Address: 1426 Bath Street
I presume that it was not a surprise gift when bridegroom Henry Patrick Lincoln had a modest five-room, one-story cottage built for his bride, Annie Merton Stanwood. The house was located on Bath Street just south of Micheltorena Street. Their wedding reception in 1889 was held in the home’s living room, which was said to be one of the largest of its kind in Santa Barbara.
Like his father and brother, Henry Patrick Lincoln was a successful banker. The Lincoln family, distant relatives of President Abraham Lincoln, had moved to Santa Barbara from Boston in 1871. The groom’s father, Amasa Lincoln, built the Lincoln House Hotel. Now called The Upham, the hotel still stands on the corner of De la Vina and Sola Streets.
Henry had grown up in Santa Barbara and graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1883, along with three other students. He was the valedictorian.
Fourteen years after the 1889 Lincoln-Stanwood wedding, another Lincoln-Stanwood wedding was held in the living room when Annie’s sister married Henry’s brother in 1903. The living room is crowned by a large chandelier.
The Home Grows Up
Members of the Lincoln family lived in this home for almost a century. Henry and Annie had three children. The youngest — Anna — was born in 1904. The family then decided to expand the home by adding a second floor. During the summer of 1905, they moved out and traveled, staying at the Potter Hotel for a while. While they were gone, contractors raised the home’s roof and added a second floor. Other additions have been made to the home during its 132 years.
A 1908 map shows that the streetcar ran past the house and provided convenient transportation, although the hitching post may indicate that the family also had a horse and carriage. The horse was probably kept around the corner on Micheltorena Street, where there was a livery stable. There was no stable shown on the property on the older maps. (A livery stable rented horses and carriages and was also a place where people could board their horses.)
An 1892 map shows an outhouse in the backyard. The home predated indoor plumbing. Fortunately, people did not have to run outside every time they needed a bathroom break. There was usually a chamber pot in the bedroom that the maid would empty when necessary. Often, a bush with fragrant flowers was planted near the outhouse — for obvious reasons.
Perhaps because Henry was a banker, the home has a large safe hidden in a secret room in the home. The safe does not contain money or bottles of whiskey left over from Prohibition.
The Lincoln’s son Warren was featured in the local paper in 1920 when he was 23. The year 1920 was a leap year, a year when it was socially acceptable for a young woman to propose marriage. The paper listed eight eligible young men in an article called “Santa Barbara Bachelors.”
The newspaper wrote, “Warren Lincoln: Young. Regular habits. Eats food, sleeps in bed, rides in automobiles … Owns blonde pompadour which matches light blue eyes. Trips wicked ankle at Recreation Center. Often allowed use of father’s automobile … Partial to vamps.” (A vamp was a term used for flirtatious women.) Warren survived the leap year and later married in 1925.
Anna Lincoln lived in the home nearly 80 years. She was active in local theater productions and with the Santa Barbara Historical Society. She married William B. Ellis in 1965. In 1981, she sold the home.
I was happy to see that there is still a hitching post on the parkway in front of the house. Current homeowner Nic Scozzaro really enjoys the stone wall that lines the front of the property. He says it’s just the right height for sitting, and he often sees people sitting on the wall. His partner, Genevieve Fox, loves the spacious kitchen that is shaded by an enormous pecan tree planted by Anna Lincoln.
Please do not disturb the residents of 1426 Bath Street.
Betsy J. Green is a Santa Barbara historian, and author of Discovering the History of Your House and Your Neighborhood, Santa Monica Press, 2002. Her website is betsyjgreen.com.