“Out West in San Diego County…”

Daley Ranch aerial photo 19 Jan 1948

Grain fields at Daley Ranch, 1948, from the archives of the Rancho Bernardo Historical Society.

“Out West in San Diego County, Where Wide Open Spaces Still Are Found,” was the headline on a brief article in the San Diego Union on February 2, 1927. The subject of the item was the ranch of George R. Daley, “situated in the rolling hills of Bernardo, near picturesque Lake Hodges of the city’s water system.”

Rancho San Bernardo was indeed a wide open space then, 6,000 acres of grain and pasture bordered by Lake Hodges on the north, Rancho Penasquitos on the south, the Bermardo Winery on the east, and 4S Ranch on the west.

“We raised oat hay on the red lands and barley on the adobe hills where you could thresh it,” said Donald Daley, Sr. in a 2006 interview with me. Donald Daley, who died in 2007, and his brother Lawrence, who died in 2002, were the last ranchers on the land that became today’s urban neighborhood of Rancho Bernardo.

At first they raised horses and mules for their farming and construction businesses. Cattle came later, in the 1930s. Up to the early 1950s, cowboys from the Daley ranch and neighboring spreads were leading cattle drives along Highway 395, the two-lane road that in those days was the only link between the city of San Diego and North County.

Into the mid-1950s ranch hands could still be seen wearing holstered Colt revolvers on the streets of downtown Escondido.

In 1961 the Daley brothers agreed to a joint venture with Harry Summers and W. R. Hawn to develop Rancho San Bernardo into a planned urban community, to be called Rancho Bernardo.

Sources for this post included historic San Diego newspapers, interviews with members of the Daley family and with Bob Williams, another rancher and Daley family friend, and the archives of the Rancho Bernardo Historical Society.

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Banner

Once there was a town in San Diego County called Banner. Here’s a photo of its public school as it looked in 1887, from the book Picturesque San Diego:

Banner school

Looks idyllically rural, doesn’t it? Well, it was rural, but most of its residents made their living in a pretty gritty (in the most meaningful sense of the word), noisy and dangerous environment. Of course, it could be lucrative work too. It was gold mining country.

“Banner is the leading mining center of San Diego County,” began the description for the town’s listing in the 1897 Directory of San Diego City and County. “It is in the Julian country, four miles east of Julian and 64 miles north-east from San Diego, on the desert side of the mountain range.”

That description was followed by a list of 50 residents and their occupations. Of the 50, 36 were miners. Four were mine owners, the remaining ten farmers, stockmen and a merchant.

The four mine owners were brothers, the Baileys, who established the mine they named Ready Relief in 1870. The name is said to have come from the fact that one of the brothers, Drury D. Bailey, was down on his luck when they struck gold while digging near Banner Canyon. That change of fortune turned into a successful mining and milling operation during the heyday of mining in the Julian area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

“The Ready Relief Mining Company is engaged in getting its new pumping apparatus and hosting machinery into place in the Redman mine,” noted an item in the San Diego Union on April 11, 1895. “All the machinery will be in place in a few days and will be operated by water power from the plant at the Ready Relief.”

The Redman mine was owned by Louis Redman, whose discovery of gold in 1870 in what was called Chariot Canyon triggered a rush of other diggers like the Baileys to the country east of Julian. Redman is said to have planted a banner to mark his discovery, which is why the canyon and mining town wound up being called Banner rather than Redman. That’s history for you.

Sources for this post included historic San Diego newspapers and two books by Richard Fetzer, San Diego County Place Names A to Z, and A Good Camp: Gold Mines of Julian and the Cuyamacas.

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A Hot Water Bottle and A Ticket to Ride at Fifth and F

“Changed Hands” was the header on a short item in the San Diego Evening Tribune on Wednesday, November 6, 1901. It was about the change of ownership at what had been Chase’s Drug Store at Fifth and F in downtown San Diego.

Mr. Chase was retiring, the article explained, and selling his business to “Mr. Hazelrigg, an Indiana man, who has been clerking at one of the large stores in Los Angeles for the past four months.”

Dyar C. Hazelrigg was indeed a native Midwesterner, like a lot of others who flocked to California in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Greensburg, Indiana in 1866, he graduated from the Chicago College of Pharmacy in 1890. As late as June 1900, he was still in the Midwest, working as a druggist and living in the town of Rushville, Indiana with his wife Grace. Dyar was 33 and Grace was 28, as recorded in the 1900 U. S. Census.

Yet within a year the young couple had pulled up roots and headed to southern California, where Dyar soon took over a thriving business and set about making it his own. The ads he ran regularly in San Diego newspapers in his first few years, while having his name in large letters, also always reminded people that he was “Successor to Chas. A. Chase.”

An ad that regularly ran in the Evening Tribune in early 1902 began with a list of “Mid-Winter Suggestions.”

“A hot water bag is good for various little aches and pains, and is most excellent for cold feet. We have a good one for 75 cents,” was one suggestion. Another: “That cough is beginning to trouble you is it? Our Syrup of White Pine with Honey is good. It goes to the spot and quickly gives relief. 25 cents per bottle.”

You can learn a lot about the state of pharmacy in times past by looking at old pharmacy ads. Sometimes you might learn more than you’d really care to know. I won’t go into any more detail on what problem “De Witt’s Little Early Risers” were supposed to be good for, but Hazelrigg’s sold them too.

His drug store was, for a time, a regular stop for stagecoaches as well.

“The Escondido Stage Line leaves Hazelrigg’s drug store, Fifth and F, and Strahlman-Mayer drug store, Fourth and D, daily at 8:15 a. m.,” stated an ad in the San Diego Union’s transportation pages on November 12, 1902.

The store continued as a transit hub for a time as horse-driven stages were replaced by motorized ones, as shown by this ad in the Union from June 1908 for the “Escondido Automobile Line”:

“Automobiles carrying passengers, light express and mail, will leave Hazelrigg’s Drug Store, 5th and F, 7:30 a. m. daily, except Sundays, making trip in 3 hours. For reservations call or phone drug store, Main 461, or Home 1461.”

Sources for this post included historic San Diego newspapers, U. S. census records, and The Journal of San Diego History.

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A Great Online Resource

 

PSD53

Photo of San Diego waterfront from the 1887 book, Picturesque San Diego, available from the Internet Archive.

 

Taking some time this week to highlight a great source of San Diego history that I’ve made use of and that all readers of this blog can use as well. The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of “universal access to all knowledge.” It provides free access to researchers, historians, scholars and the general public to tons of digitized historical materials, including (at last count) almost three million public-domain books (that’s books old enough to be beyond copyright) along with other media including videos and websites.

Among books I’ve been able to download from the website are Picturesque San Diego, originally published in 1887, and Birding On A Bronco, from 1896, as well as selections from the magazine Land of Sunshine, which ran from the mid-1890s through the early 1920s. Thanks to the dedicated work of the Internet Archive’s employees, I’ve been able to write about and share photos from these historic publications with this blog’s readers. Here are some more examples of photos from this great resource, two pages from Land of Sunshine magazine from 1899 and 1894, respectively :

landsunshine01unkngoog_0355

 

Hosmer P McKoon Land of Sunshine page

And I’ve just scratched the surface. I searched for “San Diego History” and got 461 hits, and that was just printed stuff! And that was just San Diego! Whoa, I’m starting to sound like the historians’ equivalent of one of those physicists on “The Big Bang Theory” talking about a Star Trek convention. Anyway, I’d heartily recommend that you all explore this storehouse of knowledge. The website is https://archive.org/index.php

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