Page 50 - The Montecito Journal Glossy Edition Summer Fall 2010

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by Hattie Beresford
By The Sea At Miramar Beach
undreds of years before the
arrival of the Spanish, brush
huts of the Chumash village of
Salaguas crouched on the low
bluffs above the beach we now
call Miramar. Two fresh water creeks – Montecito Creek
and Oak Creek – provided water and a copse of
live oaks provided acorns and shade. The sea held a
bounty of fish, and game was plentiful inland.
To the Spanish, who arrived in the late 1700s,
the Chumash villagers’ shore became “the place of
the wood ticks.” The Spaniards changed the name of
Salaguas to Rancheria San Bernardino and proceeded
to Christianize the Indians, many of whom became neophytes and went to
live at the Mission. Soon the village ceased to exist, and with the advent of
the hide and tallow trade, the east end of Rancheria San Bernardino became
the site of the
. The local rancheros herded their cattle to the sea
where they were slaughtered and skinned. The fat was boiled down for
tallow, the skins cured, and the meat left for the sharks and carrion eaters.
High tide washed clean all evidence of the macabre scene, but the small bay
under what is now Fernald Point is still called “Sharks’ Cove.”
Montecito was opened to land grants after California became part
of the United States, and many Easterners arrived to try their hand
at farming. In 1876 Josiah Doulton, of the English pottery family,
purchased the farm that had been established on the bluffs adjoining
Miramar Beach. Sand not being conducive to raising crops, Doulton
turned his back on the oceanfront. Thoroughly annoyed when the
county road divided his land, he insisted that the Southern Pacific
Railroad of 1887 should pass along the
edge of the bluffs, near the sea, as this land
was useless to him. It was a decision he
(and we) would grow to regret.
In The
Miramar Beach in 1918
(photo courtesy Harold K.
Doulton family)