Pearl Chase Society presents grant for porch at Main-Begg Farmhouse
The Pearl Chase Society is continuing its efforts to preserve historic architecture, and this time the beneficiary is the Main-Begg Farmhouse in the Goleta Valley.
Emma Brinkman, a member of the Pearl Chase Society board, presented a grant check for $7,450 Wednesday afternoon to the treasurer and board members of the Main-Begg Farmhouse on behalf of the Pearl Chase Society. The money will go toward restoration of the porch at the historic landmark, which is at 5001 Hollister Ave.
“We have added some new board members, and there is a renewed energy to the board,” Ms. Brinkman told the News-Press. “We are going to see much more outreach to the community coming from the society.
“Other projects funded by the society include Cabrillo Pavilion renovation for the easterly observation deck,” she said. “The society also funded partial grants for the stegosaurus wall at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the arch at the courthouse (in Santa Barbara).”
The porch at the Main-Begg Farmhouse was in need of funding. It’s currently off-limits to guests due to safety issues.
The porch faces Hollister Avenue and is an important part of the farmhouse.
“It (the grant) is not for maintenance, but for the preservation of the porch portion of the farmhouse,” said Ms. Brinkman.
The Main-Begg Farmhouse was built in 1911 by Robert and Jane Main, who immigrated in 1887 to the South Coast from Scotland.
The house was part of a 24-acre walnut ranch established by the Mains, and it’s where they raised six children.
Mr. Main was also the superintendent of the vast Thomas B. Bishop ranching empire in Santa Barbara County and was prominent in Goleta Valley agricultural, business, civic and cultural affairs.
The historical bond between the Main and Begg families was sealed in 1911 when a Main daughter, Carrie, married David A. Begg, the son of Peter J. and Jessie Begg, who had immigrated in 1885 from Scotland.
David, like his father, was a farmer in Goleta.
David and Carrie, after raising eight children, moved into the Main-Begg Farmhouse in 1950. In 1957, Carrie, now widowed, sold the ranch to a housing developer, retaining only the present-day one-half-acre property and the farmhouse.
Charles (Chuck) W. Begg, one of David and Carrie’s sons, and his wife Margaret and three children, occupied the farmhouse in 1970. Chuck pursued a variety of professions, but he was best known for his many years of volunteer activities on behalf of Goleta Valley community service organizations.
The nonprofit organization Main-Begg Farmhouse acquired the farmhouse in 2019. Its mission is to preserve and restore the farmhouse property, to share its history with the Goleta Valley, and to provide a special venue for community activities and educational programs.
The farmhouse was designated Santa Barbara County Historic Landmark No. 52 in 2020.
“The newest allocation for housing by the county is farmland in Goleta, which is the way we are losing farmland in Goleta,” said Ms. Brinkman. “That is why this farmhouse is so important.”