Way Back When: Celebrating the Presidio
By Betsy J. Green
100 years ago, folks were remembering that April 21 marks the founding of Santa Barbara’s Presidio back in 1782. On this date, “Father Serra arrived here and blessed and consecrated the district and preached a sermon. The royal standard of Spain was unfurled.”
This year, there will be festivities at the Presidio today (Saturday, April 27, 2019) to mark this day.
This early diagram, which shows the layout of the Presidio, is a bit confusing because the south side of the fort is at the top of the map. The notation “110 varas cuadradas” means 110 square varas. A vara is 33.33 inches. (Image: History of the City of Santa Barbara, California, from its discovery to our own days. Written in Spanish by Rev. Juan Caballeria y Collell and translated by Edmund Burke, 1892)