Way Back When: The Missing Monkey

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Way Back When: The Missing Monkey
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(Image: Wikimedia)

By Betsy J. Green

Now here’s something that I don’t often see when I peruse the Santa Barbara newspapers of a century ago:

“Jack, the monkey owned by W.D.V. Smith’s Bootery, has made his escape. The monkey was used in the children’s department to amuse the kiddies. A liberal reward will be given to the person who either finds or returns Jack to his owners.” 

There was no word about the monkey’s capture, but if you have one of my earlier books, “Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1917,” you can turn to the May chapter to read about another renegade monkey on the streets of our fair city.


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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Flicka Sep 01, 2019 09:26 AM
Way Back When: The Missing Monkey

I remember the organ grinder with his monkey here during Fiesta (1940s). Grandma would give me a penny to hand the monkey. Clutched in his little fingers he would deposit it in a container his owner had.

a-1569191897 Aug 31, 2019 01:26 PM
Way Back When: The Missing Monkey

Poor monkeys. I remember the monkey kept in an unbelievably tiny cage (only opening for monkey to see out of was at the front) at the Pet Shop on State St., just above Ortega St. I was too young to know what type of primate, but even at a tender age, my heart went out to that long-suffering animal.

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