The Mesa takes its name from the Spanish word that means table. This is due to the fact that the sheer cliff facing the ocean in Santa Barbara resembles a table top. All of Santa Barbara used to possess these cliffs that we are all so familiar with, but sometime in the geologic past a two-and-a-half-mile segment of the cliffs sank below sea level, which allowed a gulf of seawater to develop inland, reaching as far as where the Santa Barbara Mission now stands. After this geologic event the Mission and Sycamore Canyon creeks slowly filled in the gulf with silt and rocks to create where downtown Santa Barbara now stands. Before the Mesa was developed it was home to many farms in the late 19th century, due to its rich soil. The farms ranged in size from a few acres to as big as 264 acres. The largest of these farms was owned by Mr. T. W. Moore and was located north of Cliff Dr. between Las Positas and Flora Vista. The Mesa was home to many families whose names can still be found on The Mesa today, some of which include, Meigs, Beckstead, Snow, Weldon, Dewlaney, Oliver, DeAdrian, Porter, Davis, Potter Babcock, and Low. Much of why The Mesa looks as it does today is because many of these families refused to develop or split up their land during the 1880s or 90s, when many other areas of Santa Barbara were being urbanized. This changed largely during the 20th century as The Mesa became a family focused community. To meet the educational needs of The Mesa three elementary schools were built during this time; McKinley in 1932, Washington in 1954, and Monroe in 1958. Well known Shoreline Park was later dedicated in 1967 after the city approved a bond to buy the land. The 15 acres of Shoreline Park is enjoyed by adults and kids alike to this day. after the city approved a bond to buy the land. The 15 acres of Shoreline Park is enjoyed by adults and kids alike to this day.