Tag Archive: Atascadero

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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Sep 16

Labor shortages and leg makeup, World War II week by week

Ad for Helena Rubinstein's leg makeup from the Sept. 3, 1942 Telegram-Tribune

World War II would drastically change society on the home front. Some changes were temporary and frivolous. Silk was needed for parachutes and rubber for tires; stockings were no longer on the shelves. The ingenuity of the cosmetics industry came to the aid of fashion conscious women. Leg makeup. You could even draw a seam …

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Jul 22

William Kullgren charged with sedition, World War II week by week

Front page news in the Telegram-Tribune, an Atascadero man was charged with sedition in 1942.

Hate speech is repugnant to me. Yet I don’t want the government making lists of what not to read and burning books. Often viewpoints now seen as mainstream started as an fringe view in the past. Voting rights for women and African-Americans were not mainstream views in the eyes of America’s founding fathers. Sometimes America …

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Apr 02

Leo the Lion takes a nap at the Atascadero Zoo

Leo the lion enjoys the sun on an April Sunday at the Atascadero Zoo. 4-14-1980 Ken Chen/Telegram-Tribune

Mar 15

Snow blankets the hills on Highway 41 between Atascadero and Morro Bay

Snow covers fields along Highway 41, winter scene at Antone J. Chves ranch between Morro Bay and Atascadero. ©Jim Vestal/Telegram-Tribune

Afternoon papers put special pressure on finding images the same day. If snow fell a phone call might come in before sunrise to get out and find a picture by first light and hustle back to the paper to develop, edit and print so the presses could run at noon with a picture from the …

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Oct 26

Armageddon in the sky, nuclear testing

March 29, 1955 The pre-dawn stillness of the Nevada desert was torn with a brilliant flash followed by a shock wave and roar. Atop a 500 foot steel tower, atoms collided violently at 4:55 am. A mushroom cloud lifted into pre-dawn sky, a small sun so powerful that the glow was "plainly visible" in San …

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Jul 04

Atascadero Lake Independence Day fireworks

Fireowrks over Atascadero Lake were provided by Jaycees. © Jack Wilson/The Tribune 7-4-1966 Two things never look good in black and white. Food and fireworks. Fireworks are one of the tricky things a newspaper photographer is tasked with recording. Back in the film days you couldn't check your images as you shot and make adjustments. …

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Jan 02

The very last baby, War Memorial Hospital – Paso Robles

Bedpans at Paso Robles Hospital up for  auction after it closed. 5-9-1977 ©The Tribune/Thom Halls

It is a rare thing to be the First Baby, even rarer to be the last. Jason Sturges came into the world as Paso Robles closed its hospital in February of 1977 as Twin Cities Hospital opened. Who were the twins that joined to form Twin Cities Hospital? The name was derived from Atascadero General …

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Jun 23

Too Much Monkey Business


Children of the 60s and 70s saw chimpanzees as friendly critters. They were dressed up in clothes, given a banana and portrayed as our funny cousins. The 1966 television show Daktari told the story of an African veterinarian and often episodes would feature Judy the chimp, this show didn’t play simian dress up. Episodes still …

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