Dibblee Family Papers

Finding aid created by Santa Barbara Historical Museum. Gledhill Library. staff using RecordEXPRESS
Santa Barbara Historical Museum. Gledhill Library.
136 E. De La Guerra
Santa Barbara, California 93101
(805) 966-1605 x105

Descriptive Summary

Title: Dibblee Family Papers
Dates: 1842-1927
Collection Number: AR-1993-097
Creator/Collector: Dibblee family
Extent: 3 linear feet in 3 record storage boxes
Repository: Santa Barbara Historical Museum. Gledhill Library.
Santa Barbara, California 93101
Abstract: The Dibblee Family Papers consist of 1,269 pieces of correspondence and records related to the operations of Rancho San Julian from 1842-1927.
Language of Material: English


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head Archivist of the Gledhill Library.

Preferred Citation

Dibblee Family Papers. Santa Barbara Historical Museum. Gledhill Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by A. Dibblee Poett

Biography/Administrative History

Rancho San Julian was established in 1817 as a source for meat, tallow, leather, and horses for the King of Spain's soldiers at the Presidio of Santa Barbara, California. Presidio Comandante Don Jose Antonio de la Guerra y Noriega received Rancho San Julian, about 48,000 acres, in lieu of back pay. The Rancho passed to Don Jose's sons, who sold it to Gaspar Orena during the difficult financial times caused by the drought of 1862-1864. Albert and Thomas Dibblee purchase Rancho San Julian in 1867. A year later, Thomas Bloodgood Dibblee married Francisca de la Guerra, granddaughter of Don Jose, keeping the Rancho in the de la Guerra family. In 1875, the Dibblees along with W. W. and Hubbard Hollister, built a pier at Gaviota for shipping cattle and sheep to the San Francisco market. Later, in the 1890s when the railroad reached Guadalupe, they drove the stock to the rail terminal there. When Albert and Thomas Dibblee both died in 1895, Albert's family received the Jalama (western) portion of the land and Thomas's descendants retained San Julian. In 2000, 15,000 acres remained of the original 25,000 left at the time of the 1895 subdivision. As of 2020, Rancho San Julian continues to be held and worked by the descendents of Thomas Bloodgood Dibblee.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Dibblee Family Papers contain correspondence from a who's who of Santa Barbara citizens from the second half of the 19th century. Subjects covered include Ranchos Las Cruces, San Julian, Santa Rita, and Simi; land grants for Lompoc, Salsipuedes and University; Gaviota Wharf, Cordero papers, sheep industry, cattle drives and livestock sales. The types of records include correspondence, telegrams, financial documents, legal papers, abstracts of title, survey field notes, maps, sketches, deeds, agreements, contracts, leases, insurance policies, loans, liens, statements, accounts, invoices, payments, receipts, protests, subpoenas, summons, disputes, settlements, estate summaries, wills, legislation, cargo manifests, employee lists, and genealogies. The collection consists of 1,269 pieces of correspondence and records related to the operations of Rancho San Julian from 1842-1927.

Indexing Terms

Rancho San Julian (Calif.)
W. Dibblee Hoyt collection, SBHC Mss 70. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara Poett, A. Dibblee. 1991. "Rancho San Julian: the story of a California ranch and its people". Santa Barbara: Fithian Press. Hoyt, W. Dibblee. 2000. "Rancho San Julian dia del rancho". [Santa Barbara, Calif.]: Rancho San Julian.

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