Archive for October, 2009

Wreckage of Montebello

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

In the years since the sinking of the Montebello numerous articles have appeared in local newspapers and on the world wide web reiterating the events of December 23, 1941. The tanker was largely relegated to history except for local fisherman who knew the location of the wreckage because it was a productive fishing spot as well as place to lose valuable fishing gear when it  became entangled in the submerged ship. (more…)

Rescue of the Montebello Crew

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Word of the Montebello sinking reached Cayucos and, at about 8:00 AM, two Standard Oil tugboats, the Alma and the Estero, departed from there in search of survivors. The two tugs picked up thirty two crew members who were in three of the lifeboats and delivered them unharmed to the Cayucos pier at about 11:00 AM.  (more…)

Sinking of the Montebello

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, Japan unleashed a massive attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii which instantly drew America into World War II and, for the next four years, daily life in America was dramatically altered. An enormous number of men and women enlisted in the military and were shipped overseas. For the rest there was rationing of some commodities and dramatic shortages of others and, for the first time, women went to work in large numbers in “defense plants”. But, for most Americans, the actual fighting seemed to be in far-off, previously unknown places except for those living along the Pacific Coast. (more…)

History of San Luis Obispo County

Monday, October 26th, 2009

The complete title of this book, written by Myron Angel, is History of San Luis Obispo County, California with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. It was originally published by Thompson and West in 1883 and is often referred to as “Thompson and West “. It has been republished most recently by Word Dancer Press in association with Friends of the Adobes in 1994 and is currently available from the Rios-Caledonia Adobe in San Miguel here.

Myron Angel was the premier historian of San Luis Obispo County. He was hired to come here in 1881 to write this book which he completed in two years. Perhaps the biggest drawback to this 400-page volume is the lack of a detailed index. The index included was written by Paul T. Adalian for the 1979 edition but it omits many names and places. This defect is partly compensated by an extensive and detailed table of contents. (more…)

Local Post Offices

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Cambria’s first post office was established in 1867 in the Grant and Lull store located at the southeast corner of Main and Bridge Streets and the first postmaster was Winfield Scott Whitaker, part owner of the Guthrie-Bianchini House from 1871 until 1873. On the application, dated May 29, 1867, the proposed name of the post office was “San Simeon” but this was crossed out and changed to “Cambria”. According to this application, the post office would serve 500 people living with two miles of it. (more…)

Mission San Miguel

Monday, October 5th, 2009

For thousands of years the land on which Cambria now stands was occupied by indigenous peoples. After the Spanish discovered New Spain (Mexico) they began to explore the new world and, in 1542, the Viceroy of Mexico, Don Antonio de Mendoza, dispatched Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese navigator, to begin his exploration of the coast of California. His three ships left Navidad on the west coast of Mexico on June 27 of that year and followed the coast north to the bay of San Diego which he called Port San Miguel. Because many of the names Cabrillo gave to the significant features of the coastline have since been changed, and because of the difficulties he had in accurately establishing the latitude of his ship, it is not clear exactly how far north his expedition traveled. However, it is virtually certain that they passed the site of present day Cambria. (more…)

The Squibb House

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Early on, the property on which The Squibb House presently stands was owned by “the usual suspects”. As part of Don Julian Estrada’s Rancho Santa Rosa, ownership reverted to Domingo Pujol, a San Francisco lawyer, in 1862 when Estrada defaulted on a loan. Pujol sold the property to George Long in 1866 and he sold it to Samuel Pollard the following year. In 1868, the property was purchased by George W. Proctor and George S. Davis and Proctor eventually sold it to Fred E. Darke in 1876. (more…)