Oral Histories

Dublin Core

Title

Oral Histories

Description

The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation has been collecting oral histories from the community for over 20 years. Here we present audio clips from a selection of these interviews. To hear the entire interview, please make an appointment in the Presidio Research Center.

Collection Items

Juan Calderon (AKA Jack) Oral History
Of Chumash and Spanish descent, Jack and his family moved from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara in 1946 for a better life. Jack recalls the invisible racial lines of both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara and how both cities have changed. Despite growing up…

George W. Decker, Jr. (AKA Bud) Oral History
Bud was born on April 7, 1925 in Ohio and moved to Santa Barbara in 1954. As an original Presidio volunteer, he was the first Los Soldado de Cuera- a group of volunteers who interpret the Presidio soldiers - and was a part of one of the first…

Kathleen Brewster Oral History
Born April 4, 1937 in Milwaukee, Kathi Brewster lived in the Midwest until 1961, when her husband’s General Motors job transfer took them out West to Santa Barbara. In 1963 she started taking adult education courses at Santa Barbara City…

Jim Mills Oral History
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 8, 1926, Jim Mills and his family moved to Santa Barbara in March 1930. He credits his father’s courage in the decision – it was during the Depression and he had no job, just a friend to stay with…

Tommy Chung Oral History
Born in the Santa Barbara area in 1942, Tommy Chung and his family moved to the Presidio neighborhood after the construction of his father’s restaurant – Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens – was completed in 1946 and an attached…

Donnie Yee Oral History
Donnie Yee, a cousin of Tommy Chung, was born November 10, 1930 in China, but moved to Santa Barbara as a child. He quickly got involved in local sports leagues, participating in baseball, track, and football. Donnie fought in the Korean War as a US…

Jayne Kelsey Wickman Oral History
Born May 7, 1919 at Cottage Hospital, Jayne Kelsey Wickman grew up in the Presidio neighborhood and has become a true humanitarian of Santa Barbara. She met Swede Wickman, who she would eventually marry, while vacationing in Los Prietos (Santa Ynez)…

Elvira Tafoya Oral History
Raised in El Paso, Texas, Elvira moved to Santa Barbara in 1975, where she started teaching a Spanish language course for native Spanish speakers at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). In teaching the course, she discovered that the amount of readily…

Julia Forbes & Louise Ardohain Oral History
The above is an interview between two longtime Santa Barbara residents Julia Forbes and Louise Ardohain. Born in Pasadena, Julia Forbes moved to Santa Barbara as a five year old in 1919. She graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1931 and went…

Norman Caldwell Oral History
A graduate in civil engineering from UC Berkeley, Norman Caldwell went on to earn his Master’s Degree at Cal Tech and joined the US Army Corps of Engineers following America’s entrance into World War II. Shortly after his service, he enlisted in the…

Emilio Tabacci Oral History
Emilio Tabacci came to Santa Barbara in 1926 after immigrating to the US with his Swiss-Italian parents. His family owned a bakery on the 100 block of East Canon Perdido Street, near the site of what is now Jimmy' Oriental Gardens. He spent much of…

Elizabeth Hvolboll & Luis Moreno Oral History
The above interview is between Elizabeth Hvolboll and Luis Moreno, founders of El Coro del Real Presidio de Santa Barbara, a local choral group which celebrates and performs music of the Californios. The group sings in Santa Barbara’s annual Una…
View all 24 items

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