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Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions, and Silents on the Islands


The Olivers of Oliver Road - part 2


The Olivers spent several years in northern California before settling in Santa Barbara. They worked hard, saved their money, and looked around for a good spot to settle down. They liked the Mesa. On October 28, 1868, L.G. handed $2,035 in gold coins to Jonathan Mayhew, a Mesa farmer, in exchange for 101+ acres of land west of the Mesa lighthouse. (The lighthouse, which stood near La Mesa Park, was destroyed in the 1925 earthquake.) L.G. and his family lived and farmed on the Mesa for the next 32 years.

Over the years, the Olivers grew hay and corn (1500 bushels one year). The 1880 farm census showed that they owned six oxen (probably to pull the plow), and were raising 90 chickens and 90 pigs. The pigs were used for producing lard and hams. The family also had a windmill, probably to draw water from a well. In 1869, records show that the family (probably Kate) produced 500 pounds of butter. Their home was most likely on or near the ocean side of Mesa Road, now called Cliff Drive, west of Meigs Road.

When L.G. died in 1900, he was described as "one of the best known of the older residents of Santa Barbara." After his death, Kate moved to Chico to live with her son. She died in 1905. Both of the Oliver brothers died in 1940. But the name of the Olivers' Mesa farm lives on in Oliver Road, which was named in the mid-1920s and is still here today.

(The Olivers, and other early Mesa families, are covered in MESApedia - the early years of Santa Barbara's Mesa.)

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