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Santa Barbara, California

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA, a city and the county-seat of Santa Barbara county, in southern California, U.S.A., on the coastplain on the southern slope of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Pop. (1900) 6587(1143 foreign-born); (1910) 11,659. It is served by the Coast Line of the Southern Pacific railway system. With picturesque surroundings, excellent bathing beach and ideal climate, Santa Barbara is one of the most popular of the health and pleasure resorts of California. The monthly average of the mean temperatures for 23 years (1881-1903 inclusive) varied from 53 in January to 67 in August. Nowhere in California is plant life more varied and beautiful; in the vicinity are walnut, olive, lemon and orange groves. North-west of the city are the valuable oil fields of Santa Barbara county, notably the Santa Maria field, 6 m. S. of Santa Maria, and the region between Lompoc and Santa Maria, first developed in 1903. A presidio (Spanish military post) was established here in 1782, and a Franciscan mission, by Junipero Serra, about four years later. The mission building is well preserved, and is probably the greatest single attraction of Santa Barbara. It is now the Franciscan headquarters of the Pacific coast, and near it is a Franciscan college. Immediately behind it is the picturesque Mission Canyon. Santa Barbara took part in the revolution of 1829, and in the sectional struggles following leaned to the side of Monterey and the North. It was occupied by the Americans in August 1846, then (without bloodshed) by the Californians in October, and again definitively by the American forces on the 27th of November 1846. In 1850 it was incorporated as a city, though already long a Mexican " ciudad." It remained off the railway route until 1887.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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