Credit: Courtesy of John Fritsche

I love it when our Great House Detective, Betsy J. Green, researches and writes about downtown homes. I always drive or walk by to see the featured home “in real life” after I’ve read about its history. This week, I was delighted that her chosen house sits right in my neighborhood — on a sunny little cul-de-sac that Scout and I walk down and around almost every day. 

Betsy introduces us to William Warren Higgins, a local photographer who lived in the house with his wife, Marion, and their six children around the turn of the 20th century. In January 1913, Higgins captured the shot shown above of a fountain near the beach with long icicles hanging from it. He memorialized the moment by making postcards using the image. Betsy relays that “the Chamber of Commerce froze in horror, and bought up all the postcards lest the world be informed that we sometimes had real weather here in Santa Barbara.”

I did a little sleuthing of my own — using Betsy’s own Way Back When books — and recognized the building seen behind the fountain as the Hotel Neal at 217 State Street. Although the building was renovated after the 1925 earthquake, it still stands at that same address today.

This edition of The Home Page was originally emailed to subscribers on February 6, 2022. To receive Sarah Sinclair’s real estate newsletter in your inbox each Sunday, sign up at independent.com/newsletters.


Credit: Courtesy

Ever since I mentioned my love of wallpaper in last week’s newsletter, I’ve been noticing fun examples left and right. Local Realtor Erin Timmerman entertains us with a collection of wonderfully wallpapered washrooms on Instagram, including the boot-iful turquoise number shown above. Then just today, an article came across my desk featuring this collection by Max Humphrey, whose style is described as “lived-in and layered.” Some of his patterns feature jean jackets, horseshoes, and my favorite: “cowboy toile.” By golly, I think we have a theme here. Yeehaw!


Credit: Gavin Cater

We have plenty of celebrities in our midst here on the American Riviera. Some are familiar faces from the silver screen; others are slightly more inconspicuous. The amazing property at 810 Toro Canyon Road, currently for sale in Montecito — striking enough in its own right — has attracted national attention because it’s the home of Bloom County creator cartoonist Berkeley Breathed. Situated on 25 acres of oak groves, meadows, and horse trails, with a 6,000-plus-square-foot home, plus guest house, the 365-degree views, as shown above, are jaw-dropping. Check out the floor-to-ceiling windows in the primary bedroom, and just imagine waking up to that vista. Offered by Luke Ebbin.

May your view be clear whether you’re gazing through a lens or out your window on this lovely Sunday. Take a gander at this week’s issue as you enjoy your weekend, and as always, thank you for reading!

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