You can learn a lot about local history from reading the columns of old newspapers. Ranging from local gossip to hard news and points in between, these columns offer snapshots of local life in San Diego County.
Come to think of it, can we, in this digitized age, still talk about “snapshots?” Hey, it’s my blog. So here are a few snapshots of life in San Diego County, gleaned from newspaper columns in late July and early August, 1894, 120 years ago.
In the Poway Valley:
“Niles Nelson hopes to harvest about 2 ½ tons of peaches, ½ tons of prunes, and 25 tons of raisin grapes.”
“J. C. Kear took a load of barley hay to San Diego last Saturday and brought back a load of flour and sugar.”
“B. F. Fickas is deepening Rev. H. C. Abernethy’s well, it having failed to do its duty at a depth of 42 feet.”
Meanwhile, over in the El Cajon Valley:
“Geo. A. Telford was in Tuesday from Nuevo [that’s Ramona today] and sold 3 tons of barley hay to Bascom & Co. for $15.50 a ton. Mr. Telford has considerable more baling yet to do.”
“Judge J. T. Cox’s deciduous trees are making a fine showing—apple and pear trees being loaded with choice fruit. Irrigation, through cultivation, and good soil are prime factors in profitable horticulture.”
Some samplings from Encinitas:
“Figs are ripening.”
“Harvesting beans has begun.”
“A steam thresher has been at work on the Metcalf ranch.”
“Sweet corn is in roasting ears.”
“The Derby house has been beautified with a new coat of paint.”
And this from a Poway Progress column titled “Busy Jamul”:
“The name Harmony was given to the new precinct in Jamul by Supervisor Nason. From all available evidence the general harmony that has prevailed in Jamul for the last year has given occasion for this unique and not altogether inappropriate name.”
The column goes on to describe a number of different farms “busily engaged in drying and preserving fruit,” and closes with this other hint of why Jamul might be so “busy”:
“E. S. Babcock is going to run a branch of the water line from Mount Tecate through Jamul. Those who wish to buy land in this garden spot of San Diego county should apply at once, as a consequent raise will be made as soon as the water is brought in.”
Then we swing back to the coast, where, according to the August 2, 1894 San Diego Union:
“Quite a number of families from the interior valleys are camping at Oceanside, enjoying the sea breezes. Most of them pitched their tents along the bluff.
The pleasure wharf is completed to low-water line. The iron to build it to 450 feet to deep water is expected here next week…”
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History Happenings-Upcoming Events in the Local History Community
Rancho Bernardo Historical Society presents the 4th annual RB Tastings Festival Saturday, August 2, 1-4 pm at the Bernardo Winery. Your ticket gets you live music, local wines, craft beers, food tastings, a fabulous silent auction, a classic car show, and a free logo wine glass! Tickets $25 per person in advance, $30 at gate. Advance tickets available at www.rbtastings.com . Further info at www.rbhistoricalsociety.org .
The Escondido History Center and the City of Escondido Recreation Department present summer Movies in the Park at Grape Day Park on Saturdays. Next up: Despicable Me 2, August 2. For further info, visit http://www.escondidohistory.org/movies_2014_flyer.pdf .
Vista Historical Society presents their Summer Barbecue at the Vista Historical Museum Saturday, August 16, 4-7 p.m. Good food, live music and free silhouettes by Sweet Silhouette. Tickets $30 per person, $50 per couple, $10 for kids 12 and under. For more info call 760-630-0444.
The San Marcos Historical Society offers tours of the historic Cox and Bidwell houses Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 2 and 3 p.m. or by appointment. For further info visit http://www.smhistory.org/historic-home-tours .