Joseph Eberle, a blacksmith from Germany, arrived in Santa Barbara in the 1880’s and became a prominent citizen. He originally built the Main House for his family around 1884 and subsequently built the Eberle House for his mother and sister sometime in the 1890’s. It was alleged that President Mckinley visited them in May, 1901, but this has not been proved. The property remained in the Eberle family until the late 1970’s, when Miss Eberle (the sister) passed away. Miss Eberle had been a school teacher and during the 1900’s had utilized the homes as Boarding Houses and later again for unwed mothers during the Second World War.
Christine Dunstan, only the third owner of the property, purchased it in 1984 and opened the Cheshire Cat Inn as a bed and breakfast Inn in 1985. Originally from Cheshire, England, Christine lovingly restored these two Victorian Queen Anne’s, adding bathrooms and modern conveniences while continuing to maintain the classical Victorian style. Charles Dodgson, (aka Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures’ in Wonderland) was also born in Cheshire, thus inspiring the Alice in Wonderland theme.
The Coach House was built in 1991 housing Tweedledum, the honeymoon suite and Tweedledee, a large studio room. Historically, coach houses were either found on grand estates or were Inns located on well-travelled English roads where horses were rested. The tired voyager would retire to a welcome meal and warm bed. Not quite the same today; the Coach house still provides a stopover for the weary traveler.
The Craftsman Cottages were purchased in 1994 and again Christine worked to restore these cottages to the original concept, but upgrading them with all the modern amenities that today’s travelers expect.
The Inn has hosted many interesting events and even at one time offered cooking classes taught by famous chefs and attended by our local culinary celebrity, Julia Child.
Today, with 14 rooms and 4 cottages, Christine still operates the Inn with her partner Jack Greenwald who look forward to welcoming you to the Cheshire Cat Inn.