St. Vincent’s has a long and rich tradition in Santa Barbara dating back to the pioneer days of the 1850s. Soon after California became a state, Santa Barbara had need of an English-speaking school and orphanage. Bishop Amat of Monterey (Santa Barbara) wrote to the Daughters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland requesting Sisters to come to Santa Barbara for this purpose. The leadership of the Daughters of Charity responded to this need and made the commitment to send Sisters from Emmitsburg to Santa Barbara. The Sisters arrived by steamer on January 5, 1858, stepping on the beach near where Stearns Wharf is today. Within the week, they had established the first English-speaking school and orphanage in the region.