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HISTORY

Memorabelia
updated: Jan 25, 2013, 11:11 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

I have this old 1935 photo of a City of Santa Barbara Ambulance along with another photo of "Master Mechanic Bill Jamison" who was going to convert it into a truck for the Fire Department! I was just wondering if anybody out there might know of/be related to him?

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UPDATED: By Neal Graffy

Here is the finished product on October 11, 1935. The photo was taken next to 911 Chapala Street, the Hollister Estate Co. building. The building still stands though since the photo was taken an addition has been added to the north (by street compass) side.

At that time, the Fire Department's main station was at 921 Chapala (now the side entrance/exit to the Carrillo Station) and there were empty lots between the Fire Station and the Hollister Co. building.

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Original Poster UPDATE:

Here's a great "Before" shot from the same spot as the "After." Along with a pic of the Mechanic's car, confirming Chapala St. Fire Station location.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 367244 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 07:22 AM

That's pretty awesome! Wonder if that house in the background still exists. And check out the placement of the driver's door.

Things are a little different now... Hmmm. 1 9 3 5 Master Mechanic: "So the engine seems to have less power and misses occasionally? Let me hook that up to the computer and get some error codes to see where the problem might stem from. I'm guessing it's the electronic ignition."

 

 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 07:25 AM

Hope someone can tell us how the transformation turned out. Also, hope a Bill Jamison friend or relative turns up; in fact, Bill Jamison may still be living in SB and he can enlighten us. Looking forward to a follow-up on this.

 

 COMMENT 367255 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 08:02 AM

Thanx for sharing these!

 

 COMMENT 367279 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 08:52 AM

I googled him & it seems his family may still live here, but he is buried at Santa Barbara cemetery.

 

 LONESTARCA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 09:17 AM

I used Ancestry.com and found him. William Francis Jamison was born in Santa Barbara on 18 Nov 1898. His parents were Richard Belt "Dick" Jamison and Annie E. Ilenstine. Both parents were born in California and died in Santa Barbara. Billl married Lydia Rose "Alita" Stamm (from Michigan) in 1928. He was a Master Mechanic for the City Fire Department. In the 1940 census, Bill and Alita Jamison lived at 2733 Verde Vista Drive. Two step-children: Dorothy Rosendahl Wegher (b. 1916) and Gary Rosendahl (b. 1918). According to the census report, Alita and her daughter Dorothy worked in a school cafeteria. Gary Rosendahl was a painter. Dorothy died in 1950. Gary died in 1966.

Bill Jamison's grandfather was Tobias Belt Jamison, b. 1831 in Maryland. In 1859, two years after getting married, Tobias and Mary Elizabeth Cooksey set out with a wagon train across the U.S. to California. It took them five months. Mary Elizabeth was pregnant with their second child on the trip. They had fourteen children.

Tobias Belt Jamison died in on the Orella Ranch in Santa Barbara County in 1907 and his funeral was at the Presbyterian Church in Santa Ynez. His wife had died the previous year.

 

 COMMENT 367350P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 10:39 AM

Wow, so much about them! They lived close to me. I wonder if Alita worked at the Peabody School cafeteria, just a few blocks from her house on Verde Vista. I believe Peabody opened in 1928, the year of her marriage. His grandparents were wagon train pioneers! They must have been pretty good mechanics, too. That's a great truck; I've never seen one like it. I'm glad someone liked it enough to take pictures back in the day. I wonder if these are "before" and there were some "after" shots, too. Maybe the fire department has them.

 

 THINKERBILL agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 10:53 AM

What a marvelous store of information pours forth on Edhat!

Compliments and thanks to all for sharing!

That said, given the unique roof lines in the backgrounds on the photos and using the clues that imply a Santa Barbara location and a police or fire department yard, can any Edhat researcher add the exact location?

 

 COMMENT 367365 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 11:09 AM

Cool!

 

 COMMENT 367387 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 11:45 AM

Hey Neil, any updates on when your book will be published? Looking forward to it!

 

 COMMENT 367391 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 11:53 AM

I love how local government back then seemed to be a penny smarter instead of a dollar foolish like today. They understood the value of that ambulance and recycled it into fire dept. service instead of junking it and buying new. That type of thought process seems to have disappeared over time in favor of our new culture of easy money disposable everything.

 

 COMMENT 367395 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 11:58 AM

I wonder if Jamison Lane was named after someone in the family

 

 COMMENT 367420 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 12:39 PM

Bill, his parents and siblings lived in Goleta next to the Doty's place. I remember going as a kid to visit Bill and his wife right after they married and were living on Chino Street with her kids from a previous marriage. He was just starting out with the SB Fire Dept at the time.

 

 COMMENT 367432 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 01:09 PM

It's interesting how most handwriting looked the same from that era. All of my Grandmother's photos have writing that looks exactly the same...my kids don't even know cursive.

 

 COMMENT 367443P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 01:34 PM

Needs to be a new thread if people want to discuss, but many school districts are eliminating cursive instruction! Handwriting was everything in those days, and classes in penmanship were indispensable.

 

 COMMENT 367468 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 02:58 PM

Re: Jameson Lane is the "e" Jameson, the Fire Department is the "i" Jamison. No relation.

To OP: I wonder if our photos are taken by the same person. The both have similar markings in pencil and "Azo" (the paper I think) along with numbers. The photos I have were taken by Joseph D. Phillis, Captain of the Fire Department. He lived with his wife, Marie,
at 824 Bath Street.

 

 COMMENT 367472 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 03:06 PM

That adobe house/building is still there.

 

 BJGREEN agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 04:28 PM

The "before" photo of the vehicle looks like what my grandmother used to call the black Maria. (She pronounced it "Mah-RYE-uh".)

 

 ARCHIE agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-26 08:14 AM

What great photos and comments--thanks everybody!

 

 COMMENT 367697 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-26 10:24 AM

Black Mariah was a van used by the SB Police Department when they housed prisoners either at the De La Guerra station first or the current Figueroa St. station..

 

 SBARTS agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-28 10:15 AM

Santa Barbara Arts is proud to be a sponsor of Neal's new book "SB Then and Now". As soon as they arrive (any day), I will let you all know. We are featuring the book for our "1st Thursday" on February 7 so definitely will have them then.

 

 COMMENT 370348 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 06:19 PM

Black Mariahs were also used in L.A. by police. Not sure where the name came from. The before photo does look like one.

 

 COMMENT 445422 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-08-27 04:49 PM

Bill Jamison's family would LOVE to talk to some of the locals that knew him and those who have pictures. Please contact EdHat for my email. Somehow I missed this thread earlier in the year.

 

36% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

 

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