Movies Way Back When: A Pelican in the Spotlight

By Betsy J. Green

Captain Sebastian Larco, the man who was called the father of Santa Barbara’s fishing industry, had a couple of pet pelicans. In 1915, one of them was filmed in an episode of the “Flying A” serial “The Diamond from the Sky.” The diamond in the serial keeps getting lost or stolen at the end of each chapter, and if you want to find out what happened, you’ll have to come back to watch the next installment. In this particular episode, the pelican flies off with the coveted jewel.

Betsy’s Way Back When book — 1919 — is now available in local bookstores and at This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at​.

Written by bjgreen

Betsy J. Green is a Santa Barbara historian and author. Her books are available in local bookstores, and at (Shop local if you can.) Learn more at

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