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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 on to earn her Master’s Degree in History from Stanford University. After teaching at Santa Barbara Junior High and working at the UCSB admissions office, Julia dedicated much of her time and efforts to historic preservation in the Santa Barbara area. She served as an active board member for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, the Santa Barbara Historical Society, and Santa Barbara Beautiful. Her volunteer work included a successful fundraising campaign which played a pivotal role in the development of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. Another notable project of hers was furthering work to rebuild the Presidio Chapel through the Chapel Floor Tile project, in which community members were able to become a part of Santa Barbara history through sponsoring a floor tile in the reconstructed Chapel. Julia’s community involvement and passion for Santa Barbara has played a significant role in preserving the beauty and culture of our city, the fruits of her labor we continue to enjoy today.
SBTHP is presently researching information regarding Ms. Ardohain's life in Santa Barbara. If you have any information to share, we would be grateful if you left a comment.
Above Photo: Julia Forbes assists with making adobe bricks at Mission Santa Barbara to be used in the Presidio Chapel reconstruction.
Clip 1: Julia recalls a childhood adventure in Santa Barbara’s Chinatown in search of a sweet treat from the Velvet Ice Cream Factory.
Clip 2: Julia and Louise share childhood fears of encountering “Chicken,” an old Chinatown local. (Louise speaks first).
Clip 3: Julia remembers the disappearance of the Arlington Towers after the earthquake and both ladies recall their childhood excitement at sleeping outside after the earthquake had damaged their homes.
Clip 4: Louise shares her experience from the night of the earthquake which resulted in the destruction of much of downtown Santa Barbara.
Clip 5: Louise remembers the return of her friend who had been interned during World War II after the Ellwood Shelling and how she felt that Santa Barbara’s Japanese residents would always be an important part of the community.
*To hear the entire oral history interview or additional clips, please make an appointment with the Presidio Research Center at (805) 966-5073.
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