Other writings by or about the Websters –

Isaac Newton Webster, a private in the Union Army during the Civil War, recorded his experiences campaigning in the Shenandoah Valley and in winter camp during the siege of Petersburg in a pair of leather-bound diaries. These diaries survived and have been scanned and posted here, along with an interpretation of the barely legible handwriting and an account of the historical context.

In Daniel Webster’s Year Abroad, John C. Webster, a scientist from San Diego, wins a fellowship to a research lab in England and takes his family, including five boys aged 1 – 11 (Daniel is the one-year-old), for a year-long European adventure in 1959 – and found the time to write an amusing travelogue about their journey.

These boys grew up in Pacific Beach and witnessed a period of transition during which surroundings which had seemed timeless and indestructible, notably the massive reinforced concrete barracks of the military academy across the street, were abandoned and demolished. Originally Pacific Beach is a look back at that earlier heritage of this San Diego community.

John C. also traveled, without his family but with an interesting character named Fred, in his job evaluating systems aboard navy ships. He wrote about these adventures in another travelogue that he called Around the World in 80 Ways.

6 thoughts on “Bookshelf”

  1. A very detailing little biography of an important town/area which fills the void historically for a town with a mostly non-interested population ( partially transit) for this sort of thing ; the sad true fact being seems only a handful of folks actually care , or have a caring INTEREST, in the history of ANYTHING here in paradise! Those of us WHO DO CARE are extremely grateful for the small group of authors who have spent sometimes years of their lives in the creation of an informative and relevant Town Biography such as this one.–In ”ORIGINALLY PACIFIC BEACH” The Author has many neat stories woven into his DETAILED concern ; perhaps TOO MUCH CONCERN putting some blank spacing for the reader, (in this case a NATIVE) , who may or may not have a photographic mind- map along to reset on every other page with – with street names and the constant chore of trying to remember instantly just WHERE the action was taking place! constantly trying to square off streets and descriptions of corporate people who first grew lemons in paradise-only to have them vanish less than a century ago in a case of— trees vs.’ the rich -wanting- more- riches’ -real estate developers— the REAL VILLIANS in this study, as far as THIS old-timer’s thinking goes. It’s ALL given over TOO MUCH in detailing but important non the less. The non-entertaining sections of who owned what, where and when thankfully give way to a lot of interesting offset items. which satisfy the curious . Perhaps a continuation of this might bring greater memory rewards, and more pictures of those memories —in a sequel? Cannot stress enough the importance of this work; the author has

  2. Your notes on history of Pacific Beach are inspiring! Keep up the good work. Your sources are unique. I noted before but will repeat here: I grew up in 1940 on Chalcedony, 1946 on Agate Street, 1954 on Beryl Street. I would love to know more about the Devoid Dairy and where the family went afterward. They raised dairy cattle, farmed, had chickens etc etc up the canyon which is now Vickie Drive. They were a going concern about 1950.

  3. What a great collection of PB History. Im doing a history piece for the PB Town Council. Can you contact me

  4. Your article on the railroads in Del Mar was well researched and well written and very timely. It’s gotten rave reviews from people in Del Mar, and few knew the back story of how the tracks ended up on the Del Mar bluffs.

  5. Thanks. Hope I’ll be able to write about how the tracks were moved off the bluffs some day.

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