Way Back When: Visiting Montecito's “Riso Rivo” Estate
(Image: House & Garden, April 1, 1906)
By Betsy J. Green
Santa Barbara’s Nature Study Club was fortunate enough to be allowed to wander around one of Montecito’s grandest estates in March 1919. In the words of the local paper, the excursion “was not a bird trip, but it certainly was a lark.”
The estate was “Riso Rivo,” on Cold Springs Road belonging to Charles Eaton. “Riso Rivo” means laughing stream. The local paper wrote, “Charles Eaton has added to the beauties of nature by marvelously devising grottos, rustic bridges across baby canyons, and ferneries of infinite charm.”
“Riso Rivo” was used as the location for three “Flying A” movies. You can read more about them in my forthcoming book about silent movies made in Montecito.