Way Back When: Another Adobe is Repurposed

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Way Back When: Another Adobe is Repurposed
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By Betsy J. Green

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the Covarrubias adobe being turned into an arts center. Now, in November 1919, there was an article in the local paper about the transformation of the Gaspar Oreña adobe at 27 East De la Guerra from a home to a studio and office building. But what was most interesting about the adobe building was the story about the original inhabitant.

“In the old days, Gaspar Oreña, who built the house had little faith in banks. At one time, he buried a sack of gold dust in the backyard … When he moved, he dug up his gold and found that the sack rotted away and the dust mixed with the dirt. It was necessary to pan out several yards of earth to be sure he got back all of his buried treasure.”


If you like my “WAY BACK WHEN” posts on Edhat, you are invited to come to my mini “Magical History Tour of Santa Barbara in 1919” at Chaucer’s Bookstore on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. (The “Way Back When” posts are excerpts from my new book, “Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1919.”) Learn more at betsyjgreen.com​

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aragorn Nov 10, 2019 10:33 AM
Way Back When: Another Adobe is Repurposed

I miss what Santa Barbara looked like in the late 50's and early 60's when I was just a little kid. Ms. Betsy J. Green, can you please do a story on the old Coca-Cola Bottling Co. that was on the corner of East Ortega St. and Santa Barbara St. And on the old California Theater that was on the corner of the 900 block of State St. and Canon Perdido St? Thanks!

bjgreen Nov 09, 2019 12:39 PM
Way Back When: Another Adobe is Repurposed

Thanks for the good words, Flicka. The Gaspar Orena gold dust story is a good example of the interesting history that is in our local papers. I have not found this story in any SB history books, and none of the other historians that I spoke to had heard of this story either.

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