Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

Colorized 1890 Mission Photo title=
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo
18 Comments
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By Joe DeLise

Here's a 1890 Riviera view of the Mission looking west.

The tree line in the background is Mission Creek, and I believe the house in the background is approximately on today's De La Vina St.

If any readers have pre-WWII non-commercial B&W photographs of Santa Barbara and vicinity with structures that are still standing, I'd appreciate if you can send a copy to me at: pchjdl@gmail.com, and please don't forget to include your name for credit! Smartphone photo or scanned images acceptable, thank you!


Original black and white photograph is from the SBPL online collection.

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Voran Oct 05, 2022 01:53 PM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

By the date of this photo, the natural oak woodlands had been extensively removed. This in no way depicts the natural vegetation before non-native people arrived.

condorhiker Oct 05, 2022 01:53 PM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

But how many trees were there before the mission was founded in 1786? Goleta was an oak forest before the Spanish arrived. I'll bet that the mission fathers and city residents cut down thousands of oaks for firewood in 100+ years.

a-1665004203 Oct 05, 2022 02:10 PM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

Great idea! There's probably rows of single family homes with apartment complexes in their backyard from where this was taken though, may need to stand on a roof.

El Barbareno Oct 05, 2022 10:08 AM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

This photo was taken in the late 1870s by San Francisco photographer Carleton E Watkins.
The house seen in the distance across the fields is the home of Capt. Thomas W. Moore. It stood in the 2400 block of Hollister (later renamed De la Vina) and was torn down in the late 1930s.
The adobe buildings at left are the remains of the homes for the Chumash that lived at the Mission.
The adobe buildings in the middle of the photo were the homes of the mayordomo and tanner. And in front of them is the aqueduct wall which still stands across from the Mission.

Babycakes Oct 05, 2022 09:49 AM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

Love seeing the colorized photo of The Old Mission! How barren the landscape around here was back in the day. It's obvious from the photo that we have very few native trees growing in Santa Barbara. Fortunately, because of our climate, we are able to grow nearly any plant/tree here that we desire, which is only possible by creating an infrastructure for importing water. Removing a handful of non-native trees along the new bike path on Modoc isn't the end of the world. I love palm trees, but those along Modoc create unnecessary hazards and simply need to be removed for the greater good of the people of Santa Barbara, especially the bike-riding public. Years ago (late 60s/early 70s) they wanted to replace all of the Italian Stone Pine trees along Anapamu St., but there was a huge uproar. Now we have to live with and maintain the unsafe buckled roads and sidewalks due to their huge root system. Those ISPs are unnaturally "force fed" water to keep them alive using those ugly plastic "troughs" next to many of those trees.

a-1664983974 Oct 05, 2022 08:32 AM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

Notice that there are virtually no trees anywhere. Yet these days the local governments are very aggressive about preserving "native" trees. I like trees; just think it strange what has come to pass.

imarshell Oct 05, 2022 07:59 AM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

Yes, this is when the water was year round in the creek beds. Barring a drought and without irrigation, our native trees were found along the riparian corridors, north facing slopes and fog drip areas.

Thomas John Oct 05, 2022 07:42 AM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

Makes me wonder what all the anti-Modoc bike path people are worried about a tree or two.......

Minibeast Oct 05, 2022 08:39 PM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

THOMAS JOHN: Click on the link to the petition I posted earlier. You can learn there what County Public Works is proposing. ----------For those of you who may think it's "just a few trees" proposed for removal ---- PLEASE read the petition. The Modoc Preserve is protected via conservation easement; an easement established in 1999. This easement is held in trust by The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. The County is going to have to come up with a better plan than its proposal to destroy trees and precious wildlife habitat. There are two "alignments" being proposed: A & B. Neither is good and both involve removal of healthy old growth trees. Encroaching on The Modoc Preserve with tons of asphalt and concrete would violate The Modoc Preserve's conservation easement. The County is stating that if the multi-use path isn't allowed in The Preserve, then the stand of Canary Island Date palms will be destroyed. This isn't a tree-huggers vs. bicyclists/multi-use path issue. It's about preserving The Preserve and protecting arboreal wildlife habitat + long-beloved aesthetics and retaining an historically cherished stand of trees. What The County must do now is prepare an Environmental Impact Report. Once the EIR is done, significant impacts will be known and a viable solution will be resolved upon. The solution will not involve killing of mature, healthy trees nor eradication of green space.

Thomas John Oct 05, 2022 05:00 PM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

Now way off topic - but I thought the current plans called for ZERO of the palms to be removed? Deb Thomas has been way out there on mis or misguided information as far as I'm concerned.

Minibeast Oct 05, 2022 02:20 PM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

THOMAS JOHN: There's nothing "anti-bike path" about working to save 100+ year-old established and healthy trees. You may be interested to know that those Canary Island Date palms lining Modoc Road were planted under the supervision of Pearl Chase's brother, Henry Chase. Protecting wildlife habitat and seeing to it that a designated conservation easement/Preserve is maintained intact is the right thing to do. You, too, can contribute to keeping Santa Barbara's green open space. Please sign the petition: https://chng.it/B8qvgfNwY6

Thomas John Oct 05, 2022 01:14 PM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

Sacjon, I was just trying to point out that with our irrigation and plantings we've completely changed the landscape from what it has been. Today it looks like we live in a jungle compared to the sevanna it once was. And yes, I was taking a poke at the anti-bike path folks.....

sacjon Oct 05, 2022 09:23 AM
Colorized 1890 Mission Photo

THOMAS JOHN - Odd you would make that comment, given there are only TWO trees in the foreground of this photo and there's not exactly a sprawling forest in the background. Not only are trees solitary living organisms, they're home to many animals and shelter for migratory species, but yeah, you need a better bike path......

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