WAY BACK WHEN WEDNESDAY - 100 years ago this week in Santa Barbara, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., an actor who is most famous for portraying Robin Hood and Zorro, was filming Mr. and Mrs. William Gibbs McAdoo for a pictorial news weekly film in Montecito this month. McAdoo had recently retired from his position as U.S. Secretary of Treasury and was renting a home in Montecito. (Image: Photoplay, July 1919)
Way Back When in Santa Barbara, Mesa Memories, & Silent Movies Made in Montecito
WAY BACK WHEN WEDNESDAY - 100 years ago this week in Santa Barbara, Goldwyn Studio was filming here. Santa Barbara's "Flying A" was not the only studio that made movies here. A number of Hollywood studios also used locations in our area for their films. This month, a film crew from Goldwyn Studio that was filming "Lord and Lady Algy" was shooting exterior scenes in Santa Barbara and Montecito. According to the local paper, "The exteriors being taken here will represent English scenes." (Image: Motion Picture News, September 20, 1919)
WAY BACK WHEN WEDNESDAY - 100 years ago this week in Santa Barbara, the Nature Study Club Had a dream outing touring one of the big estates in Montecito – "El Mirador," owned by Lolita Armour. "The place is being converted into a veritable paradise. There are exceptional viewpoints, and a trip through the canyon was most interesting."
While doing research about silent movies filmed in Montecito, I recently discovered that "El Mirador" had served as the location for some of the scenes of the "Flying A" movie titled "The Envoy Extraordinary" that was released in 1914. The film was supposed to take place in Europe. (Image: Library of Congress)
WAY BACK WHEN WEDNESDAY - 100 years ago this week in Santa Barbara, tempers were flaring over this feathered beauty, the Cedar Waxwing. "The cedar bird is of undeniable beauty and interest to bird lovers everywhere," one person told the local paper and another added, "The cedar bird is pretty."
However, one article quoted an orchard owner who said that the bird, also nicknamed "the cherry bird" because of its fondness for fruit, destroyed cherries and cherry blossoms on his trees.
Writing in defense of the bird was William Leon Dawson, the founder of the egg museum that morphed into today's Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. He suggested that it was not the Cedar Waxwings that caused the damage to blossoms. He blamed the Purple Finch. "I predict that when such an investigation is made, the Cedar Waxwing will be held not to be guilty as charged." (Image: New York Public Library)