SHAW, James Barron

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Shaw's medical diploma, University of Glasgow, 1836
Shaw's personalized shipboard medical carrying case.
Shaw's surgical tools.
Shaw, J.B. Misc. 3.jpg
Santa Barbara Cemetery

SHAW, James Barron (1813-1902), London-born son of a Scotch father, Angus Shaw (c. 1771-1821 London) and an English mother, Sarah Manley (1786- ), second wife of Angus. James B. Shaw was graduate of the University of Glasgow (1836) and the Royal College of Surgeons. Shaw made three trips around the world, serving as ship’s surgeon on a variety of sailing vessels, before arriving in Santa Barbara on January 6, 1850. He practiced medicine and became the first president of the Santa Barbara County Medical Society. In 1851 he began paying the taxes on Santa Cruz Island on behalf of island grantee, Andres Castillero.

In May 1852 Shaw traveled to Tepic, Mexico to visit friends and relatives. When he returned a year later, Shaw began managing Santa Cruz Island for island grantee, Andres Castillero. Shaw continued as manager when the island sold to William E. Barron in 1857, and for the next twelve years, until its sale to the Santa Cruz Island Company in 1869. Shaw was one of the investors in Santa Barbara’s first wharf, built at the foot of Chapala Street, prior to the construction of Stearn’s Wharf. He also invested in a number of ranches, including Los Alamos, La Laguna de San Francisco, La Patera and the Ortega ranch in Montecito.

On May 16, 1861 in San Francisco, Shaw, 47, married Helen Augusta Green, 30. William Eustace Barron, owner of Santa Cruz Island, served as best man. The Shaws had four sons, only one of whom survived to adulthood, James Barron Shaw Jr. (1862-1935). William E. Barron and Thomas Bell served as godfathers.

James B. Shaw, Jr. married Alice Teresa Perkins in Santa Barbara on March 29, 1886. They had three children (grandchildren to James Barron Shaw), all of whom married, but none of whom had children. James Barron Shaw died on January 6, 1902 at 88 years of age and is buried in Santa Barbara Cemetery, along with his wife and namesake son. The large brick Georgian-style Shaw home was located at 231 State Street and took up the block between Montecito and Yananoli streets. It was extensively landscaped, and here the family lived in luxury.

“He [Shaw] dominated the local scene as a sort of prince living in a degree of elegance beyond the dream of anybody else in town, with six servants, and a carriage and coachman each for himself and Madam Shaw.” [Owen Oneil. History of Santa Barbara County, 1939].

Today the Santa Barbara train depot and the Neal Hotel occupy the former Shaw land.

  • 1. Angus Shaw (c. 1771-1821)
  • 2. John Shaw (1774-1819)
  • 3. Duncan Shaw (c. 1786-1846)

Angus Shaw (c. 1771 Scotland-1821 London) = Wife # 1. Anne Brodie (aft. 1780 England-1810 London) died @ 30

  •  : 1. Anne Shaw (1804- )
  •  : 2. John Farquhar Shaw (1806-1892)
  •  : 3. Angus Shaw (1807- )
  •  : 4. Charles Duncan Shaw (1808- )
= Wife # 2. Sarah Manley (1786- )
  •  : 5. James Barron Shaw (1813-1902)
  •  : 6. Duncan Manley Shaw (1814-1814)
  •  : 7. Donald Shaw (1815- )
  •  : 8. William Septimus Shaw (1816- )
  •  : 9. George Shaw (1820- )


James Barron Shaw (Nov. 4, 1813-Jan. 6, 1902) =[1861] Helen Augusta Shaw née Green (1831-Dec. 9, 1913)

  • 1. James Barron Shaw, Jr. (1862-May 28, 1932)=[1886]Alice Teresa Shaw née Perkins (1864-Dec. 3, 1940)
1. Hazel Dunbar Shaw (1887-1971)[SS#550-10-6248] = SBCEMETERY
1. [Nov. 6, 1907; Santa Ana] David James Lambert—she a widow in 1920 census
2. [April 3, 1926; Los Angeles] George Rogers Price (1879-1955) SB CEMETERY
  • 2. Alice Barron Shaw (Aug. 15, 1889-Dec. 10, 1980)[SS#562-66-7745]=
[Sept. 20, 1922; San Bernardino] George L. Greer (Aug. 16, 1877-Nov. 1, 1944)
ANGELES ROSEDALE CEMETERY TOGETHER
  • 3. James Barron Shaw III (Oct. 27, 1892-Dec. 6, 1945)[SS#550-05-9389]
2. stillborn male Shaw (March 11, 1864)
3. Herbert John Shaw (March 30, 1866-April 28, 1866) buried in Santa Barbara Misison
4. Donald Angus Shaw (January 13, 1869-June 26, 1876) of cerebro-spinal meningitis.
Buried in Santa Barbara Cemetery.



In the News~

[1851]: “I [James B. Shaw] have paid the taxes on [Santa Cruz Island] since 1851, and have placed cattle and horses and sheep on it; built houses and made canals and cut roads on it.” Island of Santa Cruz, Andres Castillero vs. The United States; Testimony of James B. Shaw, 1857.


[1853-1854]: “… During my residence in Mexico I made arrangements with Messrs. Barron Forbes & Co. of Mexico with whom I agreed to return to California and take an interest in and management of their Island of Santa Cruz in the channel of Santa Barbara, 26 miles from the city of Santa Barbara., taking up my residence in the city. In September 1853 from the Island of Santa Rosa purchased a flock of 200 sheep which they delivered from Captain Thompson to the Island of Santa Cruz. In the subsequent yer ’54 purchased a flock in Los Angeles Co recently arrived overland 1000 head. These were removed to the island same year. This business was successfully carried on until February 1869 when we sold out to French German Company the island and 54,000 head of sheep. Having shipped to San Francisco every year 3000 and over—balance being sold at home which was about 7000 head. This being up to the termination of posession… The carrying on of the business at the island was attended with very peculiar difficulties. First of all there not being any vessels of any size belonging to the port and was obliged to charter from San Francisco at a time when freight was running very high. Ordinary communication was kept up by open boats, for the purpose of carrying provisioins and all necessary materials in the business. The passage across was sometimes very rough and tedious. I have sat at the helm from 6 AM until 4 AM of the next morning. The second trouble was in obtaining native help, the island having once been used as a penal settlement, they dreaded being detained over there as prisoners. Was obliged to resort to sailors for my help, who though entirely ignorant of agricultural pursuits were amenable to discipline and faithful in carrying out my orders. In a year or two, after the Indians found the communication with the mainland was regular and frequent, I had no trouble in obtaining whatever help I required, either Indian, Californio or white. The purchase of the first lot of sheep from Captain Thompson proved to be so wild and of such inferior quality that I was compelled to obtain stock of better quality, which I fortunately found at San Gabriel for both lots I paid $12 per head. The latter lot from San Gabriel to the island cost me $4.00 per head extra. My mutton sheep always commanded the highest market price in San Francisco. I have obtained as high as 30 cents a pound wholesale. My principal shipments were always made by steamer in the winter season. I was the first shipper and kept the trade to myself for three years. After a few years this magnificent market was destroyed by sheep arriving overland from Sonora. The amount of my expenditure was over $20,000 annually in carrying on the necessary business of the island. This does not include any expense of transportation of produce to market…” Shaw, James Barron. Stock raising on Santa Cruz Island. Notes dictated to H. H. Bancroft, BANC MSS C-D 259.


August 9, 1855 [SBG]: “Wool growing… Our worthy fellow citizen, Mr. J. B. Shaw, has lately, with commendable enterprise, purchased and placed upon the Island of Santa Cruz, within the limits of this county, about one thousand Merino sheep. In the success of this experiment we shall take great interest, as contributing much, in fact and by example, to the wealth of the county.”


June 12, 1856 [SBG]: “The schooner Ann G. Doyle, Captain Phillips, sailed from this port last Friday for the adjacent islands. She took over Dr. J. B. Shaw and Captain D. W. Thompson as passengers, the former for Santa Cruz and latter for the island of Santa Rosa.”


June 19, 1856 [SBG]: “Dr. J. B. Shaw informs us that on the 9th instant John Henry Kelty, a seaman on board the schooner Francis Skiddy, went on shore at Santa Cruz Island with the intention of bathing. His companions, thinking that he was absent a very long time, went to look for him. They found his clothes upon the bank, and after some considerable trouble, succeeded in discovering the body at the bottom of the lagoon. He was very decently buried on the following morning. Deceased was a native of Sunderland, England.”


April 17, 1858 [Los Angeles Star]: “...The Channel Islands extend from Point Conception to San Diego—the most important of them laying off and forming Santa Barbara county... [Santa Cruz] Island is rough, ragged and mountainous, the peaks, as those in front of us rising up from 1500 to 2000 feet above the ocean; so steep are the sides of the mountains, that it is with difficulty they can be ascended, even afoot. There is a good stream of water on the island, emptying into the ocean at the harbor. Following the course of this ravine for about three miles, we are led to the residence of Dr. Shaw, the occupant of the island; it is situated in a valley, about two miles long. Here the Doctor has erected a most comfortable dwelling house, with extensive sheds and office houses, with substantial cottages for his men. There is not a better appointed nor more complete establishment in California than this—every comfort that can be desired is found here, except the "trifling" one of society. The Doctor resides at Santa Barbara. He has eight or ten thousand sheep on the island, the finest, probably, in the country. Santa Cruz mutton is much sought after, and sometimes commands very high prices in San Francisco market. No part of the island is fit for cultivation; Dr. Shaw has repeatedly made the experiment and failed to realize a crop...”


September 29, 1858 [SDU]: “We have frequently heard of the rare breed of sheep on Santa Cruz Island, but have had no opportunity of seeing a specimen until this week, when we visited the building of Dr. Shaw, and were surprised at the sight of a young monster Merino ram—his age being only six months—weight one hundred and two pounds, standing thirty-one inches, and covered to the very hoofs with close fine wool—looking, to the careless observer, as if he had beenb lately shorn. We are not the best judges of rams, through we are of mutton; but we are convinced we never saw a finer animal, for age, shape, weight and fineness of wool; he is of the improved French Merino.”


February 11, 1859 [SFDEB]: “Within a short distance of Santa Barbara are some 15,000 head of sheep, from New Mexico, on their way north, and there are some 20,000 more between this town and Los Angeles. The price that is asked is $4 per head. Sheep of a much finer variety can be purchased in this county; and we doubt if anything superior can be found in the state than those owned by Dr. Shaw on the Island of Santa Cruz. Judging from the number of persons that have purchased from the Doctor, for the purpose of raising sheep, Santa Barbara County bids fair, in a few years to be one of the greatest sheep producers in the State.”


May 1862 [J. G. Cooper]: “I learned from Dr. J. B. Shaw, that on Santa Cruz Island there are metamorphic, volcanic, and fossiliferous rocks, but could not learn whether the fossils were recent or not… In May 1862 I landed for some hours at Prisoners’ Harbor, Santa Cruz Island, where I saw only metamorphosed sandstones…” [Report of Explorations of the Islands off the Southern Coast of California, 1863, unpub. manuscript].


January 27, 1864 [SBCounty Deed Book D: 280-281]: “Raymundo Rodriguez and Wife to James B. Shaw… for and in consideration of the sum of $l lawful money… quitclaim… all that certain tract of land situated in the Montecito being a part of the ‘Rancho Ortega’ so called and bounded as follows…”


October 29, 1864 [SBCounty Deed Book D: 416-417]: “Board of Trustees of Santa Barbara County to James B. Shaw… for and in consideration of the sum of $5 lawful money… quitclaim… all that certain tract of land lying and being in the Montecito… beginning at the NW corner of a tract of land granted to Raymundo Rodriguez, in what is known as the ‘Ortega Rancho’…”


May 3, 1864 [DAC]: “…The five thousand sheep of T. W. More are on Santa Rosa Island; Shaw’s herds are on Santa Cruz Island…”


January 10, 1868 [SDU]: “Assembly Bill No. 16—An Act to authorize the Santa Barbara Wharf Company to construct and maintain a wharf at Santa Barbara, in the county of Santa Barbara [granting a wharf franchise to James Barron Shaw and others for 25 years]—was explained by Mr. Brown of Contra Costa, who said it granted no public lands, amended as recommended by the Committee on Corporations and ordered engrossed.”


March 21, 1868 [SDU]: “Chap. XLIX — Authorized the Santa Barbara Wharf Company to construct a wharf at Santa Barbara from sea to shore out into the bay or channel of Santa Barbara, the individuals named being James Barron Shaw, Louis T. Burton, S. B. Brinkerhoff, Matt. H. Biggs and Charles Fernald, and the period twenty years.


June 6, 1868 [SDU]: “We were shown yesterday morning a rool of wool taken from the back of an American sheep raised on Santa Cruz Island by Dr. Shaw of this place, measuring at fair measurement nineteen and a half inches. Whilst we can raise sheep having wool this length, possessing the fineness of the specimen before us, it is unnecessary to import. The wool can be seen at the Cape Wine Depot.”


September 19, 1868 [SBP]: “Murder. A most cold-blooded and wanton murder occurred in this place late on Saturday night or early Sunday morning last… Two Indians in the employ of Dr. Shaw on Santa Cruz Island, came to this place on Saturday last, and, as usual, were seen constantly together, having heretofore been great friends. In the afternoon they by some means obtained liquor which they both freely partook. Late at night a quarrel arose, and Francisco Dominguez stabbed José, his former friend and companion, in the abdomen, from the effects of which he died on Sunday afternoon…”


September 22, 1868 [SFDEB]: “Santa Barbara Items. From the Post of September 12th we glean the annexed: A most cold-blooded and wanton murder occurred in Santa Barbara on Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Two Indians, in the employ of Dr. Shaw on Santa Cruz Island, came to this place on Saturday last, and as usual, were seen constantly together, having been heretofore great friends. In the afternoon they both by some means obtained liquor, of which they both freely partook. Late at night a quarrel arose, and Francisco Dominguez stabbed Jose, his former friend and companion, in the abdomen, from the effects of which he died on Sunday afternoon. Dominguez was arrested and is now lying in jail.”


September 23, 1868 [SDU]: “Santa Barbara Items. From the Post of September 12th we glean the annexed: A most cold-blooded and wanton murder occurred in Santa Barbara on Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Two Indians, in the employ of Dr. Shaw, on Santa Cruz Island, came to this place on Saturday last, and, as usual, were seen constantly together, having been heretofore great friends. In the afternoon they by some means obtained liquor, of which they both freely partook. Late at night a quarrel arose, and Francisco Dominguez stabbed Jose, his former friend and companion, in the abdomen, from the effects of which he died on Sunday afternoon. Dominguez was arrested and is now lying in jail.”


November 28, 1868 [SBP]: “Wharf Company… the stockholders of the Santa Barbara Wharf Company met at the Court House in this place on Monday the 23rd instant at 3 o’clock for the purpose of receiving the reports of the several officers for the ensuing year. There were 394 shares represented, being a majority of the capital stock of the company. Dr. J. B. Shaw was called to the chair and Henry Carnes appointed Secretary. The president of the company, Dr. Shaw, made a report of the present condition…”


December 30, 1868 [SBP]: “Dr. Shaw of this place, had a horse stolen from his stable at his ranch at Ortega Hill, on Sunday night last, and it is supposed that Mr. Rivas, who recently left the sheriffs boarding house without due notice, has the animal in possession…”


March 3, 1869 [SBP]: “Ed. Post: I have no doubt but your paper will durly record the sale and transfer of the Island of Santa Cruz to new owners; yet no comment that you could make in reference to this sale and transfer can express to the public the feeling of regret it has caused to one and all in the employ of Dr. Shaw on this island. This feeling will exist with every one who has worked for him since he first established a stick rancho, be they at present in his employ or not; and we, the present residents of this island, desire to return our sincere thanks and gratitude to him for the kind protection he has extended to us since we have been in his employ, knowing the amount of care he has extended to us in our sickness, and the liberal manner in which he has administered, to our numerous wants, is such as can only be extended by the hand of a philanthropist and Christian gentleman... Several practical sheep farmers have come to the island, of late, to see it, being anxious to purchase it. They allege that they found all the houses and stores on the ranches to be of first quality, and that the arrangements in the shearing sheds and sheep yards were superior to that seen on the mainland; yet they disliked to face the task of managing stock in such a rough country. Yet all the difficulties attending the working of sheep on this island have been overcome by Dr. Shaw, and owing to the splendid arrangements of sheep yards that has been established by this present manager on all the ranchos, the men being well experienced in the way of collecting the sheep in the hills and working them through the yards, they find no difficulty when an order comes for a thousand ewes or wethers or of a certain age or class. They can collect in a day in the hills from six to seven thousand of all ages. The next day they are all run through the yards; the lambs, to the amount of 1500, being separated into pens by themselves, and altered and marked; the ewes and wethers, as per order, in number and quality, in pens by themselves, ready for shipment. And all this large body of sheep is thoroughly overhauled in eight hours time, having no hand put upon them, nor are they pulled about, excepting the holding of the lambs to be marked. At the present time, notwithstanding the wild nature of the sheep, owing to their running at large from place to place, they can be collected and sorted off with an amount of science and dispatch that cannot be well surpassed on the most improved ranchos on the mainland. But to be enabled to do this, it has taken years to learn this science of sheep farming as it is carried out here, and it has been part of the difficulties that Dr. Shaw has had to contend with, but at the present time has mastered… I remain, sir, one of many who wish Dr. Shaw all happiness and prosperity.” [unsigned]


June 7, 1870 [SFDEB]: “Notice to sheep-raisers. For sale. About twelve hundred (more or less) choice Leicester ewes and lambs. The above is considered the best bred lot of direct descendants from stock imported by Dr. Shaw to the Island of Santa Cruz, from the celebrated stock of Mr Sandy. Home Pier Point, Leicestershire, England. The wool of this flock is unequalled in California for length of staple and lustre. They are in fine condition. Price moderate. For full particulars apply to Wm. Watson, San Rafael, Marin County, Cal.”


October 22, 1870 [SBP]: “The Santa Cruz Island Company, composed of Mr. Ohlmeyer and others, successors of Dr. Shaw and Messrs. Barron, are extensively engaged in the sheep business, and have large clips, in part Merino and in part long wool.”


April 1, 1871 [SBWP]: “Residence of Dr. Shaw. It is situated on State Street, the principal street of the town, and is about four blocks from the seashore and wharf. It is one of the older places of the town, the first improvements having been made thirteen or fourteen years since. For much of the information stated below with reference to age, variety and growth of trees, shrubs, etc., we are indebted to the very kind courtesy of the genial Doctor and his accomplished lassie, whose politeness lends the crowning charm to the attractiveness of their home. The entire block is the property of Dr. Shaw… The walks are laid out in handsome style, and area graveled with a rare quality of fine, dark gray gravel from the beach of the Santa Cruz Island, lying across the channel twenty-five miles…”


October 14, 1871 [SBWP]: “Dr. Shaw will accept out thanks for a report of the rainfall this year…”


September 18, 1872 [SBT]: “A spontaneous tribute. We publish the following letter at the request of the signers. It is a kind and just tribute to one of our oldest, best and most useful citizens: ‘Santa Barbara, September 17th, 1872. We, the old residents of Santa Barbara, having known for many years Dr. James B. Shaw, our kind physycian and good friend, and hearing that he has been spoken of disrespectfully by the newspapers called the Press and Index of Santa Barbara, take this occasion to express to him our appreciation of not only his many acts of charity to the poor in our midst, but his continuous devotion to the interest of Santa Barbara. We look upon him as one of our people, and hope that his life may be long among us. [signed] P. Joseph M. Gonzales, O.S.F, Rev. Jas. Villa, M. H. Biggs, U. Yndart, F. A. Thompson, Fran. De la Guerra, B. Gutierrez, W. E. Greenwell, Charles Fernald, F. J. Maguire, J. M. Andonaegui, Gaspar Oreña, John C. Kays, S. Loomis, R. Forbush, J. E. Goux, L. T. Burton, R. M. Wallace, Henry Carnes, John S. Bell, Jose Lobero, N. A. Covarrubias, Arza Porter, John Scollan, D. W. Jones, R. Cohen, A. M. de la Guerra, J. J. Elizalde.’”


October 22, 1872 [SBWP]: “The Santa Cruz Island Company, composed of Mr. Ohlmeyer and others, successors of Dr. Shaw and Messrs. Barron, are extensively engaged in the sheep business, and have large clips, in part Merino and in part long wool…”


March 31, 1873 [SBDP]: “Shaw’s new building — The frame of Mr. James Shaw’s fine new Lodging House, on the corner of the block in the rear of the hotel, is now up and the work is going forward with a rush. The size of the house 40 x 65, two stories high. The house is built of wood and will contain nine suites of rooms, all outside, well-lighted and sunny, each with a fireplace. It is to be a handsome building, a credit to its proprietor and a great advantage to the town.”


October 11, 1873 [SBDP]: “Home again. A welcome extended Dr. J. B. Shaw and family on their return yesterday by steamer after an absence of several months, is pleasant proof of the esteem in which they are held by the people. We congratulate them on their return home in health and safety.”


January 26, 1874 [SBDP]: “The following is a list of the passengers per steamer Orizaba which arrived at this port [Santa Barbara] on Sunday evening, January 25th ...Dr. J. B. Shaw, J. S. Bell, ...J. M. Bolton, ...A. Larco...”


March 11, 1876 [SBDP]: “Mr. J. B. Joyaux, wife and family are about to leave Santa Cruz Island, and will locate in this city, in Dr. Shaw’s house, on the corner of Yanonali and State streets.”


November 22, 1876 [SBDP]: “I hope you will inform the public through your columns that Dr. Shaw, of the Los Alamos Valley, has at last yielded to the wishes of J. S. Bell, A. Leslie, and others, and consented to rent out all his farming land on terms to suit the times…”


May 14, 1877 [SBDP]: “Captain Forney and family have returned from their expedition to the island of Anacapa, and have located in the brick house belonging to Dr. Shaw on the corner of Yanonali and State Street.”


January 14, 1878 [SBDP]: “Dr. Shaw has kept an unbroken record of the rainfall at Santa Barbara for the past fourteen years…”


March 17, 1879 [SBDP]: “Land monopolies… Dr. Shaw 12,000 acres… Just think of it. Fourteen men owning and monopolizing more than four-fifths of the available agricultural area of Santa Barbara County…”


February 17, 1881 [SBDP]: “In the matter of the guardianship of Louisa M. Whitsted, an insane person, the court made an order settling the final account of J. B. Shaw, guardian, and it appearing that the said insane person had regained her reason, it was further ordered that the said guardian deliver the residue of the said estate of the said Louisa M. Whitsted, and that he, thereupon be discharged.”


April 4, 1881 [SBDP]: “There was a railroad meeting at the Arlington last evening. Dr. J. B. Shaw was elected Chairman, and J. J. Perkins Secretary…”


July 22, 1881 [SBDP]: “Dr. J. B. Shaw and wife, and John S. Bell and wife, from Los Alamos, arrived in town last night by the steamer Los Angeles.


August 12, 1881 [SBDP]: “Dr. J. B. Shaw is receiving a visit from his brother-in-law, Mr. A. R. Green, of Victoria, British Columbia.”


July 24, 1882 [SBDP]: “Dr. J. B. Shaw has returned from Los Alamos and reports that the harvests are yielding even better than was anticipated. The straw is shorter than usual, which renders it all the better for thrashing.”


August 4, 1882 [SBDP]: “Captain C. P. Low and Dr. J. B. Shaw appeared before the Board and asked to have the lower part of State Street sprinkled, and to have part of Montecito Street repaired. The matter was referred to the Street Committee.”


December 19, 1882 [SBDP]: “Dr. J. B. Shaw has just returned from Los Alamos, and reports that farmers are very busy throughout the valley, plowing and sowing.”


November 12, 1884 [SBDI]: “Real Estate. J. B. Shaw to M. M. Sturgeon, lots 7 and 9, block 11, Los Alamos, consideration $230.”


November 12, 1884 [SBDI]: “Real Estate. J. B. Shaw to L. L. Gates, sublots 35, 39 and 40; 15 acres, consideration $425.”


May 17, 1885 [SBDP]: “The report that Dr. Shaw has sold his Los Alamos Ranch is unfounded. Negotiations were pending for some time, but the transfer has not yet been made, and perhaps never will be with the parties said to have purchased the property.”


June 22, 1885 [SBDI]: “Dr. Shaw has returned from his rancho at Los Alamos. He says the headers are all at work and that most of the grain is looking very well.”


May 12, 1886 [SBDP]: “Mr. and Mrs. James B. Shaw Jr. are paying a visit to this city.”


October 11, 1886 [SBDP]: “Dr. Shaw’s block on lower State Street has been subdivided and put upon the market.”


July 8, 1887 [SBDP]: “Real Estate. J. B. Shaw to C. H. Pearson, lots 22, 25 and 26, block 15, Los Alamos; nominal consideration.”


July 14, 1887 [SBDI]: “Real Estate. J. B. Shaw to L. G. Burnett, 9 66-100 acres near Los Alamos; nominal consideration.”


September 1, 1887 [SBDI]: “Real Estate. J. B. Shaw to H. Hilton, suburban lot 5, in Los Alamos, and 19 58-100 acres of Los Alamos Ranch; nominal consideration.”


October 5, 1887 [SBMP]: “A delightful dancing reception was given last evening by Mr. and Mrs. James Barron Shaw, Jr. at the Shaw residence on the corner of State and Montecito streets, to Miss Mamie Knight. About 40 persons were present, and it was long past midnight before the company disappeared.”


August 27, 1891 [SBMP]: “Dr. J. B. Shaw came back yesterday from his Los Alamos ranch.”


January 25, 1892 [LAT]: “The Corona went north last evening with the following passengers: …Dr. J. B. Shaw…”


August 23, 1901 [SBMP]: “An old woman was giving her name as Margaret Mason was arrested yesterday afternoon charges with the theft of silverware from Dr. J. B. Shaw’s residence. The woman admitted selling the goods…”


September 29, 1901 [LAH]: “A suit involving $50,000, principal and interest on a promisory note, was filed here today by William E. Barron and others of San Francisco against James Barron Shaw. The note was issued for $25,000 in 1891 in favor of Antoine Borrel, who transferred it to plaintiffs. A part of the Los Alamos rancho, this county secured it. Plaintiff seeks to recover.”


January 8, 1902 [LAT]: “After a very brief illness from pneumonia, Dr. James B. Shaw of Santa Barbara passed away at the advanced age of 88 years. He was one of the oldest residents of Santa Barbara, having come here in 1850 from England. His son, J. B. Shaw, was called from Los Angeles by the illness of his father when the latter’s condition was considered serious. He arrived a day or two previous. Dr. Shaw practiced the profession of medicine when he first came to Santa Barbara, but gave it up shortly for the more lucrative pursuit of sheep raising, in which he was associated with the owners of Santa Cruz Island. Afterward he owned a large ranch near Los Alamos in this county.”


February 13, 1902 [SBWP]: “The Early Life of the Late Dr. Shaw. His Experiences in China and Philippines. Always Interested in the Welfare of Santa Barbara—A Noted Occultist. The death of Dr. James B. Shaw, who passed away on the 7th of January last, in this city, recalls many incidents of the early days in California. The life of Dr. Shaw was full of adventure, and while his career has been heretofore reviewed at length, many volumes might be written upon features of his biography. A nephew of the late doctor, C. J. Shaw, residing at Shandon, Cal., contributes to the Press an interesting account of the life of his uncle, and from this the following is taken: "Dr. Shaw studies medicine under the noted Dr. Nichols of Scotland, and was a member of Apothecaries Hall, London, and of the Royal College of Surgeons, London. He completed his medical education in the hospitals of Paris and Vienna. "Shortly after this he entered the East India service. Here he passed many exciting years, and it was by way of China and the Philippines that he came to the California coast. He was in China in the great opium war of 1841, and navigated a ship from Manila to Sydney, Australia, the officers being dead, sick or disabled. He went out with the first load of sheep to New Zealand. "Dr. Shaw came to California in the early stages of its development. Clothes were then sent to China to be washed, and later to Honolulu for the same purpose. Upon landing here he invested in cattle, but the market fell soon after and cattle could not be sold. In the year 1861, Dr. Shaw was manager of the Santa Cruz Island company and imported a number of valuable k=jacks and sheep from the Balaric [sic] islands, and from England. The jacks were of the Maltese variety and cost $1500 each. The sheep were Spanish and Merino bucks and Leicester bucks and ewes. One of the bucks was left at the New Almaden quicksilver mine, and the other two and the sheep were liberated on Santa Cruz Island. "While in China he learned much of the Chinese language, and in India he learned the Mindostanese. "As a physician and occultist, Dr. Shaw enjoyed a large practice in those days, but gave much of his time to public enterprises. The first wharf built in Santa Barbara was largely due to his efforts. It was located at the foot of Chapala street, but was soon destroyed by the active teredo. As manager of the Santa Cruz Island company, his duties extended to the Ortega rancho, on which Summerland now stands. This tract of 900 acres was owned by the island company, and afterwards sold to H. L. Williams, who founded the spiritualist colony. For his own property, Dr. Shaw bought two leagues of La Laguna Rancho, and one league of Los Alamos. On Los Alamos rancho, Dr. Shaw and John S. Bell built the town of Los Alamos. It was laid out in 1876, and the main street was named Centennial. He sent a band of gentle cattle from the Ortega rancho to Los Alamos when San Marcos pass was a trail. He afterwards organized the Santa Ynez turnpike road company. "Dr. Shaw built the fist Episcopal church, on Gutierrez street, and was for many years senior warden. He always had a deep interest in the town, and in many ways contributed to its development. On one occasion he brought a large bell from a Russian church in Alaska, and having a fine ship chronometer he used on Saturday noons ring out the true time for all Santa Barbara. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. I never knew him to be in a court of law in his life, his motto being "Peace with all men." The writer of this tribute gives some of his experiences in Santa Barbara in the '60s. In 1862 there were heavy rains and Gaviota pass was washed out. This being the usual mail route, it was necessary to send the mail by steamer. The steamer Senator was then running, and the mail arrived once a week. The steamer reached Santa Barbara about nine o'clock at night, and the firing of a gun announced its approach. In those days, State street was not paved, and the adobe roadway was a bad place in wet weather. Going to the steamer for the mail at night during a rain was dangerous, as one was quite likely to fall into a deep mud hole on State street. It as these times that gave Santa Barbara the name of being sleepy. All of the residents took their siesta, and from 1 o'clock to 3 each afternoon no one was stirring.”


July 28, 1910 [SBI]: “Completes bungalow on Santa Cruz Island. Contractor A. J. Avery has returned from Santa Cruz Island, where for the past three months he has been building an 18-room bungalow for the Caire family on the main ranch. Mr. Caire of San Francisco is now on the island, and the new house will soon be opened by a house party of San Francisco people. It will be used only by the Caires, as there are already two houses for the ranch manager and the workmen. Mr. Avery said that the old adobe and brick ranch house is to be razed. Dr. Shaw, who then owned the island, built this house more than 50 years ago. Dr. Shaw lived in the house adjoining the Potter Theatre. After he sold the island it finally came into possession of a French company, which paid $100,000 for it. It is said the Caires would not take $2,500,000 for the island.”


November 18, 1911 [SBMP]: “Charles J. Shaw, who is now postmaster at Shandon, San Luis Obispo, Cal., has been a subscriber to The Press since the first number of the paper was issued as a weekly in 1863. Mr. Shaw is a native of Canada, and is now 70 years of age. He arrived in Santa Barbara March 28, 1862 on the ‘oppostion steamer’ Wright, calling at all the way ports below San Francisco. He had reached San Francisco two days earlier, having made the trip from New York via Panama on the steamship Golden Age. Mr. Shaw is a nephew of the late Dr. J. B. Shaw, of revered memory…”


December 11, 1913 [SBMP]: “Mrs. J. B. Shaw dies at Santa Clara. On the evening of last Tuesday, Mrs. J. B. Shaw was called to her final rest. She died in Santa Clara where she has been for several years under the faithful care of Dr. Osborne of that city. It is understood she will be laid to rest beside her late husband, Dr. Shaw, in the Santa Barbara cemetery…The Shaws were pioneers of Santa Barbara. Their old homestead was utilized in part as the site of the Potter theatre; but a portion of the old house still stands… Both Dr. Shaw and his wife were people of much refinement, and their acquaintance was sought by all visitors of note during the early days when the Shaw residence was prominent as a social center.”


Shaw, Santa Cruz Island, survey station established by William E. Greenwell and his aid, Preston C. F. West on Monday, October 13, 1856. “The best directions for finding it are to follow the ridge most bare of vegetation, immediately in the rear of the house occupied by Dr. Shaw, to the top. The station is not quite on the top, but very near it.”


Shaw Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island is located on the south side of the island west of Sandstone Point. Presumably it was named for James Barron Shaw, prominent Santa Barbara physician and rancher who managed the island from the early 1850s until 1869 when the island sold.