Another Side of History

What used to be Brown Military Academy, Pacific Beach, 1965

Looking back at what used to be . . . mostly in San Diego and especially Pacific Beach.

30 thoughts on “Another Side of History”

  1. Hi John,
    I just discovered your blog and would LOVE to use some of the pieces in the PB Historical Society newsletter.
    John Fry

  2. Not sure my comments on the Lemon groves was saved. In one of your earlier blog posts, you mention the Barnes’ family’s arrival and departure from the beach. When I purchased my house in 1992, there were two of the Barnes descendents who still lived in the 1700 block of Reed, Ed and Willard.

  3. I’m not sure these Barnes are descended from the same family. As far as I know all the descendents of the Barnes (and Thorpes) who were among the original PB pioneers, involved with the College of Letters in the 1880s and lemons ranchers in the 1890s, moved to Fourth and Upas in the 1900s. One branch later went to Pine Hills near Julian.

  4. I actually attended Brown’s Military Academy in the very early to mid 1950s – lol

  5. Hi John, Please let me know where the old Kendall house was down on the bay. Was it right on the corner of Lamont and Crown Point Dr. where the 4 story The Shores at Crown Point is now? Or was it a bit further around the bend toward Campland? Thanks and thanks for your research! Christie Wilding

  6. Hi Christie, The address of the Kendall house was 3995 Crown Point Drive, which would be on the bay side of Crown Point Dr. at about the end of Fortuna Avenue and now in the middle of the Crown Point Villa condo complex. So it was further toward Campland than The Shores and on the other side of Crown Point Dr. There was a small point extending into the marsh there and the house was built on that.

  7. Great blog! Would like to know where to find Charles Collins’ biography–is it accessible online? Thanks!

  8. My grandfather lived at 4811 Pendleton St from 1939 to 1959. I have pictures I can share if you are interested. Do you have any info about that time period? Thanks.

  9. During most of that time period, from 1941 to 1959, that address was surrounded, south of Chalcedony and west of Pendleton, by the Bayview Terrace public housing project. This was a community of over 1000 ‘demountable’ homes, basically plywood bungalows meant for workers in the aircraft factories downtown and their families, complete with an elementary school and community center. After 1959 the public housing project was upgraded and is now the Admiral Hartman Community for military families. 4811 Pendleton was in the partial block north of Chalcedony and east of Pendleton which is cut off by the canyon that Soledad Mountain Road runs through now and was left out of the project. In those days there was no development northeast of that block. Thousands of people passed through the Bayview Terrace project and many ended up settling in PB, so there is a good bit of information about that area in that time period. Was your grandfather William J. Brennan? Did he have anything to say about those days? I would definitely be interested in any pictures you could share.

  10. I am looking for a map to locate Lots 26 and 27> Block 2>Second Fortuna Park Addition. They were once owned by a great Uncle who died and passed them on to his brother, my great grandfather. 1907ish.

  11. I emailed a copy of the subdivision map for Second Fortuna Park showing Block 2, Lots 26 and 27 and modern street names. It looks like that property would be about 4024 Promontory today. I see from city lot books that Herbert B. Scott owned it until about 1908 then it passed to C. M. Scott.

  12. Great articles John. I remember the house at 4811 Pendleton. They had about a half dozen goats penned up along the canyon rim on the north side of the house and just to the east he kept a large monkey or chimp in a cage ! The Jackson house at the north end of Noyes, 4990 I believe, had unusual animals also. We lived in a Bayview Heights house on the corner of Olney and Chalcedony from about 1945-6 up until the houses started being dismantled. Found your blog while looking for information on the big fig tree that dominated that neighborhood. At that time the kids could climb and play in that tree. It was a great place to be a kid.

  13. Thanks, Bill. I hadn’t heard about animals. Did you find out anything else about the big tree?

  14. Are you the Bill Crowley from St Brigid, class of 1960. I knew the Bill Crowley who lived in the house on the SE corner of PB Drive and Gresham.

  15. Wow! I love your extensive research of PB. I have a few questions for you…well, actually about 100 questions! I grew up on Foothill Blvd in the 50s,60s, and 70s, and now I am back there caring for my mom. I am passionate about the history of my hometown, and would love to chat with you.

  16. I MISTAKENLY left my comments in the WRONG section-under bookshelf; please change to ‘another side of history’ section IF POSSIBLE -sorry!~ first time here and loving it !

  17. I tried but couldn’t find a way to change the subject of your previous comment to what you intended. Your own clarification here should point a reader to the section, Bookshelf, where your comment is posted. And thanks for the comment.

  18. I drove by the nothwest corner of Hornblend and Morrell Street. It looks like most of the lot has been recently cleared, leaving only a boarded-up very old structure.
    Is this the location of the Passion Fruit Ranch, instead of the NE corner, which has no old structure.

    Anyone know anything about this location, if it wasn’t the Kumm house?

  19. I went by there today. The cleared lots and boarded-up house are not on the corner but about 1/3 of the way down the 1900 block of Hornblend, on the north side; I think the address would be 1956. This house was built in 1929 or 1930 for Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Davies, who founded a linen supply company in San Diego in 1911 and bought the SE quarter of this block (lots 21-29) in 1917. This is not the location of the passion fruit ranch, which was the NE corner of the intersection. I believe that the house there now, 2004 Hornblend, is where the Kumms lived. It may not look old, but I think that is because of the mansard facade which hides the old-fashioned hip and valley roof (you can see the roof with the satellite view on Google maps). Other features of this house, like the brick chimney, also look old to me. It has obviously been remodeled, but I think it is basically the house built there in 1904 for H. J. Breese. By the way, the two-story house on the west side of Morrell is definitely old; it was built in 1896 for the Snyders.

  20. Hi John,
    My name is Dave Sandler. I’ve been a 5th grade teacher at Pacific Beach Elementary for 23 years now and want to pass on the history of Pacific Beach to my students. Was hoping you could contact me when it’s convenient for you.

    Appreciate your time!
    Dave Sandler

  21. anybody remember the villa restaurant on mission blvd in the mid sixties between gordon and smith surfboards and the quiet village tavern any pics of that block would be fantastic my parents owned it!

  22. have any information when Torrey Pines Road between La Jolla and UCSD was paved, also information on all bridges that existed on Garnet Ave over Rose Creek before 1939.

  23. Can’t say I remember it but I find it in the city directory, at 4654 Mission, from 1959 to 1964. In 1962 the directory even called it Villa d’Petrucelli, then it was the International Villa. It looks like it would be the south half of Dirty Birds now. I don’t have any pics but I’ll keep looking.

  24. A rough road up Hog Canyon to the Pueblo Farm (where the city raised hogs on garbage collected from homes and businesses) had been improved in 1917 as a detour while the Biological grade on the coast highway between La Jolla and Torrey Pines was being paved. Even after the Biological grade was paved many motorists preferred the Hog Canyon alternative route, and it was also widened and paved in 1928. To spare the sensibilities of La Jollans Hog Canyon was renamed La Jolla Canyon and the La Jolla Canyon Road was renamed Torrey Pines Road in 1930.

    The Pacific Beach railway crossed over Rose Creek on a bridge along what is now the route of Garnet Avenue from 1887 to 1907. That bridge was washed out at least twice by floods and rebuilt, in 1889 and 1895. In 1906 the city council adopted an ordinance directing the board of works to build a bridge over Rose Canyon Creek, near the race track, on the road to La Jolla. In 1915 an emergency ordinance appropriated $4000 for construction of a concrete bridge across Rose Creek near Pacific Beach; a storm had made the old wooden bridge unsafe. This may refer to the bridge on Garnet Avenue, but if so the concrete bridge was apparently never built. In 1916 the city voted on a bond issue of $50,000 for the acquisition, construction and completion of two steel bridges, one across the San Diego River at Old Town and the other across Rose Creek on Grand Avenue Pacific Beach (as this section of Garnet was known then). The bridge bonds were defeated by a decisive majority. In 1929 repairs were completed on the Balboa Avenue bridge on the coast highway between Old Town and Pacific Beach (after being Grand, it was Balboa Avenue before it became Garnet). After these repairs there would be a 10 MPH speed limit over the bridge; reconstruction of the bridge to make it safe for faster traffic would be deferred until the causeway over Mission Bay was complete, since closing it would be a hardship for PB residents (the causeway was completed in January 1931). In 1939 preliminary plans for a new Balboa Avenue bridge over Rose Canyon Creek were completed. It would replace an 18-foot-wide wooden structure that had been washed out several times. The new bridge would be 40 feet wide and the plan was to keep traffic moving by building the north half before tearing down the old structure and building the south half in its place. Apparently this plan was started but then not finished, at least not right away. In 1943 the city council requested estimates for completion of the Garnet St. bridge over Rose Creek from the city engineer. According to the San Diego Union, an old wooden bridge, wrecked by storm waters several years ago, was replaced by a new concrete bridge half as wide as the street and the PB chamber of commerce had requested the other half be built.

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Looking back at what used to be . . . mostly in San Diego and especially Pacific Beach.