Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hoodlums in 1939

The Army and Navy Academy, originally located in Pacific Beach, moved to Carlsbad in 1937. Today, it continues to be a part of our community, with a most excellent and picturesque location on the northwest end of town. This 1939 article tells the story of some hooliganism that occurred on the campus by local teens. The way the situation is handled by the staff and community, via the Carlsbad Journal, demonstrates the sensibility of their time and place. FYI, in 1939, there was no Carlsbad High School. Carlsbad teens attended Oceanside-Carlsbad High School in Oceanside, now Oceanside High School.

The Journal is in receipt of a letter from Major John Davis, president of the San Diego Army and Navy academy, reporting that Mrs. Virginia Atkinson, their dramatics coach and their dramatics team, were continuously annoyed at the theatre last week by hoodlums.

The dramatics team was rehearsing for the State tournament held this week in Pasadena where the Carlsbad entry from the Military academy won second place and in which, there were eleven entries.

During the evening while rehearsals were in progress these hoodlums would pound on the theatre doors and throw rocks and other missiles at the building for no other apparent purpose than to annoy and disturb those who were at their work.

When Mrs. Atkinson went to the door and invited the boys inside they responded with language and epithets that are imprintable.

Some of the hoodlums were recognized and at least some of them are high school students at Oceanside, and one of them a senior.

President Davis in his letter to The Journal said that it is not the desire of the academy to make unnecessary trouble for the boys or their parents, that the school not only desires to avoid such steps, but wants still more to become a home institution, a part of the community life in Carlsbad, and he asks what can be done to avoid experiences of this kind in the future.

The splendid thing for these boys to do, if they read this report, would be to go to Maj. Davis or Mrs. Atkinson and apologize and promise not to repeat their acts of rowdyism.

Putting it mildly, it is unfortunate that a community like Carlsbad should have young men as residents whose idea of fun is to indulge in acts of vandalism, and worse still, should consider it smart to use vile language in the presence of a lady. Mrs. Atkinson will be able to forgive and forget, but the boys themselves, and high school students at that, will eventually suffer severe and unpleasant consequences for engaging in their idea of sport.

There is just one way that these boys will ever amount to anything. It won't help them any to be arrested and punished by law, but if they persist in such rowdyism that is what will happen to them. If they want to feel good again their only course is to report to the Academy that they are sorry.

That would be the first step toward becoming young gentlemen.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Coronado Fishing and Hunting Grounds

The ocean fishing off Coronado in plain sight of the hotel is unparalleled. During the season of Spanish mackerel, rock cod, barracuda, and yellow tail, a two hours' catch of a couple hundred pounds is an every-day affair. Spanish mackerel weighing from eight to nine pounds is a fair average.

Those who have had the most experience in all parts of the United States say that the California quail is the most difficult bird to kill, and get in your bag, that flies. The famous shot, the late Ira Payne, after failing to bag a single quail with nine consecutive shots, said that they are the most elusive and delusive birds he had ever tackled.

A reservation of 1,900 acres within one and one-half miles of the hotel has been stocked with thousands of jack-rabbits, and the management has cleared a field of one and one-half miles long, over which guests of the hotel on horseback follow a pack of thirty greyhounds.

These rabbit chases are now among the most popular sports in Coronado, and occur twice a week, and oftener, if a dozen riders desire to indulge in a chase.

There is no expense to guests to join any of these chases, except for mounts, it only being necessary for them to leave their names at the office one day in advance.

(From a travel brochure, circa 1900)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Viewpoints of time & place

"Just as travel underlines that obvious but ever-surprising fact that, from wherever you view the world, it looks different, so does history offer intellectually something of the same insight. Our surroundings have been the home to countless generations of people estranged from us by time, for whom the assumptions and realities of life were, in a myriad of ways, fundamentally different. That realisation [sic] should be revelatory, inspiring and admonishing in equal measure."

From the March 13, 2013 issue of Country Life magazine

"A Plea for Palomar", by J.H.Y., 1901

A poem written about Palomar Mountain, which had earlier been known as Smith's Mountain

Fell my oak and fell my pine-tree; send my cedar to the mill;
Strip the tangled pine from off me; roll my boulders down the hill;
Grade my summit; till my valley; tear away my woodland pride;
Parcel me in city lots, and run a railway up my side;
Rule my streets with dull precision, block by block, in order time,
Here a church and there a depot, where the tiger lilies grew;
Mar God's handiwork about me; let my beauty be a myth;
Then, defaced and desecrated, call me after Mr. Smith.

But while yet the stately cedar sentinels the sylvan lawn;
While at times from yonder thicket peeps the nimble-footed fawn;
While the glory of the morning breaks on precipice and peak,
And the winter sees my waters leaping down to Panama Creek;
While the valley smiles beneath one, stretching westward to the main,
Mile on mile of rolling pasture, green alfalfa, golden grain;
While I look on Catalina, far beyond the ocean shore,
And the gleam of sunny waters on the lake of Elsinore;
While I dominate the lowland, hill and valley, near and far,
In my majesty and beauty, let my name be Palomar.

Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke speaks on open space, circa early 20th c.

So far the tourist has not discovered it [Africa], and I would like to see it in its undisturbed glory before railways and air routes have arrived, before luxury hotels and nightclubs have grown up like poisonous fungi - before it’s been tarnished and made ugly for civilisation [sic] which is unable to let things well enough alone.

From Bror Blixen: The African letters, edited by Gustav Kleen, 1988

Sunday, March 10, 2013


As in the Roman year, so in the English ecclesiastical calendar used until 1752 this was the first month, and the legal year commenced on the 25th of March. Scotland changed the first month to January in 1599. This month was called Martius by the Romans, from the god Mars, and it received the name ‘Hlyd Monath’, i.e. ‘loud’ or ‘stormy month’ from the Anglo-Saxons.

From The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden, a naturalist who created this journal for the year 1906. She never allowed anyone to see it during her lifetime. She was born in 1871. After attending art school, she worked as an illustrator. She met her husband, Ernest Smith, a sculptor, while she was living in London. She died tragically, in 1920, drowning in the Thames while gathering buds from chestnut trees.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Early 20th c. San Diego County News Tidbits, Part II

Oct. 1905 – Home Co. telephone line tall post and four wires are on its way through town.

Feb. 21, 1906 – [A wish for a newborn girl] May she grow up to be a good woman and live to see her great-grandchildren.

June 1906 – San Luis Rey river still flows a good stream to the ocean.

March 1909 – Auto Club erecting sign posts on coast road marking every turn and danger point along the way as well as distances, directions, etc.

Dec. 1909 - Mr. Gainer…has embraced the Hindu religion and has traveled twice to India to learn more of its philosophy.

April 1910 – Halley’s comet could be seen all through April and will pass between us and the sun on May 19, 1910, and after that it will be seen in the evening sky. It will come again in 75 years.

May 1911 – C.S. Libby purchased old Christian Church on First and Hill St. in Oceanside. Will make it into a neat modern residence.

June 1911 – Mr. Baird moves to Long Beach, has a position with a motion picture concern. An expert photographer.

June 10, 1911 – W.R. Clark and family drove a team of horses down from Greenfield Monterey Co. in three weeks. Automobiles were counted on the trip – came to 640 cars.

July 1911 – W.S. Kelly has learned to run his new auto fairly well but says his family are shy of riding with him yet.

Oct. 1911 – A law passed in county requiring all travelers to have lights on their vehicles.

Sept. 1912 – Charles Kelly sold 52 horses to a purchaser from Imperial Co., Carroll Borden rode ahead leading two horses and Earl Frazee and Forrest Borden came along behind and kept them going. Many were wild but we took them down the 101 Highway to San Diego and camped in Mission Valley the first night. Only a few cars on the road then.

Jan. 1914 – Six airship passes in ten days in January. Pretty soon we won’t get out of bed to see one.

Dec. 1914 – Water is here in Carlsbad. We have seen it with our own eyes.

Jan. 1, 1915 – San Diego Exposition gets under way. Everything that would make noise was used after midnight.

June 1915 – Flying machines are so common these days that we merely take a peep to see which way they are going and then forget them.

June 1915 – Sam Thompson, of Orange, has five acres west of Highland, which will be planted in Avocado trees. This fruit is little known in this country, only a few trees having been grown in this vicinity but it is a staple product in Mexico and other Southern countries.

Feb. 1916 – High school pupils finding trains always late since the floods have taken to walking three to five miles to Oceanside.

Oct. 1917 – WWI housewives are asked to have meatless and wheatless days.

Oct. 1918 – Save fruit-pits, nut shells, etc. to make gas masks for our government.

April 1919 – Passenger plane is making daily trips between San Diego and Los Angeles. The fare is $25.00.

Sept. 1919 – The Carlsbad grammar school is growing larger again. Enrollment, now 18.

Sept. 1919 – President Wilson passed through on the rear platform of a train. In San Diego they rigged up loud speakers and they claimed that more people heard him than any man in the world.

Oct. 1921 – Mr. And Mrs. Abraham Lincoln Kentner from South Bend, Indiana visiting E.G. Kentner at the Twin Inns.

After his wife, Minnie Kelly Borden, died in 1919, Mr. Borden started looking for an assistant. In 1920, he said, “I am still in need of a helper on this paper. Someone who would rather do good than get rich.” In 1921, “Not yet having found an assistant who would be my successor, I am facing the apparent necessity of dropping the work for want of physical and financial ability to keep it going.” The last paper was dated January 1923. After printing the paper for 38 years, he was forced to stop because his health gave out and he died a year later.

19th c. San Diego County News Tidbits, Part I

The following selection of excerpts from Excerpts from the Plain Truth, compiled by Forrest V. Borden. The Plain Truth, which later became Spirit of Love was a newspaper created by Webster W. Borden. Self-labeled as a temperance paper, it was printed from 1884 to 1922 in various locations in north county. Mr. Borden was from Missouri and married daughter of another pioneer family, Minnie Kelly. She helped run the paper. In addition to putting out a local paper, WWB taught school in the early years. Note: I have left some misspellings and most of the grammar is as in original excerpts, etc. The brackets contain my additions to help with clarity.

1884 or 1888 - Rancho Encinitas sold for $66,000, 4,438 acres for the Olivenhain Colony

June 5, 1884 - Our paper, San Diego Union article as follows: The Post Office Department should extend route 46, 388 from Barham to Apex (Escondido) a distance of six miles and establish a permanent route from Oceanside via San Luis Rey to Capistrano - distance of 37 miles. The mail from Barham to Apex, 6 miles [currently] goes 100 miles via San Diego.

In June 12, 1884 - WWB says much safer investment to teach school at $60 per month than attempt to run a 6x9 circular.

July 24, 1884 - The blacksmith of Barham, E.D. Boxley has left us in search of better pay. In less than two hours after his departure there was a call at the shop for $8.00 worth of work.

August 23, 1884 - Republican primary election to have been held at this place last Tuesday, was rather a slim affair, there being no inspector at the polls, and only one voter. But, no doubt, the general election will show a stronger interest.

March 23, 1886 – The first experiment with electric lights in San Diego. Everybody was pleased.

March 23, 1886 – John Kelly finds dead man near Hoffman’s Chicken Ranch east of wind mill. I think they dug a hole and buried him there.

Sept. 16, 1887 – The new hotel at Coronado is 420x430 feet, covers nearly 4 acres, floor space 7 acres.

Nov. 1, 1889 – Story of the terrible locomotive, Stephenson predicted that his locomotive would draw a train of wagons at the rate of twelve miles an hour. There were men in England who declared that no passengers could travel at such a rate of speed and “keep their heads” was predicted in 1835.

April 1, 1891 – Charlie Chase of San Diego has lately placed a latest improved phonograph in the front of his drug store and we doubt not [that] many dimes have gone into the slot of the machine, which has the wonderful power of recording and repeating human speech.

1891 – The word kid is fast becoming an accepted word. The other day a parrot called out, “Hello! Hello, kid!” The dictionaries will perhaps be the next to adopt the slang term.

June 16, 1891 – Mr. Judson and Mr. Rainbow are looking for a good location for a public road from Smith Mountain [now Palomar Mountain] to Valley Center, will connect with the Pala road and give mountaineers an outlet to Valley Center, Escondido, and San Diego.

Oct. 10, 1891 – Merle [in the area of what is now Leucadia] – it is the beginning of a little seaside village about 30 miles north of San Diego on the line of Southern California railroad, between Oceanside and Encinitas. Public buildings are few and far between. There being a town hall, a school house, and a building once occupied by a store, but now answering for the Post Office.

Nov. 24, 1891 – Merle, Ca – The school at this place has its new clock. Now for the book-shelf and library next.

1891 – Merle, Ca. – The postal telegraph line is already completed past this place, and it adds to the business like appearance of things to see two rows of poles so near together.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Bigger Picture: The value of genealogy

In the February 17, 2013 issue, Parade magazine contained a quiz, which was adapted from Bruce Feiler's book, The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More. The question asked:
When a team of psychologists measured children's resilience, they found that the kids who________ were best able to handle stress.
The choices were: A. Ate the same breakfast every day, B. Knew the most about their family's history, C. Played team sports, or D. Attended regular church services. The answer was B, with this explanation:
The more children know about their family's history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives and the higher their self-esteem. The reason: These children have a strong sense of 'intergenerational self' - they understand that they belong to something bigger than themselves, and that families naturally experience both highs and lows
This was exactly the revelation that I had after doing genealogy for a number of years: that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves (I even put it just that way; I was so original!) and that creates a sense of continuity, but also a responsibility to our ancestors for their sacrifices and hard work and to our descendants, knowing that our decisions determine the foundation of their lives. I am thrilled to see an acknowledgement of the value that it adds to our children's well-being. In addition to the psychological effects, most of the people I've met who have done research for many years said that it helped them to love history (of those who didn't before) because they could see their family's place within the context of historical events, as well as increasing the respect that the elders in our families feel knowing that their contributions and stories are appreciated. If you don't know your family history, start now and if your children are old enough, have them research with you. The skills they learn will help them in school and beyond.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Philosophy of Breakfast from Laurel's Kitchen

Some of my favorite cookbooks are from the 1970s, with their woodcuts and natural eating. Only in these can you find "fresh" milk as a requested ingredient for a recipe. Laurel's Kitchen is one of my favorite cookbooks from this era. Flipping through it the other night, I began to read their chapter on breakfast. I found it worthy of being shared, as a reminder to slow down and enjoy our mornings, and each other. The authors go on after the quote to discuss specific food choices, cooking methods, and recipes for breakfasts. I felt more relaxed just reading and imagining mornings like this... Breakfast
Food is the fuel for your day's activity, so it makes no sense at all to eat your biggest meal at night when it's all behind you. Breakfast should include protein and carbohydrate - at least one third of your day's requirement of each - and a stretch of brisk exercise as well. The word 'diet' used to mean not just food, but exercise, too; for the Victorians, in fact, it seems to have implied a good stint of deep knee bends in front of an open window each morning. For a great many of us, admittedly, the sight of anything beyond juice, toast, and coffee is more than we can handle when we first wake up; so when the children refuse to eat more than a bowl of sugared cold cereal, it seems hypocritical to argue with them. The key to enjoying an ample breakfast is to be up and around for at least an hour before you eat. (A light supper the night before helps.) There are hidden dividends to this practice. The early morning hours are the loveliest of the entire day. The air is fresher then, and once you've broken free of the pillow, your mind is likely to be at its clearest too. This is traditionally the time of day which is thought most auspicious for meditation. If you don't meditate, the silence of early morning is still a perfect background for studying, writing letters, taking a walk, or doing those deep knee bends. The earlier you get up, the more leisurely your morning can be; that's all-important, because the pace you set in the morning is the pace you'll maintain all day. Keep your family's breakfast time as slow and tranquil as can be. It might take some hanky-panky with alarm clocks, but try to get everyone together at the table long enough to get a good look at one another. If eyelids are heavy, offer some incentive: a fresh camellia, or a bowl of bright purple plums....Just being together in a peaceful, warm atmosphere will make all the difference in how they get through their day. Food eaten in this relaxed and leisurely manner will be digested much more easily than when one eye is on the plate and the other on the kitchen clock....

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Danger of Sharing Everything, a Warning from the Past...

I have NEVER come across anything that sums up the dangers of having everything posted or reported on via the Internet, whether through social media or the constant stream of "news" than the following paragraph. Shall we heed this warning and pull in the reins or continue to create an avalanche, suffocate, and lose some of the subtle beauty of humanity? Ironically, this revelation was published in 1940 by a small town newspaper editor, Henry Beetle Hough, in his book, Country Editor. Though he is talking from the standpoint of a newspaper reporter about a small town paper, I believe we all have those inklings of discomfort when every little thing, good and bad, but especially the special things that as he points out, should go on, unchronicled in a public that they remain precious.
There is a great deal that one cannot print in any newspaper, even in a country paper. Not the big things, not the things one might be accused of suppressing for gain or through fear, but the little, unceasing, significant things. Life itself is inexpressibly precious with its naturalness, its free play of impulses, ideas, plans, dreams, and there is a line beyond which an honest reporter cannot go. For life to read these things about itself would be to spoil them, to make them feel given away and cheap. For this reason a great deal that is most precious must go on, day by day, unchronicled; but here in the country one is aware of it and is rewarded for living and for seeing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chapter 7: "Shadows of the Old Order"

We are all aware that "things" were "different" in the past. Some of these things we know, e.g. people used horses for transportation before there were cars. Sometimes things surprise us. In reading Country Editor by Henry Beetle Hough, I was surprised by the following passage about the independent thinking and action when it came to providing a rural area, in this case, Martha's Vineyard, with telephone service and electricity, and the nature of transportation to and from the island. The book was published in 1940 and covers the first twenty years that Hough and his wife served as editors of the Edgartown Gazette. Unless, it's a harmful or dangerous, I like becoming aware of different ways of being and living from other times and/or other places. It's humbling and serves to shake one a bit out of complacency.
There were many survivals of the old order in the community as we found it. Dr. Tarry was still practicing. He was tall and thin, penetrating and sardonic. He went about with a tall silk hat, cutaway coat and striped trousers....Some years earlier Dr. Tarry had built himself a telephone line and founded a telephone company. The science and business of communication was not far along, and the Bell company did not care about extending its poles on the country roads in more thinly populated districts. But in these places Dr. Tarry's patients lived, and he wanted to reach them. Being of an energetic and determined nature, he went ahead and was soon operating successfully....Dr. Tarry had sold out his telephone company to the Bell System before we took the Gazette...The electric light company, too, had been started by local enterprise...The principal figure was a former steamboat captain and islander of the old school. The founding of these enterprises was simply a continuation of an old tradition, and there was something about it which seemed to characterize the whole community. One was aware of a strong individualism, a spirit of initiative and of self reliance. In the old days the steamboats linking the island with the mainland had been built and operated by local companies....the captain had as much say about operating his steamboat as anyone else. If he wanted to leave his route and give a tow to some becalmed schooner, or salvage the cargo of a distressed craft, he did so, and the passengers had so much extra sail and so much added experience of life, in return for their delayed passage...In the modern age the steamboats had become the property of a single company, and control of the company had been sold to a railroad system on the mainland. This was the modern trend....Centralization was sucking it out of small paces such as our island. The moving impulse was no longer to be the ideas and initiative of an individual in town, but something coming, like an electric current over a wire, from a city in the distance.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A 19th Century View of Alpine, California

John R. Campbell, who ran a boarding house/hotel for a time in Alpine, California, provides a glimpse of that fair township and his hotel in this 19th century letter to a prospective boarder: "December 30, 1896. Dear Sir, ...The altitude where we are situated is, 1800 feet. The air is dryer than nearer the coast and more bracing. Our summers are pretty warm. Our winters are delightful. No snow and but little frost. Good water. Near post office. Stages daily, to & from Lakeside. Except Sunday. Our rates are $7.00 & $8.00 by the week and $30.00 & $35.00 by the month. We have made a reduction of one dollar a week for the winter as you will see by the enclosed card. Yours respectfully, J.R. Campbell"

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dr. Lena Creswell and San Diego Women Doctors, 1908

In the book, History of San Diego, 1542-1908 by William Ellsworth Smythe, there is a list of doctors who were practicing in San Diego at the time of publication. Among them were nine female doctors and two female osteopaths: Maria B. Averill, Charlotte J. Baker, Alice H. Crandall, Alexis De Borra, Lelia Latta, Eva M. Lewis, Mary E. Hoffman, Anna M.L. Potts, Minnie E. J. Verity, Lena Creswell, and Anna B. Woodhull. This list contained far more female doctors than I would have expected to see for that time! One of the osteopaths, Lena Creswell, was successful enough to warrant a biographical paragraph in City of San Diego and San Diego County: The Birthplace of California, Volume 2, written by Clarence A. McGrew and published in 1922. “Dr. Lena Creswell has been prominently identified with the profession of osteopathy in Southern California for the past twenty years. Outside of her profession she has many unusual interests, particularly those of an active outdoor woman. Dr. Creswell was born near Clarinda, Iowa, on a farm, graduated from high school at Villisca, Iowa, attended the State Western Normal College at Shenandoah, and after graduating taught for two years. She then entered the School of Osteopathy at Kirksville, Missouri, graduating, and for two years practiced at Circleville, Ohio. Dr. Creswell came to Southern California with her parents. San Diego decided her in favor of this community, where now for twenty years she has performed her work as a skilled osteopath. Her parents also live here, and her brother, William Creswell, is San Diego sales representative of the Studebaker car. Dr. Creswell has made some splendid real estate investments and is now building a new bungalow at Illinois and Lincoln. She also has a beach home at Ocean Beach, near the Del Monte Cliffs. She goes to the beach to rest and enjoy her particular hobbies, flowers and the stars. She has always been a great lover of nature, is an enthusiastic golf player, swims and takes part in all other wholesome sports. Dr. Creswell is a charter member of the Business Woman's Club and a member of the Y. W. C. A., the Christian Church and the Amphion Club."