The Death of Salomon Pico

The man with whom Salomon had ridden to fight the Americans during the Spanish -American war was his friend and cousin Capitán José Castro. A loyal Mexican citizen, Castro had departed for Mexico once they were defeated. There, in Sonora, he was rewarded with a similar commission in the Mexican Army and quickly reinforced thatContinue reading “The Death of Salomon Pico”

“OLD 21” by Merle Blasjo

A train runs along the 14-mile Santa Maria Valley Railroad from Guadalupe to Santa Maria as a throng of railfans lines the track. At the throttle of the Mikado steam engine is the railroad’s owner, Captain G. Allan Hancock. Sharing the cab is Hancock’s friend Walt Disney. Also riding are Hancock’s family and some ofContinue reading ““OLD 21” by Merle Blasjo”

Salomon Pico in Los Alamos Valley by R Lawson Gamble

(Continued from July 18)Embittered by his misfortunes that he blamed on the Americans, Salomon fell in with a group of similarly minded men. Together, they hatched a plan to kill an American, in this case, the majordomo of a ranch in the Monterey area. But not all in the group were discontented Californios. At leastContinue reading “Salomon Pico in Los Alamos Valley by R Lawson Gamble”

Sea Otters: Active Trading and Near Extinction – by Merle Blasjo

When the Spanish occupied the west coast of North America, they found large numbers of sea otters in the shoreline waters. These carnivorous marine mammals were found from Baja California to Alaska. Today, these creatures with doll-like faces are a joy to watch for children and adults alike. They can be seen floating on theirContinue reading “Sea Otters: Active Trading and Near Extinction – by Merle Blasjo”


On Saturday, April 6, 1861, William H. Brewer camped with his geological survey team at the ranch Alamo Pintado in the Santa Ynez Valley. Traveling several days from Santa Barbara, the party had traversed Gaviota Pass and followed the Alisal Road route, passing the Nojoqui Ranch and the Santa Ynez Mission, the latter in ruinsContinue reading “BANDITS OF NORTH SANTA BARBARA COUNTY by R Lawson Gamble”


Lompoc’s birth came through the efforts of a group of land developers who wanted to create a community free from alcoholic beverages. It would be patterned after Vineland, an earlier temperance community in New Jersey. The developers purchased 43,000 acres of land and platted it into urban lots and surrounding agricultural plots. The deed forContinue reading “LOMPOC FOUGHT DEMON RUM COURAGEOUSLY – AND LOST! By Merle Blasjo”