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Santa Barbara History, California

Santa Barbara is a famous city in Santa Barbara County, United States. It is located on the coastline, between Santa Ynez Mountains and the sea. The city has a Mediterranean climate, and is popularly known as California's "South Coast". Sometimes, it is also popularly called as the "American Riviera."

Looking back at the history of Santa Barbara, historians say that it started about 13,000 years ago when the first Native Americans arrived here. Then the territory was occupied by the Spanish in the 18th century who promoted Christianity.

In 1848, the United States began to expand and under its expansion policy, it annexed the town and the remaining California too. At that time, Santa Barbara became a lawless town, known for a health resort and military base. It was hit by earthquakes in the years 1812 and 1925. Today, it is rebuilt in a Spanish Colonial style, and marks as a popular tourist destination in California.

Let’s read more about the detailed history of this magnificent city.

Santa Barbara Early History

This city was discovered almost 13,000 years ago by the ancestors of the Chumash. Around 10,000 Chumash lived on Santa Barbara’s south coast when Juan Cabrillo entered this county in 1542. In 1643, the name of this city was given by Sebastian Vizcaino. Feast day is dedicated to this saint who christened the name of the city.

Santa Barbara History-Spanish period

Gaspar de Portola was the first person who led the land expedition and he was appointed by Padre Junipero Serra, a famous missionary who visited this city in 1769. After the appointment, many Spanish people brought their families with them and laid the foundation of a small town. The most striking moment in the history of this city was in 1813, when a tsunami completely destroyed the town.

Santa Barbara History-The American Period

In 1848, Mexico signed an agreement with the United States. After exceeding the population up to 100,000, the territory became an independent state. Ventura is an independent country these days but originally it came under Santa Barbara in 1873. After the separation of the legislature, Ventura and Santa Barbara were separated.

The first major earthquake hit Santa Barbara in 1812 and totally ravaged the city, and it took a lot of time to recover those repairs. In 1952 a new Santa Barbara was created. Santa Barbara was totally developed in the late 1900’s. Civil construction of roads and streets started in this city by 1910.

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  • adamSanta Barbara
    review by adam posted more then 30 days ago
    Santa Barbara, which is a halfway point between San Francisco and Los Angeles is easily the most gorgeous and I've ever been to by far. Nicknamed the "American Riviera" because of it's extremely beautiful scenery, wonderful beaches, enjoyable climate and pleasant mountains which...
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Santa Barbara City Ratings

  • Rating63%
    City Rank276
  • History & Culture: rated for 70%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 60%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 80%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 80%
  • Food: rated for 50%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 60%
  • Shopping: rated for 60%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 40%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 70%
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