luck."

SAN PASQUAL (san pas-kwal') took its name from the battle of San Pasqual fought between the Americans and the Californians in 1846.

SANTA BARBARA (English pronunciation) was named for the city it­self. The city derived its name from the following historical event: "In the autumn of 1602, Sebasian Viscaino set sail from Acapulco with three large vessels and a transport. One of the friars who ac­companied Viscaino was Antonio de la Ascension, a man of consid­erable learning who compiled information regarding the countries and gave names to the places visited. The convoy entered the chan­nel on the eve of Saint Barbara's day, December 3, and following the Spanish custom, the channel was named after the young saint."

SOLA (so'-lah) was named in honor of Governor Pablo Vicente de Sola who was in charge of affairs when Mexico ceased to be a Spanish colony.

SOLEDAD (soli-lay-dad) in Spanish signifies "solitude" or an uninhabitable place, which was the condition that existed in the vicinity of this street when it was surveyed.

STATE (English pronunciation) was named for the State of California which was still celebrating with pride its admittance to the Union.

VALERIO (vah-lar'-ree-oh) was the name of a noted outlaw who escaped from being held at the Mission in 1826. He lived in a cave in the Santa Ynez Mountains, became a robber, and frequently preyed upon the local settlers.

VICTORIA (vik-tor'-ree-yah) was named for Manuel Victoria who became Governor of Alta California in 1831.

VOLUNTARIO (vall-un-tair'-ree-yo) is the Spanish word for "volunteers." It was so named because of Captain De la Guerra's volun­teers who circled the hill to which the street extended, to scare off an enemy attack.

YANONALI (yah-no'-nah'-lee) was the renown Chief of a local Indian tribe whose headquarters was located on a mound that was to become the site of the famous Potter Hotel.

—Provided by Santa Barbara Bank & Trust quite a few years ago. The bank was bought out by Union Bank a number of years ago and is now a distant memory but the street names live on.

 

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015