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on Anacapa Street that still ornaments downtown

Santa Barbara. The county’s only other Mooser-

designed building is the Spaldings’ magnificent

Spanish-style hacienda in Tecolote Canyon, built

in the early 1930s with reclaimed roof tiles from

Mission La Purísima Concepción in Lompoc.

TheSpaldings’ one-story, seven-bedroomhouse

sat on foundations set 45 feet deep, with built-in

shock absorbers to help it ride out any repeat of

the 1925 earthquake that devastated Santa Bar-

bara. The Spaldings had elaborate wrought-iron

grills bolted to all the windows, and surrounded

the house with a formidable wall to deter would-be

kidnappers who might try to rob their cradle, as

someone recently had robbed that of the famous

aviator Charles Lindbergh.

“It’s a big wall with broken glass at the top,”

Godwin Peliserro Jr. recalls.

Silsby Spalding was an aviator himself and a very

rich man. He was also a very careful man when it

came to ensuring the safety of his family at their

Tecolote retreat. Or perhaps it was Carrie who de-

manded the extra security, given that her mother

had been murdered at her family’s Los Angeles

home by a disgruntled ex-employee. The precau-

tions Carrie and Silsby took at Tecolote might

seem excessive—but not even an outright para-

noid could have foreseen the events of February

23, 1942, when the Spaldings’ bucolic ranch was


Montecito Magazine

Fall 2017–Winter 2018