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California Counties
The U.S. state of California is divided into fifty-eight counties. On January 4, 1850, the California constitutional committee recommended the formation of 18 counties. They were Benicia, Butte, Fremont, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, Mount Diablo, Oro, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Sutter. On April 22, the Counties of Branciforte, Calaveras, Coloma, Colusi, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Trinity, and Yuba were added. Benicia was renamed Solano, Coloma to El Dorado, Fremont to Yola, Mt. Diablo to Contra Costa, San Jose to Santa Clara, Oro to Tuolumne, and Redding to Shasta. One of the first state legislative acts regarding Counties was to rename Branciforte County to Santa Cruz, Colusi to Colusa, and Yola to Yolo.

The last California county to have been established is Imperial County in 1907.

Santa Barbara County, California

Santa Barbara County History, Geography, and Demographics

County Seat: Santa Barbara
Year Organized: 1850
Square Miles: 2,738
Court House:

105 E Anapamu Street
County Courthouse
Santa Barbara, CA 93101-6054

Etymology - Origin of County Name

The Santa Barbara Channel received its name from Sebastian Vizcaino when he sailed over the channel waters in 1602. In 1782, Padre Junipero Serra dedicated a site near the channel for a presidio and on Dec. 4, 1786, he founded the nearby Mission Santa Barbara (Saint Barbara). The county derives its name from the mission.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Santa Barbara County is a county located on the Pacific coast of the southern portion of the U.S. state of California, just west of Ventura County. The county seat is Santa Barbara, and the largest city is Santa Maria.

In 1848 Mexico signed a treaty ceding California to the United States. The territory became a state in 1850 when the population exploded to nearly 100,000 with the discovery of gold. While California was still a territory, county boundaries were formed. The present county of Ventura was originally included within Santa Barbara County until 1873 when the Legislature separated the area into the present Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

Santa Barbara County


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,789 square miles (9,814 kmē), of which, 2,737 square miles (7,089 kmē) of it is land and 1,052 square miles (2,725 kmē) of it (27.77%) is water.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Northeast: Kern County
  • East: Ventura County
  • Southwest: North Pacific Ocean
  • Northwest: San Luis Obispo County

Cities and Towns:

- Buellton city Incorporated Area
- Carpinteria city Incorporated Area
- Goleta city Incorporated Area
- Guadalupe city Incorporated Area
- Lompoc city Incorporated Area
- Santa Barbara (County Seat) city Incorporated Area
- Santa Maria city Incorporated Area
- Solvang city Incorporated Area

County Resources:

Enter County Resources and Information Here

County Resources
Counties: US Map
The history of our nation was a prolonged struggle to define the relative roles and powers of our governments: federal, state, and local. And the names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"