Category Archive: Environment

Jul 19

Pismo Pier plans from the past

Artists rendering of what the Pismo Beach pier could become from 1988.

Pismo Beach is currently setting goals for the future of downtown. At one time there was talk of putting commercial space on the diamonds of the pier, newly rebuilt from storm damage. The artist can’t seem to decide if it is summer (left side of pier) or winter. The prevailing wind appears to be opposite …

Continue reading »

Jun 17

Paso Robles land rush 1982

Prospective land buyers lined up for free breakfast in Paso Robles Saturday morning. Hot air balloon marked the sale site. ©Phil Dirkx/The Tribune.

This week the Tribune publishes a five part series on water. The seeds for the issue were being planted in the late 20th Century as Paso Robles expanded to the east side of the Salinas River. The property values seem economical when you look back 30 years but property buyers at the time also had …

Continue reading »

Jun 12

Uncovering Moses of Guadalupe, Cecil B. DeMille films Ten Commandments in 1923

Glen Wharton shows a portion of Cecil B. DeMille's set for the 1923 movie The Ten Commandments, filmed in the Guadalupe Dunes. The set had been buried in sand for over 65 years when it was uncovered in the 1990.
©The Tribune/David Middlecamp

Is it archeology when the artifacts are actually movie prop replicas made of plaster? Ancient Egypt has long captured the imagination of story tellers and in 1923 Cecil B. DeMille was setting the standard for epic movies, before color and sound had come into the picture. He would later remake the epic story in color …

Continue reading »

May 29

Dunite Days in the Oceano Dunes

Ellwood Decker was an artist and one of the last of the dunites. ©Telegram-Tribune/Sharon Lewis Dickerson

Ephemeric characters flash through history like shooting stars, rarely remembered beyond their days. Visionaries, dreamers and mystics rarely get remembered. Usually that honor goes to industrialists, generals, politicians and entertainers. Dreams aren’t worth a memorial if no one made a buck off it or won a battle. A rare exception is coming up. The first …

Continue reading »

Apr 10

Freeway construction begins in San Luis Obispo, 1952

Construction began in Spring of 1952 on the 101 freeway in San Luis Obispo.

It takes less time to travel this section of freeway than it takes to read about it. If you want to see the before picture click here. The Telegram-Tribune of March 25, 1952 carried the story: WORK STARTS ON S.L.O. FREEWAY Big Crossing Structures Come First Construction started today on the first of several freeway …

Continue reading »

Mar 26

Pirate’s Cove before it was a nude beach 1965

1966-07-12-Pirates-cove

Norman Coy, shared a story from his childhood after reading a previous post on Pirate’s Cove. During World War II fake gun emplacements were placed on the bluff to protect the Union Oil facility. Though the “guns” were only telephone poles, aimed at the never to arrive Japanese fleet, live men staffed the positions and …

Continue reading »

Mar 10

Mining Chrome, World War II week by week

Telegram-Tribune headlines about the war and rationing from Feb. 24, 1943.

Of the 20 headlined stories and briefs on the front page Feb. 24, 1943 only three were not related to the war, wartime rationing and production. Camp Roberts awarded two contracts for housing and a third was launched a week ago. Dorm units, temporary dwelling units and a trailer park site would add 495 units …

Continue reading »

Mar 01

SLO Uncovered – Pirate’s Cove, the naked truth about the origin of a nude beach

Pirate's Cove became known as a nude beach in the early 1970s.

Originally all the beaches in the county were clothing optional. According to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, traditional Chumash garb was a two-piece skirt for women and perhaps a belt for men. Then along came the Spanish friars and beach attire became more modest. When did Pirate’s Cove become the Mecca for nude …

Continue reading »

Feb 27

Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, guiding the way to San Simeon

AN OLD VIEW...The Piedras Blancas Light Station grounds looked like this a long time ago. The light keepers dwelling in the foreground has been removed and is now a private residence in Cambria. Most of these older structures have been removed or torn down to make way for modern living quarters for the Coast Guard force manning the station and their families. This old photograph was provided by the San Luis Obispo County Museum and is from the remarkable Irene Carpenter Collection of Historic San Luis Obispo County pictures.

In our present era of GPS location finding, a lighthouse is a relic of man’s attempt to impose order on the chaos of nature. By the 1970s the remaining manned lighthouses were converted to automated stations ending what had been a century old occupation in some locations. Light keepers would faithfully clean lenses and light …

Continue reading »

Feb 22

Union Oil pier collapse, the storm of 1983

The Union Oil pier in Avila Beach collapses into the surf Tuesday afternoon after pounding waves undermined its pilings. 
©Ken Chen/Telegram-Tribune

Periodically big storms come in and wreak havoc with piers. For example in 1907 the Oilport pier, in what is now known as Shell Beach was demolished by a fierce storm. The pier at Port San Luis is usually the most sheltered in the region but thirty years ago no place was immune. The winter …

Continue reading »

Older posts «