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Way Back When in Santa Barbara & Mesa Memories

"MESA MEMORIES" MONDAY

Cliff Drive's Other Names – Ever wonder why "Cliff Drive" has that name even though it is nowhere near the cliffs? The name originated on the section of the road that runs west of Arroyo Burro Beach (Hendry's Beach, Henry's Beach) where it does run along the cliff. The portion of Cliff Drive on the Mesa was originally called "The Mesa Road" and began on the west side of Santa Barbara and ended about where Monroe Elementary School is located today.
     The Pacific Improvement Company, the owner of what is now called Hope Ranch, wanted an easier way for prospective property buyers to reach their property. The only way of reaching the property was the long route along State Street - quite a lengthy trip before the highway was built. The Mesa Road was pretty primitive, however. Here's a description of the road in 1902 – "There is not room for two vehicles to pass without getting into great ditches washed by the winter rain, or in deep chuch holes [potholes] which are left to be worn deeper and larger as the seasons come and go. That portion of the road is a disgrace to the city."
     The road through the Mesa was finally upgraded in 1903, and there were a number of names proposed for the new and improved route, but in the end, the powers-that-be stated that they "could not find a better name than Cliff Drive." (Image: Wikimedia)

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