top of page

Image by Edewaa Foster

  • Flickr

S'axpilil: Twin Lakes Golf Course

One of, if not the most important Chumash sites in the area was known as S’axpilil which translates to ‘roots’. The significance of this name likely comes from the sheer size of this village and the ways most Chumash of the area can trace their lineage back to this place. While not necessarily the ancestral home of the Barbareño Chumash, S’axpilil was held in high regard by residents of the Goleta Valley. Some records show this site being referred to as Mexcaltitan by the Spanish rather than the site of Helo’, or that it was an alias for the village. Another similarity to Helo’ is the high number of chiefs or capitanes that occupied this area. Today, this site is found in the general region of the Twin Lakes Golf Course just north of the airport.

Had at least 4 capitanes or lineage heads similar to Helo'.


Portola Expedition: The only rancheria in Goleta actually visited. Came unarmed and brought the explorers much fish and mush, likely acorns.


January 24, 4 children from here became the first Goleta people to join new community at Santa Barbara.


October 17-18, a large social gathering was held and many native peoples from the Santa Ynez rancherias likely for the fall harvest ceremony.


Approximately, referred to by Fr. Fermín Francisco de Lasuén as ‘San Gabriel de Saspilil’ and confused with ‘San Rafael’ but this name, like the others he assigned to the Goleta towns, would not last very long.


Major earthquake destroyed San Miguel Chapel.


Chapels dedicated to San Miguel and San Francisco built.


Juan Fructuoso Suluajinasu died during the Chumash Uprising of 1824.

Fr. Crespí on Chumash soc: Houses so large they easily house 60 people, with beds off of the floor. At all these towns they have well crafted flutes/pipes to use for dancing with large feathered headdresses and thick body paint.


Governor José Figueroa led the process for full secularization of Mission Santa Barbara.


The site of what was formerly known as S’axpilil is under the current ownership of Twin Lakes Golf Course on Hollister Avenue.


Image by Edewaa Foster

  • Unsplash


  • Johnson, John R. “The Rancherias of Mescaltitan: Chumash History and Sociopolitical Organization in the Goleta Valley.” GOLETA SLOUGH PREHISTORY: Insights Gained from a Vanishing Archaeological Record, vol. 4, SANTA BARBARA MUS OF NAT, 2020, pp. 17–51. Contributions in Anthropology. ( )

bottom of page