As a recent Harvard School grad, Robert W. Bates made the brave decision to volunteer for France, at the start of World War I, even though America had not yet become involved. Throughout the war. Robert served as an ambulance driver and was Ernest Hemingway’s commanding officer over a period of time. While stationed in France, Robert was wounded and sent to a Paris hospital for treatment and recovery. During that time, he was tended to by a Parisian nurse named, Juliette Marchand. Time passed and the two fell in love, despite living on different continents and during the uncertainty of life amidst a World War.
After a courtship and when the war ended, Robert and Juliette married! Juliette agreed to move to Santa Barbara where Robert’s family owned half of an original Spanish land grant. At the time no one was living on the land which was mostly hills and scrub brush but with a fantastic ocean view!
Together Robert and Juliette built the Bates Ranch House of adobe brick with spacious rooms, large fireplaces, and surrounding a protected inner courtyard. The numerous windows of rippled Depression glass still exist in the home today. Juliette’s French influence is visible in exterior shutters, a bathroom for each bedroom, in the tile work, and a curved hallway wall. Her personal touches in the otherwise typical 1920’s ranch style home, make for a beautiful and one of a kind home.
This wartime love story was passed on through the Bates’ four children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. With Robert’s and Juliette’s presence, the home served as a hub for all extended Bates gatherings. For five generations, the home has been a welcoming touch stone whenever family returned, and remains in the Bates family today.