January 27, 2022

SMH

Santa Maria History

The City of Santa Maria incorporated in September, and much more | Shirley Contreras | Local news

Sept. 17, 1804: Mission Santa Inez was founded.

Sept. 12, 1840: Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado granted the 8,841.21 acres Casmalia Rancho to Antonio Olivera.

Sept. 21, 1874: The Guadalupe Lodge #237 F & AM first met as a chartered lodge.

September 1883: A raging fire destroyed the T. A. Jones & Son store. Other stores and offices suffered damages, including Judge Thornburgh’s office.

September 1894: Students moved into the new high school building built on 10 acres of property purchased from Ezra Morrison for $1,500. The building cost the district $12,000.

September 1897: Union Sugar Company acquired land on which to build a refinery. The company incorporated on Sept. 27.

Sept. 20, 1899: Union Sugar Company began sugar production in Betteravia.

Sept. 1, 1901: With $25,000 in hand, Valley Savings Bank, with William H. Rice serving as president, opened on the corner of Broadway and Main Street. The property was later the site of Security First National Bank.

Sept. 12, 1905: Santa Maria voted to incorporate as a “Municipal Corporation of the Sixth Class,” with 202 voting for incorporation and 139 against.

Sept. 18. 1905: The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors confirmed the incorporation of the city of Santa Maria.

Sept. 21, 1905: The first meeting of the new City of Santa Maria’s Board of Trustees (now the City Council) was held in the director’s room of the First National Bank of Santa Maria, which was located on the northwest corner of Lincoln and Main Streets. Alvin Cox was elected president and Thomas Preisker became the city’s attorney.

Note: It wasn’t until 1927 that the title “mayor” came into use by an act of the state legislature, which resulted in Arthur Fugler becoming the first legally designated mayor of the city.

Sept. 23, 1905: The cornerstone was set down at the new Hesperian Lodge #264 F & AM home at the corner of Church and Broadway.

Sept. 8, 1923: One of the worst disasters in the history of the U. S. Navy took place when seven U. S. Navy destroyers ran aground at Honda Point, off what is now Vandenberg Air Force Base, killing 23 sailors.

Sept. 1926: The 30-member Community Orchestra, under the direction of William E. Strowbridge, was organized in Santa Maria.

Sept. 16, 1929: The Reverend Yasuo Oshita, from Japan, was appointed as the first permanent pastor of the newly organized Japanese Union Church in Santa Maria, a position that he held until 1957.

Sept. 9, 1931: The War Memorial building was dedicated in Guadalupe.

September 1934: Santa Maria’s new city hall, designed by Louis N. Crawford and Francis Parsons, was dedicated.

Sept. 17, 1939: Hancock College of Aeronautics was dedicated to the “future security of the U.S.A.”

Sept. 1, 1940: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, a law that resulted in the first peacetime military draft in U.S. history.

Sept. 11, 1941: Ground was broken for the 92,000-acre Camp Cooke military installation.

Sept. 9, 1942: The first civilian employees were transferred from Camp Cooke to the Hancock College of Aeronautics.

Sept. 16, 1943: After bombers were determined to be too heavy for the runways, the Army Airfield became the final training site for P38 Lightning fighter groups.

Sept. 2, 1945: Japan formally surrendered.

Sept. 2, 1945: Hancock leased its school facilities to USC for $1 a year. A 4-year degree course was offered by the university through the Allan Hancock Foundation.

Sept. 5, 1945: Rev. Yasuo Oshita, minister of the Japanese Union Church on Mary Street, became the first Japanese to return home from the internment camps.

Sept. 10, 1945: A peacetime workweek was established at the Hancock College of Aeronautics: 40 hours per week for civilians and 44 hours per week for military personnel.

Sept. 22, 1945: Although the local war price and rationing board closed, the rationing of tires, shoes and food (including sugar) was still in force.

Sept. 2, 1951: The new Blochman School was opened in Sisquoc.

Sept. 7, 1955: Santa Maria Historical Society organized and incorporated as a nonprofit organization, with Ethel-May Dorsey serving as its first president. More than 200 people signed as charter members.

Sept. 10, 1955: The first location of the Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum opened in the basement of the Carnegie Library. The museum was to know two other locations before moving into its current location at 616 South Broadway.

Sept. 11, 1955: A time capsule was buried in the patio of City Hall to commemorate the last day of the 8-day Santa Maria 50th year anniversary.

Sept. 7, 1961: Flames swept through the kitchen of El Camino School causing an estimated $5,000 in damages. Cause of the fire was undetermined.

Sept. 17, 1961: Rice School was dedicated to William Hickman Rice.

Sept. 24, 1961: The Arellanes School was dedicated to Don Juan Bautista Arellanes.

Sept. 28, 1962: A ribbon-cutting opened the new freeway.

September 1963: Santa Maria Beautiful chose the geranium as the city’s flower.

Sept. 23, 1965: Demolition of the Main Street School took place.

Sept. 16, 1969: Santa Maria City Councilmen approved the first reading of an ordinance to establish regulations and procedures for the removal of overhead utility facilities and the installation of underground facilities.

Sept. 20, 1974: The Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum, located at 616 South Broadway, was dedicated.

Sept. 27, 1974: Fairlawn School was dedicated to Benjamin Wiley.

Sept. 12, 1975: The new Masonic Temple at 700 Lakeview Drive was dedicated.

September 1978: Rancho Tinaquaic received a 100 years certificate from the state of California.

Sept. 19, 1982: The site of Pacific Coast Railway Depot, located at West Main and Depot streets, was designated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark.

Sept. 12, 1985: Santa Maria’s city hall, located at 110 East Cook, was designated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark.

Sept. 12, 1989: Robin Ventura, 1985 Righetti High School graduate, played his first game with the Chicago White Sox.

Sept. 21, 2000: Von’s, the first supermarket in Nipomo, opened.

Sept. 4, 2002: The new Nipomo High School marked its opening day.

Sept. 4, 2002: The time capsule, buried in 1955, was unearthed in front of City Hall.

Sept. 12, 2004: The yearlong celebration of Santa Maria’s Centennial, began with a community kick-off picnic at the Elks Lodge.

Sept. 11, 2005: Santa Maria’s Centennial Celebration closing ceremonies and spectacular fireworks show took place at the Fairpark.

Sept. 12, 2005: Santa Maria celebrated 100 years of incorporation.

Sept. 29, 2009: The state of California filed a resolution designating October as Filipino/American History month. Congress followed suit the following year.