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Willard Thompson

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Background Information

Employment History


Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Chairman of the Museum Council

Santa Barbara Museum of Art


Author, Historian, Lecturer
Rincon Publishing

Lecturer and Historian
The Writer Magazine

Web References (37 Total References)

Contact the SBMM Team – Santa Barbara Maritime Museum [cached]

Willard Thompson Author/Historian & Community Volunteer

Those were the words of Santa ... [cached]

Those were the words of Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Board President Willard Thompson at the gala for the opening of the exhibit of California’s Point Conception Lighthouse Lens.

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum - Board of Directors [cached]

Willard Thompson

Dream Helper

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Meet Author Willard Thompson

Dream Helper is the first in Willard Thompson's Chronicles of California series of historical novels. Thompson is an award-winning writer, lecturer and historian living in Montecito, California. Dream Helper was awarded a Gold Medal for the best fiction in the Pacific/Western Region from the Independent Publishers Book Awards in 2009
Delfina's Gold , The second novel in the Chronicles of California series was published in November 2010. It continues the saga of the early days of California as more people come to settle and trade there, and more conflicts erupt over who will dominate the land.
Willard Thompson regularly speaks to book clubs and other organizations about California history and the process of writing historical fiction. Contact him to arrange a speaking engagement.
Thompson received The Sara Miller McCune Award from the John E. Profant Foundation for the Arts to write Dream Helper, which also won an award as a work in progress at the Santa Barbara Writers' Conference.
In addition to historical fiction, Willard Thompson also writes historical non-fiction. Recent published articles are: Walter Vail — Empire Builder , Published in Persimmon HillMagazine; The Last Cattle Drive , published in Range Magazine; Dividing the Waters , a brief history of Western water woes and the role John Wesley Powell played in the development of the West, also in Range Magazine . Running the Big Ditch, an account of a gofer's life on a commercial raft running the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, published in Westways Magazine and Forbidden Fruit, an account of three days he spent on the El Paso border working with the Border Patrol to intercept smugglers.
Thompson's manuscript, Montecito Adobes and the Settlers who built Them was published by the Santa Barbara Historical Museum in the Spring of 2009.
Thompson regularly writes, produces and presents multi-media shows on historic subjects to civic and social groups. The following shows are currently available: Culture Clash-the Chumash Indians at the Santa Barbara Mission; Troubled Waters-—Shipwrecks of the Santa Barbara Channel; 450 Years of Santa Barbara Histor; The history of the Masini Adobe; History and Architecture of Montecito Country Club; and Postcards from Paradise-—a look at early days of the Santa Barbara resort industry.
Willard Thompson is a past Chairman of the Museum Council at Santa Barbara Historical Museum and a board of trustees member at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

Delfina's Gold [cached]

Read About author Willard Thompson

Following in this tradition, Willard Thompson inserts the characters of his novel, Delfina's Gold, into the same historical period - a time when California was struggling to decide on the direction of its future and to free itself from rule by Mexico, but before the outbreak of war in 1846 which forcibly brought California to the attention of the United States government.
Mr. Thompson ranges widely over Alta California, from the failed Russian settlement at Ft. Ross, through the decaying Mission system (some of whose priests are shown to be more concerned with earthly matters than with the souls of their indio converts), to the ranchero's problems with squatters and the titles to their land grants. There is triumph, tragedy, and humor aplenty as his characters - who include a transplanted Yankee trader, a willful Californio girl, and a sailor who deserts his ship - make their plans and live their lives against this unfolding tapestry.

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