Sue Higman Papers MS-18

Chris S. Ervin CA
Presidio Research Center
215 East Canon Perdido St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Presidio Research Center
Title: Sue Higman Papers
creator: Higman, Sue
creator: Community Arts Association of Santa Barbara. Plans and Planting Committee
creator: Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
source: Higman, Sue
Identifier/Call Number: MS-18
Physical Description: 2 Linear Feet plus oversize items
Date (inclusive): 1888-2003
Abstract: This collection consists of papers gathered by Sue Higman in her roles as board member and officer of several local Santa Barbara organizations, her correspondence on environmental issues, and papers related to the Early Mission Music Program.

Scope and Contents

This collection predominantly consists of papers gathered by Sue Higman in her roles as board member and officer of several local Santa Barbara organizations.

Biographical / Historical

Susanna Baat Higman was born in 1920 and grew up and lived in Santa Barbara her entire life. She is best known for her volunteerism with civic, cultural, historical and environmental organizations and activities. Taught a love of nature by her father Arthur, who took her hiking and backpacking, she devoted much time and energy from 1954 on to the Sierra Club and the California State Parks Foundation, as well as to many local organizations such as GOO (Get Oil Out), the Community Environmental Council, Small Wilderness Area Preserves, and the Santa Barbara County Environmental Resources Panel, to name a few.
Besides the environment, Higman cared deeply about the reconstruction of El Presidio de Santa Barbara and was a member and secretary of the board of trustees for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation for many years, becoming a life honorary trustee in 2003. She was an officer of the Citizens Planning Association for many years, and worked with Pearl Chase on the Plans and Planting Committee of the Community Arts Association for many years, becoming Treasurer in the 1970s and eventually becoming its president in 1982.
Higman was also active on the Citizens Advisory Committee of La Purisima Mission State Historic Park and received an award in 1975 for her contributions. Her love of history also fostered her interest in early mission music and she helped put on a series of music programs at missions around the state, sponsored by the California State Parks Foundation.
Sue Higman had a close relationship with Pearl Chase. Chase called her my best girl and told her you are rendering a fine service for [the] community and whole area. I'm fortunate to be in the inner circle of your friends. In another letter she praised Higman's community involvement: You are helping at the crossroads of Planning--Mission Music, Community Arts and Access--quite a load! Backpackers are important; let's train some more. Being one of Pearl's Girls, Higman helped organize the annual Pearl Chase birthday luncheons and was instrumental in establishing a city memorial plaque to Pearl and Harold Chase at Chase Palm Park.
In 1997, Higman received the Pearl Chase Preservation and Conservation Award from the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Trust established the Sue Higman Volunteer of the Year Award in 2010 in her honor.


The collection is organized into 7 series:
Series 1 - Community Arts Association records
Series 2 - Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
Series 3 - Citizens Planning Association
Series 4 - Early Mission Music Program
Series 5 - Environmental Issues
Series 6 - Books and Ephemera
Series 7 - Photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift from Jim Higman in 2008.

Separated Materials

Several books and pamphlets were removed from the papers and added to the library collection.

Related Materials

The papers of the Plans and Planting branch of the Community Arts Association in this collection continue those in the Community Development and Conservation Collection at UCSB (SBHC Mss 1) given to UCSB by Pearl Chase. Sue Higman served as treasurer and president of the CAA and kept the rest of the records from the 1970s and 1980s together.
For additional material about Pearl Chase, see also the Pearl Chase Papers at the Santa Barbara Trust For Historic Preservation (MS-01).

Preferred Citation

Sue Higman Papers, MS-18, Presidio Research Center, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, Santa Barbara, California.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist and Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Mission music
Santa Barbara Presidio (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Historic preservation
Chase, Pearl, 1888-1979
Higman, Sue


Community Arts Association, Plans and Planting Committee 1969-1984

Series 1

The Community Arts Association records document about twelve years' worth of board activities of the Association and some of its activities. Most of the records were Higman's copies, but other earlier copies of financial papers, legal documents, and correspondence most likely originated from Pearl Chase or her office.
One might presume that after Pearl Chase's death in 1979 Sue Higman became the caretaker of these records. Many more copies of early legal documents of the Association, such as the first articles of incorporation and bylaws, were contained in the original donation, but these materials had significant water damage and mold and could not be retained.
It is important to note, however, that those records are also part of the Community Development and Conservation Collection (Mss 1) at UCSB Davidson Library Special Collections, and that these papers in the Higman collection are a logical continuation of the Community Arts Association (CAA) records.

Community Arts Association (CAA)

The Community Arts Association (CAA) began in 1920 and was incorporated in 1922 as a non-profit organization with three branches: Drama, Music, and Plans and Planting. In 1923 it reincorporated to include the School of the Arts as a fourth branch. Its office was located at 912 Santa Barbara Street and thanks to a generous Carnegie Corporation grant, several buildings, including the Alhecama Theater and the arts classroom (now the Presidio Research Center) were constructed.
The Higman CAA records document board meetings and activities of the Plans and Planting branch of the organization (its corporate arm) in the 1970s and early 1980s, after its heyday as the main organization responsible for the Spanish style architecture of Santa Barbara and the beautification of the city after the 1925 earthquake. During this period the board was dealing with the organization's loss of its non-profit status in 1975 after it became involved in the El Mirasol high rise development project and its pivotal decision to focus on and merge with the Alternative Comprehensive Community Environmental Study System (ACCESS) project in 1975 and the financial consequences of that decision.
The ACCESS project received funding for a one-year pilot test, coordinated by UCSB through the U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare and lead by William Ewald, Jr. CAA entered into an agreement with UCSB as a subcontractor to offer office space, make purchases, and prepare reports, among other tasks. Unfortunately, the CAA did not have cash advances or the necessary funds to do its part without an additional loan of working capital from Pearl Chase. By 1984, the organization was down to one officer (Higman) and the members decided to wrap up CAA's business and made the decision to dissolve the corporation.
A small set of folders of correspondence from Pearl Chase and clippings about her round out this series.
box-folder 1/11

Pearl Chase 1974-1982

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence from Chase to Sue Higman and from others about Chase; documents efforts to create a memorial plaque about Chase; includes biographies and family genealogy.
box-folder 1/12

Clippings About Pearl Chase

box-folder 1/13

Neasham Award (California Historical Society) 1977


Old Mission Days Scrapbook

Physical Description: 1 Scrapbook11.5" x 15.75" x 1"

Scope and Contents

Old Mission Days took place December 4-7 1941. Pearl Chase was the Chair of the Advisory Committe for the event. The scrapbook contains correspondence, announcements from many periodicals, brochures, and maps.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Mission La Purísima Concepción (Calif.)
Santa Inés Mission (Solvang, Calif.)
Santa Barbara Mission
box-folder 1/14

Pearl Chase Birthday 1979-11-16

box-folder 2/1


box-folder 2/2

General Information and History

box-folder 2/3

Board Background Biographies and Mailing List

box-folder 2/4

Membership Roster

box-folder 2/5

Committee Member Lists

box-folder 2/6

Plans and Planting Committee 1972

box-folder 2/7

Plans and Planting Committee Members 1971-1975

box-folder 2/8

Plans and Planting Committee Members Directory

box-folder 2/9

Board Minutes and Agendas to 1978

box-folder 2/10

Meeting Minutes 1972-1973

box-folder 2/11

Board Meetings 1976

box-folder 2/12

Board Meetings 1977

box-folder 2/13

Board Meetings 1978

box-folder 2/14

Board Meetings 1979

box-folder 2/15

Board Meetings 1979-1982

box-folder 2/16

Board Minutes 1978

box-folder 2/17

Board Minutes 1979-1980

box-folder 2/18

Board Correspondence, General 1977-1980

box-folder 2/19

Financial Ledgers 1969-1977

box-folder 2/20

Financial Tax Information, Non-Profit Status 1972-1973

box-folder 2/21

Fiinancial Statements 1978

box-folder 2/22

Accounting Ledger/Taxes 1979

box-folder 2/23

Insurance Policies 1977-1980

box-folder 2/24

Bylaws and Restated Articles of Incorporation 1977-1980

box-folder 2/25

Contracts--Correspondence 1978-1981

box-folder 2/26

W.R. Ewald

box-folder 2/27

ACCESS Background

box-folder 2/28

ACCESS Endorsements

box-folder 2/29


box-folder 2/30


box-folder 2/31

ACCESS Meeting Minutes 1974-1976

box-folder 2/32

Pearl Chase Working Capital for ACCESS Project

box-folder 2/33

ACCESS Memorandum of Agreement with UCSB 1975-1981

box-folder 2/34

Supplemental ACCESS Contract 1977

box-folder 2/35

Clippings about ACCESS 1979

box-folder 2/36

ACCESS Invoices 1979-1981

box-folder 2/37

Roy Littlejohn Associates Contract

box-folder 2/38

Correspondence with Roy Littlejohn

box-folder 2/39

Board Copy of Final Accounting–Roy Littlejohn

box-folder 2/40

Harry Brelsford Papers about CAA 1972-1979

box-folder 2/41

Dissolution of Corporation 1984


Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation 1967-2003

Series 2

The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation series contains board agendas, meeting minutes, correspondence, and papers related to several difficult issues that challenged the board during those years, such as management of the El Paseo complex.
box-folder 1/1

Lobero Building and Richard Property 1972

box-folder 1/2

City of Santa Barbara and SBTHP Correspondence 1979

box-folder 1/3

Annual Board Election Lawsuit: Poett vs. SBTHP 1979

box-folder 1/4

SBTHP Correspondence 1983-1984

box-folder 1/5

Publicity and Activities 1967-1984

box-folder 1/6

Board meetings 1979

box-folder 1/7

Reports 1979-1980

box-folder 1/8

El Paseo Management Committee


Board resolution in appreciation for Sue Higman's contributions 1982


Framed board resolution making Higman a Lifetime Honorary Trustee 2003


Citizens Planning Association 1979-1980

Series 3

The Citizens Planning Association series is a small group of papers related to the adobe tours that the Association sponsored in 1979.
box-folder 1/9

Correspondence 1979

box-folder 1/10

Adobe Tour--Sue's Notebook


Early Mission Music Program 1974-1984

Series 4

The Early Mission Music Program series consists of planning documents, correspondence, programs, and publicity for a series of concerts, funded by the California State Parks Foundation and performed by the John Biggs Consort in 1974, 1976, and 1984. Included are audio recordings of the music.
box-folder 1/15

Correspondence 1974-1976

box-folder 1/16

Programs and Publicity

box-folder 1/17

Correspondence 1984

box-folder 1/18

Scrapbook pages

box 1

Introductory Remarks by Father Virgil Cordano and Announcement by Sue Higman 1975-01-05

box 1

Recording of MIssion Music, San Juan Bautista Mission 1975-12-10


Environmental Issues 1960-1961

Series 5

The Environmental Issues series is mostly correspondence from Higman to legislators and Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall regarding the preservation of Rainbow Bridge as a natural monument and the establishment of Point Reyes National Seashore. Also included are local trail inventories for the Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club.
box-folder 1/19

Sierra Club Correspondence on Trails 1961

box-folder 1/20

Correspondence re: Rainbow Bridge, Pt. Reyes National Seashore 1961

box-folder 1/21

Sierra Club Trail Notes and Santa Barbara Backcountry 1960-1961

box-folder 1/22

Santa Barbara County Trail Ordinance 1961


Books and Ephemera 1872-1934

Series 6

The Books and Ephemera series is an eclectic group of books and papers whose provenance is mostly unknown. It is possible that the papers from Julia Parsons and the book on Mont Saint-Michel may have come from Pearl Chase, as she wrote a note about Parsons. However, it is unclear where the handmade books came from. The book Santa Barbara Songs once belonged to Sue's father Arthur Baat. The Midget is a publication from Santa Barbara Junior High where Sue was a student.
box-folder 1/23

Papers and Ephemera from Julia and Richard Parsons 1875-1902

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence to Richard Parsons, an advertisement (in French), a card from a Parisian store, a menu (in French), and an article entitled Chose a la Mode by Simone A. Puget from The English Review Advertising Supplement. A note in the file from Pearl Chase indicates that Parsons was a friend of W[illiam] Bingham of Cleveland and Dr. Gehring of Maine.
box-folder 1/30

Le Mont Saint-Michel by Dubouchet Pere et Fils 1888

box-folder 1/24

Told By A Photo by Lola G. Hartwell 1898

Physical Description: 12 p. ; 13 x 15 cm. paper, tied with leather thong


Limited to 12 copies; book is signed "Lola G.H."
box-folder 1/25

Manuscript, The Old and the New, by Aldis E. Sage 1927

Scope and Contents

Copy of a typescript of Sage's handmade book. Includes a letter to Aldis Sage from Dorothy Edwards and also an envelope addressed to Bernhard Hoffmann, so it is unclear to whom the book belonged.
box-folder 1/26

The Old and the New 1927

Physical Description: [7] p. : ill. ; 20.5 x 16 cm.

Scope and Contents

Handmade book about old Santa Barbara buildings, written in verse in pen and ink with tipped in photographs. Photos by E. Fitch Peabody(?)
box-folder 1/27

Santa Barbara Songs (1872-1922), chosen and arranged by Leland S. Copeland 1922

box-folder 1/30

The Midget, Santa Barbara Junior High School 1934-01



Series 7

The Photographs series includes a number of images of Mission La Purisima, the newly built Lobero Theater and its environs, as well as a historic photo of the artist Ed Borein's southwest-style house.
box-folder 1/28


Scope and Contents

Includes 1 black and white 8 x 10 print of the Ed Borein home on the Mesa in Santa Barbara and 10 pages of black and white 4.5 x 2.5 in. photos mounted on newsprint with captions. They are of the Lobero Theater, the shops next door to it, and other buildings across the street and in the neighborhood. No dates. Photos were given to Pearl Chase.
box-folder 1/29

Miscellaneous photos

Scope and Contents

Nine (9) black and white photos and 4 color photos of Mission La Purisima, varying sizes; 1 black and white of Sue Higman and others (Gunderson, Hawskworth, Obern, Taprello, M. Smith, Madsen, Blum, Williams, White, and Lawler) with bust of Pearl Chase. "CPC Bond Act Coalition" written on back.