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I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival at the Santa Barbara Mission

A full calendar of events, complemented by the temperate climate, attracts visitors all year long. In Santa Barbara, the challenge isn’t finding something to do; it’s choosing from a dazzling array of activities. Memorial Day brings I Madonnari, an inspired chalk-painting festival held on the grounds of the Old Mission.

More than 200 artists get down on their hands and knees to create colorful chalk masterpieces on the asphalt in front of the Santa Barbara Mission. Spectators stroll the courtyard at their leisure, then walk down the lawn where an Italian marketplace features food, booths and entertainment. An Italian tradition since the 16th Century, the I Madonnari Street Painting Festival has been a part of Santa Barbara culture for nearly 30 years.

For the Santa Barbara photo of the week, we dig into the View Vault for this 3D/ Virtual Reality look from 2012 by Bill Heller.

“Just check back and look for highlighted links overlaid on the image to move around to other locations.” -Bill Heller

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Butterfly Beach Sunset Run

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Butterfly-Beach-Sunset-Run-by-Bill-Heller-IMG_6276_max1600x1280
Here’s to the end of a nice weekend! Hopefully you had the chance to romp with your best friend too, whether they are of the four or two legged variety!

-Bill Heller


Sandpiper Sunset Reflections

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Sandpiper Sunset Reflections
One of my favorite spots to watch the sunset, the 18th hole at the Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta. If you want to chase a little white ball around this is the place to do it. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing you would have to admit this is a great place to spend the day.

-Bill Heller


Shorline Reflection

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Shoreline Reflection
A few wispy high clouds and a great view of the setting sun. We found ourselves at Shoreline park late in the afternoon and decided to take a walk down the long stairway to the beach where we wandered and watched the setting sun. This is about the time everyone on the beach seemed to just stop and watch the beautiful scene. It was a wonderful evening!

-Bill Heller


People of Santa Barbara: Robert F. Winchester, Ranchero and Physician

On this date in 1845, Robert F. Winchester was born in Brewer, Maine. Winchester would become the second practicing physician in Santa Barbara.

Winchester served in the Civil War as a surgeon for the Union Army. After the war, he was drawn by the wanderlust of the West coast and moved to San Francisco. He began his practice when the smallpox epidemic drew him to San Juan Bautista and his fateful meeting with Colonel Hollister.  According to Walker A. Tomkins, “when Colonel Hollister was preparing to move his family to Santa Barbara, a devastating epidemic of smallpox broke out in the San Juan Bautista area near his sheep ranch. A young doctor, Robert Fulton Winchester, volunteered to leave his practice near San Francisco to come to the aid of the stricken community… Hollister was so impressed that he hired him to serve as the family’s personal physician and eventually set him up for business in Santa Barbara.”

As an enticement to get Dr. Winchester to come south, in 1870 Colonel Hollister purchased 1,000 acres of prime land the doctor’s name in the lush arroyo west of Ellwood Canyon. Winchester agreed to the move. After a few years, he grew tired of rural life and moved into Jose Lobero’s adobe at 110 West Carillo Street, which the Hollisters had used as temporary living quarters while the Glen Annie ranch house was being built.

In 1872, the year Stearns Wharf opened, Dr. Winchester started his practice in competition with the town’s well-established Dr. Brinkerhoff. When the Fithian Building opened at State and Ortego in 1896, Dr. Winchester leased a suite of offices. By this time, Winchester had served as Santa Barbara County coroner, county doctor and city health officer.

Dr. Wichester retired in 1925, died on March 31, 1932, and his final home was in the Trussell-Winchester Adobe, a historic landmark at 412 West Montecito Street.

October 1960 SOUTH (FRONT) ELEVATION – Trussell-Winchester, 412 West Montecito Street, Santa Barbara, CA