Explore

Enjoy these selections from the Courthouse Archives and related history.
This collection will grow with research contributions from Courthouse docents. Stay tuned.

Robert Canfield

If you look up as you leave the Law Library in the Santa Barbara Courthouse, you will see a large portrait of a distinguished-looking gentleman. Who is he, and why is he there?

Estimated Reading time: 5 minutes

Dwight Murphy

Who is he? Why is his portait hung there?
It was commissioned by Santa Barbaran Max Fleischman (of Fleischman's Yeast) to honor another Santa Barbaran of the 1920s, philanthropist Dwight Murphy.

Estimated Reading time: 10 minutes

1925 Earthquake

Santa Barbara County is on the Pacific Rim, the most geologically active place on the planet. The Rim is known as the Ring of Fire and on June 29, 1925, the Ring trembled in the Santa Barbara Channel, and a major earthquake struck

Estimated Reading time: 4 minutes

Queen Elizabeth's Visit

It was when I was mayor of Santa Barbara (1981 -1993) that I first heard from the society columnist for the local newspaper about Queen Elizabeth's March 1, 1983, visit many months before she was to arrive.

Estimated Reading time: 8 minutes

Geothermal Field

Let’s explore by virtual tour one of the most interesting and least recognized features of the Courthouse complex. “Least recognized” because it is not visible, which turns out to be a good thing, but more about that later.

Estimated Reading time: 6 minutes

Courthouse Lanterns

The Spanish-style lanterns in the Courthouse are unique works of art, worthy of a museum in themselves. They tell an interesting story.

Estimated Reading time: x minutes

William Mooser

He was the architect behind what some have called the "Most beautiful courthouse in the world".

Estimated Reading time: x minutes

Giovanni Smeraldi

He is the man responsible for the magnificent ceiling and wall stenciling throughout the Courthouse. Here is his story.

Estimated Reading time: x minutes