The city of Santa Maria incorporated in September, and much more | Shirley Contreras |

September 17, 1804: Foundation of the Mission Santa Inez.

September 12, 1840: Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado grants the 8,841.21 acre Casmalia Rancho to Antonio Olivera.

September 21, 1874: La Guadalupe Lodge #237 F&AM meets for the first time as a chartered lodge.

September 1883: A violent fire destroys the TA Jones & Son store. Other shops and offices suffered damage, including Justice Thornburgh’s office.

September 1894: Students move into the new high school building built on a 10-acre property purchased from Ezra Morrison for $1,500. The building cost the district $12,000.

September 1897: Union Sugar Co. acquires land on which to build a refinery. The company was incorporated on September 27.

September 20, 1899: Union Sugar Co. begins sugar production in Betteravia.

September 1, 1901: With $25,000 in hand, the Valley Savings Bank, chaired by William H. Rice, opens at the corner of Broadway and Main Street. The property was later the site of the Security First National Bank.

September 12, 1905: Santa Maria votes to incorporate as “Municipal Corporation of the Sixth Class”, with 202 votes in favor and 139 against.

September 18, 1905: The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors confirms the incorporation of the city of Santa Maria.






Santa Maria City Hall, located at 110 E. Cook St., was designated a City Historic Landmark on September 12, 1985.




September 21, 1905: The first meeting of the New Town of Santa Maria Board of Directors (now the City Council) was held in the Director’s Room of the First National Bank of Santa Maria, which was located on the north corner -west of Lincoln and Main Streets. Alvin Cox was elected president, and Thomas Preisker became the town attorney.

Note: It wasn’t until 1927 that the title of “mayor” came into effect by an act of the state legislature, allowing Arthur Fugler to become the city’s first legally appointed mayor.

September 23, 1905: The foundation stone is laid for the new Hesperian Lodge #264 F&AM at the corner of Church Street and Broadway.

September 8, 1923: One of the worst disasters in US Navy history occurred when seven US Navy destroyers ran aground at Honda Point, off the current Vandenberg Space Force Base, killing 23 sailors.

September 1926: The 30-member Community Orchestra, under the direction of William E. Strowbridge, is organized in Santa Maria.

September 16, 1929: Reverend Yasuo Oshita of Japan was appointed as the first permanent pastor of the new Japanese Union Church in Santa Maria, a position he held until 1957.

September 9, 1931: The War Memorial building is dedicated in Guadalupe.

September 1934: The new Santa Maria City Hall, designed by Louis N. Crawford and Francis Parsons, opens.

September 17, 1939: Hancock College of Aeronautics is dedicated to the “future security of the United States”

September 1, 1940: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Selective Training and Service Act, legislation that results in the first peacetime military draft in United States history.

September 11, 1941: Ground is opened for the 92,000-acre Camp Cooke military installation.

September 9, 1942: The first civilian employees are transferred from Camp Cooke to Hancock College of Aeronautics.

September 16, 1943: After the bombers were deemed too heavy for the runways, the army airfield became the final training site for P38 Lightning fighter groups.

September 2, 1945: Japan officially surrenders.

September 2, 1945: Hancock rents his school facilities from USC for $1 a year. A four-year course was offered by the university through the Allan Hancock Foundation.

September 5, 1945: Reverend Yasuo Oshita, minister of the Japanese Union St. Mary’s Church, became the first Japanese to return home from internment camps.

September 10, 1945: A peacetime work week is established at Hancock College of Aeronautics: 40 hours per week for civilians and 44 hours per week for military personnel.

September 22, 1945: Although the local war prize and ration board are closed, rationing of tires, shoes and food (including sugar) is still in effect.

September 2, 1951: The new Blochman School is opened in Sisquoc.

September 7, 1955: The Santa Maria Historical Society is organized and incorporated as a non-profit organization, with Ethel-May Dorsey as its first president. Over 200 people have signed up as founding members.

September 10, 1955: The first location of the Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum opened in the basement of the Carnegie Library. The museum was to know two more locations before moving to its current location at 616 S. Broadway.

September 11, 1955: A time capsule was buried in the patio of City Hall to commemorate the last day of Santa Maria’s eight-day 50th anniversary.

September 7, 1961: Flames swept through the kitchen of El Camino School causing damage estimated at $5,000. The cause of the fire was undetermined.







Union Sugar Betteravia 03.jpg

A worker packs sugar at Union Sugar Co.’s Betteravia plant in an undated photo.




September 17, 1961: Rice School is dedicated to William Hickman Rice.

September 24, 1961: The Arellanes School is dedicated to Don Juan Bautista Arellanes.

September 28, 1962: A ribbon cutting opened the new highway.

September 1963: Santa Maria Beautiful chooses the geranium as the city flower.

September 23, 1965: Demolition of the Main Street School.

September 16, 1969: Members of the Santa Maria City Council approve the first reading of an ordinance establishing regulations and procedures for the removal of overhead utility installations and the installation of underground utilities.

September 20, 1974: The Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum, located at 616 S. Broadway, is dedicated.

September 27, 1974: Fairlawn School is dedicated to Benjamin Wiley.

September 12, 1975: The new Masonic Temple at 700 Lakeview Drive is dedicated.

September 1978: Rancho Tinaquaic receives a 100-year certificate from the state of California.

September 19, 1982: The site of the Pacific Coast Railway Depot, located at West Main and Depot streets, was designated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark.

September 12, 1985: Santa Maria City Hall, located at 110 E. Cook St., is designated as a City of Santa Maria Landmark.

September 12, 1989: Robin Ventura, a graduate of Righetti High School in 1985, plays his first game with the Chicago White Sox.

September 21, 2000: Vons, Nipomo’s first supermarket, opens its doors.

September 4, 2002: The new Nipomo High School marked its opening day.

September 4, 2002: The time capsule, buried in 1955, is unearthed in front of City Hall.

September 12, 2004: The Santa Maria Centennial Celebration began with a community kick-off picnic at the Elks Lodge.

September 11, 2005: The closing ceremonies of the centennial celebrations of Santa Maria and a spectacular fireworks display were held at the Fairpark.

September 12, 2005: Santa Maria celebrated 100 years of incorporation.

September 29, 2009: The State of California tabled a resolution designating October as Filipino/American History Month. Congress followed suit the following year.

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