Samarkand means “the land of hearts desire” from the archaic Persian tongue. As the dominating landmark of a hilly, elevated neighborhood, the Samarkand gave it’s name to an area bounded on the East by Oak Park. The Samarkand neighborhood could point with pride to one of America’s most beautiful and prestigious centers, originally a hotel. The Samarkand District Improvement Association, on of the most active in the city reported that Samarkand has one of the lowest populations in Southern California.
Ethel Barrymore, the late empress of stage and screen, once told a friend, “Fortunate indeed is the person who can live in Santa Barbara, and doubly blessed if his home is located in Mission Canyon.” American newcomers, during the 1850’s were quick to appreciate the sylvan beauty of Mission Canyon, and they began to move and build homes. Above them were a series of rocky cascades known as the Seven Falls. Homes in the Mission Canyon range from humble adobe to magnificent mansions like Glendessary, on the shady lane of the same name This sprawling half timbered Tudor manor house was one of the fine homes built before the turn of the century by Christoph Tornoe, a gifted Danish artisan.
Mission Canyon Web Site
Few residential Santa Barbara neighborhoods can boast the rich historical background of the San Roque, and Rutherford Park areas. The neighborhood got its name when the first white men arrived in 1769 with Governor Portola. They camped at the mouth of San Roque Creek, which they named to memorialize the patron saint of invalids, Saint Roque, a Carmelite friar of the 14th century. Now built up, economically stabilized suburb, it is admired for its sweeping curved streets, luxuriant landscaping, and it’s harmonious blend of many architectural themes: Spanish Colonial, English Tudor, French Normandy, California Redwood, Italianate, and American Colonial, mostly built since 1925. With shopping and banking facilitated at their very doorstep, residents of San Roque feel they are living in one of Santa Barbara’s choicest residential neighborhoods.