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First Settlers

Mission Days

Rancho Days

Railroad Days


Surrounding Areas

Present Community


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Support your the Santa Margarita Historical Society.
The Santa Margarita Historical Society relies on the generous support of individuals, businesses, and foundations around the Central Coast of California to help us preserve and share the history of Santa Margarita.
We welcome your tax-deductible donations. You may use the donate button on this page to make a secure donation online, or send a check to the Santa Margarita Historical Society, PO Box 894, Santa Margarita, CA 93453 or call Cheri Roe (805) 801- 6538 or email her at if you have any questions.
Donate now.

Shop - Books

Images of America Santa MargaritaImages of America Santa Margarita
by Cheri Roe and the Santa Margarita Historical Society.

The Santa Margarita Valley, in San Luis Obispo County, was part of the original Spanish mission system. Swine and sheep were raised here, along with wheat. In 1819, a stone building, now known as an asistencia, was constructed. The Santa Margarita Ranch was later founded under a Mexican land grant. In 1889, the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad, with its terminus in Santa Margarita, created a boomtown with dance halls, blacksmiths, hotels, pool halls, saloons, and a jail. With the popularity of auto travel a quarter of a century later, Santa Margarita was once again revitalized with garages, gas stations, motor inns, restaurants, and bars. The town fell into a deep sleep, however, as highway 101 bypassed the town in the mid-1950s. Landlocked by the 17,000-plus-acre Santa Margarita Ranch, the town has remained frozen in time with little change. Cheri Roe is a founder of the Santa Margarita Historical Society. She has been a researcher for the San Luis Obispo County History Center and a member of the North County Historical Societies and Museums Co-op. With the help of these organizations, she tells the fascinating story of Santa Margarita. Sales benefit the Santa Margarita Historical Society.



Asistencia Santa Margarita de Cortona bookAsistencia Santa Margarita de Cortona
by Edward W. Vernon

The stone building in San Luis Obispo County, known as the 'Asistencia Santa Margarita de Cortona' was referred to as a lost mission. Architectural historian, Ed Vernon pieces together the mystery of this fabulous building.
This 46 pages contained in this 8 1/2" X 11" softback book include 69 black and white photos, color photos, sketches, and drawings. Out of print. Sales benefit the Santa Margarita Historical Society.

Events Join us
Please click our Facebook page for our calendar on where you can join us. The Facebook link is at the top right of this and every page on this website. We look forward to meeting you. You can also contact us at our email address as well.
Thank you for your interest.
The Santa Margarita Historical Society Board consists of amateur people interested in preserving our local history. In no way are any warranties made to the accuracies of the information contained in this web site. We have done our best to provide information that is correct but often mistakes in dates or information are repeated so often that they “become their own history”. If you find new information or incorrect information, please alert us at info@santamargaritahistoricalsociety and we would be most grateful.