Category Archive: Police/Fire

Jul 15

The Elg runs aground off Oceano

Freighter Elg aground in Oceano, 1938. Photo courtesy Karen White via Vivian Krug.

Vivian Krug from the South County Historical Society shares this item about a story outlined previously here in Photos from the Vault. September 1938 — A lumber freighter runs aground and the captain decides to lighten the ship by tossing cargo overboard. Free lumber was a big deal during the Depression and there were fights …

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Jul 12

Cannon returned to Mission San Miguel

Historic Spanish cannon stolen from Old Mission San Miguel a year ago is welcomed home by Brother Paul (left), Brother Martin (center with glasses) and Father Manuel, standing next to Sheriff Larry Mansfield, in white shirt. ©The Tribune

The negative files from the 1960s are a bit of a mess but sometimes something turns up several months or years after it is written about. To read the previously published story click here. Apparently this isn’t the only cannon that has been misplaced. The one in front of the Veteran’s Hall in San Luis …

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Jun 02

Tales from Attu, World War II week by week

June 1, 1943 Telegram-Tribune tells of invasion of Attu Island.

The delayed by censors story of the American’s drive against the Japanese on Attu Island featured two officers who had trained at Camp San Luis Obispo. Col. Frank Culin of Tuscon, Arizona and Maj. Albert V. Hartl of Bismarck, North Dakota. The fighting was grim up windswept mountains, fighting frostbite above the snowline in addition …

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May 07

The original shopping center for Atascadero

1917 Grand opening of the Mercantile/La Plaza building in Atascadero. It was behind the present day fire station.  Photo courtesy the Atascadero Historical Society

Edward Gardner Lewis and wife Mabel bought the 23,000 acre rancho that would become the colony of Atascadero for $850,000 in 1913. The utopian dreamer, land speculator and publisher envisioned a new city. By 1915 a tent city sold the subdivided lots and was the place for people to stay while building their homes. The …

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Apr 23

Atascadero State Hospital inmate stories

"In the long run a state hospital is worse than a prison, "  ASH patient. Published 11-20-1965 as part of a multi-part series on Atascadero State Hospital. Jim Vestal/Telegram Tribune.

I have been told by some who work in a prison setting, they prefer not to know an inmate’s history. All they can deal with is the now. It could be overwhelming to reflect on the combined damage a group of mental health patients had caused. In the mid-sixties a then new approach included group …

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Apr 16

Hearst Castle bombing by New World Liberation Front 1976

Investigators crunch through debris on veranda at Hearst Castle's Casa del Sol guest house, where bomb exploded Thursday (near center of photo.) 02-12-1976 ©The Tribune/Wayne Nicholls

A cowardly man with large ambition, weak ability and a large pile of explosives — stop me if you have heard this story before. It is almost always a man responsible. The story is more common than we care to admit. They slither out from under rocks every few decades, from anarchists in the 19th …

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Apr 15

Second escapee caught, World War II week by week

Telegram-Tribune from May 31, 1943.

The other man to escape from the new San Luis Obispo County Jail atop the new courthouse was caught. James W. Webb had been at large since November 27, 1942 and he was captured in Sacramento. He was hiding out in a house with a rifle, shotgun and a large amount of jewelry.

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 26

Jail break report – World War II Week by Week

January 13, 1943 edition of the Telegram-Tribune.

The grand jury blamed shoddy welding as the cause of the escape from the county’s new jail. The story came out in the January 6, 1943 edition of the Telegram-Tribune. They placed responsibility at the feet of the courthouse architects, Walker and Eisen. The architects could have been found guilty of putting an ugly building …

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Jan 23

Pestiferous household rodent frightened by young lady with lamp

The San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram, Jan. 10, 1909.

The Daily Telegram’s early years in San Luis Obispo were mediocre. Founded on principles of temperance, managed by committee, the paper knew how to scold alcohol consumers. The newspaper seemed befuddled when real news came to town. The writing was florid and repetitive, leading you to believe the paper was stretching to fill space and …

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