Gaviota Pass is located between Santa Barbara and Solvang around the bend from
Gaviota State Beach and
When you see road signs announcing a rest stop, you are nearing
this historic location (see marker inscription below). Gaviota Pass
includes a northbound tunnel built into the massive rock structures of
Highway 101 that stand as a testimony to thousands of years-old volcanic
State operated facilities with
restrooms, picnic tables and pay phone are located on Highway 101 north
and southbound lanes on the southern end of Gaviota Pass. Stop to look at maps, local information
and to read the marker inscription describing the significance of this historic location.
information below is included on that marker:
Fremont – Foxen Memorial
Here, on Christmas Day, 1846 natives
and soldiers from the Presidio of Santa Barbara lay in ambush for Lt.
Col. John C. Fremont, U.S.A. and his battalion. Advised of the plot,
Fremont was guided over the San Marcos pass by Benjamin Foxen and his
son William, and captured Santa Barbara without bloodshed.
Note: Historical references offer
several versions of Fremont's effort to take Santa Barabara.
Benjamin Foxen (Christened William Domingo) was born in England in 1798.
He died in Foxen Canyon on Feb 19 1874. He married Elmaria Osuna on May
26, 1831 at Santa Barbara Mission. The little town of Goleta was named
after his ship Goleta (means little schooner) by which he came to CA. On
Dec 24 1846 he guided John C. Fremont over the San Marcos Pass. Three
weeks later January 13, 1847 California was ceded to the US.