You Might Say: A Tale of New Cities

Below is a  clipping of part of the front page of the San Diego Union issue of March 20, 1871.

I clipped this excerpt, which appeared at the top of column 1, as a snapshot of San Diego history. Please note the “Vol. 1” in the upper left. I included that detail because this issue was “Volume 1, Number One,” in other words, the Union’s very first issue as a daily paper. Up to then it had been only published weekly. Douglas Gunn, whose name appears on the paper’s masthead as a co-publisher-proprietor with S.W. Bushyhead, had in 1868 purchased a small interest in what was then the Weekly Union. In 1871 he assumed greater financial and editorial control and took the paper daily as of March 20.

Simultaneously with turning the paper into a daily, Gunn also moved the paper’s press from offices in what we today call Old Town San Diego to an emerging “New Town,”beginning to take shape closer to San Diego Bay.

The emergence of “New Town” is evident in the clip immediately below the paper’s masthead, displaying the “Business Card” of Alonzo Horton, who had purchased 900 acres in 1867 and begun developing it under various names including “Horton’s Extension” or “Horton’s Addition,” with the support of many in the then-small city (population less than 3,000), including Douglas Gunn and his newspaper.

The neighborhood’s name was still evolving, as evidenced a little over a week later, when the Union posted a legal notice in its April 1 issue from a state district court judge, then sitting in Los Angeles:

Sources for this post included historic San Diego newspapers, an August 2011 Union-Tribune article by historian Richard Crawford, and the 1887 book, Picturesque San Diego, With Historical and Descriptive Notes, by Douglas Gunn.


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