Tag Archive: Port San Luis

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 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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Sep 08

End of the line for the Pacific Coast Railway Company, World War II week by week

Herbert Lawrence Block better known as Herblock was beginning his career as a cartoonist with the Newspaper Enterprise Association. He would win a Pulitzer Prize in 1942 and later be the Washinton Post's editorial cartoonist.

America needed steel to build tanks, trucks, landing craft, ships, aircraft, and machine guns. Not only was the nation gearing up to fight a war on two fronts but it was also filling the arsenals of Great Britain and the Soviet Union. The Axis powers had several years head start and some key raw materials …

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Mar 20

1878 Central Coast Tsunami

San Luis Obispo Tribune, November 23, 1878 Tsunami story A wave big enough to come over the sandspit in Morro Bay? Really? Pat Pemberton recently wrote a fascinating overview of the history of tsunamis on the Central Coast. I wanted to go back and pull original newspapers and see what they said at the time …

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Jul 24

Visit historic old Port Harford, admission $1

CONTROVERSIAL SIGN...Erection of the above sign at the entrance of Port San Luis was the subject of discussion at the county supervisors'meeting Monday, and has been the cause of numerous calls from would-be visitors who complain of the "toll" prescribed by the property owner, Elton Tognazzini. He maintains the toll is necessary to pay for the guards, who in turn keep out the trespassers and thus protect his policy with an insurance company which insisits on protection for the area. In spite of the protests against the action Tognazzini claims the sign "is there to stay." (Telegram-Tribune photo) Published July 7, 1959.

Harford Pier is the only pier in the county that the public can regularly drive on, though apparently if you have a whale to return to the ocean, the Avila Beach pier is the one to use. Fishing, restaurants or taking a stroll to check out the seals, there always seems to be someone on …

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Jan 07

Underwater bell on tracks – Diving Apparatus in Port San Luis


July 25, 1966 The paper had a lot of weird stories this day. What is that weird contraption? When a question like that surfaces, a news story ought to follow. Here it is written by Elliot Curry, veteran reporter and former city editor for the Telegram-Tribune and photographed by Jim Vestal. The story also covers …

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Dec 26

Avila Truss Bridge No. 5 Pacific Coast Railroad

Bridge construction Avila Beach 1966ish.

This view over San Luis Creek in Avila Beach comes from a box that has mostly 1966 negatives. Unfortunately I can’t find the article, if anyone can determine the correct date I may be able to find the news clipping. There is no golf course or kids park but the Union Oil tanks are in …

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Nov 25

Sinking of the Queen of the Pacific

Port Harford

The narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railroad served San Luis Obispo to Los Olivios and connected to steamer service at Port Harford. Photo courtesy Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers May 1, 1888 The Queen of the Pacific was in trouble. At at 2:45 a.m. the crew notified Captain E. Andrews the vessel was 15 miles from …

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Jul 02

1968 Port San Luis blasting

July 31, 1968 America has this tradition where we head to the beach on July 4 and play with dangerous stuff that goes boom. I’m not advising people to do this, it is just an observation. Please, lets all have the same number of fingers next week as we do today. In the interest of …

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