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8th July
2014
written by Richard
A grove of eucalyptus in Rancho Santa Fe.

A grove of eucalyptus in Rancho Santa Fe.

San Diegans planted olive trees by the hundred, citrus by the thousand and eucalyptus trees by the multi-million . . . the coming of the eucalyptus from Australia was the long awaited Millennium—practically a supernatural beneficence to every area of life: economical, medicinal, and ethereal.  –Leland G. Stanford, San Diego librarian and author.

The story of San Diego’s eucalyptus trees.

30th June
2014
written by Richard

Here’s a mystery image from a collection of Spreckels-era transit records.  Anyone recognize the date and place? SD Transit

26th June
2014
written by Richard

bomb blast

An atomic bomb blast in San Diego Bay? No. More like a mushroom of smoke, mud, and water propelled by 2,040 pounds of TNT in seven feet of water. This bomb was detonated by the Naval Electronics Laboratory just a few miles from the Hotel del Coronado in June 1946. The scale model experiment recorded wave intensity from underwater explosions. The San Diego blast was a warm-up exercise for the world’s first underwater nuclear bomb explosion at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands on July 24, 1946.

22nd June
2014
written by Richard

Many thanks to the San Diego Book Awards Association, which held their 20th annual awards ceremony last night and gave San Diego Yesterday the prize for Local Interest.  My gratitude to the judges and this fine organization!

Best Published Local Interest
Richard W. Crawford
San Diego Yesterday

bookcover_awarded

20th June
2014
written by Richard

Yesterday Tent City had a big crowd as the forerunner of the record breaker which is expected today. Every tent was crowded to capacity and day visitors packed the boats on every trip across the bay.  –San Diego Union, July 4, 1910

Fourth of July celebrations in the early 1900s were huge civic affairs. And no city did it better than Coronado in 1910. Read about Coronado’s 4th of July.

Coronado's Tent City in the early 1900s.

Coronado’s Tent City in the early 1900s.

3rd June
2014
written by Richard

Last summer the collections of the San Diego Central Library moved to a new building at 330 Park Blvd. For the past several months the staff of Special Collections has been busily unpacking and arranging boxes of materials once relegated to the basement of our old building. Among reams of material we make discoveries. Below is a forgotten architectural rendering of the proposed Carnegie Library. The completed structure, designed by the New York firm of Ackerman and Ross, was dedicated in April 1902.

Ackerman & Ross, Architects

Ackerman & Ross, Architects

14th April
2014
written by Richard

In honor of National Library Week (April 13-19) here’s a little San Diego library trivia:

One of the smaller branches of the San Diego Public Library was the Marston Store branch.  As “a convenience to tourists and shoppers,” the room opened in 1917 on the 5th floor of the famed department store at 5th and C Streets.  The branch closed in 1921 and its collection was moved to the new Mission Hills branch.

br_mr1Marstons branch

 

26th March
2014
written by Richard
Available at Amazon.com.

Available at Amazon.com.

 

I’ve just created a new Facebook page for San Diego Yesterday–the book, that is. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoYesterday

19th March
2014
written by Richard
Alonzo Horton, ca. 1868.

Alonzo Horton, ca. 1868.

Mr. A. E. Horton yesterday donated to the San Diego Free Reading Room Association his fine library. It will be remembered by old residents that this library was bought as the nucleus for a public institution some time ago—Mr. Horton having paid a large sum of money for it.  –San Diego Union, May 21, 1873.

San Diego’s first public library struggled to open its doors. A large book donation by city father Alonzo Horton was a start. But there were strings attached. . .

The story of San Diego’s First Library.

12th March
2014
written by Richard

With a roar that rocked the walls of the Savage Tire Company three hundred yards away, shook a trolley car on the rails five blocks off, and rattled the windows in the houses within the radius of over a mile, the Standard Oil Company’s 250,000-gallon distillate tanks blew up yesterday just before noon . . . –San Diego Union, October 6, 1913.

It was the most spectacular fire San Diego had ever seen. On Sunday morning, October 5, 1913, oil tanks at the Standard Oil Company plant at the foot of 26th Street exploded. The story of The Great Standard Oil Fire.

Union_Oct_7_1913

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