Guide to the Will Beittel Papers MS.09

Finding aid prepared by Laurie Hannah
Arrangement and description of this collection funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration
Harder South MS 9615
Santa Barbara, CA, 93106

Title: Beittel (Will) Papers
Identifier/Call Number: MS.09
Contributing Institution: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.5 Linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1940-1994
Abstract: Lecture materials, clippings, propagation and planting notes, and photographs relating to trees and shrubs growing in Santa Barbara County, and especially plants grown by Will Beittel, former Santa Barbara City Arborist and Nurseryman at UCSB.
creator: Beittel, Will, (Wilbur G.)

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation note

Will Beittel Papers, MS-09. Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, C.H. Muller Library. University of California, Santa Barbara.

Related Archival Materials note

A collection of Santa Barbara park inventories including maps and plant lists by Will Beittel are located at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Library.

Separated Materials note

A copy of Santa Barbara's Trees containing Beittel's annotations was moved to the library collection.

Biographical/Historical note

Wilbur (Will) G. Beittel was born March 2, 1913 in Philadelphia. After attending NYU and Oberlin College, he began a music career in 1936 as a composer and arranger for the Lucky Strike Hit Parade and CBS Swing Session. He also wrote for various motion picture studios up until he switched careers around 1955 after attending Pierce Agricultural College.
Beittel moved to Santa Barbara and became the City Arborist until 1963. He lived at horticulturist Francesco Franceschi's original home and garden (now Franceschi Park), overseeing the plants there and using the grounds as the city's nursery, where he propagated and introduced many exotic species to Santa Barbara. He grew plants for the street tree program, public parks, and other civic properties, propagating between 4,000 and 5,000 plants per year. In 1963, Beittel became the Senior Nurseryman at University of California, Santa Barbara. He continued growing unusual exotic species which he planted around the campus grounds, many which are still there today.
Among Beittel's noteworthy contributions to horticulture are several books that he authored: Santa Barbara's Street and Park Trees, Santa Barbara's Trees, and Dr. F. Franceschi, Pioneer Plantsman. He co-wrote Trees of Santa Barbara with Katherine Muller and Richard Broder. Beittel also taught several popular classes through Adult Education. Beittel passed away in 1999 at the age of 86.

Arrangement note

The collection is organized into five series: Series 1 Teaching Materials; Series 2 Publications; Series 3 Clippings; Series 4 Professional Papers; and Series 5 Photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Materials acquired from the Dept. of Biological Sciences. Photocopies of additional materials received from Susan Chamberlin September 2008 and copied from files on the campus lagoon at the Cheadle Center.

Scope and Contents note

Series 1 Teaching Materials includes notes and handouts for several adult education and extension courses taught by Beittel. Series 2 Publications includes lists in draft form and galley proofs of some pages from the 1977 edition of Santa Barbara's Trees. Series 3 Clippings includes newspaper articles about Beittel, articles about Santa Barbara parks and trees, and articles on individual plants written by Beittel for the Santa Barbara News-Press. Series 4 Professional Papers includes Beittel's records on plant propagation for Franceschi Park and UCSB and inventories of plants on the UCSB campus. There are also records on experimental plantings of various eucalyptus species on campus, a project aimed at finding suitable street trees for Santa Barbara. In this series is also correspondence from Raymond B. Cowles and Sima Eliovsen on South African plants, and a tribute to Santa Barbara Park Superintendant Finlay MacKenzie. Series 5 Photographs includes color slides and prints of plants that Beittel planted at Franceschi Park and at UCSB, as well as trees and shrubs growing in various parks and gardens in Santa Barbara.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Beittel, Will, (Wilbur G.)
Shrubs--California--Santa Barbara
Trees--California--Santa Barbara


Teaching Materials 1972-1977

Box-folder 1/1

Harmful and Beneficial Properties of Plants in this Region--University Extension course 1972

Box-folder 1/2-3

Trees and Shrubs of Santa Barbara 1973-1977


Publications 1976

Box-folder 1/4

Material for Santa Barbara's Trees 1976


Clippings 1958-1983


Scrapbook c. 1958-1976

Scope and Contents note

Newspaper clippings about Beittel.
Box-folder 1/5

Loose Clippings from Scrapbook 1958-1976

Scope and Contents note

Besides articles about Beittel, clippings cover Francesco Franceschi, his house and garden (Franceschi Park), Finlay MacKenzie, E.O. Orpet, articles on trees, and local politics concerning Santa Barbara City parks.
Box-folder 1/6

Stories of our Plants 1981-1983

Scope and Contents note

A series of articles Beittel wrote on unusual or rare plants grown in Santa Barbara.

Professional Papers 1947-1994

Box-folder 1/7

Correspondence 1947-1971

Box-folder 1/8

Landscape Report for UCSB Campus and Plants at UCSB 1977

Scope and Contents note

Two reports indicating all living plants grown at the Biological Sciences nursery and planted out from 1965-1977. Includes species name, date planted, and location on campus.
Box-folder 1/9

Propagation and Growing Record for Franceschi Park and UCSB 1956-1977

Scope and Contents note

Typed alphabetical list of species

Franceschi Nursery Propagation Record Book 1956-1977

Separated Materials note

Book transferred to UCSB Greenhouse Acquisition Records Group.

Scope and Contents note

Accession records from 1956 to 1962 relate to plants at Franceschi Park (nos. 1-1525). Accession records for UCSB Greenhouse begin July 15, 1963 (nos. 1-997).
Box-folder 1/10

Eucalyptus and Ficus at UCSB--Photocopies 1940-1994

Scope and Contents note

Includes correspondence with Woodbridge Metcalf and notes about the planting of eucalyptus species acquired from Max Watson's nursery in San Jose in 1962. These trees were planted around the campus lagoon for testing as street trees in the Santa Barbara region. Also included are a list of eucalyptus specimens collected in Santa Barbara County and deposited in the herbaria at UCSB and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden in 1940.
Box-folder 1/11

Miscellaneous Papers

Scope and Contents note

Loose materials removed from the scrapbook and one binder of lecture materials including a small notebook of plant notes; Santa Barbara Garden Club flower show list, 1956; issue of American Horticultural Society Gardeners Forum from 1966 with an article by Beittel; International Shade Tree Conference award; and a handwritten job description of Beittel's position of City Arborist.



Photo album

Scope and Contents note

Includes photos of many individual plants at Beittel's house, UCSB, and Franceschi Park Nursery.
Photo_box 1-3

Slides of trees, shrubs, and vines growing in the Santa Barbara area

Scope and Contents note

Color 35 mm slides of plants from Beittel's home, Franceschi Park Nursery, UCSB, Lotusland, and elsewhere in the Santa Barbara region.
Photo_box 4

Photos for Santa Barbara's Trees