The State of California didn't require death certificates until 1905 even though they became a state in 1850.
The reporting of deaths prior to 1905 was on a county-by-county or even city basis. First I'd check with the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society, sbgen.org/Researcher.php and see if they have any sources for old death dates. Ask them too if they have obituaries from 1885 and 1898.
Contact the Santa Barbara County Clerk Recorder, sbcvote.com/ClerkRecorder/ClerkRecorder.aspx and ask if they have any records from 1885 and 1898.
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