Tag Archive: Avila Beach

Mar 26

Pirate’s Cove before it was a nude beach 1965


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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Feb 17

Avila Beach land acquired, World War II week by week

Telegram-Tribune front page from Feb. 16, 1943.

One item missed in the last couple of reviews from 1943 was the purchase of property for public use in Avila Beach. From January 28, 1943: Avila Beach Purchase Is Approved County acquisition of Avila beach frontage was approved at the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission meeting Wednesday afternoon, with members passing a motion …

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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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Jan 03

Blasting Highway 101 near Pismo Beach

MOUNTAIN MOVERS...Giant explosion rips away outcropping of stubborn rock during fill operations at the new Avila Beach road undercrossing site adjacent to U.S. Highway 101 on Wednesday afternoon. The charge, biggest shot in the project so far, scattered huge boulders for hundreds of feet. Traffic was backed up for more than a mile as workers took 15 minutes to clear the rubble from the roadway. ©The Tribune

We take it for granted, passing by at 65 miles per hour. The notch in the hill between San Luis Creek and Pismo Beach is not a natural feature, it been shaped and carved. On Sept. 26, 1963 Telegram-Tribune staff writer Tom Harris wrote about the work: New Route for 101 The face-lifting job freeway …

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Dec 10

Atomic Adobe, Diablo Canyon construction site

Ruins of adobe near planned Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant from March 2, 1968. ©The Tribune

The nuclear age dawned almost exactly 70 years ago under an abandoned University of Chicago football stadium on Dec. 2, 1942. Physicists Arthur Compton and Enrico Fermi conducted the first nuclear chain reaction. America and Great Britain provided home for many scientists fleeing Fascist oppression. Science thrives with the unfettered exchange of ideas. Ideology is …

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Aug 29

Lifeguard competition, Avila Beach


Sharp, well lit, clean background, good expression, peak action, correctly exposed this photo has what it takes to win contests. Of course back then it was manual exposure and focus. The Daryl did a great job making the background neutral and picking the decisive moment. Now cameras are so automated that technically good images are …

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Jun 19

Sir Francis Drake, the pirate of Pirate’s Cove

Carl Kreighbaum, left, and Richard Dobson look over square holes cut in rock which they believe were made there by Sir Francis Drake's men in 1579.  ©The Tribune

I had a foolproof method to get rich in fourth grade. Poring over a Scholastic Book Club catalog I discovered a paperback that promised the locations of sunken ships and buried treasure. This was just too easy. For a couple of weeks allowance and another week of finger crossed delivery anticipation, then it would just …

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Oct 24

Avila Beach in 1941

Avila Beach 1941 ©The Tribune Lifeguards sponsored by the WPA, County and chamber of commerce appeared for the first time tin 1941 on county beaches. One August day it was estimated that there were 10,000 enjoying the sun and sand at Avila Beach.

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