This is Ye Cold Spring Tavern just over the mountain pass from Santa Barbara. It is nothing short of a local landmark. And they make a great pulled-pork sandwhich. The day we were there we bumpped into the owner as we were leaving, it was a lot of fun talking to him and learning about the history. To say nothing of the great experience of having lunch in a place that has been there for almost 130 years.
The "Cold Spring" referrs to a natural artisian spring that comes out of the ground at the top of a rugged hill, the base of which is just to the left of the photo. The interesting thing that we learned from the owner is that water must come from a higher spot than that hill, which is near the top of our mountains here. So odds are the water flowing naturally from the top of our mountain traveled under the valley from the moutains on the other side.
From the plaque in the stone...
COLD SPRING TAVERN
In 1886 this tavern was known as "Cold Spring Relay Station". It was the half-way stop between "Mattei's Tavern" to the north, and Patrick Kinevan's "Summit House" to the south.
In those days sturdy stagecoaches known as "Mudwagons" traveled the rugged San Marcos Pass. It was here horses were changed and passengers rested and enjoyed the noon-day meal.
In 1900 the Doulton family bought the old tavern with its adjoining 40 acres.
In 1941 they sold it to the Ovington family whose daughter Audrey Ovington owns it to this day.
Plaque Dedicated August 4, 1993 by
Santa barbara Parlor No. 116, Native Sons of the Golden West
Del Mar Parlor No. 126, Native Daughters of the Golden West
Tierra De Oro Parlor No. 304, Native Daughters of the Golden West"