Santa Barbara Historical Museum
136 E. De la Guerra Street
Santa Barbara, CA  93101
(805) 966-1601 (Phone)   |   (805) 966-1603 (Fax)
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Year Founded:

   The Museum represents ALL of Santa Barbara's history and should serve as a "first stop" for visitors interested in a beautiful introduction to the city's rich cultural heritage.
    The Museum is headquartered in its 25,000 square-foot adobe building in downtown Santa Barbara. Here are housed the museum galleries featuring the signature exhibition, The Story of Santa Barbara, which traces the evolution of the region from the days of the Chumash into the 21st century. In addition, the Sala Gallery offers changing exhibitions four to five times annually.
    The Museum holds in public trust over 80,000 irreplaceable historic artifacts including paintings, drawings, furniture, saddles, decorative arts, and one of the largest costume collections west of the Mississippi. The Gledhill Library counts over 5,000 books, over 70,000 photographs as well as maps, newspaper volumes, government documents, private papers, and oral histories among its collections.
    The Historical Museum operates two historic house museums: The Hon. Charles Fernald Mansion (c.1865), the exquisite Queen Anne Victorian home of one of the city’s most prominent historical figures and the neighboring Trussell-Winchester Adobe (1854) with its period furnishings. The Museum also owns and has seen to the preservation of the Covarrubias Adobe (1817), one of the oldest buildings in Santa Barbara, and the Historic Adobe (1854), both adjacent to the downtown museum building. The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is almost eighty years old, yet its mission remains much the same. It is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting the material culture of the Santa Barbara region in all its diversity; to educating through lectures, tours, and in the classroom; and to encouraging research, scholarship, and publication on the history of the Santa Barbara community. History can guide and inspire our actions, a tool with which we can build a better tomorrow. It is that belief which informs the Museum’s motto, “Upon the foundation of the past, we build a future worth remembering.”

Museum Category:

Business Categories:
    Historical Museum,    Museums/Attractions/Historic,

Business Hours:
    10 - 5PM (Tue-Sat); 12-5 (Sun); Closed Monday

Payment Accepted:
    Cash,   Check,   MasterCard,   Visa,  


    During normal business hours

Location Type:

Languages Spoken:
    English,   Spanish,  

Legal Entity:

Average Visit:
    1 hour

    Indoor/Outdoor Location

Parking On-Site?

Handicapped Accessible?

Cell Phones?
    Some restrictions

Cameras/Recording Equip.?
    Some restrictions

Pets Allowed?

Guided Tours?

Gift Certificates?
    Available for Sale

Classes Offered?

 Recent News & Buzz!!
7/17/16 - Get your tickets now for ... La Fiesta del Museo ... this Saturday, 7/23
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An elegant evening of Fiesta... this all-inclusive fundraiser is not to be missed. Drawing from our history, guests will be treated to special performances and dances from Spain, Mexico and early California, paired with authentic cuisine, fine wines, tequila tasting and magnificent margaritas. There will be music, dancing and a toast to this year's El Presidente. Reservations required. Members $150/ Guests $175 ... Presented by: Santa Barbara Historical Museum ... Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum
4/26/16 - Save the Date! Upper Eastside History Walk ~ With Thad MacMillan -- 5/22
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Santa Barbara Historical Hidden treasures Take an urban hike through history with a tour of our city's Upper Eastside. Thad MacMillan will share his knowledge of the area's notable residents and their beautifully crafted homes built around the turn of the 20th century. Reservation required. Members $15/ Guests $20
Meet at Unity Church, across from Alice Keck Park. ... Presented by: Santa Barbara Historical Museum ... Venue: Unity Church
4/26/16 - Save the Date! Hike With a Historian at Rattlesnake Canyon ~ By Hattie Beresford -- 5/21
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Santa Barbara Historical Hidden Treasures Visit the ruins of the dam built for the Santa Barbara Mission along Rattlesnake Creek, hear stories of early homesteaders and visitors, and view dozens of historic photographs that include Tin Can Shack, the Chamber of Commerce Trail, and La Cumbre Peak.
Join us for this 3.5-mile round trip on well-marked trails, total time approximately 2.5 hours, with a 1000-foot elevation gain. Reservation required. Members $15/ Guests $20 ... Presented by: Santa Barbara Historical Museum ... Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum
4/26/16 - Save the Date! May History Hiking Series Mission to Mission Hiking For Modern Day History Buffs ~ by Curt Cra
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Santa Barbara Historical Hidden Treasures Learn about the route of this historic pilgrimage since its early inception by the Spanish explorers and missionaries. Speakers will include hiking and history aficionado Curt Cragg; Bob Brunson, a Third Order Franciscan; and guidebook authors Ron "Butch" Briery and Jim Lutz discussing their journeys hiking the 21 California missions from San Diego to Sonoma.
The Automobile Club of Southern California romanticized the mission route in the early 1900's as a way to encourage auto travel along coastal California. In 2011, after hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain, Ron Briery conceived the idea of walking all 21 missions and publishing a guidebook. Since then, interest in the walking route has grown and numerous people have made all or part of this fascinating journey of over 800 miles. Co-hosted by Santa Barbara Trails Council SBHM Members and SB Trails Council Members $20/ Guests $25 ... Presented by: Santa Barbara Historical Museum ... Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum
4/19/16 - Save the Date! Disco Fever ~ A 1st Thursday After-Hours -- 5/5
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Disco Party with DJ Darla Bea! Join the Museum for 'Cinco de Mayo margaritas' to celebrate our exhibition "Stars, Snapshots & Chanel" which documents the Santa Barbara social scene of the 1970s with fashion and celebrity photos by Beverley Jackson. Free entry. No host bar. 1970s attire encouraged. All ages welcome. ... Presented by: Santa Barbara Historical Museum ... Venue: Margerum Wine Co.
4/5/16 - Save the Date! History Happy Hour: A Murder at the Potter Hotel -- 4/27
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Join Neal Graffy and Annie Dahlgren to discuss their new book, a thrilling historical fiction. The story is about a time and place - Santa Barbara, California in 1908. That year saw the arrival of the Great White Fleet, having been selected as one stop on the global mission of good will. Free entry, no reservation required. ... Presented by: Santa Barbara Historical Museum ... Venue: Margerum Wine Co.
4/5/16 - Save the Date! Montecito's Hilltop Barons -- 4/12
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Neal Graffy will highlight the lives of five of our city's most generous patrons whose philanthropy remains unmatched to this day. Learn about these prominent residents and their palatial estates: C.K.G. Billings, and his estate, Asombrosso; George Owen Knapp and Arcady; Frederick Forrest Peabody and Solana; David Gray and Graholm; and William H. Cowles and his Eucalyptus Hill. Members $20, Guests $25 ... Presented by: Santa Barbara Historical Museum ... Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum
4/5/16 - Save the Date! Exhibit Celebration: Hidden Treasures -- 4/7
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What do a lamp made out of seashells, a delicate hand-painted fan, a rifle from the 1850s, and a leather guitar case signed by Walt Disney have in common? These are just a few of the Museum's "hidden treasures" that have captivated our staff. The exhibition demonstrates both the variety of our collection and the history of our community's generosity.
RSVP requested. ... Presented by: Santa Barbara Historical Museum ... Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum
11/4/15 - Visitor Services/Gallery Attendant
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Do you love Museums? Do you love art, history, and Santa Barbara? Are you an outgoing people person? The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is looking to hire part-time Visitor Services/ Gallery attendants to join our team for 15-25 hours per week. We are looking to fill positions Tuesday - Sunday. This position is perfect for college graduates looking for a part-time job or students who are interested in pursuing a career in art, history, or museums. Customer service experience is a plus! Requirements: Excellent communication skills, customer service, comfortable interacting with the public, professional appearance and demeanor, Punctual and dependable, ability to multi-task in the midst of activity, able to direct groups of visitors, willing to submit to a background check confident phone presence, willing to work events (occasional food/beverage service for Museum events), weekend availability, AND December 6 availability (fundraising event) Please submit cover letter, resume, and availability to the email link below. We will contact qualified applicants for an interview.

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