National Register of Historic Places in Santa Barbara County
Joseph Sexton, a native of Ohio, moved to Santa Barbara in 1867. As a pioneer nurserymen, he was a key figure in the agricultural development of the Goleta Valley.
Sexton was particularly known for popularizing pampas grass plumes as decorative items during the late Victorian Era. He shipped his first plumes to New York in 1874. By 1889, his nursery was producing over 500,000 plumes annually and shipping them as far as Europe. The craze for pampas grass plumes died out about 1900, but in the intervening years, pampas grass production provided a major source of income for Goleta fanners.
Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1991.
When we photographed the Sexton House in March of 2017, it was on the property of the Pacifica Suites Hotel.