Longtime educator Dan Eidelson moved with his wife from Orange County to Montecito in the 1980s so that they could be close to their son and his family. Dan first learned about Casa del Herrero from his wife, who had visited the grounds as part of a private tour through an extension class she was taking at UC Santa Barbara. She spoke so enthusiastically about what she had seen, that Dan was intrigued. A chance meeting with George Bass, the Casa’s founding trustee, led to a friendship and devotion to the Casa that has now lasted more than 30 years. “When I think about my life in Montecito, Casa del Herrero is the focal point,” said Dan. “There was a period of time that I was completely devoted to the property, and as a result, the significance of the estate will always be important to me.”

George Bass was the steward of his mother’s final wish to make Casa del Herrero a public charity. During this transition period in the 1990s, Dan decided to give his all to the project, becoming a member of the Casa’s first Advisory Committee where he worked with a small group of dedicated individuals. He devoted up to five days a week meeting with residents, going to meetings, and talking to the planning commission – all in the hope of giving the Casa to the community. “I have such great admiration for George Bass,” said Dan. “He is a thoughtful, generous person. He was very sensitive during the transition process, and was deeply concerned about the impact on residents. He was flexible, and really listened, which resulted in the preservation of a great monument in our community.”

Dan has spent much time at the estate, working in the gardens, leading tours, serving as a board member for many years, and now lending his expertise as a member on the Buildings and Grounds Committee. His love of mechanical things drove Dan’s interest in and concern for the wellbeing of the Casa’s Pump House, which he has devoted many hours to preserving. Dan has given his time again and again, all in the hope of maintaining the Casa in perpetuity. “There is something very special about this property,” said Dan. “I don’t know what it is, but I do know I will always love it.”