Stearns Wharf is a quay located in Santa Barbara, California. The pier was named after a local lumberman named, John P. Stearns.
Stearns built the quay in 1872. Upon its completion, it became the longest expanding deep-water wharf between San Francisco and Los Angeles. For over twenty-five years, Stearns Wharf functioned as a means of freight and passenger shipping junction point in the South Coast of California.
When the construction of the railroad progressed in Santa Barbara during the late 1870s, Stearns intuitively linked the wharf to Southern Pacific Depot and his lumberyard. However, due to the rampaging storms during the early 20th century, this link was severely damaged and was later on deserted in 1923.
In 1941, the Harbor Restaurant was created. Its construction signifies the end of the 19th century transportation and shipping period. This commercial dining establishment proved to be a profitable enterprise and has become wharf?s economic stronghold. The restaurant mesmerizes its diners with its spectacular view of Santa Barbara?s seascape.
Since its existence, Stearns Wharf underwent numerous calamities, be it by nature or the economy. It was forcibly closed during two instances; first was after the occurrence of an earthquake in 1925, and second was during a fire in 1973. The pier remained shut for six long years until it was finally restored in 1981. Yet in 1998, another fire broke out and badly damaged the wharf?s last 150 feet, which includes the famed Moby Dick Restaurant. It took a period of over two years to reconstruct what?s left of the property.
Today, Stearns Wharf is considered as Santa Barbara?s most famous landmark.