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American Film Company and Santa Barbara's "Flying A" Studio


Early Films Movie Palace

In the early years of  the 20th century, on almost any day of the week, it was possible that a passel of lean, dark horses would be seen at a full run, heading pell mell down State Street.   Astride each of these horses was a wild-eyed cowboy, clinging like a burr to his saddle.   They sped through the sleepy town, these men on horses, amid the acrid smoke and  loud pops of old-fashioned six-shooters fired into the air.

Occasionally, one may have spied a low-flying bi-plane that shattered the serene seaside morning as it buzzed the curved shoreline....unsuspecting tourists who strolled along Cabrillo Boulevard would  gasp,  grasp at their loved ones, and run for cover against the chaotic scene in the sky. 

There were times when a woman could be heard to scream as she lay, bound hand and foot,  on the Southern Pacific railroad tracks,  her shreik competing with the ominous whistle of the 5:15 train....

The world of modern films - silent movies - was born here, in Santa Barbara, where, no matter what the script,  the perfect mise en scène was created and captured on film before the director yelled, "Cut!" 


In 1909,  there were about 2,500 motion picture exhibitors in America.  These "exhibitors" showcased films in little theaters and movie palaces from coast to coast - throughout the heartland and hinterlands of the United States.  

A few films were made each year, and were owned and distributed by the powerful Patents Company.   In the earliest days, movies were actually "photo plays".  These plays were  all filmed indoors in relatively small sound studios. 

At that time, most movies were made by George Spoor and  Gilbert Anderson, who had formed the Essanay Film Company (from "S and A").  Their photoplays were filmed in studios located in Wisconsin, New York or Chicago, and the final products were distributed and routed to theaters through the Motion Picture Distributing Company.  

But by 1910, there were a host of independent film makers - mavericks - men who did not want to be controlled by the politics and rigid methods of the Patents Company.  SS Hutchinson, who owned the Chicago-based American Film Company, concocted a plan to lure some of the best Essanay film-makers and actors away from their parent company.  

Alan Dwan, J. Warren Kerrigan, Charles Ziebarth, and others from Essanay joined Hutchinson in his new venture.  The group joined the American Film Company and together, they formed the Flying A Studios.  The independent Flying A Studios allowed for creativity and innovation that had not been possible within the confines of the Essanay way of doing things.

Theater Seats

The first order of business was to get away from photo plays.   Film-goers had become more sophisticated, and they wanted big action, vivid scenery, and  realism. SS Hutchinson and his Flying A Studios determined that they would create it.  

Hutchinson had visited Southern California, and knew that the excellent weather, the variety of scenery available, and the many days of bright sunlight would be the perfect atmosphere for creating these new types of movies.  He sent his crew to La Mesa, California, (near San Diego) to set up shop.   They filmed most of the movie scenes out of doors.

Early Films Popcorn Machine

New technology was needed to support this shift to filming action and drama outdoors - new lighting techniques were developed to facilitate filming after dark; lighter and more sophisticated camera equipment was necessary, as were better camera lenses.  Equipment became more portable and easy to use, even away from the studio. Film processing was enhanced. These improvements brought an increase in quality and believabilty to the web of fantasy that film makers were now able to offer. 

The world delighted in the dramatic action, the vivid comedies, the special effects and stunts that were performed, along with the natural beauty and realism that were displayed on the big screen.  They wanted more. 

Soon, the American Film Company sent scouting crews all over Southern California to seek new opportunities for filming locations.

Early Films Motiograph

SS Hutchinson considered his options carefully.  Widespread publicity and rave reviews from   America's wealthiest citizens had imbued Santa Barbara, California, with a reputation as a charming and desireable vacation destination and residence.  Santa Barbara was always described in superlatives, and was perceived as a year-round summer-land whose temperate climate and natural wonders were seemingly wreathed by perfumed vines that flowered year-round at the edge of a gentle shore edged by an azure sea.  

No kidding.

The reality for the movie industry was that abundant sunshine most days of the year would allow for copious filming opportunities, and the variety of landscape and scenery options could be used to depict almost any spot on earth.  The world already held the little town in great esteem, and setting the Flying A Company in Santa Barbara would offer a romantic and fanciful élan that Wisconsin or Illinois just could not impart. 

Also - Hutchinson knew Santa Barbara was a viable location for a film studio, as Essanay had successfully filmed several of the original Bronco Billie movies here....

Hutchinson was sold.  Although the American Film Company remained based in Chicago, Santa Barbara was its new western home.

Early Films American Cinematographer

According to old Santa Barbara city directories, there was an ostrich farm located on upper State Street (near the corner of today's Mission and State Streets).  This was deigned to be the perfect site for the new film company - near sea and mountain, and just outside the little city.  The ostriches were evicted, and the actors were installed.  The American Film Company/Flying A Studio  began by building an outdoor stage, converting the old house into offices, and constructing workspaces for creating costumes and scenery, and for processing film.

Flying A Films 1913

The American Film Company

  Santa Barbara and vicinity furnish the incidental scenery and background for one of America's largest industries - the manufacture of motion picture films.  American Film Company Santa Barbara 1920

In July,  1912,  the American Film Company established its studio at Santa Barbara,  and beginning with only one company of players, has developed a plant now employing from eleven to thirteen companies,  and has a payroll amounting to thousands of dollars weekly.

The continued presence of the American Film Company at Santa Barbara is due to the fact that that city and surrounding country offers practically every scenic location necessary for making pictures,  adaptable to almost every situation and subject.

Opportunities in Film


There are mountains and canyons,  deserts,  the Pacific ocean with its rocky cliffs,  caves, and sandy beaches,  noted hotels,  and homes that range from the old adobes of Mission days,  to the beautiful estates of millionaires.   In recent months,  President Samuel S Hutchinson of the American Film Company has inaugurated construction work at the local studio which will make the plant,  long noted for its efficiency,  one of the most complete in the world.....

Early Films Olive Tell and Lou Tellegen

The local manager of the industry at Santa Barbara is Mr PG Lynch.   

~ Gidney, Brooks, Sheridan, History of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties, 1917

Flying A Studio Today 2

The studio completed two features a week  in the beginning - 1,000 feet of film for each.  After shooting the movie, the film would be sent back to Chicago for final processing and basic editing.  The negative would be returned to Santa  Barbara for final editing, and sent back to Chicago for approval and distribution.  

Santa Barbara fell instantly in love with the city's newest resident:  the movie industry. 

The flying Lougheed brothers, along with Jack Northrup and Glenn Martin (later of Lockheed-Martin and Northrup Aerospace) brought the world some of the first aerial views of the earth captured on film - shot from the clear blue skies above Santa Barbara.  Wild stunts took place throughout the town and surrounding areas, to the amusement - and sometimes, bemusement - of tourists and townspeople.  

Early Films Movie Camera


Kevin Starr, California State Librarian and eminent historian, relates a story about a dramatic scene being filmed in downtown Santa Barbara in those early days.   The film crew loaded a car with dummies, and sent it careening down State Street.  The stunt went awry, the car slammed into the limosine that had been parked alongside the curb.  Dummies were flung into the air, and landed on the street.  Horrified passers-by, as well as the limosine's owner - a Montecito resident - imagined at first that the dummies were real bodies.  All parties were relieved to find that the carnage was not real, and the only damage done was to the limo.  

Other unusual scenes played out around town - Warren Kerrigan and other actors filmed a riotous sword fight for use in The Adventures of Jacques; 

Adventures of Jacques - Flying A

...there were shoot-outs between bandits and sheriffs' posses in the rugged back country of Santa Barbara county; the local railroad tracks were used to film episodes of The Perils of Pauline;  and a beautiful and controversial young actress, Audrey Munson, starred in Purity, where she appeared in the world's first nude scene,  set in the dappled shade of a California sycamore tree that grew near a creek just outside of town.

There was much excitement surrounding the presence of the actors and movie moguls around town, as well.  On any day of the week, Mary Pickford, Mabel Normand, Lon Chaney, Mary Miles Minter, Audrey Munson, Fatty Arbuckle, Lou Tellegen, Thomas Ince, or DW Griffith, might be seen.  They ate in local restaurants, bought their groceries at Diehl's Market on lower State Street, and made use of the goods and services offered by local craftsmen and merchants.  Movie stars were often seen at the beach, walking downtown, at the country club and at social events in the area.  They had really  become a part of the community.

With each new film, movie production improved and became more sophisticated.  Soon, it was possible to screen a movie just 24 hours after filming, and obtain retakes, if necessary.  Flying A added a still-photography studio so they could produce publicity photos, they enlarged the indoor filming studios, and added an updated film processing studio.   They even built an entire old western town, located at the back of the lot where ostriches used to graze.  From 1912 to about 1919, Santa Barbara was deemed the film capital of the world.

Flying A Studio Today 3

However, as American movie-goers expanded their appetite for films, they began to crave movies set in urban environments.  American and the Flying A staff found themselves traveling southward more and more often, to access suppliers, production companies, and to secure actors and extras.  Los Angeles also provided the urban setting that was becoming so popular.

And just like that - the world's movie capital in Santa Barbara was abandoned.  By the time movie production had ceased in Santa Barbara, about 1,200 movies had been filmed in and around the area.  

Hollywood received her crown and title of Film Capital of the World.  And so it remains today.

 The Flying A Studio propety in Santa Barbara was eventually abandoned.  It languished for years, being used intermittently as a place for religious revival meetings, then a roller rink, a USO dance hall, and eventually a mortuary.

Flying A Studio Today 6

Today, the property houses an architect's office, the Quaker Society meeting place, a Buddhist meditation center, dentist offices, apartments,

Flying A Studio Today 5

a restaurant, and other little businesses.   The rose arbor, beneath which the world's early movie stars would gather and mingle - belongs to the architect now. 

Flying A Studio Today 9 

Today, it is possible to find other remnants of the early film industry can be found throughout the downtown area of Santa Barbara.  A few blocks south of the original movie studios,  the Flying A Studio Boarding House stands on De la Vina Street.  The property has not changed much in the past 100 years, and the buildings on the property are still used as apartments and residences today.

Flying A Boarding House 7

For years, this was home to many of the costumers, artists, technicians, and movie extras who were involved with the film industry.

Flying A Boarding House 2

 And while the Flying A Boarding House was home to extras and technicians and production staff, many of the stars and executives lived in other accommodations nearby.

Flying A Boarding House Sign

One of the favorite hotels was the Edgerly Court Hotel, located at the corner of Sola and Chapala Streets.  The sturdy brick and timber structure was built exclusively for people employed by the local film industry.

The Edgerly 4

  It offered more commodious and elegant accommodations than the boarding house.  Today, the Edgerly Apartments provide affordable housing for income-qualified senior citizens.  The building is beautifully maintained, and looks much the same today as it did when first built.  It is a downtown jewel.

Edgerly Court Apartments

Another luxurious option was the Arlington Hotel, located  across the street from the Edgerly Court Hotel.  The Arlington, one of the west coast's most famous luxury hotels,  eventually became the Arlington Theater.  

Today, the Arlington Theater is a movie palace in the grand tradition of a bygone era.  It is also an important venue for showcasing live events: musicians, dancers, authors, and other performance events are hosted throughout they year. 

It is also the beloved and sentimental site of many annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival events.

Arlington Hotel 1910

 The annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival allows us to bask in the glamour and magic of the film industry, all over again.


The 26th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival continues through February 6, 2011, with screenings, award cermonies, and special events scheduled every day.

Visit their website to purchase view the schedule, purchase tickets, or to learn more about the people and events of the 2011 SBIFF.

Lotusland - Forever More, We Will Dream On the Lotus Shore....


...softly sing in the dark'ning air

Though other lands of earth are fair

Forever and forever more

We will dream on the lotus shore

~ Mrs Gregory Smith, Atla: A story of the lost island, 1886.......

Lotusland Euphorbia Ingens 


Behind the elegant wrought iron gates and aged pink stucco wall, this classic Mediterranean villa wears a sunny tuscan hue.  It reclines near the base of the chaparral-covered mountains in Montecito, California, and seems all the more vivid for the turquoise dome of sky that shines above it most days.   Weeping euphorbia ingens, tall plants that grow in long, twisting loops, stand dramatically along the front of the house and form a fantastic and rag-tag assemblage.

This is an environment extraordinaire. 

Exquisite.  Edgy.  Wild. 

Vibrant life - 37 acres of it. The very air is tinged with a portent of discovery and drama, where mysteries are sure to be revealed, and more enticingly, secrets must surely be kept.

Within the wall, surrounding the house - are the legendary Lotusland gardens.

The story of Lotusland began in 1882, when Ralph Kinton Stevens, a transplanted Englishman, settled here. 

Lotusland House Entrance

Stevens was enchanted by the arid, dry landscape of Montecito.  He loved the plains, foothills, and mountains covered with chaparral.  He admired the indiginous plants - the coastal live oaks, California sycamores, manzanita, ceanothus, sage, toyon, and grasses that proliferate along the southern coast of California. 

Although he admired these natural surroundings, Stevens was not limited by what he saw - he was inspired by what it could become.

He was a natural plantsman, an avid horticulturist.  He preserved many of the old-growth oaks and sycamores that continue to thrive on the property today.  He also began filling the land with plants from around the world:  palms, avocados, lemons, oranges, olives, bananas, mangos,  and more.  

Stevens called his estate "Tanglewood".   He built his family home here, raised his children, and reveled in the life he had created.

 He worked closely with other local plantsmen, and became something of a horticultural goodwill ambassador.  He encouraged Southern Californians to create gardens using exotic varieties of plants that had never been seen in America before.   Stevens furthered his mission when he opened a nursery at Tanglewood,  providing local access to plant material that had been, only a few years before, unobtainable here.

Early Lotusland 1896 - Kinton Stevens - Out West Mag

The frontispiece shows some of the finest specimens to be seen in the country. The slender growing, feathery-headed palm in the center is Cocos plumosa from Brazil; on the right corner stands the Sabal Palmetto from our Southern Atlantic coast; on the left,  Palma Azul or Blue Palm,  Krythea armata from lower California, while in the background are to be seen two huge specimens of the Palma de miel or Coquito Juba a spectabilis from Chile,  and of Phoenix Canadensis from the Canary Islands , which has become so popular all over California.   Under the Cocos is a young clump of giant bamboo,  Bambusa vulgaris from India.

This picture was taken in El Montecito near Santa Barbara at the residence of the late Kinton Stevens who was one of the most enthusiastic pioneers to enrich California with plants from other lands ~Santa Barbara, Cal.

~ Dr F Franchesci, Out West Magazine, 1896


When Stevens' died, the estate languished.  For years, it was rented out, then leased, until it was purchased by George Owen Knapp in 1913.  

Knapp and his wife were generous philanthropists who loved theater, art, and travel.  They roamed the world, but always loved to come home to Montecito, where they could relax, entertain, and share their home and beloved garden with family and friends.

In 1916, Palmer Gavit and his wife purchase the property, and named it "Cuesta Linda" - Beautiful Hill.   They were inspired by the gardens and siting of the property.  They commissioned Reginald Johnson, renowned architect, to design and build the home of their dreams - the very house that stands today. Construction was completed in 1920. 

The Gavits hired George Washington Smith, another luminary architect, to design the signature pink wall, the pool and pavilion, garages, and other buildings scattered around the estate.  The Gavit's dream coalesced with the help of Johnson and Smith.

 Pool House

It had been more than 50 years since Ralph Kinton Stevens first purchased the property and began its transformation.  By 1941, home and garden had grown into a singular and lovely creation.

And yet, the greatest transformation of all had yet to occur.  In 1941, Madame Ganna Walska first appeared at the property on Sycamore Canyon Road. 

Ganna Walska was born in Poland of relatively humble beginnings.  As a very young woman, she set about to transmute herself into a world-class beauty who could beguile even the most worldly(and wealthy) of men.  Her dramatic and sumptuous life played out on the world's stage.  Her charm, allure, and powers of seduction were legendary.  She insisted she be addressed as Madame Walska.

Madame Walska traveled extensively.  She collected famous friends - especially handsome men. She took up opera.  She wrote.  She was feted by her admirers in every corner of the world. She was like a little tiny stick of dynamite - an petite but explosive package.   Although society was scandalized by her outré behavior, the world was secretly delighted by her escapades and unconventional lifestyle.

She had numerous and well-publicized affairs - and a total of six marriages.  Ganna Walska had voracious appetite for luxury and finery.  She was bold, audacious, and she always cut a glamorous figure.   

Madame Walska owned Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, along with dozens of bespoke costumes that Erte created for her to wear during her operatic performances.  At home, her closets were filled with Lanvin, Patou, Ferragamo, Chanel, and Balenciaga designs.  She had all manner of exotic feather and furs, gems and jewels.

Ganna Walska 1929 from LOC

Her tastes - and appetites - were legendary.

When Ganna Walska and husband #6, Theos Bernard, found Cuesta Linda, they were thrilled. They purchased it and  named the estate  "Tibetland".  Bernard,  known for a time as “The White Lama”, was a yoga master and guru. Together, Walska and Bernard planned to create a spiritual retreat at Tibetland. 

However - the guru was revealed to be a charlatan, and the marriage fell apart.

Now, it was just Ganna Walska and the Garden. 

She named her estate, Lotusland, in 1945.

Madame's passions, formerly reserved for men, travel, luxury - were soon subsumed by her love of the garden.   She cared less for fashion and frivolity these days - although she still dabbled.

She dug her hands into the black earth.  She walked barefoot on the grass.  She swam naked in the pool in the bright sun of the morning, and the soft coolness of moonlight.

Lotusland Pool

She imagined, designed - then installed - outrageous displays of plant material in the garden.  She traded jewels for rare plants.  She picked apples, apricots, lemons and clementines from the orchard.   She woke early, and worked alongside her gardeners until late in the afternoons. She filled baskets with rose blooms she clipped from the garden. 

She amassed a library filled with rare books about the historic gardens of the world, and more prosaic editions addressing architecture, landscaping, plant culture, and garden pests. She potted and pruned her geraniums, and had an aviary filled with birds. She built an outdoor theater, where she hosted musical performances and theatrical masques.    Madame pulled weeds, spread manure, clipped hedges, pruned tree limbs. She became a gardener's gardener.

She engaged Lockwood de Forest, artist and landscape architect, to help implement her newest ideas. He designed the succulent garden, the cactus display in front of the house, and various other gardens on the property.

Shaded Path

She engaged Ralph Tallant Stevens to join in planning her garden.  Stevens, Ralph Kinton Stevens' son, had grown up on the land, and understood all the transformations and incarnations of the property.  He was a founding member of the Santa Barbara Horticultural Society, and an important figure in the horticultural development of Santa Barbara County.  He designed the iron gate that faces Sycamore Canyon Road, the Blue Garden.  He helped to obtain and install the giant garden clock that has been restored as the centerpiece of the Topiary Garden.

 Eventually, Joseph Knowles, a well-known local artist and teacher, worked with Madame in designing the Aloe Garden and the pool that is edged with a ring of abalone shells. 

Aloe Garden 1

In the 1960s, Madame installed the Japanese Garden with the help of Frank Fuji, who recently retired from his 50-year tenure in the Garden.  He worked at Lotusland until he was 90 years old.

Japanese Garden 3

Madame Ganna Walska filled one of her three swimming pools with mud - and lotus plants.  It was a bold move of genius.  Every August, the shaded pool is transformed with statuesque lotus flowers that are held aloft on six-foot-tall stems.  The nearby pools are covered with delicate waterlilies. 

I think of her there, standing amid the rich, rosy colors that kaleidoscope in the dappled shade.  I imagine her in the quiet summer heat that hums with life.  Dragonflies  (metallic cinnbar and bottle-green) flicker above still water.   Liquid reflections of sky appear - a  sharp china-blue.  Flowers bloom.  Birds dart into sheltering branches.  A single leaf falls.

What did Madame think, in moments alone, about her true life's partner - the gardens of Lotusland?  Although Madame's original vision of  Tibetland as a spiritual retreat were not exactly realized, I assure you, this is the playground of the mystic and divine.  

After Madame's passing in her 97th year, the dream continued.  Her garden lived on as legacy.   The Lotusland Foundation was formed.  The Foundation restored the gardens and buildings that had been neglected in Madame's last years.  Lotusland was opened as a public garden.  

Lotusland docents, an intensively-trained and passionate lot, offer guided tours of the garden, twice daily, from February through November.  

Japanese Garden 1

I worked for a season in the Garden Shop at Lotusland.  I would arrive early in the morning to open the shop, and prepare for the 10am Saturday tour.  Often, I was the first person in the garden, alone with squirrels and quail and rabbits in the fern and begonia gardens.  Deeply shaded, the garden beds were flecked on either side with pink and peach-colored blossoms that nestled in the dark, textured leaves of prized begonias; the fragrant blooms from the huge angels' trumpet (datura) dripped with the remnants of last night's fog.

Garden Shop Fountain

Walking through the Japanese garden, I would notice azeleas in bloom, or camellias, or the reddening Japanese maple leaves, each in its season. One morning,  I saw a pair of blue herons in the pond, feasting on glittering red koi, while nearby, life-sized statues of cranes stood sentinal.

Lotusland Garden Shop

 Between tours, I would sweep, and clean, and then sit on the patio and read the newest gardening books:  The Gardens of Columbia, Seaside Gardening, The English Cottage GardenSanta Barbara Style, The Trees of Santa Barbara, and many others.

In the late winter months, the paths were chilly, muddy and puddled in places, with rain dripping, like falling gems, down the columned cypress trees;  in the heat of summer, I would linger in the cool tropical garden, where large philodenrons and bananas mingle beside the soft bark trails, and dozens of epiphyites hang above the pathways. 

Tropical Pathway

 In the springtime that year, we all watched as a pair of tiny towhees nested in a potted plant on the patio.  There, within the rim of the black one-gallon pot, beneath the leaves, they hatched their eggs. K was there when the babies had grown old enough to flutter, and hop up to the lip of the pot.  They flapped and faltered amid great bird fanfare - and suddenly - they could fly.  Just like that, they were gone.

The Lawn

All around this magnificent estate, there are daily treasures, small and large.  There are gardens galore to discover: the Blue Garden, the Cycad Garden, the bromeliads.  The cactus garden was planted during my season at Lotusland.  I thought the cacti out of place - too stark.  And now, I see - it belongs.  It is breathtaking and beautiful.   The garden continues to evolve.

Cactus Garden 5

  There is never a bad day to visit Lotusland.  It is a living creature, a place of many faces and guises. 

Butterfly Garden and Aviary

I was passing through the butterfly garden one afternoon, when a cloud of monarch butterflies drifted over the hedges and tumbled above the flowers as they flew along.  I was mystified.  From whence would a cloud of butterflies appear, and where could they be going?  It seems almost anything is possible at Lotusland.

Lemon Allee

Lizards live here, and rabbits wild - and animals created from the plants themselves. 

Lotusland is a shifting fata morgana of delight - illusion and actuality slip, shimmer, change places  - and take on new shapes entirely - from moment to moment. 

Visit the Lotusland website.  It serves as your personal invitation.

Topiary Kingdom

View the map, learn about upcoming events, make a reservation to take a real-life tour.


Lotusland was created - for all of us - by some of the world's most interesting and visionary gardeners.  It is lovingly tended and maintained today, by an entirely new group of interesting and visionary gardeners, scholars, volunteers, and trustees who oversee the health and vibrant life of the garden.

It is a community resource, a teaching garden.  It is a living legacy, a labor of love,  a world-class  historic and horticultural preserve.

Shaded Pavilion

You must come and see it for yourself.

Giant Blue Agaves

A Stagecoach Ride to Surf - Lompoc, 1898

Highway 1 to Lompoc 4

At one place, the stageway is barred by a gate, the first of half a dozen that yield promptly to requesting hand. The first and last thirty miles apart mark the exterior lines of the great San Julian Ranch,  a memory of baronial days.

Over this ranch,

Rancho San Julian

the stage road is strictly private,  usually in fine condition,  and the drive over it a thing to make one sigh for such an inheritance....

But the downward run into Lompoc, covering a distance of four or five miles along the woodland bank of a river, the horses shaking their heads and manes in excess of happiness with rays of setting sun gilding every object, is one experience of a lifetime, and of itself an ample guerdon for any real or imaginary hardship on the trip.

Highway 1 to Lompoc 2

 At Lompoc, a stop is made of half an hour for dinner when wanted, and then in the gloaming with change of vehicle and fresh team, the nine mile avenue is taken for Surf.

 We had full moon and shadows. Wandering away into the distance there was music of hoof beat and whirr of wheels, melody without harmony within, and golden silence - a symphony in which speech would have been discord.

Highway 1 to Lompoc 6

The first short journey of fancy along the banks of Thessalian Pencius and the Vale of Tempe had not ended, when the driver explosively cried out,"Surf!" and there we were, the waters sweeping along the shore line,

Ocean Beach 6

sands on the one hand and well-lighted office and welcoming agent of Southern Pacific Company on the other.

Not one of us did say - not one could say - "I am tired," nor could we call the trip a hard one for any not invalid. At Lompoc, the stage agent said to us,"You can go at once to Surf and find a Pullman car awaiting you, or you can stay over night here at the hotel and go down with the mail at four o'clock in the morning."

Flower Fields

The Pullman has great attractive power over the average globe trotter; we chose it at once, and on arrival, found it sweet and clean and the porter like a translation from our domestic staff, full of kindly offices and efforts to please. We slept within hearing of ocean's pulsating murmurs, and the gentle rhythmic percussion of the waves on the shingly beach was our slumberous lullaby.

Ocean Beach 8

~ William Boardman, "Coaching in California", Sunset, Passenger Dept, Southern Pacific Co, 1898