San Diego County’s Farming Heritage

The above item is from the Poway Progress newspaper’s May 4, 1894 issue. Its report on the hay and grain crop in Merle (now part of Leucadia) offers a glimpse of local agriculture during that period. A few years earlier, in December of 1888, the San Diego Union reported that “barley, oats and wheat are growing with great rapidity in Merle,” and that “grass and grain are over fifteen inches high” and reaching twenty inches in some places, insuring “plenty of feed for stock.”

One finds similar reports about communities all over San Diego County in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a time when the livestock population literally outnumbered the people, and barley and grain hadn’t yet given way to citrus and avocados.

You can find out more by attending my Oasis class, More Livestock Than People: San Diego’s Agricultural Heritage, in April at the Grossmont Learning Center.

If you’d like to sign up or just find out more, go to the Oasis website, https://www.oasisnet.org/San-Diego-CA , click on “Take A Class,” and type in 416.

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He came for the climate, then started a city.

 

 

 

Photo of Frank Kimball from the 1908 book, “History of San Diego 1542-1908”, by William Smythe.

Frank Kimball and his three brothers came to San Francisco in 1861 from New Hampshire, where their family had a business as building contractors. They started the same business in San Francisco and did quite well. However, Frank’s health began to deteriorate and his doctor urged him to seek a warmer, drier climate, so he and his brothers packed up and moved to San Diego County. The move did wonders for Frank’s health and also for his worklife. He and his brothers bought a former Mexican rancho just south of the city of San Diego. Originally called Rancho del Rey in homage to the king of Spain, the ranch was renamed Rancho de la Nacion when Mexico won its independence from Spain, reflecting the shifting of loyalty from kings to the newly independent nation of Mexico.

The Kimballs improvised on that name, seeking to develop their new town as National City. The rest, as they often say, is history.

Frank Kimball’s story is one of the topics covered in To Your Health! Tourism Comes to San Diego, a talk I’m giving on March 27 for San Diego Oasis at the Grossmont Center. To register for the class, visit https://www.oasisnet.org/San-Diego-CA/Classes and type in the class name.

Get Updates Automatically-Become A Follower of the San Diego History Seeker

You can get regular updates of San Diego History Seeker automatically in your email by clicking on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner of the blog page. You’ll then get an email asking you to confirm. Once you confirm you’ll be an active follower.