The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society will be hosting a unique opportunity to learn about the history of the local famous pioneer family, the Hollisters. Presented by JJ Hollister and his stepdaughter Sara Pelton, “West with the Hollisters” is a multimedia presentation that will focus on the oral history and lasting influences that the Hollister family had had on Santa Barbara.

The presentation will follow the journey of California rancher and entrepreneur Colonel William Welles Hollister’s family history from Gloucestershire, England in the early 1800s to their eventual settling in Santa Barbara during the Gold Rush. While Colonel Hollister started as a rancher, his frugal investments resulted in wealth that he chose to spend on enriching and building Santa Barbara. His legacy has resulted in many lasting contributions to the area, including helping to finance the Arlington Hotel and Stearn’s Wharf, as well as to the creation of Santa Barbara News-Press.

Mary Hall, the president of the Genealogical Society, believes that this presentation is a unique opportunity for the public to learn more about local and state history.

“JJ Hollister is a dynamic and popular speaker, and this multimedia presentation featuring family photos and other visuals will make it even more interesting,” said Hall. “What makes it even more unique is that we get to hear it from the family itself, which adds a personal touch.”

The monthly general meeting of the Genealogical Society will be held on June 16 at 9:30 a.m., at the First Presbyterian Church on 21 E. Constance at State Street, with the presentation “West with the Hollisters” beginning at 11 a.m. The presentation is free and open to the public.


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