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Minutes: A Morning with Mr. Hollister (07/01/2015)

July 2, 2015

Thank you to scribe Steve Boehm.

Flag salute: Chris Baxter
Raffle: Ken Beisser ($70 gift certificate to El Paseo Restaurant)
Guests: John Brinker (Montecito Club), Viki Collins


  • New president Bill Ringer unveiled this year’s banner with the theme “Be a gift to the world.” He wants members to enjoy Rotary, which should help everything else happen. It’s our year, not Bill’s year. He will be freeing us from PowerPoint. He encourages networking, including our socials, concerts, and other activities.
  • July 7 social: Tue 5-7 PM at El Paseo. Note: Happy hour specials end at 6 PM.
  • Club Service Director Diana Washburn is looking forward to many events, including Elings Park and bocce ball. She also thanks the children’s library crew, who moved so many books.
  • July 4: David Velarde mentioned that Goleta is looking for more volunteers for the Fireworks event. Just show up.
  • The Rotary Fiesta float is still under review by the area club presidents.
  • Dennis Johns updated us on Elings Park.
  • Diana Cecala is packing the golf goody bags and requested items and helpers to pack them.
  • Joe Weiland spoke about the Golf Tournament. We still need (1) Sponsors, (2) Golfers, and (3) Auction items. Steve Kally, Bob McPhillips, and John Brinker will announce the tournament at the Downtown, Goleta, and Montecito clubs respectively.
  • July 11: Gillian Amery requested golf auction items by this date.
  • Pay and Tell: Sandy Grasso-Boyd photos will be part of the photo club exhibit at Goleta Library during July. David told us something about Tri-Tip fund raising success. Dana Goba was on Wallstreet and participated in the opening bell and when her husband Eirik’s company, AppFolio, was listed. Joanne Orenstein pointed out her husband Stuart’s painting hanging in the SB Club. They have an event sharing SB Club members’ art. There were several summer time travel permits requested.

Program: Joanne Orenstein introduced J.J Hollister to present “Tales about his early ancestors in relation to settling in Santa Barbara County.”

  • We were led on a journey as Stanford graduate and founding partner of Hollister & Brace shared with us about his family settling in California.
  • It started with W.W. (William Welles) Hollister’s scouting trip from Ohio by horseback in 1851 to California, buying of land in San Benito County, then later returning from Ohio (land settled by the family before Lewis and Clark’s journey) with 6,000 sheep to begin the sheep operation.
  • J.J. shared about the rough and dangerous nature of the times. There was a problem removing settlers from the land. A relative died in a gun fight, dealing with the problem of settlers.
  • Vigilantes were hired to handle the issue. Another problem was that cattle were free ranging and sheep were not. W.W. was chased down and nearly hung for the plans he requested of the cattle association. There was also a bear problem, which didn’t work out well for the bears.
  • Despite all this, W.W. decided to bring out 12,000 more sheep from Ohio. Imagine the difficulty of this journey, including carrying the sheep individually across one river.
  • The Civil War came, and clothing soldiers was an economic boom for the sheep ranchers.
  • It wasn’t until 1888 that the family began cattle ranching. J.J shared about the relationship with the Dibblee Brothers as partners and further ranch land acquisition and division. The family built many things, including the towns of Hollister, Lompoc, and the Arlington Hotel. Glen Annie was W.W’s wife. Our thanks to J.J. Hollister for a fascinating program.
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