Lynda Millner had been working as a tour guide at the Santa Barbara Zoo for three years when she found out that the organization would soon discontinue its tour services. Fortunately, a friend had recently told her about a charming destination hidden in the hills of Montecito – Casa del Herrero.
Needless to say, Lynda fell in love with the Casa after her first visit, and has spent the past 17 years serving as a diligent and dedicated docent. “Working as a docent is my way of giving back to the community,” said Lynda. “I’ve always loved being a tour guide.”
When asked what she finds special about the Casa, Lynda said “It’s amazing! First of all, there aren’t really any houses to speak of that you can go through in Santa Barbara. What is special to me, besides the property, is that we still have all of the Steedmans’ things – all of their furniture, linens, and silverware. It feels like a home to me, and I think people recognize that.”
While visitors expect to learn more about the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, the fifteenth and sixteenth-century fine art collection, and the gardens, they are also given a new perspective of the Casa through Steedman family stories. “I love telling stories about the Steedman family,” said Lynda. Whether sharing anything from why the Steedmans’ brought chickens onto the property (though they no longer remain) to how George Fox Steedman educated his young boys on the important matter of camping (moving their beds to the bottom of the garden for a night), Lynda has a story to share with her tour.
“I love that there are still family members on the Casa Board of Trustees who can tell us stories about their childhoods,” said Lynda. “I’ve always enjoyed being a tour guide, and will continue to love the stories I get to tell people here.”