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1895 Santa Barbara Arlington Hotel

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One of my favorite tokens and I recently acquired a decent example. I have one other, but it is more heavily worn. I have seen one uncirculated piece and the detail is truly amazing down to the horse and buggy on the street in front of the hotel. The ornate capital letters are also a favorite.


The piece likely dates to 1895 as it is made by C.A. Klinkner in San Francisco. In 1895, the city of Santa Barbara started an advertising campaign promoting the city as an ideal winter as well as summer resort. I suspect this piece was part of that campaign. E. P. Dunn was a hotel manager from Portland who moved to Santa Barbara after a visit. He worked at the hotel in several jobs and later left to manage another hotel in Santa Barbara and later in San Francisco. The Arlington burned in 1909 and was rebuilt. Dunn returned from San Francisco and bought the rebuilt hotel. It met its end in the 1926 Santa Barbara earthquake. The grand Arlington Theater was built to replace it and that theater still stands.

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