Beyond the Myth of Max Fleischman

Thursday March 21, 2013 – Thursday March 21, 2013

113 Harbor Way, Suite 190

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The Real Story Behind How We Got Our Breakwater
by Erin Graffy de Garcia, author 

Where: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, California
What: Erin Graffy de Garcia will provide us with a compelling story behind the building of the breakwater.
When: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 7 pm
Members only Reception at 6:15 pm
Free (members), $5 (non-members)

Register: Call (805) 962-8404 x115

(To guarantee admission please reserve your ticket(s) prior to event)

“Philanthropist Max Fleischmann didn’t have a place to park his big yacht, so he gave the city money to build the harbor.” This is the usual explanation locals give when discussing our waterfront breakwater.

However, the real story is far more interesting, and was a half century in the making before Max made an offer the city could not refuse. Starting in the nineteenth century when Senator De La Guerra made a pitch to the state legislature, and continuing through the twentieth century by pulling strings with Navy admirals and U.S. vice-presidents, and voting on numerous ballot measures, Santa Barbara pursued it all.

But what other sites were considered? Why were the Feds so interested in Point Sal up in Guadalupe for a harbor? What was the real reason the Bird Refuge was overlooked? Why did our best plan for a breakwater come 12 years earlier — from an engineer for the Boston Transit? Could the breakwater have happened without Max? You might be surprised to find that the biggest impetus for our harbor came three years earlier — from America’s first air mail pilot!

Erin Graffy is author, editor and publisher of more than 50 books, monographs, publications, and articles on regional history. Her latest coffee-table book  The Santa Barbara Yacht Club: A Waterfront History — richly details in rare photos and text, the history and developments along our waterfront since the middle of the nineteenth century. (Available for sale $90; order in advance