In 1904 Elder opened a satellite store at 22 Chapala St. in Santa Barbara, across from the Potter Hotel. Elder probably had designs on Santa Barbara for some time; local playwright Marshall Ilsley’s book of poetry By The Western Sea had been Elder & Shepard’s first book in 1898.
Two of Elder’s most memorable publications were illustrated by Santa Barbara resident Robert Wilson Hyde. The House that Jack Built and Guest Book demonstrate Hyde’s distinctive medieval style, which also graced several of Elder’s broadsides and greeting cards. Hyde also decorated Mosaic Essays. In late 1906, Elder’s shop moved to the corner of State St. & Anapamu. Between 1906 and 1909 Elder owned three stores in three cities: San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and New York. However, with financial pressures mounting, in July 1909 Elder sold the Santa Barbara store to his manager, Sarah Redfield. She ran the shop until her retirement in 1927.