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The bridge spanning the Santa Ynez River was built in 1880 and affectionately known as the “Old Red Bridge.” It was the only means of crossing the river during the winter months. When the river raged, no one could get to or from the south coast.

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William “Billy” Smith, who was born in Yorkshire County, England in July of 1834, crossed the Atlantic alone at the age of 15. He settled for a time in Canada before coming to northern California in 1860, where he farmed in the northern part of the state for five years before returning to Canada.

Remember Valentine's Day in 1983? We do. Every Thursday, we will reach into our 90-years of digital archives to offer you "Throwback Thursday," reminiscing about the rich history of the Santa Ynez Valley.

Solvang began as the dream of three Danish immigrants living in the Midwest. They were a part of the great 19th-Century European exodus to the United States. The founders wanted to establish an agricultural town on the west coast based on three deeply held principles: community, education and church. 

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Over a million people a year visit Catalina Island and spend $166.7 million to do everything from enjoying the beautiful scenery to playing golf, hiking, biking, fishing scuba diving, kayaking, shopping and visiting the many museums. Learn more about Catalina right here.