Recognize San Marcos?

San Marcos today is a city with upwards of 84,000 people. How things have changed from January of 1906, when the San Diego Union, in its New Year’s Day issue, presented a section about the then very rural “little valley of St. Mark.”

Among other details, the article noted that “In the valley there are 104 dwelling houses, all but a few occupied, and most of them by their owners.”

What did the residents do for a living? The chief crops of the valley, according to the Union, were “grain and hay,” but there were also “some fine orchards of olives, walnuts, prunes, apricots, peaches, oranges, lemons, etc.” The adjoining Twin Oaks Valley, noted the article,“is famous for its vineyards and its claret, port, muscatel and angelica wines. Everybody raises chickens as a side issue, some make it a profitable business and several fanciers have fancy chicken ranches.”

The previous year of 1905 “has been one of general prosperity for the ranchers. Prices for grain and hay and hogs have been above the average. Of the large crop of wild oat hay made, over 1,000 tons are held for future sale, when the market demands that particular kind of hay. The bees made lots of money, and their owners made lots of money. The present indications point to even better results all around for next year.”

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