Every time I walk my dogs on the trail that runs through Ennisbrook, I wonder what the story is with this 15-foot-tall memorial. Do you know? —D.
I assumed this would be a cinch to research online, but I found nothing beyond a brief mention on the MuleTrail blog. So I went and looked at the memorial in person. It has a quote from Hamlet (“Flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”), but neither a date nor a name, except for that of the sculptor, Frederick P. Humphrey.
I contacted Trish Davis of the Montecito Association‘s History Committee, who reached out to the developers of Ennisbrook—Jack Theimer, Kaye Theimer, and Chuck Farish. They said the memorial was part of the old Gould estate, and that I should try Marianne at the Ennisbrook Owners Association. She sent over a scan of a photocopied article with lots of good info, but she didn’t know where or when it was published. So I also asked the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, which forwarded two articles—from the Independent in 1999 and the Montecito Journal in 2004—that corroborated the first one. (Links to the articles are posted at the end.)
Here’s a synopsis…. The memorial is in honor of Frederic Saltonstall Gould, who had a 92-acre estate in what is now Ennisbrook; his wife, Clara Hinton Gould, commissioned the memorial after he died in 1920. In 1996, some boys playing on the grounds of the decaying estate “noticed a ring on a metal box set into a depression of the stone above the head of the angel,” wrote Marion Gregston in the Montecito Journal. “They pulled out the box by the ring, opening the box and out spilled a ‘dark powder.'” Upon seeing “Frederic S. Gould” on the box, their mother deduced it must have held ashes, and she and the boys return to the memorial to reinter the ashes into the box. James Powers, the caretaker for the estate (owned at that time by Kenneth Hunter Sr.), spotted them, and he took it upon himself to have the Goulds laid to rest together.
Frederic Gould’s ashes had been reported to have been sent to New York, with Clara Gould’s ashes to join them upon her death in 1948. But since Frederic’s ashes weren’t where they were supposed to be, Powers realized that Clara’s might not be, either. He tried searching the area around the memorial with a metal detector, to no avail. The Montecito Journal article wrapped up the story nicely:
Nearly a year after the boys had discovered Gould’s remains, Powers came across an innocuous slip of paper among Clara Gould’s documents. It was a receipt for a concrete box from a workshop on Milpas Street in Santa Barbara. He immediately realized that if her urn were encased in a concrete box, a metal detector would not register it. Powers searched in and around the angel again, this time without the metal detector, but turned up nothing.
Finally, thinking that it was a long shot, he called the monument shop and spoke to the owner. “Sure, I remember,” he told Powers. “She bought that box to have for her ashes when she died. I even know where they buried her. You know that old angel monument on their estate?”
The next day, shovel in hand, James Powers joined the monument shop owner out at the angel monument. Three feet down, they struck a concrete box. Inside the box was Clara Gould’s bronze urn. The mystery was finally solved and the Goulds could finally be together again. But where?
Determined that the Goulds, who had so generously donated their home and property to the Santa Barbara Foundation, deserved a beautiful resting place together, Powers contacted the Foundation and proposed that they underwrite a niche for the Goulds at the Santa Barbara Cemetery. The Santa Barbara Foundation heartily agreed, and Clara and Frederic rest together in Bay B, Niche 34, in the Santa Barbara Cemetery chapel.
Alternatively, to avoid the pedestrian-unfriendly part of Sheffield, look for an unmarked path between two fences on San Leandro Lane, just west of Sheffield. It winds its way to the part of Sheffield that’s easier to walk.
The trail off Sheffield goes to Gould Lane, where you turn right and then look for another MTF trail sign on your left. (It’s just before the big brick house at the corner of Gould Lane and Jelinda Drive.) According to the Montecito Journal, Clara Gould was responsible for the the allée of pines leading to the memorial.
Got a question you’d like investigated? Email [email protected] or text 917-209-6473.
Previous Burning Questions:
••• What’s the large building under construction next to Highway 101?
••• Who bought the former St. Mary’s seminary—and why?
••• What will happen to the SBPD building when the new building is completed?
••• How does the city decide to mark bike lanes?
••• What’s the story with this house on W. Cota Street?
••• What are those little houses on Santa Barbara Street?
••• Which Highway 101 exits are getting renamed?
••• Will Delta Air Lines ever reinstate service to Santa Barbara Airport?
••• Is the Music Academy of the West adding pedestrian gates?
••• Is the county really taking private property for trailhead parking?
••• Why does the Coast Village Road median look so bad?
••• What’s the point of this light pole near the freeway?
••• Why are the city’s parking lots scanning license plates?
••• What’s inside Paseo Nuevo’s State Street tower?
••• What’s the point of these markings on Laguna Street?
••• Why is there a giant red shoe off Highway 101?
••• Are we no longer allowed on the SBHS baseball field?
••• What does “SBTP” on this post mean?
••• What’s up with the “no e-bike” signs on local trails?
••• Why is Franceschi House in a holding pattern?
••• Why is there a train station inside this State Street storefront?
••• What’s happening with this derelict house in Summerland?
••• Why is there wood on some power lines?
••• Can you explain how sundowner winds work?
↓↓↓ Why is there a pressure cooker attached to this utility pole?
••• What’s this concrete ramp thing on East Beach?
••• Why does “USA” get written on the street?
••• What are those poles in the ocean near the Ritz-Carlton Bacara?
••• Are people really allowed to set fires in the middle of Montecito?
••• What’s the story with the half-finished lot next to the Montecito Country Mart?
Sign up for the Siteline email newsletter and you’ll never miss a post.