Nobody ventured through the locked gate down to the beach. Abandoned buildings littered the bluffs, left over from the once thriving oil operation that covered all of the Ellwood coast. Up in the foothills, at the end of Farren road, a teenager by the name of Mike Haskell lived with his family.
Back in 1959, Haskells Beach was called Tecolote Canyon Beach.
Mike liked to surf and he had plenty of uncrowded spots to choose from.
One of his favorites was a little point break up at El Capitan Canyon he and his buddies nicknamed “S-Tubes”. Mike had never seen anybody surfing at Tecolote Canyon beach before, but that never stopped him from trying out a new spot
Since he knew the guys at Tecolote Canyon ranch, Haskell got a key to the gate to go surf there.
Mike must have liked the way the sandbars worked, because before long, he and his buddies were surfing there on a regular basis. They were soon overheard at school talking about their great sessions at that beach up by Haskell’s house, so pretty soon other surf rats were asking Mike to open the gate so they could surf at “Haskells beach”. One day, Mike was riding in the car with his mom when the surf report came on the radio. They listened as the DJ read through the list of local surf spots and were blown away when he reported the conditions at “Haskells”! And it’s had that name ever since.
Haskells Designs began as a frustrated response to an unwanted invasion of a sacred place.
Up until the 1990’s, Haskells was a secluded, remote and mostly unheard of beach way out in western Goleta, California. After a long legal battle, a huge resort was approved to be built right on the empty bluffs overlooking the beach. Despite years of fighting against it, the big money won again. For the next several years, the resort tried to elbow the locals out with heavy handed security guards, but it didn’t work.
The locals went there more than ever, and let the invaders know that this beach was very special to them.
The locals made their presence known and Haskells designs was instrumental in that, with bumper stickers and shirts expressing our sentiments exactly. We made sure the tourists knew this was Goleta, not Santa Barbara, even though the resort uses Santa Barbara, 93117 as their address! We made sure they knew this was Haskells Beach and not the Bacara beach, as they tried to call it. We made sure they knew this beach, and the area around it has been sacred land since long before the Europeans showed up, and it continues to be today.
And it always will be…….
Lately we've seen a lot more changes in our area, not many of which are for the better.
Most every piece of natural land in coastal California has plans for more cheaply made houses to be sold at ridiculously high prices to the never ending throng of people wanting to make their escape from the spreading cancer know as L.A.
Haskells Designs gives the locals a way to wear their heart on their sleeve....
And let the waves of newcomers see that we are not thrilled about what’s happening to our home sweet home. Show your pride, vent your disgust, and defend your soul!