The Mission PeriodThe Mission and El Presidio were settled at about the same time in the 1780s. They began an era of colonization and the Christianization of the native Chumash. The missions were secularized in the 1820s (when the ending almost fifty years of growth. The Spanish governed the area until 1822, when California became a Mexican territory until 1846 when Colonel John Fremont and his soldiers took Santa Barbara for the United States.
The Rancho PeriodAgriculture and ranching became strong from 1830 to 1865. Although Mexican and Americans ruled during this time, the actual lifestyle of the locals was not affected greatly. Horses, cattle ranches and community were the focal points of this era.
The Victorian PeriodAfter the Civil War, the face of Santa Barbara began to change. Victorian houses soon outnumbered Spanish Colonials. Shipping grew in prominance, as goods and people from the East began pouring in through the small, but growing, port. This begins a period of great experimentation. Agriculture becomes more important as people realize that just about anything planted grows here.
The Earthquake of 1925The town is devastated by the earthquake. Local towns folk realized that most of the Victorians had burned and most of the buildings left standing were the Spanish Colonials, that relied more heavily on indigenous building techniques. An ordinance is passed making the downtown area Spanish Colonial.
The Boom PeriodSomewhere between the Earthquake and now, Santa Barbara exploded from a quiet agricultural community to a busy, well rounded community.