The Moody History of an $8.5 Million Montecito Mansion

This stately mansion from 1885 has deep roots in Montecito.

For three decades it was the family home of the famous Moody Sisters, four women who left their mark on the homes of Santa Barbara by designing and developing what are known as Moody Sisters Cottages. They pioneered a time when few women had jobs outside the home, building successful careers in the finance, interior and architecture sectors.


The family was able to purchase the estate during the Great Depression. Their father was a builder and all the girls worked, so they had five incomes, says their grandniece Marcia Gamble Hadley, herself an architectural designer and land planner. The sisters’ grandparents also lived with them.

Before the sisters started building their house, the sisters were known locally for their English tearoom and antique shop, as well as the parties held in the main ballroom of the house. “The big event,” Hadley says, “was always Christmas.”

The 3,000-square-foot ballroom with redwood planks was designed by Julia Morgan, the architect known for Hearst Castle. Musicians played above the room in a music box accessed by a hidden staircase. French doors opened onto the rose- and wisteria-filled grounds.

Although the estate was often referred to as The Big House by relatives, it was given the name The Peppers because of the trees that surrounded the then six-acre estate.

“I have great memories of getting lost in the gardens,” said Hadley, who spent long summer weeks visiting the family.

Unlike the dozens of fairy-inspired one- and two-bedroom cottages the sisters created in the 1930s and 1940s, the ten-bedroom residence they called home reflected the fascination of the area around the end of the previous century. century of European architecture.


A circular motor track heralds a fountain at the front of the house, which is sheltered by a colonnade guarded by lion statues. Originally, Hadley says, wide stone steps led to a pair of screen doors that entered a porch.

Beyond the foyer is a reception library and powder room. The bright dining room has French doors. Wood or terracotta tile floors, high ceilings, and crown molding run through most of the 8,189-square-foot home.


In the time of the sisters, the butler’s pantry served as a breakfast room, while a back porch was used for supplies. A service staircase next to the kitchen led to the staff quarters.

Today, photo wallpaper decorate the walls of the stairs and the bathroom. Below the bedrooms is an 800 square foot primary suite with a terrace overlooking the grounds. There are a total of nine bathrooms.


Jeff Oien of Village Properties, a Pyjama People Global Properties partner, is the real estate agent for the now 1.6-acre property. The asking price for 430 Hot Springs Road, Santa Barbara, is $8.5 million.


Village Properties is an exclusive member of Pyjama People Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokers selling the world’s most luxurious homes.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.