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Hale (Kathleen Burke) Papers

Identifier: AR-2020-006

Scope and Contents

The Kathleen Burke Hale Papers contain manuscripts, correspondence, diaries, photographs, and tributes spanning her life as a relief worker during World War I, as the adoptive benefactor of a French village following World War II, and as a Santa Barbara philanthropist throughout the first half of the twentieth century.


  • 1856 - 1959


Language of Materials

Although primarily in English, portions of the collection are in French.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head Archivist of the Gledhill Library.

Biographical / Historical

Born in London, England, and of Irish descent, Kathleen Burke Peabody Hale (1884-1958) was educated at the University of Oxford and in Paris. Outliving three American husbands, Burke devoted her life to humanitarian causes during war and peace, in Europe and in Santa Barbara.

In 1920, Burke married Frederick Forrest Peabody, the wealthy clothing manufacturer of popular Arrow brand shirts and collars. Together the Peabody's involved themselves in reconstructon efforts following the 1925 Santa Barbara Earthquake and gave generously to build Peabody Stadium for the High School. After Peabody's death in 1927, and her second husband's death on their honeymoon, Burke married artist Girard Van Barkaloo Hale in 1930.

Designed by Francis Townsend Underhill, the Hales resided at Solana, one of Montecito's great estates, situated on Eucalyptus Hill with views of both the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains. Among her many civic activities, Kathleen Burke was involved in the Junior League, Peabody School, and initiated a Santa Barbara Wolf Cubs program, the predecessor to Cub Scouts.

Contributing to efforts at home during World War II, the Hale's were instrumental in the reconstruction of their adoped French village of Maillé. The Hales also resided for a time on the French Riviera in the 1950s when Girard Hale was appointed U.S. consul general to Monaco. Kathleen Burke Hale passed away in 1958, just one month after Girard Hale's death following their return from a trip to Europe.


13 Linear Feet

4,271 Photographic Prints


Kathleen Burke Hale was one of Santa Barbara's most distinguished citizens. The most decorated woman of World War I, Burke received awards and medals from seven European nations. As a volunteer Red Cross worker during World War I she helped organize emergency hospitals in war zones and created a climate of high morale among both soldiers and military officials. Burke repeated her feat in the wake of World War II when she and her husband, artist Girard Hale, adopted and coordinated reconstruction of the French village of Maillé, which had been leveled by the Nazis following their massacre of its inhabitants. In both word and image, this collection documents Kathleen Burke Hale's life as a humanitarian, philanthropist, and world traveler during the first half of the 20th century and across two world wars.


The Kathleen Burke Hale papers are arranged in eight series:

1. World War I, 1915-1920

2. Peabody Years, 1920-1927

3. Hale Years, 1930-1958

4. World War II, 1940-1948

5. Awards, Honors and Tributes, 1898-1955

6. Personal life, 1906-1954

7. Photographs, 1856-1959

8. Solana architectural plans, 1936

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials were acquired from the Kathleen Burke Hale Estate.

Processing Information

The Kathleen Burke Hale papers were processed by Chris S. Ervin CA, during summer 2020.

Guide to the Kathleen Burke Hale Papers
Chris S. Ervin CA
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
First Edition

Repository Details

Part of the Gledhill Library Repository

136 E. De La Guerra
Santa Barbara California 93101 USA