Movies Way Back When: Unfit to be Tied

Movies Way Back When: Unfit to be Tied title=
Image: Hitching posts on State Street c. 1892. Courtesy of Santa Barbara Public Library, Edson Smith collection
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By Betsy J. Green

There were still hitching posts on State Street in 1912 when the cowboy actors from the “Flying A” rode into the city. And, apparently, there were rules about using them, according to a story in the local paper.

One of the cowboy actors, named Pete Morrison, "rode downtown yesterday morning and dropped the reins on the sidewalk while he went into a State Street store. When he came out, there was a policeman waiting.

"'This is against the traffic ordinance,' he was informed. 'What is?,' asked Mr. Morrison. 'Leaving your horse untied,' was the answer.

"‘I guess I better not ride downtown anymore if that's the case . . . That horse is bettr'n tied with the reins lying on the ground this way.'" (Santa Barbara Morning Press, July 11, 1912)

Apparently, the cowboy-actor was let off with just a warning – this time.

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​.
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