Welcome to Montecito Magazine

28 Montecito Magazine Fall 2018–Winter 2019 among the first houses of what is now the Samar- kand neighborhood. Earle’s ambitions for this property went beyond homebuilding. He set aside some of his acreage for an unpaved runway he hoped to develop into Santa Barbara’s first airport. “Have gone in for aviation again—just for the fun of it,” he wrote to a friend. The Ovington Air Terminal started out as Earle’s private airfield (he garaged his old Bleriot monoplane there, along with his other planes) but it was recognized as the community’s first officially designated airfield, and patronized over the years by the likes of Charles Lindbergh (who regularly flew to town to visit his friend Lora Knight at her Montecito estate, Cima del Mundo). Santa Barbara’s first commercial airline flight originated at the Above – An Ovington-designed house, built in 1930 in the Casa Loma subdivision Earle developed in the Samarkand area of Santa Barbara. Earle placed all the utilities in his development underground so that no wires or utility poles would interfere with planes landing at the nearby Ovington Air Strip. Earle, Adelaide and their two children lived in this home during the 1930s. Right – “Belly up to the bar, boys” — Earle Ovington (left) dressed in cowboy attire with fellow members of the Rancheros Visitadores. Montecito’s John J. Mitchell, a successful aviation executive and a founder of United Airlines, helped form this men’s club that celebrated horseback riding and the ranching lifestyle. The Rancheros’ first official ride, which lasted four days, took place in May 1930 in the Santa Ynez Valley. Ovington Air Terminal in August 1931, when Coast Airways inaugurated its Ford Trimotor passenger service to Los Angeles. But Earle’s airfield was too small and too close to the heart of the city to survive. Its former runway now comprises the 11 th fairway at the Santa Barbara Golf Club. Earle remained an active aviator, making regular flights to Santa Cruz Island to deliver mail and visit his friend, Ambrose Gherini, who owned a ranch there. He also designed a two-passenger biplane that a Los Angeles airplane maker offered to manufacture. But the Great Depression put an end to that venture and put Earle in a financial bind, forcing him to sell off many of his beloved airplanes. His health deteriorated too, and he died of intestinal PHOTO COURTESY OVINGTON FAMILY HEIRS. PHOTO COURTESY OVINGTON FAMILY HEIRS & ROBERT CAMPBELL

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy NTc3ODM=