Category Archive: 1800s

Mar 07

Ernst Brothers storehouse and Sperry Flour Mill, Paso Robles

Ernst Brothers grain warehouse slated for demolition.

Wheat was once among the royalty of the cash crops in the region but now it is not even in the top 20. Look at the list of agricultural products in the 2011 crop statistics report put out by the county and very little of it is dry land farming. One of those end of …

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Feb 12

Avila truss bridge collapses, vestage of the Pacific Coast Railway

The 98-year-old Pacific Coast Railway bridge near Port San Luis collapsed on its own weight in San Luis Creek.
©Wayne Nicholls/Telegram-Tribune

You may have wondered about the mysterious henge looming beside San Luis Creek in Avila Beach. It is one of the last remaining monuments to the dawn of modern Central Coast transportation, the Pacific Coast Railway. The concrete plinth was an underpinning to Bridge No. 5. The narrow gauge rails were in use for 66 …

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Feb 06

Demolition and partial reconstruction of the Murray Adobe


In an Elliot Curry bylined story from March 7, 1967 the shape of Mission Plaza was under debate. The mayor, Clell Whelchel, was skeptical about closing Monterey Street. He wanted to use gas tax funds and keep the street open. Would the Murray adobe become victim of a street-widening proposal? Loren Nicholson, president of the …

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Feb 05

The law office of Walter Murray

What happened to the Murray Adobe and why should we care? Today’s column addresses the second question; Wednesday’s will address the first. Walter Murray was one of key formative personalities in San Luis Obispo County as the region made the transition from Mexican rule to American. The English born and educated in law, Murray came …

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Jan 30

Name that Adobe, more hints

The Murray Adobe in June 1971 in Mission Plaza. ©Wayne Nicholls/The Tribune

In 1967 the city council was trying to decide if it wanted to keep over century-old adobe. It was the birthplace of the oldest continually operating business in the county. Do you know what building this is? In 1967 the city council was trying to decide if it wanted to keep an over 100-year-old adobe …

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Jan 29

Name that adobe

The Murray Adobe in 1967, before Mission Plaza was built.

This week a little different format, the photo is a bit of a mental scavenger hunt. Can you name this building?

Jan 07

Outlaw Solomon Pico, was he the real Zorro?

From the Daily Telegram Nov. 4&5 special edition celebrating the opening of a Cuesta Grade expansion.

Outlaws made travel by road on the Central Coast in the mid-1800s hazardous to your health. The term outlaw implies that there is some form of capable law enforcement but in 1850 California was a newborn state. Though San Luis Obispo was a charter county the mechanics of government were not yet effective. There were …

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Nov 23

Goldtree Brothers, pioneer merchants in San Luis Obispo and San Miguel

Legal notice in the Nov. 27, 1857 Tribune told the story of the Goldtree business expanding to San Migue.

They advertised in the first issue of the first newspaper in San Luis Obispo, the San Luis Obispo Pioneer, and were the Wal-Mart of their day. The ad on January 4, 1868 touts GOLDTREE BROS. The Oldest Business House in San Luis Obispo. Established, 1856.” Keep constantly on hand, and offer for sale to the …

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Oct 05

Price Anniversary House, before it was restored

The wood covering for the three-gabled house was destroyed by fire a few years after this story and now little is left of the adobe walls. ©David Middlecamp/The Tribune

In the historical preservation process there are happy endings and sad ones. The Price Anniversary house looks a whole lot better than it did in 1987. The story headline was optimistic. It has taken years and a series of efforts by many volunteers but now the once dilapidated house is the centerpiece of a park. …

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Sep 24

Shanghi Low no longer part of the skyline

ODD MIX: Chris Cothard stands outside his Palindromes pizza restaurant beneath the historical but unrelated "Chop Suey' sign. He says it has misled and angered some customers. The photo was from a story published Nov. 25, 1996 ©Telegram-Tribune/Jayson Mellom

Thirteen years after the following story was written the Shanghi Low building is laid low. The area is part of the Copeland’s Chinatown redevelopment slated for much of this block. On May 12, 1999 Telegram-Tribune reporter Mike Stover wrote about plans to knock down the brick building with the Shanghi Low Chop Suey sign on …

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