Way Back When: Big News at the Potter Hotel

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Way Back When: Big News at the Potter Hotel
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The Potter Hotel had a new owner this month (Image: Library of Congress)

By Betsy J. Green

WAY BACK WHEN, in February 1919, the big news hit the paper – “Sale of Potter Hotel Now Announced.” The new owner was a hotel syndicate headed by D.M. Linnard of San Francisco. According to the Library of Congress website, Linnard pioneered the concept of hotel plus bungalows, and that’s exactly what was discussed in the article about his purchase of the Potter. “Thirty-six Bungalows to be Built on Grounds … to Become Playground of the World; Santa Barbara Strictly in Forefront of Biggest Development Plans.”

Was it significant that Potter sold the hotel in 1919 and not in 1918? Yes, indeedy, because Potter’s lucky number was 19.


Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1918 -- is now available in local bookstores and at Amazon.com. This is the fifth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at betsyjgreen.com

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a-1550801147 Feb 10, 2019 01:41 AM
Way Back When: Big News at the Potter Hotel

A while ago I had a vase from the Potter Hotel. Marked as tourist souvenir and everything. It was kept safe in a locked chest for decades. One day my boyfriend decided to look at the chest contents. He never told me. Next time I opened the chest, I pulled out an old Beatles t-shirt that my boyfriend had decided should be wrapped around the vase. Crash went the vase to the oak wood floor. Into about five pieces. I was in such shock I couldn't even cry about it.

Flicka Feb 09, 2019 08:02 PM
Way Back When: Big News at the Potter Hotel

My Mom watched the hotel burn. My Grandpa's friend Clare Lotten was at his parents farm on South Milpas when the fire started. He drove to Montecito to pick up Mom, (9 yrs old), her brother and sister and brought them in to see the fire.

bjgreen Feb 09, 2019 12:17 PM
Way Back When: Big News at the Potter Hotel

The Potter Hotel was located in the West Beach neighborhood, roughly between Cabrillo and Natoma, and Bath and Chapala streets. Ambassador Park on Cabrillo marks the location of the hotel's entrance when the hotel was known as the Ambassador Hotel.

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