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Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions, Behind the Scenes at the "Flying A," & Silents on the Islands


Image of diatoms: F. L. Washburn, 1896

Rock Soap - Part 2


On May 23, 1878, the Los Angeles Herald reported, "Rock Soap – Some of the Rock Soap from the vein located by Mr. Frank Walker, on the Santa Barbara beach [on the Mesa], a few months since, was sent to San Francisco for trial, and the report comes back that it is far superior to the Ventura article . . . In a short time, a number of tons of the crude material will be sent to the city for manufacture into marketable shape, and no doubt, Santa Barbara Rock Soap will, ere long, be a staple article of commerce."


Only five weeks later, on June 29, 1878, Santa Barbara's Weekly Press reported that Frank Walker and his business associates sold the rights to their Rock Soap mine on the Mesa to the Pacific Soap Company. The paper did not call him "Fast Frank," but that could well have been his nickname in Santa Barbara.


There is no record of Rock Soap being mined on the Mesa cliffs, or anywhere else in Santa Barbara. In the 1800s, Rock Soap was principally used for polishing jewelry and silverware. 

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