Weldon of Weldon Road (part 2)
The Reverend S.R. Weldon was 49 years old when he arrived here in 1872. He had been a minister at a church in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, a tiny community on a small island in Lake Erie, north of the United States mainland from 1867 until 1872. He came to California for health reasons.
He wasted no time in establishing himself as the local expert in the field of science, especially astronomy. On November 13, 1872, he purchased 140 acres on the Mesa, and on December 14, the Santa Barbara "Times" reported that he would be giving a lecture on the moon, and said that he "has made a specialty of the study of Astronomy."
In 1877, another Santa Barbara paper, the "Weekly Press," called his residence "a model home," that was "one of the prettiest suburban homes in town … It is situated on the brow of the Mesa and commands a magnificent view of both the valley and the ocean. The house stands in its own grounds and is approached by a winding road and carriage drive. It is surrounded by a young plantation of shade trees, and on the slope down towards the valley, a pine plantation gives a beautiful effect to the whole picture." (The home is no longer here.)
Weldon died in 1887 at the age of 63. The "Morning Press" wrote, "He was a well-known and highly respected citizen and his loss will be severely felt." Today, the Mesa's astronomer is remembered by Weldon Road, a curving street that connects Cliff Drive and Loma Alta Drive.
Weldon is one of many of the Mesa's early residents who are profiled in MESApedia, written by yours truly. MESApedia is available in Santa Barbara bookstores and gift shops, and at Amazon.com.
(Image: courtesy of NASA)