Who Was Hollister?

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By Tom Modugno of Goleta History

Hollister Avenue. It’s Goleta’s main street and we drive on it everyday. It runs all the way through Goleta, from Haskells Beach until it turns into State Street just east of Modoc Road. But who was Hollister?

To learn more about local history go to www.goletahistory.com.

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El Barbareno Apr 27, 2020 09:56 AM
Who Was Hollister?

"A-1588004438 - with respect" has no idea what he or she is talking about. Hollister worked hard and took risks to make his fortune and he used his wealth to improve Santa Barbara. As for his "illegal purchase" of portions of the Den family property (Rancho Dos Pueblos), the Den heirs were land rich, cash poor and would most likely have soon lost their property to taxes. They had no money, and few cattle due to the extensive drought of the 1860s and were more than happy when Hollister paid them TEN TIMES the value of the property. As for the Chinese, Hollister was highly respected by the Chinese community in Santa Barbara and fought against the Chinese Exclusion Act. As for his philandering, he did have at least one affair with a married woman, resulting in a child that was provided for in his will. Hard to embarrass a man to pay support after his death. I have never seen any record of Annie James Hollister being forced out of the Hollister home - a home filled with Hollister children and staff so Hollister could "carry on sexual adventures in her house".

a-1588005614 Apr 27, 2020 09:40 AM
Who Was Hollister?

Hollister definitely had an unsavory side. The changes he wrought (brought) were good and bad. One could surmise that the loss of his ranch to Bishop was a just punishment for his many immoral activities and choices over the years. He had a profound impact from Gaviota (Hollister Ranch) to Goleta , and introduced many important agricultural industries to the area. His descendants have also brought many important and positive impacts to this region, including including inabling the beautiful Arroyo Hondo Preserve to be purchased by the Land Trust for public use.

a-1588002636 Apr 27, 2020 08:50 AM
Who Was Hollister?

With respect, this white wash treatment of what amounted to a small town robber baron is single. The chase for money is not a particularly motivating nor is it inspirational. He used Chinese labor to avoid hiring locals who would probably have had better conditions than offered the Chinese, he illegally bought property depriving that family of the protection arranged by their father, he chased after women outside of his marriage and apparently had to be embarrassed into paying child support for a least one child he sired in that way, he moved his wife out of the family home while he was carrying on these sexual adventures and so on. Not much in this life of commerce to give young people admirable lessons on conducting their own life. Can't see why Hollister Avenue should not be renamed after someone more ethical.

hikerdude Apr 27, 2020 08:01 AM
Who Was Hollister?

Yes, this was very interesting local history piece.

bjgreen Apr 26, 2020 04:55 PM
Who Was Hollister?

Great presentation! Thanks for sharing.

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