The Lagoon of the Dancing Maidens by R Lawson Gamble

He called the place “una laguna graciosa“, but there are those who suspect this soldier with the Portola Expedition remembered not so much the small lake and its excellent drinking water, as the Indian maidens who danced gracefully upon its shores. Ten years later, when the Anza Expedition camped in the same location, Father PedroContinue reading “The Lagoon of the Dancing Maidens by R Lawson Gamble”

Gin Chow: Farmer, Prophet, Author, and Water-Rights Fighter by Merle Blasjo

A previous article described the remarkable capabilities to predict events attributed to Chinese immigrant Gin Chow. He first demonstrated this ability to neighborhood farmers who observed that his predictions of storms, frost and other weather events often came true, even when predicted days or weeks in advance. Word spread to the local media, who wereContinue reading “Gin Chow: Farmer, Prophet, Author, and Water-Rights Fighter by Merle Blasjo”

The Amazing Davy Brown by R Lawson Gamble

Davy Brown, by all reports, was a remarkable man, the sort of character around whom myths and lies swirl, about whom the facts fail to stick, sliding away like eggs in a Teflon frying pan. It is common knowledge that he had a cabin near the campground that bears his name in the west endContinue reading “The Amazing Davy Brown by R Lawson Gamble”

The Prophet of the Lompoc Valley by Merle Blasjo

Large numbers of Chinese citizens immigrated to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They met an expanding need for workers on railroads which were beginning to tie our country together like ties on shoppers packages. Others worked as domestics, farm workers, and ranch hands. Among these immigrants was Gin Chow,Continue reading “The Prophet of the Lompoc Valley by Merle Blasjo”

The California Grizzly … by R Lawson Gamble

There was a time in North Santa Barbara County when a simple morning walk to the creek for a drink of water could bring you face to face with a nine-foot tall, 2000-pound monster equipped with 9-inch claws on great paws with an angry glint in its eye. One cannot overstate the profound effect thisContinue reading “The California Grizzly … by R Lawson Gamble”

Vandenberg AFB: Where the Eagle Soared by Merle Blasjo

It is the eighteenth century. A bald eagle flies over the western part of Santa Barbara County. Below him is the Chumash village Algsacupi; surrounding the village are hills and canyons occupied by deer, bears, coyotes, foxes, and various smaller animals. The eagle is on a mission as he soars gracefully, scanning the ground withContinue reading “Vandenberg AFB: Where the Eagle Soared by Merle Blasjo”

PACOMIO: A Man For All Cultures – by R Lawson Gamble

Jose Pacomio Poqui was a Chumash Indian, first to last. Even after his masonry skills earned him unusual access to European society, he never forgot his heritage, never apologized for his race. Pacomio was born on La Rancheria de Esniscue around 1794. This small Indian settlement was located near La Purisima Mission, and it wasContinue reading “PACOMIO: A Man For All Cultures – by R Lawson Gamble”

Smugglers and a Tahitian Princess in Spanish California by Merle Blasjo

During the Spanish period of California, ships from Spain brought much-needed manufactured items and materials to the missions and settlers trying to become established in this pristine territory. The ships received cash and a few products in return. One of the products finding good trading value was sea otter pelts taken in the shores andContinue reading “Smugglers and a Tahitian Princess in Spanish California by Merle Blasjo”

Other Bandits of North Santa Barbara County by R Lawson Gamble

To the old Mexican families living in North Santa Barbara County, Salomon Pico was one of their own. They could expect to be left alone by Salomon when on the road. But this was not true of other bandits who drifted into the area, drawn by the lure of unprotected gold and minimal consequences. JuanContinue reading “Other Bandits of North Santa Barbara County by R Lawson Gamble”

The Bad Pirate Turned Good by Merle Blasjo

At the edge of Solvang is Mission Santa Ines, founded in 1804. It is a place of worship, education, and a vault of more than twelve decades of history in our remarkable area. There is a wealth of tragedy, triumph, ignominy, heroism, and life under conditions we have trouble picturing for the researcher. One ofContinue reading “The Bad Pirate Turned Good by Merle Blasjo”