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Modoc Preserve Harold Chase

Modoc Preserve Harold Chase

Despite the evidence, SB County Public Works continues to state that the Canary Island Date Palm trees planted along Modoc Road planted by Pearl Chase’s brother, Harold Chase, (including the 29 that they want to destroy) are not considered a “historical resource“…

The MND errs by declining to find the Palm Trees a historical resource. (Revised
MND, p. 53)

” Archival research (including the County Planning and Development records) by the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department did not identify any historical significance of these palm trees or any connection to a historical property, building or person. Therefore, these trees are not considered a historical resource.”

In the Hope Ranch area, about 360 Canary Island palms were first planted in 1904, mostly
along driveways on Las Palmas Drive and Marina Drive (Chase, 1963). Canary Island
palms were first planted along Modoc Road in 1915 (Morning Press, 1915). Inspection of
a January 1928 aerial photograph indicates a linear row of trees (possibly palms) was
present on the south side of Modoc Road in the Via Zorro area. Inspection of an August
12, 1958 aerial photograph indicates a linear row of palm trees were present along the
south side of Modoc Road. Therefore, at least some of the Canary Island palms along the
subject segment of Modoc Road are at least 100 years old.

The red “X” marks a definitive row of Canary Island Date palm trees clearly shown starting in 1928 aerial photo at what is now just east of East Encore Dr. and Modoc Road intersection…south side of Modoc Road…


This group of Canary Island Palm trees is still visible in 2022.

Archival research conducted by County staff (summarized on page 52 of the Revised
MND) did not identify any connection between the Canary Island palm trees along Modoc
Road and Pearl Chase or any other person of historical interest. The web address
provided in this comment does not provide any information regarding tree plantings along
Modoc Road. The fact that some of these trees may be over 100 years old does not
qualify them as a historical resource, since there is no connection to a historical event,
place or person.”

Alrighty then…let’s help you out then…let’s help you make the connection…;-)

Pearl Chase:

“A pioneer in the fields of conservation, preservation, social services, and civic planning, Pearl Chase was devoted to improving the surroundings of others. For 70 years, from the time of her graduation from UC Berkeley in 1909, until her death, she was a dominant force in molding the character of Santa Barbara. Often referred to as the First Lady of Santa Barbara, she founded many civic and cultural organizations that have profoundly affected the city of Santa Barbara and the state of California, including the local chapter of the American Red Cross, the Community Arts Association, and the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.”

Pearl Chase wiki

“Pearl Chase was instrumental in the conservation of the historic Moreton Bay Fig Tree and Santa Barbara’s beachfront, now known as Chase Palm Park, as well as the restoration of the Presidio, the city’s 18th century birthplace. She was selected Woman of the Year by the LA Times in 1952, and was chosen Santa Barbara’s first Woman of the Year in 1956. Her well-deserved reputation as a preservationist was acknowledged by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which awarded her their highest honor in 1973. The Chase family home on Anacapa Street, a private residence, is now a designated city landmark.”

The Santa Barbara Historical Society was able to capture Pearl Chase’s brother, Harold S. Chase’s many stories about the start of Hope Ranch and surrounding area developments.

In 1904 the first order for large sized Canary Island palms was placed…

Harold S. Chase organized a purchasing syndicate to buy 825 acres in Hope Ranch in 1923. He became the largest shareholder and was the president of Santa Barbara Estates, Inc. In 1925 Harold S. Chase organized another syndicate to purchase the westerly 1200+ acres of Hope Ranch, the La Cumbre Estates Corporation.

In 1925 the Hope Ranch Park Water Company became the present day La Cumbre Mutual Water Company (LCMWC), owner of the land that is the Modoc Preserve. Harold S. Chase was it’s first president!

The same entity, LCMWC,  that the County has been trying to coerce to give them an easement for their Alignment B!

It is clearly documented that Harold S. Chase was the majority owner of over 2000 acres of Hope Ranch and surrounding area including the Modoc Preserve and directed the forestation of Modoc Road.

THIS IS A HISTORICAL FACT! Harold S. Chase played a huge role in this area. It is quite clear that Pearl Chase played a huge role in the Santa Barbara area. It is quite clear that the Chase family played a huge role in Santa Barbara history.

It is ludicrous that the County could not connect these important historical dots!
They didn’t make the connection simply because they didn’t want there to be a connection.

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