neal graffy


Unfortunate Incident at Castle Rock

In 1909, the automobile was emerging as a focus of interest for individuals, communities and entire countries all over the world. Santa Barbara was no exception, and in August of that year, a forward-looking enterprise in Hope Ranch, just north of the town, was making plans to compete on a grand scale. They were sure to succeed – as long as nothing went wrong…

When Leontine’s young friend, eleven-year-old Patrick Denman, makes a grisly discovery at Castle Rock, a popular recreation spot on the Santa Barbara shoreline, he, along with Leontine and her tenant and friend Daisy Merrie, do their best to unravel what happened on the beach, and what it might have to do with the revolutionary new technology under development in Hope Ranch.

The second installment of the popular “Santa Barbara History Mysteries” series, featuring actual early 20th century Santa Barbara resident, Leontine Birabent.



More than anything, A Murder at the Potter Hotel is about a time and place - Santa Barbara, California in 1908. That year saw the arrival of the Great White Fleet, having been selected as one stop on the global mission of good will. 

Joining the community in city-wide celebration, piano teacher Leontine Birabent, her young friend Patrick and Daisy, her tenant, are unwittingly drawn into a web of corporate crime and military deception that ends with someone dead. Though far from detectives, the three are, nevertheless, in the best position to determine who might be responsible – hopefully before the ships sail on.




152 pages with map and photos, softcover

$14.95 + Free Shipping




The Great Santa Barbara Earthquake - the Disaster That Built a City

Coming a Little Later!

History Under Your Nose


It may look like Santa Barbara’s red-tiled roofs and white stucco walls and buildings have been here forever... but who knows what secrets lurk beneath those facades? Santa Barbara historian Neal Graffy does! And through the images and text of Santa Barbara Then and Now, layers of time are peeled back to reveal an earlier Santa Barbara of many different designs and uses.
This is the only book that dares to pose the question "Has every building in Santa Barbara been a restaurant at least once?"


Santa Barbara Then and Now
is 160 pages in full color.

SoftCover 11.5" x 9" Edition $19.95

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In 1851 the Town Council of Santa Barbara appointed a committee to apply names to the fifty-two new streets being created from “the front of the Mission Gardens to the sea and from hill to hill on each side” as a result of the survey of  Salisbury Haley. 

Unlike other towns whose streets bore the unimaginative A - Z, numbers, trees or names of presidents, they gave names to our streets that portrayed the geography and botany of our town, honored the Chumash, early settlers, governors, and showed a distinct sense of humor and in some cases, delightful sarcasm. 

52 pages with maps, photos and original artwork by Vanessa Conejo, softcover
4” x 7 ½” (A Santa Barbara Pocket History)
Soft cover $9.95

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Historic Santa Barbara is a coffee table size book written for the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. It’s chock full of photos and text covering the history of Santa Barbara from the original inhabitants, the Chumash Indians, all the way up through the devastating Jesusita fire of 2009. The second half of the book profiles a number of Santa Barbara businesses, churches and non-profits.




Historic Santa Barbara
208 pages. Hardcover

Way Back When: The Series


Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1915 contains juicy news items from SB’s newspapers that you won’t find in other history books: The peacock tamale scandal! Nudity on State Street! TNT and torpedoes on July 4! A devilfish threatening Stearns Wharf! The great New Year’s Eve snowball fight!

New this year a centerfold (1915 style)!

Reviewers called Betsy J. Green’s Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1914: “a fun read,” “Betsy tells it like it was,” “an easy-access snapshot of Santa Barbara 100 years ago.” 1915 was just as weird & wacky, so Green followed up with a second book.




Author and historian Betsy J. Green’s book, Way Back When: Santa Barbara in 1914, tells it like it was, along with a healthy dollop of humor. Betsy’s history and humor column – Way Back When – is read by thousands of Santa Barbarans each month on the local website

Betsy’s columns are drawn from articles in the Santa Barbara newspapers of 1914. She has compiled her columns, along with interesting comments from Edhat readers, into the first of her series of books on Santa Barbara history – one year at a time.