Santa Maria Valley Timeline

2009-10-31T21:15:00Z Santa Maria Valley TimelineShirley Contreras/The Heart of the Valley Santa Maria Times

Nov. 10, 1775: The official birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Nov. 24, 1825: Juan Pacifico Ontiveros and Maria Martina del Carmen Osuna were married at the San Gabriel Mission.

Nov. 3,1844: Todos Santos and Salvador Rancho granted to William Hartnell.

Nov. 13, 1849: Henry Tefft was elected as San Luis Obispo's first assemblyman. During the first legislative session in 1850, he was appointed district judge of the newly formed Second Judicial District, which covered both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

November 1868: John Prell built the first house in what was to become Central City. The following May he brought his family here to live.

November 1868: The Battles family arrived at Suey Canyon.

November 1871: Theodore LeRoy filed a subdivision map of Rancho Guadalupe, and set aside LeRoy Park for the use and enjoyment of the town's inhabitants. Trustees named were John Dunbar, Thomas Hart and William W. Ayres.

November 1887: The Pacific Coast Railway reached Los Olivos.

Nov. 10, 1891: The new Fair Lawn Addition to the town of Santa Maria was filed in the Recorder's Office in Santa Barbara.

Nov. 10, 1896: Casmalia's first post office opened, with Frank A. Vandoit as postmaster.

Nov. 19, 1896: R.D. Cook married Helen Ditrick in a service performed by T.W. Lincoln.

Nov. 3, 1903: The Guadalupe Japanese Association, originally called Kyowa Kai, was organized.

Nov. 9, 1909: The Bicknell Post Office was established. The office closed on Feb. 29, 1940.

Nov. 28, 1921: The new two-story wooden dormitory for children of Japanese field workers was recognized as the Japanese Children's Home of Guadalupe.

Nov. 5, 1923: Los Angeles Illustrated News quoted Cornelius Vanderbilt as saying the Santa Maria Inn was "by far the best little hotel in the west."

Nov. 11, 1923: About 15,000 spectators turned out to watch the parade commemorating the signing of the Armistice, an event that had taken place five years earlier. The identities of the 100 Ku Klux Klansmen who joined the marchers, dressed in their full regalia, is still unknown.

Nov. 13, 1925: Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International, visited the Santa Maria chapter of the organization

November 1926: "Friends of Jesus," now the Christ United Methodist Church, was organized in Santa Maria.

Nov. 14, 1929: The Rotary, Kiwanis and Minerva clubs, American Legion Auxiliary and others joined together for a one-day Red Cross Drive at the Bradley Hotel in Santa Maria.

November 1934: Approximately 3,000 field workers and Packers went on strike for 10 days, virtually paralyzing the produce industry in Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Lompoc and southern San Luis Obispo County.

November 1934: Mayor Marion Rice presided over the first City Council meeting held in the new City Hall after the building's completion that September.

November 1934: A seven-year restoration project began on the La Purisima Mission by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Union Oil and the Catholic Church had donated most of the land for the mission's restoration. It took 200 men seven years to rebuild the mission.

Nov. 11, 1939: The Ida M. Blochman Memorial Court at Santa Maria Union High School was dedicated.

Nov. 22, 1939: Ground was broken for the 35-bed Our Lady of Perpetual Health Hospital. The hospital, better known as Sisters' Hospital, was located at 125 Airport Drive (now College Drive).

Nov. 15, 1940: Construction began on the 37,000-acre Camp Roberts, said to have been the largest training base in the country during World War II. The camp was named in honor of the 19-year-old Corporal Harold Roberts, a Medal of Honor recipient.

Nov. 26, 1942: President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered nationwide gas rationing.

Nov. 18, 1943: Elks Lodge No. 1538 founded the Elks Recreation Foundation.

November 1946: Santa Barbara County acquired an interim permit for Santa Maria Army Air Field.

Nov. 27, 1947: The Santa Maria Redskins beat the Hemet Tahquetz Packer 7-6 when George Gallison, who had never played in a game before, caught a 35-yard pass in the end zone to tie the game. Frankie Reis kicked the extra point to win the game. Jim Gamble served as general manager throughout the club's seven-year existence.

Nov. 7, 1957: Santa Maria's population hit 14,177.

Nov. 16, 1956: The Secretary of Defense directed the U.S. Army to transfer 64,000 acres of its 86,000 acres to the U.S. Air Force. The former Camp Cooke was renamed Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Nov. 24, 1958: The Orcutt Mineral Society formed, with 21 members signing the charter.

Nov. 10, 1959: Orcutt Mercantile, owned by Cerfee and Anita Luis, burned down.

Nov. 7, 1960: The City Council adopted a resolution to proceed with the condemnation of three lots on the corner of Broadway and East Main Street. This led to the eventual destruction of Whiskey Row.

Nov. 16, 1967: Groundbreaking ceremonies took place at Dana Way and Kensington for the building of the Martin Luther Tunnell School.

Nov. 10, 1968: Tunnell school was dedicated to Martin Luther Tunnell.

November 1972: A Diamond Jubilee celebration marked 75 years of Episcopalian services in Santa Maria.

Nov. 11, 1973: The flagpole that had formerly stood at the intersection of Main Street and Broadway was designated as a Santa Maria City Landmark.

Nov. 14, 1976: The Rev. Anthony Runtz, pastor of St. Louis de Montfort Church, agreed to resume the celebration of Sunday Mass at the San Ramon Chapel.

November 1978: The county split measure went down to defeat.

Nov. 26, 1985: Guadalupe school officials took official action to change the name of the Main Street School to the Kermit McKenzie Junior High School, and the Guadalupe School to Mary Buren.

Nov. 20, 1990: The site of the first Masonic Temple (on South Broadway, across from the Robinsons-May complex) was designated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark.

Nov. 6, 1992: The Royce R. Lewellen Justice Center was dedicated.

November 1996: Thirty-five years after the town of Betteravia came to an end, Union Sugar began tearing down the company's remaining buildings, thereby closing an important chapter of Santa Maria's history.

Nov. 11, 1998: Boy Scouts of American Troop No. 91 (originally designated as Orcutt's Troop No. 1) celebrated its 70th anniversary.

Nov. 17, 1999: The Dunes Center in Guadalupe was dedicated.

Nov. 18, 2004: A Celebration of Life Birthday luncheon was held at the Elks Lodge, honoring Santa Marians who were 90 years old or older. The affair was such a success that Parks and Recreation decided to make it an annual affair.

Shirley Contreras lives in Orcutt and writes for the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society. She can be contacted at 934-3514 or at shirleycontrer Her book, "The Good Years," a selection of stories she's written for the Santa Maria Times since 1991, is on sale at the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society, 616 S. Broadway.

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