Santa Barbara’s history comes alive in several ways this weekend: a visit by a replica of a Spanish-era tall ship, a talk highlighting the region’s historic water woes, the opening of a gallery dedicated to a beloved local “cowboy” artist and more.

Spanish ship

A newly built, full‐scale replica of San Salvador, the first European vessel to explore California’s coast, visits the Santa Barbara Harbor over the next few days. The original tall ship was captained by Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo more than 450 years ago, and later nicknamed “the Mayflower of the West.” The replica weighs 150 tons and is 92 feet long and 24 feet wide.

Dockside tours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the Santa Barbara Harbor. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors (ages 65 and older) and students (ages 5 to 17). Children 5 and under are free. This also includes admission to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

There still might be space available on Monday’s public sail aboard San Salvador. Check with the Maritime Museum (456-8747,

Water search

Long before the recent drought -- in fact, since the Spanish colonized in 1782 -- there has been a never-ending search for a consistent water source in Santa Barbara. Neal Graffy, local writer and historian, recounts these water woes in a free talk Saturday at 10:30 a.m., presented by the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance St.

“Santa Barbara -- The Search for Water” highlights how the community has continually found ways to resolve this issue, including dams, tunnels, water monopolies and scam schemes. See rare photos and maps, and find out how to visit waterworks more than 100 years old. (884-9909,

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Borein’s new home

Nationally recognized cowboy artist Edward Borein moved to Santa Barbara in 1921 and was a vital figure in the local arts scene. The Santa Barbara Historical Museum has now opened their long-awaited permanent gallery dedicated to the art and legacy this famed Western artist.

His works depict scenes of Native Americans, vaqueros, stagecoaches, pueblo and mission life, Native Americans and, what he is known best for, cowboys. Many personal items were donated by his widow. The Edward Borein Gallery and Research Center is a memorial to this artist whose accurate depictions enrich our appreciation of early Western culture.

The Historical Museum is not far from Borein’s two studios -- the Orena Adobe (27-29 E. De la Guerra St.) and later, the El Paseo (800 block of State Street). Admission by donation, and it is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., closed Mondays. (136 E. De la Guerra St., 966-1601,

Quick tip: Speaking of Stories Presents “Survivor Stories” -- inspirational, funny, poignant and moving stories of overcoming adversity and conquering life’s biggest obstacles -- Sunday at 2 p.m. and Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Center Stage Theater. (963-0408,

Julia McHugh can be reached at