The Story of Hollister
The history of Hollister can be traced back to 1853, when Colonel W.W. Hollister became one of the first men to drive a flock of sheep across the continent. Upon reaching the West, he acquired Spanish Land Grants in San Benito and Santa Barbara Counties.
The San Justo Homestead Association of farmers formed Hollister in 1896. At the first town meeting, a dispute arose over its name. San Justo was suggested, but a single man protested strongly against adding another name to the growing number of California towns with Saint namesakes. San Justo was thrown out, and Hollister was chosen.
The original subdivision divided the town into 50 homestead lots, where downtown Hollister is located today.
Since then, Hollister has continuously grown in size, both geographically and by population.
Portions of the original grant in Santa Barbara County are home to the Hollister ranch and surf spot made famous by the clothier of the same name.