Archive for September, 2010

Phil Dike

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Phil Dike, an eminent California artist, was born in Redlands, California on April 6, 1906. After completing high school there, he received a scholarship to the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles where he studied with E. Tolles Chamberlin and Clarence Hinkle from 1924 to 1928. It was here that he first worked in water colors becoming a member of the California Water Color Society in 1927. During 1928 and 1929, Dike studied with George Bridgman, Frank Vincent DuMond and George Luks in New York, returning to teach at Chouinard from 1929 to1934 except for a brief tour of Europe during 1931. It was during this period that Dike became one of the first artists to develop what became known as the California Style of watercolor painting. (more…)

The Brambles

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Although it has been added onto several times, the original structure that presently houses The Brambles restaurant on Burton Drive was a three-bedroom house built by George W. Proctor around 1874. Proctor was a blacksmith who came to California from New England in 1858. He moved to Cambria in 1861 and, with his partner George Davis, bought 31.5 acres from Samuel Pollard which included all of what is today Cambria’s east village. Proctor also built the three-story hotel at the corner of Bridge and Main Streets which burned down in the great fire of 1889. (more…)

Cambria, A Harbor Town History

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Gayle Baker, in her 2003 book Cambria, A Harbor Town History, presents a brief (less than 100 pages) history of Cambria and the surrounding area. It’s a “quick read” but it will give you an excellent picture of how Cambria came to be the way it is today. The book includes about a dozen and a half black-and-white photographs gleaned from the Wilfred Lyons  Collection, most of which are commonly seen and some of which appear on this web site. (more…)

Bixby Bridge

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Of the 32 bridges along Highway One between Cambria and Carmel, the largest, most famous, and certainly most photographed is the Bixby Bridge, about 18 miles south of Carmel. This was also the most difficult bridge to build. The bridge is an open spandrel arch design which means it has an open space between the deck and the arch members. The deck of the bridge is 356 feet long and rises about 260 feet above the creek below. The arch is supported by two concrete abutments 330 feet apart which are anchored to the sheer rock walls 140 feet above the creek bed. The south end of the arch has three 40 foot reinforced concrete approach spans and the north end has six, bringing the total length of the bridge to 716 feet. The arch alone required 6,600 cubic yards of concrete and 600,000 pounds of reinforcing steel and, when completed, on November 23, 1932, the Bixby Bridge became the largest arched highway structure in the western states. It is also unusual because it is built on a curve. (more…)

Santa Rosa Chapel

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

The land on which the Santa Rosa Chapel was built was part of the lands of the Mission San Miguel (as was all of the Cambria area). When the Mexican Government secularized the missions in the 1830s and 1840s, land grants were given to prominent citizens and Rancho Santa Rosa was given to Don Julian Estrada while Rancho San Simeon was given to Don Jose Ramon Estrada.. Don Julian Estrada and his wife, Dona Nicolasa, built a house near the intersection of Highway One and Forty Six and they opened their home, guest quarters and gardens to accommodate the Catholic ceremonies in the area as local residents had no other place to worship. Priests from Mission San Luis Obispo and from Mission San Miguel celebrated mass and conducted marriages, baptisms and funerals in the Estrada compound. (more…)

George Proctor and George Davis

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

On December 26, 1867, Samuel A. Pollard sold a 31.5 acre portion of his land to George W. Proctor and George S. Davis for $410. Although this was a tiny portion of the 1010 acre parcel which Pollard owned, it contained much of what eventually became Cambia’s East Village. (more…)

Wilfred Lyons

Monday, September 6th, 2010

One of the founding members of Cambria Historical Society, Wilfred Lyons once held the unofficial title of “Historian Emeritus” because he knew more about the history of Cambria than practically anybody. This is no surprise considering that he lived in Cambria for 97 years. (more…)