Montecito, a world renowned destination for royals, celebrities and the many rich and famous, was once considered a dangerous place. Grizzly bears and outlaws could often be found hiding in the wooded canyons.
Between approximately 1782 to 1846, Spanish and Mexican land grants were given to soldiers of the presidio who had reached retirement age. Many settled just west of what is today the intersection of East Valley Road and Hot Springs Road.
The first residential settlement established in Montecito was known as Old Spanish Town. The first group of Yankee settlers to Montecito recognized the rich soil, fresh air and ideal climate for a variety of crops, exotic fruits and citrus.
For this reason, the area was quickly known as the rustic “Eden” with flourishing farmland and gardens. To this day, the incredible vegetation and variety of plants remains one of a kind.
Today’s site of Birnham Wood Golf Club and the San Ysidro Ranch (a place JFK and Jackie Kennedy vacationed on their honeymoon) was once the citrus-producing valley of Crocker-Sperry Ranch.
Hacienda at San Ysidro Ranch
By the 1920s, Montecito had earned its place among millionaire socialites who enjoyed polo, parties, tennis and country clubs.
Today, Montecito maintains its rich history and is a mix of large estates, slightly smaller homes and even some more modest of varying styles and sizes. It’s a beautiful place to call home.