A Little Perspective on Travel Times

Those readers who may be facing some holiday driving time over the next week can take some comfort in an item from the San Diego Union back in June of 1880. It announced that “Two new stations have been created on the route of the Coast Line Stage Company” which provided service from San Diego to Anaheim.

One of the new stations was at Forster, the other near San Juan Capistrano. The article stated that this would increase the number of stations on the line from three to five.

Forster was a town on the northwest edge of Rancho Santa Margarita, along the San Onofre River. We know Rancho Margarita today as the site of Camp Pendleton.

The Union article said the addition of these two stations would actually serve to reduce the travel time from San Diego to Anaheim “a half hour or more” and that further arrangements were soon to be made “whereby the time will be reduced still further by four hours,” which would get it down to “a schedule of eighteen hours.”

Distance from San Diego to Anaheim: 96.6 miles.

Happy Travels and Happy Holidays, everyone!

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The Ingenious Mr. Bowron

Samuel Bowron and his wife Martha moved to San Diego County from Kansas in 1886, settling in the Poway Valley. He started out planting orchards and vineyards for others, soon acquiring some land of his own. He did all right, as an item from the San Diego Union of November 6, 1893 indicated.

“Mr. Bowron, a thriving rancher of Poway, has constructed for use on his ranch a raisin stemmer and grader, both of which work admirably and show considerable ingenuity on the part of their inventor,” stated the article, quoting from another local paper of the day, the Nuevo Sentinel, the paper of the community which would eventually become Ramona.

Samuel obviously needed mechanical help on his ranch, as well as farmhands. The article concluded that “Mr. Bowron has about four tons of raisins in hand, as well as a large quantity of other fruits.”

Bowron Road in Poway is named for this pioneering family.

Sources for this post included historic San Diego County newspapers, the 1899 San Diego City and County Directory, the 1993 book Paguay by Louhelen Elizabeth Hassan and the research of Mary Shepardson, journalist and vice-president of the Poway Historical and Memorial Society.

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