Monthly Archive: February 2012

Feb 28

Buy War Bonds, World War II bond drives

The war bond effort was illustrated with Uncle Sam in this February 2, 1942 edition of the then Telegram-Tribune.

One of the striking differences between the First and Second World Wars and later conflicts is the sense of shared sacrifice. Today politicians won’t ask for a tax increase to pay for a war or two and they don’t ask citizens to invest. During the Second World War those who weren’t in the Armed Forces …

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Feb 27

Reflections on Southern Pacific Engine 4449, star of the Pacific Daylight route

An aging Beauty stops to visit. Southern Pacific's 45-year-old Engine 4449 gathers steam early Sunday morning at San Luis Obispo's train depot. The 432-ton steam engine spent the night thee before pulling out at 7:15 a.m. en route to Walt Disney studios in Southern California. About 200 people showed up to see the locomotive off. 'It was just gorgeous,' a dispatcher said of 4449. See story 5/A

This photo is a thing of wonder and beauty on two levels. To start, anytime an old steam engine rides out of history into the present traffic stops. Railfans come from all over with their cameras to record the event. Southern Pacific 4449 was built in 1941 and is the last operable streamlined Art Deco …

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Feb 25

Submarine shells Santa Barbara refinery, World War II week by week

Japanese submarine shells refinery north of Santa Barbara, front page news in the then Telegram-Tribune February 24, 1942.

Seventy years ago it wasn’t geopolitical strategy that drew Captain Nishino Kozo to the oil town of Ellwood, California. When the submarine I-17 surfaced the target was revenge. If American oil facilities were destroyed all the better but the Captain had a bitter and personal score to settle. Regular readers of this column will recall …

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Feb 23

The leaning San Luis Obispo water tower, when demolitions go awry

The old General Fireproofing water tower is demolished. The 100,000-gallon tower was located off of Southwood Drive in San Luis Obispo. ©The Tribune/Wayne Nicholls

Though the moment was fleeting, San Luis Obispo could have been mentioned in the same breath as Pisa, Italy. For a few hours in the summer of 1980, a failed demolition attempt gave the town a leaning water tower. There is nothing like high explosives and an defunct relic to make a good picture. The …

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Feb 22

The 1914 flood in Arroyo Grande, the Leonard Collection

Late January 1914 brought flooding in Arroyo Grande undermining Bridge Street's bridge.

The epic flooding of 1914 has been covered in two previous posts. One shows flooding as Tally Ho Creek cuts through Branch Street in Arroyo Grande. The other shows the structure that gives Bridge Street a name, undermined by flooding. This looks to be the same bridge from the opposite point of view and view …

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Feb 21

Bataan Tank battle, World War II week by week

Telegram-Tribune tells of WWII Japanese advances Feb. 14, 1942.

To give you an idea of how badly the war was going at this point, the newspaper resorted to making things up. Since the U.S. Navy had no victories at sea the front page centerpiece art was from news feature service artist. It was an imaginary battle where the Americans were winning. James Bradley and …

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Feb 17

Madonna Inn fire of 1966

Alex Madonna could not resist picking up a loose fire hose but by then a 12 units section was fully involved. San Luis Obispo firefighters  responded to the Madonna Inn May 27, 1966. ©Jim Vestal/Telegram-Tribune

Fires are the bane of hotels. A roll call of lost county landmarks  include the Ramona, Paso Robles Hot Springs and El Paso de Robles. Today public buildings are required to have sprinklers and even California homes built after January 1, 2011 are required to have sprinklers. The Madonna Inn’s first rooms were completed December …

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Feb 14

Morro Bay Power Plant

PG&E's Morro Bay Powerplant. The first smokestack. From 7-7-1955 dedication edition of the Telegram-Tribune

When the Morro Bay Power Plant generated its first kilowatt it was an engineering marvel, even if it had only one smokestack. The special section published July 7, 1955 as the plant built by PG&E plant opened contains a lot of eye openers. According to the Bechtel advertisement the plant’s desalting component was believed to …

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Feb 13

Pismo Beach Fashion 1900s, Leonard collection

Women's and men's beach fashion circa 1900 at Pismo Beach.

This appears to be he height of beach fashion at Pismo Beach circa early 1900s. The flat beach leads me to guess Pismo Beach, a destination for tourists after the railroad went through in the early 20th century. The man is wearing a handsome two piece swim suit while the woman has on a stylish …

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Feb 12

Japanese relocation, World War II week by week

The first Pearl Harbor photos were released by the military almost a month after the attack. Telegram Tribune Feb. 3, 1942

Seventy years ago the Japanese residents of the county were about to be sent to relocation camps. Some lost everything, others had more caring neighbors as seen in the story below published February 21, 2000. RECALLING CENTRAL COAST’S ‘SILENT HEROES’ WHEN JAPANESE-AMERICANS WERE PLACED IN CAMPS IN WWII, THEIR NEIGHBORS STOOD BY THEM by Andrea …

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