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"CaBoss" Phil Goble was presented a plaque and a model of Caboose No. 180 for his leadership and energy poured into the multi-year effort to restore the caboose.

President Gary Van Aken conducts the only business of the evening which was to hold an election for 1/3 of the
Board of Directors and elect officers for 2005.

Kevin O'Roark (r) presents the model of Caboose No. 180 to Phil.

Here are some snipits from Darwin's presentation:

1. We saw a picture of a railroad gondola on tracks on the sand at Avila Beach. For a period of time, sand was mined off the beach and sent to Los Angeles.

2. We saw pictures of a smoke plume from a fire that burned for 103 years just above Rincon Point.

3. We saw pictures of a Union Oil building in the Spyglass area of Shell Beach. A tidal wave in 1909 took out the pier there and much of that palisades area.

4. We saw pictures of a Union Oil tanker, the Montebello, that was sunk just out of Avila Beach by a Japanese submarine just a few weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack. Everyone on board was rescued by local fisherman and other boaters. 55,000 barrels of semisolid oil remain to this day on the ocean floor, apparently safely encased in a surprisingly intact hull.

5. We heard of Thomas Scott, VP of the Pennsylvania Railroad, who bought 277,000 acres in our area upon the news of oil discoveries.

6. We heard of William Warren Orcutt, the "Father of Geology" after whom the local area is named. He was in the first graduating class of geologists from Stanford University, and his room-mate went on to be President of the United States, Herbert Hoover.

1st Annual
Member Dinner
Historic Santa Maria Inn
January 6, 2005

About thirty SMVRHM members, spouses, and friends gathered at the Historic Santa Maria Inn for the first annual member meeting in dinner format.

The evening's guest speaker was Darwin Sainz, a Union Oil man expert in the area's oil industry development. He told a fascinating history in story and pictures.

Hal Madson, principal organizer of this evening's festivities, introduces our guest speaker.

7. There once stood a water rig right smack in the middle of the intersection of Broadway and Main (circa 1885). It was being drilled by M.C. Nottingham who was thereby discovered by the oil companies and enticed to work for them. He never saw the completion of this water well or his first oil well as he was killed in a horse accident.

8. "Old Maude" put Santa Maria on the map when that well struck oil on December 2, 1904 and became one of the best producers in the area. It was actually drilled 350 yards off target because the buck board carrying the boiler for the rig hit a hole and broke an axle. Rather than repair it and carry on with the journey, they simply chose to dig at the spot of the accident.

9. Clark Avenue was named after E. W. Clark of the Pacific Coast Railway.

10. The first "cracking" plant (for making gasoline) in the area was built in the 1930s.

11. A standard oil barrel holds 42 gallons. The 55-gallon drum is a different animal.

12. Oil was discovered in this area and on its way by ship to the east coast before the first oil well was dug in the eastern United States at Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859.

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