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.