Goleta Valley Historical Society invites you to experience a historic ranch preserved for our community.

Youth/ School Groups

Pioneer Days

Our major education program, Pioneer Days, was developed in collaboration with Goleta Union School District.  Now in its seventh year, Pioneer Days is an integral part of Goleta Union School District’s 3rd grade curriculum, and is also offered to all public and private elementary schools on the South Coast on a first-come, first-served basis as funding permits. Pioneer Days gives 3rd grade students, who study local history as part of the state-mandated curriculum, an opportunity to explore firsthand early California ranch life. The multi-disciplinary program spans several weeks and addresses the California CORE curriculum in history, while weaving in lessons in the sciences, math, language arts, and physical activities.

Through practical demonstrations and participatory or interactive activities, students experience what life was like for eight-year old children on an early 20th century lemon ranch in the rural Goleta Valley. As they re-live and experience pioneer life, they recognize the change and continuity of California’s diverse culture at the turn of the century and the contributions that each immigrant group made to our community. The program reaches children of differing learning styles by incorporating practical activities at the ranch that utilize all of the senses with traditional classroom learning. This is especially important for helping the many ESL (English as a Second Language) and other language-challenged students in our local schools to acquire the necessary education for academic success.

School Tours
Student tours relate to California State Standards for third graders and emphasize the theme of  “Continuity and Change.”  Through the story of the Stow Family, students appreciate the local significance of political, agricultural and social contributions to California history.  Stow House, established in 1872, is on the National Register of Historic Places.  This designation complements California citizenship and history standards.

Youth Tours
Boy Scout, Girl Scout, 4H, Boys and Girls Club, and many youth organizations visit Rancho La Patera. Tours fulfill many rank advancement requirements.  In addition to the tour of the Stow House extra activities, such as making lemonade, can be incorporated into a visit.

To book a group/school tour or for more information contact Lisa Scoggins, Education Coordinator at (805) 681-7216 x3 or lisa@goletahistory.org.