Archive » October 26, 2006
Eye on Montecito
By John Watson
In the early 1900s, the Pollorena family owned the parcel of land between what is now the Old Montecito Fire Station and Tom’s Pharmacy on East Valley Road. This parcel contained an estimated eight small wood buildings that formed an informal compound for the family. During their lifetime, these buildings have included a variety of commercial enterprises, including a beauty salon and a toy shop.
As time passed, the buildings were remodeled, and what we see today in the William Laman antique shop are two of the original buildings joined together to form one store, although that is very hard to detect from the street due to the mature landscaping on the grounds. Lovingly maintained, the original buildings look better today than they ever did in the past!
The Pollorenas wanted to tear down one of their other cottages (probably in the 1930s or 1940s) but after investigating the price of the demolition, became frustrated and complained to the shopkeepers at Colville’s market about their dilemma. The Colvilles’ son, Bill Jr., immediately saw an opportunity and bought the building for $100. He moved it to Hosmer Lane (directly behind Montecito Hall) and over the next decade remodeled it. It became his watercolor studio that was used for both the creation and sale of his work. The cottage still stands today as one of Montecito’s hidden jewels.
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