“Dehesa Doings”

“Dehesa Doings” was the name of a column that appeared regularly in the Poway Progress, a weekly that was published out of the Poway Valley from 1894 to 1897.

Each issue offered columns about news in various county communities, with titles like “Poway Points,” “San Diego Siftings” and “Lakeside Letters.”

Each column’s entries ranged from hard news to local gossip and points in between.

The correspondent for each column generally signed them with initials, a partial name or a nickname. It’s possible that they were all aliases for the paper’s editor, George W. Parnell.

“Dehesa Doings” for the issue of January 12, 1895 followed the usual formula, which offers readers today a snapshot of the economic and social life in the valley at that time.

“The rainfall last Saturday registered 1.25 inches, making a total to date of 4.85 inches,” the column began. “The click of pruning shears is heard throughout the valley.”

“J. S. Harbeson spent Saturday and Sunday at his bee ranch,” the column went on, mentioning the name of the man whose name is now affixed to the canyon the Dehesa Valley heads.

Locals were invited to an upcoming event at the local schoolhouse, “consisting of a literary and musical program, followed by a dance given by members of the athletic club.”

The “Dehesa Doings” correspondent was listed simply as “Olives.” That might tell you something about the Dehesa farm scene at the time, as borne out by another item: “Mr. Allen estimates his olive crop at 30 tons, making a yield of about three tons of fruit per acre, as he has ten acres bearing.”

Sources for this post included historic San Diego County newspapers and the book, San Diego County Place Names A to Z, by Leland Fetzer.

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2 thoughts on ““Dehesa Doings”

  1. Might i reach you vincent ? I would like to ask a few questions of the history seeker — vital and antoine reche helped found this area (antoine – temecula/ vital – fallbrook) but looking for documents spelling and pronouncing the last name. According to french liguist it should be
    RECHE (as in creme FRECHe ) others want to make it RICHEY , rechay – while family pronounces it RECHE (Ray-sh). Perhaps you can guide me to a former newspaper no longer in existence which ran a story in 1979 – the RECHE FAMILY …..it was the reche canyon news.
    Want to be part of the discovery team? Nancy Heins-Glaser/FALLBROOK resident since 2013.
    Producer/director “Once Upon A Gaslight.: A Walking Tour Of South Orange “(NJ) 2001-05.
    TRT 53 minutes. MANY THANKS: 973-477-7914/760-645-3515

    • Hello Ms. Heins-Glaser:

      Thank you for your query. You might want to look at my blog post of August 3, 2015, “The Evolution of Fall Brook” (Go to the Archive, click on August 2015 and scroll down). That post was in turn based on a chapter in my book, Valleys of Dreams, entitled, “They Gave Fallbrook It’s Name.” I’d further recommend visiting the Fallbrook Historical Society, in whose archives I found most of my info on the Reche family.
      Good luck!

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