Balboa Park History Pre-1900

“San Diego’s City Park, 1868-1902, An Early Debate on Environment and Profit,” by Gregory E. Montes (October 15, 1976).

INTRODUCTION: The history of City Park in 1868-1902 has fascinating and amusing moments but above all it is sobering to think that the entire 1400-acre park was generally preserved in the late 19th century, heyday of shady land deals, whereas, in the presumably more enlightened 20thcentury, 322 acres of the park have been deeded or leased to freeways (109.2 acres), a burgeoning naval hospital (92.6 acres) and other incompatible uses.

CONCLUSION: The history of City Park in 1868-1902 has presented the major figures, issues, and possible motives related to the founding, attempted reductions, actual and proposed motives and tenacious preservation of the 1400-acre tract. Despite rife land speculation in San Diego, City Park remained intact until 1902, mainly due to the efforts of relatively few, although well-placed people who appreciated the unique, mild climate, diverse vegetation and dramatic scenery of San Diego. They had migrated to enjoy these assets and not just to get rich. These individuals faltered at times and allowed some park incursions which later bode ill for it, but generally they stoutly defended City Park and retained their vision of what it could and must become someday for inevitable, growing urban needs. The City Park advocates learned and convinced others, especially from the example of New York’s Central Park, that a large, well-designed public park could improve not only the health and spirits of all classes of city residents but also the local tourism, settlement, tax base and economic growth. But beyond that the City Park champions who got their fill of economic realism in their daily work, prized a large park for providing near the hectic town, quietude, chances to reflect, romance, vast views of distant scenery, and close observation of colorful, native wildflowers.

History of San Diego, by H. C. Hopkins, City Printing Company, San Diego, 1929, pp. 319-328.

February 13, 1868. Isabella Carruthers purchased 40 acres for $175.00 at the southwest corner of what otherwise would have been a square park of 1440 acres.

February 15, 1868. First park resolution stating that the present park board (E. W. Morse, Thomas H. Bush, J. H. Mannasse) reserve two of the 160 acres of city land for the purpose of securing a suitable park.

April 29, 1868. New board took office (Marcus Schiller, Jose G. Estudillo, Joshua Sloane).

May 26, 1868. Moved and seconded by Board of Trustees that Lots (by number) “be for a park.”

“Byways of Old City Park,” by Herbert G. Hensley, San Diego Historical Society Quarterly. Vol. 1, No. 3, July 1955, pp. 35-36.

The isolation camp for plague-ridden persons lay across the divide over which Pershing Drive now passes, in that branch-canyon up which the old Park Belt Line Railway ran for a brief while. . . . Another spot in the park was the cave-dwelling of Professor LeBatt.

Balboa Park — in those days called City Park — was a waste of canyon and mesa, when our family moved to town in 1882. It was not entirely unused, although nothing had been done toward its improvement for public recreation: there were two powder-houses, which were off and on, the cause of worry and near-tragedy, and the City Pound was located in the canyon more recently named Cabrillo. In the early nineties, the militia companies had their target ranges there.

Another institution in the park, which may have been thought to be sufficiently distant from town, was the so-called “pest house.” This was the isolation camp for any plague-ridden persons, and it lay across the divide over which Pershing Drive now passes, in that branch-canyon up which the old Park Belt Line Railway ran for a brief while. The site was where the little, farm-like clump of houses can be seen now, in the bottom of the canyon, just east of the 30th street bridge; and I rather think that one of those small buildings is part of the original isolation camp.

The place was mostly unoccupied, but during the smallpox scare of 1887 it harbored several cases of that disease, and the town had equipped and furnished it generously in apprehension of possibly more of them. There were sixteen beds, supplied with good mattresses and blankets, chairs, tables, two stoves with cooking utensils, besides picks and shovels and sundry other tools.

During the following years of its vacancy nothing appears to have been removed by the town, and the place was left entirely unguarded. It lay so far beyond the built-up part of town that scarcely anybody ever passed within sight of it.

However, late in 1892, John Palmer, who had been its last keeper, having business in that direction, was moved to go over and take a look at it. He discovered that some very enterprising person had established himself there, evidently for a protracted period, and engaged in bee keeping. Palmer found many hives stacked in the main house, together with great numbers of empty combs from which the honey had been extracted. But every article of furniture, including stoves and bedsteads, had been carried off. And they were never recovered.

When this news got about, many people who had a liking for honey were worried. No doubt the bee keeper had sold his produce right in town and some of that honey might have dated from only shortly after the last smallpox patients checked out of the place — alive or dead. Apparently, however, nobody took any harm thereby; nor, I believe, was the identity of the enterprising apiarist ever learned.

Incidentally, so concerned were people with the dangers of the “plague” that one citizen gave the following advice in his “letter to the editor” of theSun: “Every person who has anything to do with smallpox patients should have a distinctive mark about him — say a yellow band around his hat — or something of this kind should be worn, thus advising the unwary that the wearer has been in contact with the disease.”

Another spot in the city park, not so well known then and scarcely to be located now, was the cave-dwelling of Professor LeBatt. This unfortunate man, though said to have been highly talented, apparently was brought to the pass of living in a hole in the hillside, almost hidden by huge sumac bushes, through a strange inability to profit financially from his gifts or to make a fair living in other ways. At least, that was the general understanding. He was, people said, a pianist of brilliant parts; he gave at least one concert at Horton Hall, and for a time he tried to teach. He made one trip somewhere up north but soon returned to his cave, and he finally committed suicide there in the canyon.

San Diego Weekly Union, November 4, 1869, 2:3. Our Public Park, anonymous letter . . . The time was before the days of free schools, steam and telegraphs, when the dwellers in cities thought only of their narrow streets, gloomy buildings, their trades and occupations: when each one was concerned only for himself, and sought only his own interest or happiness. But happily the world has grown wiser since then, and men have learned that great public improvements concern and benefit every individual, just as much as they do the community to which he belongs. A park in which men may go and breathe the pure air, look upon the sky unobscured by smoke, and see grass and trees and shrubbery, undulations of surface combining to form an exquisite landscape, and hear the song of the birds, is the property of everyone who enters or possesses the privilege of entering it, and is maintained for his comfort and happiness. This is now so well understood that every considerable city in Europe and the United States, with the exception of San Francisco, has its vast tract of land reserved and beautified as a park.

If San Diego is to become an important city, as seems now generally to be her destiny, we, like other cities, must have our public parks. Fortunately, 1480 acres of land upon the Mesa have been reserved for this purpose. The land has cost us nothing. The tract selected is admirably adapted to the purpose, being diversified by plain, valley, gorge and ravine, and which can be so modified and improved by art as to present a scenery, the most diverse, grand and beautiful.

Yet, strange to say, dishonest adventurers, under various pretexts, are attempting to have the Park Reservation wholly alienated or so reduced as to be comparatively valueless. The commonest plea alleged for this is the great size of the Reservation. So far from being too large, our park is almost too small, as a glance at other parks will show. The Philadelphia park contains 2200 acres; that at Chicago over 2080 acres; Central Park, New York, over 800, and the people are anxious to have it enlarged. Prospect Park, Brooklyn, is to be much larger; London Parks contain from 500 to 1200 acres each. The Bois de Boulogne at Paris contains over 2000 acres. San Francisco squandered its 8000 acres of land and is today without a park or the means to purchase one.

Let us all take an interest in this matter, and assist in preserving for ourselves and our children, this Park Reservation. Let us by our private sympathy, conversation and influence, and by our public action resist to the bitter end all bad men who seek to take this away from us. With this park we have a perpetual source of pride and satisfaction, without it, of shame and bitter unavailing regrets.

San Diego Union, June 23, 1870, 2:3. EDITORIAL – An Artesian Well: A good water supply is the most urgent necessity of San Diego. At present our citizens depend upon the bed of the San Diego River, in Old Town, and a very few good wells in New Town; but the tax is heavy upon ninety-nine one-hundredths of the people, who have to pay the water-carrier for a scanty supply.

The remedy lies in artesian well boring. One good artesian well, with a proper reservoir, would afford an ample supply for this city for four thousand inhabitants, and would besides furnish a fair surplus for irrigation in gardens. The results obtained from the experiment of artesian well boring in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties fully sustains our position.

A singular fact connected with ordinary well sinking in this city is that while some wells contain pure, sweet water, others afford nothing but that which is muddy, brackish and unfit for even washing purposes. This is to be accounted for by the peculiar formation of this portion of the coast, consisting of alternate strata of sand and shells; first the wash of sand and then that of shell. These statra are not one upon another, but the lines of demarcation are perpendicular. Now where a well penetrates the same formation the result is pure water; where the layer of shells is encountered the water is bad, being impregnated with the salt and alkali of that formation.

But an artesian well sunk down through this shell formation to a proper depth would reach pure water. And our citizens should take a step in this direction. As it is beyond the means of any single individual, a plan should be devised whereby a company might be induced to undertake the work.

All know that we have laid off adjacent to town, a large tract as a Public Park. Nothing has yet been done towards its improvement; but with the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad this Park will become central, and will prove valuable as a place of recreation and pleasure to our people. With the present dry season nothing can be done in the way of cultivation there, and seasons of drought may affect us hereafter as heretofore. How important, then, that all the artificial means in our power be employed to aid in the improvement of the city’s “breathing place.”

We suggest, then, that a movement of this kind be initiated. The Public Park has an altitude of an hundred feet or more above the city. Why cannot the city donate forty acres of this land to a responsible company of citizens, on condition that they bore a well, make it a success, and forever furnish to the city free of charge all the water necessary for public purposes — and especially the park. Then this company can easily lay water pipe from the well and its reservoir to the city and all can be accommodated with a cheap and abundant supply of water. It is true that the Legislature must grant the authority to the City Trustees ere the work can be completed, and this action will be a wholesome check on any attempt at swindle or corruption. If the city builds to the extent we have reason to contemplate, then, of course, a water company of greater magnitude can operate. But we look to a present need; to actual work; and not to the sufficiency of a franchise as a matter of speculation.

We are not the advocates of the gratuitous giving away of city lands; but it seems to us this is practical, necessary and wise. Let something be done.

San Diego Union, June 30, 1870, 2:1. EDITORIAL: The Park of San Diego . . . One of the wisest things ever done by the city was the setting aside of fourteen hundred and forty acres for a public park. Owing to the want of such foresight the citizens of other places have been obliged, either to dispense with these luxuries, or to look for them to very precarious sources. The citizens of Chester, England, have received such a gift from the Marquis of Westminster; but he is the richest man in England, and few towns boast of such liberality in their citizens. The Grand Jury of San Francisco has proposed that space for a park be asked of the United States Government; but the Government is not an owner in the vicinity of every city, and, besides, is likely to hold on to her own where she is. In Chicago, land for a park has been taken up by a company; but even where such companies can find suitable tracts, it is better that public parks should belong to cities themselves. The wisdom of our officials in the Park reservation should be recognized by every citizen.

In favor of a large Park in the vicinity of San Diego, we have, at the outset, the usual arguments which are pressed elsewhere. Both health and pleasure are promoted by having near any seaport city, a broad tract, untainted by chimnies [sic] and other appurtenances of residence, and traced with roads and paths for pleasant walks and drives. But, in favor of a Park reservation near San Diego, we have arguments more special in their character. A Park becomes in time a botanical garden; and we are here so happily situated as regards climate — occupying a middle position between the tropical and temperate belts — that a botanical garden would embrace within its limits a variety scarcely to be found growing outdoors in any other part of the world. So, too, with animal life. The Central Park, New York, is becoming also a zoological garden. But the preservation of animals is expensive, owing to the need of artificial heat in the care of those from the tropics. Almost any animal can live the year round in the open air in San Diego. Indeed, we look forward to the time when not the least of the attractions of this place, will be its magnificent Park, with its unwonted wealth of vegetable and animal life.

San Diego Weekly Union, July 13, 1871, 3:1. The Artesian Water Experiment . . . Mr. O. P. Calloway was busily engaged yesterday in connection with the City Trustees in selecting a spot for boring an artesian well. The place selected is on the City Park Reservation, near the end of 11th street. The altitude of the point selected was found to be 94-1/2 feet above the level of the sea. The machine, which arrived on the steamer Wm. Taber, will be moved to the ground today, and will be put into place at once. As we have stated, heretofore, the drill is of the most improved kind, being Severance and Holt’s famous Diamond Drill. The drill will be driven by a fine 20-horsepower engine. The experimental boring will be three inches in diameter, but should flowing water be obtained, the diameter can be enlarged to any extent desired. A daily record of the geological formation encountered will be preserved.

San Diego Union, August 31, 1871, 2:1. EDITORIAL: The Park

We had almost forgotten to note one point in the “People’s” Confiscating Address. We refer to their denouncement of a supposed plan to divide up the City Park Reservation. We endorse their declaration that the Park must be preserved — whether they are in earnest or not — but we very much suspect that all this noise about the Park is only the cry of “stop thief: to cover a flank movement in that very direction. But, we say most emphatically, that any scheme to cut down the Park, come from what quarter it may, has out unyielding and determined opposition. We believe that magnificent piece of ground should be sacredly protected for the purpose to which it has been dedicated and the man or men who would attempt to touch it should be consigned to political oblivion. Let the Park Reservation stand.

San Diego Union, August 31, 1871, 3:4. Charge made at People’s Nominating Convention, which nominated a ticket of county officers, that 1400 acres set aside for park use are to be handed over to members of the “Ring,” of whom C. P. Taggart is one. . . . Excerpts from the address of the nominating convention to the voters of San Diego County.

The motives which prompted that actions of the “People’s Nominating Convention,” and which should influence the votes of all those who are in favor or pure principles, pure men and good government. The coming election is in consequence of the general dissatisfaction expressed by all the best citizens of San Diego with the majority of the nominees of the so-called Democratic and Republican conventions, and the corrupt manner in which both of said conventions were packed by the lavish expenditure of large sums of money and the promise of tidelands for the purpose of foisting upon the people of this county dangerous and bad men in order than an unscrupulous Ring of public marauders could successfully carry out their schemes of public plunder to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, by securing the election of an Senator and an Assemblyman to represent this county in the next Legislature committed and pledged to their program, which are as follows:

First. The passage of a bill relinquishing the State’s ownership of the overflowed tide and marsh lands within the County of San Diego, and the ratification of all the acts of the present Board of City Trustees, thereby giving to C. P. Taggart & Co. all of the land extending from National City to the southern boundary of San Diego, nearly five miles of city front, and the remainder to other members of the Ring.

Second. The repealing of the law which reserves and sets aside 1400 acres of the Pueblo lands for a Public Park in order that it may quietly be deeded to the Ring.

Third. To oppose the extension of any line for the commencement and completion of the San Diego & Los Angeles Railroad, so that the lands owned by that popular and much needed highway may revert to the City, giving to the Ring immediate possession and ownership of said lands, they already having obtained deeds from the City Trustees to all of the aforesaid valuable property.

Fourth. To continue squandering the public funds, as they have for the past twenty years, consuming all the money paid into the public treasury, and piling up an enormous debt of over one hundred thousand dollars, taken together with that consumed by the political paupers that have foisted upon the body politic of this county for the last decade, amounts in the aggregate to the gigantic sum of over one million dollars! These are grave and astounding facts that cannot be truthfully be denied. We ask in all candor and fairness, what has become of this immense sum of public money, of which they have been the custodians? What have they done with our money, and what have the people to show for this vast profligate expenditure of the public treasure? Can they point us to one single public building? Have they constructed a solitary road? Can they direct us to a sown lot or an acre of land purchased by them for the people? Have we a graded street or a public sewer? And do we own one dollar’s worth of public property anywhere in the county? Yet these men with the audacity of successful highwaymen, after having thus recklessly and fraudulently squandered the public money, and having recently, in collusion with their itinerant converts, secured the control of both political conventions, by the corrupting influence of money, have the impudence and bold effrontery to offer for our suffrages their two tickets, one they call Democrat, and the other Republican? They care not which you support, having made both, either will suit them; therefore in the election of either ticket the Ring will have triumphed. In view of the foregoing alarming and startling facts, and the action of the last Legislature in granting to the Board of Supervisors power to aid in the construction of railroads by giving subsidies equal to the value of five percent of the value of all taxable property; also giving power to a few to set in motion various non-elective commissions which with their numerous adjuncts will require increased taxation and expense that will enable bad men in office to harass our people, confiscate their property, and destroy their homes without compensation.

And the same Legislature, through the influence of the Ring, by special enactment conferred upon one of their leaders, two additional offices, giving him the power to appoint nine officers, and this same infamous bill authorized the Board of Trustees, of which this leader was and is now a member and the controlling influence, power to contract and pay their attorney an unlimited amount of money for services that had been performed by another. . . . .

Proposals: Tidelands belong to the State and cannot be sold or given away by city officials.

Marsh, submerged and overflowed lands should be protected from land grabbers.

The Pueblo lands of the City belong to the people and should be equally distributed to the


City and county government should be economical and tax rates low.

Cultivated farm lands should be taxed at same level as non-productive and speculative land


Stock trespassing upon tilled lands should be detained and fed at expense of their owners

or sold for damages.

The Romance of Balboa Park, by Florence Christman, San Diego Historical Society, 1985, pp. 14-15.

In 1871 there had been a conspiracy to repeal the legislation which upheld the park dedication of May 26, 1868. Some city officials and others were involved. They proposed to rush through the legislature a bill to rescind the Act of February, 1870, in order to “grab” this valuable land. But it happened that a San Diego resident, in Sacramento at the time, learned what was afoot. This information and threat were rushed to San Diego. Intense publicity and indignation followed. George Marston, Thomas Nesmith, Dan Cleveland, Mat Sherman and others organized and secured 366 signatures on a plea to keep the park intact, and these, sent to Sacramento, served to kill the McCoy bill.

San Diego Union, September 1, 1871, 2:1. EDITORIAL: The Senatorial Question . . . In our advertising column the claims of Mr. Horton are discussed at length. We have only to say that as to the title question, Mr. Horton informed us personally that he had no sympathy with the confiscators or the principles in their address, and that he wanted to have the outside titles confirmed. He said that his friends would take him on his record, and be satisfied with his work for it.

One of Mr. Horton’s friends objects to our endorsement of the gentlemen as a friend of San Diego specially. Well, we shan’t attempt to please everybody. But it strikes us that San Diego needs and has a right to ask for more consideration at the hands of the Senator than San Bernardino. This is the seaport, that is an inland town. And we don’t see that it follows that Horton’s devotion to out city interests must necessarily hinder him from representing the rest of the district.

San Diego Union, September 1, 1871, 2:3. Horton and the Confiscator’s Platform; Horton endorses the platform; 1100 acres for Horton’s $285; Shall the poor man’s be confiscated?

Conclusion: If he has gone into co-partnership with the old Dr. DeWolf party, then he cannot be in fellowship with the Republican party of this county. If he is not in favor of confirming the titles of the poor men of this city, then the poor men will vote for McCoy, who is in favor of doing it. If he is opposed to letting each voter purchase two blocks of this land from the city, while he has half of a mile under the same sort of title, then he don’t know enough to be Senator if he does not know enough to keep hotel. All of Horton’s money came from the sale of city lands. He must be right on City Titles or he can’t get the votes of men who own these lands.

The De Wolf party can’t elect him.

San Diego Union, September 5, 1871, 2:2. EDITORIAL: The Title Question . . . Let the people of San Diego not be drawn aside by outside issues. The Confiscators cry: “Tidelands” – “Public Park” – “Peninsular” – to cover up their own outrageous schemes of spoliation. They hope to blind the eyes of the voters in this way to the real issues.

The people want the next Legislature to pass an act confirming all deeds of Pueblo lands made by the Board of City Trustees up to the first Monday in December, AD 1871. In other words, the Legislature should make good the title to all Pueblo lands lying outside of Horton’s addition and known as “outside lands.”

The people of San Diego regard this matter of confirmation of titles as of vital importance and they have a right to demand that every candidate for the Legislature shall pledge himself to use his best efforts to secure a perfect title if elected. A cloud over the title to the property in one portion of the Pueblo operates to the detriment of every other portion. And the value of lots in Horton’s addition, where the title is perfect, is, nevertheless, affected by the doubt concerning the title to adjacent property. It concerns every persons whose lot is cast here, and who depends on the future of San Diego, to take an active personal interest in this matter, and make it the leading question of the campaign.

Let not our citizens, whose interests in the dry lands are at stake, suffer themselves to be bamboozled by an outside issue lugged in to detract them from the real issue by a set of unscrupulous manipulators who hope to enrich themselves by breaking up titles here.

San Diego Union, October 12, 1871, 4:3. The Artesian Well . . . The statement made some time since that water sufficient to run the engine at the artesian well had been obtained is not borne out by the facts. It appears that at a depth of 105 feet a bed of clay was reached through which the water soaked, but not in large enough quantity to answer the requirements of the engine. Since that time men have been engaged in sinking by hand, and the well has now reached a depth of 148 feet. Alternate strata of blue clay and rock, the latter composed of shell and lime, have been struck, and it is thought by Mr. Calloway that when these formations are passed the water will rise to the depth of eight or ten feet. The sinking is going on at the rate of 8 to 20 feet a day, and will probably be more rapid when the rock is passed.

San Diego Union, December 28, 1871, 2:1. EDITORIAL: The Title to the Land . . . We have been told (but can hardly credit the statement) that a petition has received some signatures urging the Legislature not to pass Senator McCoy’s bill for confirmation of title to Outside Lands. Whosoever has devised such a petition has some sinister motive, which will probably be revealed in due season. We more than suspect that it has something to do with the Hartman-Luc’s combination, who are striving to cut down our Pueblo to four leagues — a scheme which, if successful, would deprive about 1,800 or 2,000 citizens of San Diego of their homes. By the way, we would ask the Honorable Secretary of the Interior why we have as yet no action on Commissioner Wilson’s decision confirming our Pueblo titles: We do not like this delay; and we must confess that the appearance of a no-title petition just at this juncture has a very ugly aspect.

San Diego Union, January 4, 1872 (also December 31, 1871, 2:1). EDITORIAL: City Park . . . Petitions are just now the order of the day. One is in circulation praying the legislature not to allow our City Park reservation to be cut down. We don’t believe anybody has any designs on the Park, and incline to the opinion that a little scare has been started by some of the disinterested “Peoples” party patriots. But still let the petition be signed; it can do no harm, if it does no good. Public opinion here is unanimous in favor of preserving the integrity of the park reservation, and any attempt to cut it down would be justly regarded by the people as an outrage.

But good people, be sure that watchfulness with reference to the title question will not be out of place. Keep an eye on the matter. We want our outside land title confirmed now.

(San Diego) The Weekly World, November 30, 1872, 3:3. CITY TRUSTEES Regular Meeting – Trespassers on City Park Cited to Appear; Members present: Boyd, Briant, Estudillo, Haight, and McCormick, president.

Mr. McCormick presented a resolution requesting the City Clerk to notify Messrs. Moses Ferrin and Charles Gassen to appear before the Board on Monday, the 9th of December, to explain by what authority they have appropriated to their private use a portion of the City Park.

San Diego Union, January 19, 1873, EDITORIAL: Provide for Our Public Schools.

The matter of adequate common school facilities is one of the most important that can engage the attention of our citizens. Almost the first question asked by those who come to San Diego with a view to permanent residence is, “What are your school facilities?” The people who are flocking hither from all parts of the United States are accustomed to the most perfect systems of public education; and the turning point in the minds of many heads of families, in deciding whether to locate here will be the probability of securing good school advantages for their children.

Considering the fact that our city is scarcely four years old, and taking into account the present population, we may fairly congratulate ourselves upon the possession of better school facilities than can elsewhere be found under like conditions. We have an excellent public school, with grammar, intermediate and primary departments; and we have in addition, three private schools — one of them, more properly speaking, an academy, in which the higher branches are taught. But, even now, these means are beginning to be found inadequate. Every department of the public school is filled with pupils, and many children who would attend are barred for lack of accommodations, so that, already our Board of Education are considering the question of ways and means with a view to extending the present facilities. The buildings now occupied cannot much longer meet the wants of this growing community.

In reflecting upon this subject, a suggestion has occurred to use which we submit for public consideration, and which, we think, will commend itself to the favor of our readers. The city owns a magnificent tract of land — fourteen hundred acres — set aside by Legislative enactment for a public park. The southeastern corner of this reservation contains the finest location for public school buildings that can be found in the city. Here there is a gently sloping eminence which commands a view of the whole city, the bay and the ocean beyond. It is within half a mile of the present center of population, and may be reached by an easy walk from any part of the city. Why should not, say, ten acres be taken in this portion of the park for the public school buildings and grounds? A most desirable site can here be obtained without cost — a site which possesses the advantages of healthfulness, a magnificent view, nearness to the center of population yet sufficiently removed from the noise and bustle of the city and from the danger of fire. A fine two-story frame building (after the model of the school houses now being erected in San Francisco) surrounded by spacious grounds ornamented with trees and shrubbery, would constitute on of the most attractive features of our city. It would be a practical first step toward the improvement of the park. It may perhaps be questionable whether under the strict construction of the Park Reservation Act the City Trustees have legal power to dedicate any portion of the tract even to public school uses, but we opine that the Legislature would grant the requisite authority upon the petition of our citizens. Let the matter be considered.

(San Diego) The Daily World, March 19, 1873, 3:4. Special Meeting of the Board of City Trustees: the San Diego Water Company; their proposition agreed to . . . The Board of City Trustees held a special meeting at their rooms last night for the purpose of considering the proposition of the City Water Company submitted at the previous meeting.

Members present: Messrs. Boyd, Briant, Haight and McCormick, President.

The article of agreement submitted by the Water Company, the substance of which was published in The World only, was read.

Messrs. Boyd and Haight, of the committee, appointed to examine the agreement, suggested that it be amended so as to read, “That no part of the Park Reservation upon, which improvements had been commenced should be set aside for the purpose asked,” and “that nothing in this agreement should be so construed as to prevent the Board of Trustees from granting like privileges to other water companies.”

These amendments being satisfactory to the company, the Board of Trustees passed the following resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED, That the agreement now before the Board, presented by the San Diego Water Company, be adopted and that the President and Clerk of the Board of Trustees, of the City of San Diego, be instructed to execute the same in duplicate and affix the corporate seal.


San Diego Union, March 19, 1873, 3:3. City Trustees granted permission to San Diego Water Company to dig wells in park provided that the company not use any part of the park which can be improved or fenced.

(San Diego) The Daily World, April 25, 1873, 3:1-2. Beginning to move; a stroll to the well of the city water company; three holes to be drilled to a depth of 290 ft.; oyster and clam shells found in great numbers at a depth of 80 ft.; surface of ground on which wells are being drilled is 90 ft. above the level of the bay; the water rises to within 80 ft. of the surface and it is asserted that it cannot be exhausted by any present need of the city; from the well it will be pumped to a reservoir on the mesa and distributed over the city in mains.

We yesterday took a stroll out to the spot on the City Park Reservation, where the City Water Company are sinking their artesian wells. We left a region of building activity and were surprised to find the note of building preparation sounded all over the city. San Diegans have that capital element in building a city — faith. Any number of cozy and elegant residences are going up on every hand. There are few places on earth, where a little care and industry are better repaid than in San Diego. Those who take the trouble to provide themselves with water can have a market garden attached to their residences from which they may cull green peas and strawberries almost every month of the year. We could not forego, in passing, noting the beautiful gardens of Messrs. Gale and McDonald. The floral show of Mr. McDonald’s garden is a sight well worth the walk. His house is beautifully embowered in shrubs and flowers. The Australian pea and creeper are trained over the house and on trellis work. A perfect wealth of foliage gladdens this cozy home on all sides. Any number of varieties of verbena, geranium and other bright flowers trail over the ground and even over the fences.

Skirting Mr. McDonald’s place a few hundred yards brought us to the scene of the labors of the City Water Company. When we arrived they were hard at work screwing the drills together. The boring is done by means of a twenty horsepower engine, made at the Miners’ Works, at San Francisco. They have about five hundred feet of drills. They purpose, as we explained some time ago, to dig a well around three holes which have been drilled to a depth of two hundred and ninety feet. Two of these holes have been sunk to the requisite depth, and the third was within fifteen feet of the stopping point when we came upon the ground. The persons who had it in charge expected to finish the third hole today. From twelve to twenty-five feet are sunk daily. The drills work in an iron casing, and the borings are “hydraulicked,” out of them. The work is pushed mainly through sandstone and limestone.

A curious circumstance of the work is that, at a depth of eighty feet, oyster and clam shells were found in great numbers, demonstrating pretty conclusively that the mesa was once the bed of ocean. The surface of the ground where these wells are being built is just precisely on a level with the spire of the Baptist church, or ninety feet above the level of the bay.

On the completion of the third hole the engine will be cleared away and work will begin on the well, which will be sunk to a depth of one hundred feet. It is uncertain yet whether it will be made fifteen or twenty feet wide. The water rises to within eighty feet of the surface, and it is asserted that it cannot be exhausted by an present need of the city when the well is completed. From the well it will be pumped up to the reservoir on the mesa, and distributed over the city in mains.

Work will shortly begin on a well which the gentlemen of the City Water Company intend to push until a reliable artesian flow is the result. We see no reason why they should not succeed, and are delighted to find, from actual observation, that our chances for an adequate supply of water for all purposes of utility and ornament are so gratifying. We wish the company all imaginable success. We trust the day is not far distant when the citizen will not have to fall back upon his own enterprise and industry for water.

(San Diego) The Daily World, May 29, 1873, 3:3. The Mesa: a splendid spread for a city; another glimpse of the picturesqueness of our surroundings. There is something distingue in our Mexican mountains which show up bald and symmetrical and put the sun to his trumps to get beauty out of them. And he succeeds perfectly.

San Diego Weekly Union, February 26, 1874, 3:3. EDITORIAL: The Park Boundaries.

A rather heated discussion took place in the Board of City Trustees last evening on the question of the Park reservation boundaries and feeling was manifested which was altogether uncalled for and which can produce no good result. The question at issue is one that must have arisen sooner or later, and it is better for the city and for all parties interested that it should be determined now, than years hence, when property values shall have reached enormous figures compared with the present standard, and when great improvements shall have been made. The intelligent predecessor of our present efficient City Attorney, who possesses a thorough familiarity with the Pueblo titles of San Diego, advised the Board of Trustees during his incumbency that it was of the utmost importance that the lines of the city property should be accurately determined. It is a well-known fact that all of our titles (with the exception of the tier of “alphabeted” lots location north of the Park reservation by Mr. Pascoe) are, according to the official map of the city made by Mr. Pascoe in 1856. When Mr. Pascoe found the surplus land by his survey of 1870, he located it in the position given on his map; and this second map and survey were also adopted and made official by the city authorities. It has been decided by the Supreme Court in a recent case that Mr. Pascoe’s location of this surplus land cannot stand, and the question of its proper location was, therefore, an inevitable one that could not be avoided by delay. It is impossible that the rights of any person can suffer in the most remote degree by the adjustment of this question. The city cannot possibly be wronged; nor do we believe that there is any desire on the part of any of the persons whose names have been so freely used, to establish anything more than their just and equitable rights. A suit at law to quiet title will certainly result in justice to all concerned, although we question the propriety of the commencement of the action by the city. It should have been left to the parties in interest to begin proceedings. And, moreover, the Trustees would have done well to have acted upon the counsel given by their legal adviser two weeks since — that is: to have procured all the evidence obtainable before proceeding. So far as Mr. Horton is concerned, his interests here are too great; his entire devotion to the welfare of San Diego so well established by a thousand acts; his character for integrity and just dealing is too high to admit of the supposition for one moment that he would seek to hold one inch of land rightfully belonging to the city. Such a supposition is altogether too preposterous to be entertained by intelligent men. This is a simple question of legal rights, the decision of which can injure neither the city nor any of its people. It cannot be reached by the excited talk of persons who are utterly ignorant of the merits of the case. Bad men may endeavor from interested motives to lead the public astray, and to stir up passion and prejudice. We are satisfied that some of our City Trustees have been led by such false representations to take a view of the matter which in their better judgment and a calm examination of the facts will show them to be utterly without foundations.

San Diego Union, November 12, 1874, 3:1. The idea of organizing an Exposition Association in San Diego, recently broached by Mr. M. S. Patrick, is an eminently practical one, and should commend itself to the attention of our citizens. There cannot be the least doubt that such an institution could be made a paying investment to the stockholders, besides being of inestimable benefit to the city. What it requires is the management of men possessing the experience, energy and business sagacity of Mr. Patrick; and we believe there are enough good men to undertake this important project and carry it out. We have everything else — the country, the stock and land for grounds.

San Diego Union, November 12, 1874, 3:2. EDITORIAL: Expositions: What have heretofore been known as industrial fairs in the United States are now called “expositions,” and with the new name comes also an enlargement of the scope of these popular “shows.” The exposition of the period comprehends a display of agricultural and horticultural productions, machinery, inventions, manufactures, works of art, fine stock, and last, but by no means least, races — or “trials of speed,” as they are more politely called, according to the fashion of the time. The popularity of these institutions is constantly increasing, and no town of any considerable size fails to have its annual exposition.

In some of the cities of the Western states, immense sums are expended in preparing for these fairs; in nearly all of them extensive grounds are owned by the Association under whose auspices the exhibition is given. In most cases permanent buildings are erected, to which temporary additions are made according to the requirements of each annual occasion. One of these expositions “in full blast” is an inspiring affair. The halls and galleries are richly decorated, the display of works of use is always interesting, while that of works of art is seldom commonplace, there are throngs of spectators day and night, and the town puts on its festive appearance in honor of the event. Hotel keepers and storekeepers drive a thriving business and times in that place are exceedingly “lively” for many weeks.

This year in Chicago, Cincinnati and Louisville, the expositions were remarkable affairs in every way, that at Chicago (which, by the way, was founded by our esteemed townsman, Mr. M. S. Patrick) being a wonderful success. In California, we have had the Mechanics’ Institute Fair at San Francisco; the Fair of the State Agricultural Society; Fairs at Stockton, San Jose, Marysville, Petaluma and other towns, and latest of all the fine Fair of the Southern District Agricultural Association of Los Angeles.

We believe in these expositions. They are doing a great work — especially in California. They are aiding in the development of the country, by bringing together fine collections of specimens from our vineyards and orchards, our farms and forests and mines; specimens of improved horses and cattle and sheep; specimens of our manufactures and general industries, — in brief, the exposition is a comprehensive annual exhibit of the progress of the section in which it is given.

And the exposition is of immense benefit to the city in which it is held. It makes trade for the place; and trade that is not merely transient. The money taken over the counters of the hotels and shops during the progress of the fair, flows into numerous channels, quickening every branch of industry and laying the foundations for permanent local enterprises.

It is time that a movement in this direction were made in San Diego. We have every natural advantage that could be desired and nothing is needed to make a start but the will. Once begun, there is enough of the live spirit of enterprise to make the exposition a permanent institution in San Diego — an institution of steady growing prosperity and usefulness.


San Diego Union, May 30, 1926. San Diego Pioneer tells history of Balboa Park, by Daniel Cleveland.

On August 8, 1881, the City Trustees allotted a small tract of land in the southern portion of the park as a site for a building for the first high school established at San Diego. Joseph Russ, at that time the leading lumber dealer in this state, volunteered to donate all the lumber to be used in the high school building. In grateful recognition of this gift, his name was given to the building and school and was retained for more than twenty years. The building was completed and occupied in 1883.

San Diego Union, March 29, 1882, 3:3. San Diego Revisited: Letter in San Francisco Bulletin from Dr. C. C. Parry, a botanist.

San Diego has wisely set aside a public park of 1400 acres occupying the high mesa overlooking the town and bay; this ground, apparently unfit for any private uses, may yet constitute the glory of a flourishing seaport city, at present occupied only by a pest house and the skeleton of a commodious school house, may yet add to its magnificent views the attraction of artistic decoration and the display of perennial plants and flowers equaling but hardly exceeding what it now presents in its short floral season. The principal water supply of the town already crosses that high mesa, and, if the supply is sufficiently abundant, a part of it at least may be diverted to beautify its magnificent park.

San Diego Sun, March 21, 1882, 4:3. And then it rained! What it has done hereabouts; wettest effects to be seen at the mouth of Switzer’s canyon, which was dammed up by the construction of C street; dam formation broke away early this morning and some of the moisture escaped.

San Diego Sun, April 14, 1882, 4:3. Board of City Trustees: Trustee Snyder reported that owners in the vicinity of the park object to any portion of the same near the southern and western boundary thereof being used for the purpose of a milk ranch.

San Diego Union, December 23, 1884, 3:1-2. Local Brevities: The present is an excellent season to take steps toward improving and beautifying San Diego and vicinity; it is time that improvements be made on the grounds that have been laid out for a park; at present there is no attraction for visitors except the mild and healing climate; and the suggestions which have been made by several of late, that a commencement be made with a view of permanently improving the park is one that should meet the unqualified approval and support of all who have an interest in San Diego.

San Diego Union, December 24, 1884, 3:1. Money judiciously expended in making public improvements, such as the improvement of the grounds selected as a city park, and in other ways making San Diego more attractive will bring a reward a hundredfold in time to come.

San Diego Union, December 25, 1884, 3:1. Every resident and every property owners who desires the welfare of San Diego will be pleased when the work of improving the park is actually begun.

San Diego Union, December 28, 1884, 3:3. THE CITY TRUSTEES: The following petition was read:

To the Honorable Board of City Trustees of San Diego: Gentlemen — We the undersigned ask for permission to plant and maintain a number of trees on the tract known as the City Park Reservation. The expense would be defrayed by subscription.

We propose to set out this present season, an avenue of eucalyptus trees alongside one of the roads leading over the mesa and continue such improvements whenever there are sufficient funds on hand.

Hoping that this will meet your approval, we are willing to do such work under the instructions of a committee that may be appointed by your honorable body.

Very respectfully,

A Wentscher G. W. Jorres

Geo. W. Marston C. F. Francisco

  1. Klauber Douglas Gunn
  2. Blochman Allison Bros.
  3. Levi Chas. S. Hamilton
  4. P. Koster Chas. A. Chase

The petition was ordered granted, the improvements to be made under rules and regulations of the Board, and the petitioners were requested to appoint a committee of three to prepare plans for improvements of the park and present the same to the Board on Saturday, January 3rd.

San Diego Union, November 14, 1965, G-3:1-4. Union Park: A Convivial Spot, by Jerry MacMullen . . . San Diego may not have been enough of a metropolis to boast of anything as sophisticated as a Union Square, but at least she had a Union Park and, as beer gardens go, it was quite a place.

Of course, all trace of it has long vanished, together with traces of the rest of San Diego’s 1885 beer gardens. And it’s a great pity, because what modern civilization sorely needs is more relaxing under a tree, with no go-go girls to interfere with the enjoyment of a thick glass seidel or schooner, filled from a huge oak keg by a walrus-whiskered host, complete with sleeve garters and a celluloid collar. If you offered to buy him one, he would politely refuse; in doing so he might even, if you were lucky, favor you with a few lines from the old classic —

I never drink behind the bar,

I always take a mild cigar.

Union Park was not, as one might think, on Union Street; it was at 13th and K, across the street from a saloon; both were operated by H. C. Schuette, and those engaging in the more serious type of drinking used the saloon. It was a quiet neighborhood, with lots of space between the houses; to the east, in fact, there wasn’t very much until you got to the old tannery, up around 24th and K. Union Park bothered no one, and no one bothered Union Park. The local constable never — well, at least hardly ever — had occasion to visit the place for anything more then quietly hoisting one if nobody was in sight.

There was a little platform where musicians performed, or someone sang or recited poetry of the beer-garden type; at times the audience would join the musicians and the air would ring with the happy notes of “Ja, es ist ein schnitzelbank!” There was enough clear space for the performance of various types of horsemanship, and on one occasion Union Park rang to the clash of sabers on steel armor as two plumed knights had at one another on horseback. The challenger was a “professor” with a German name, while the defender was a cavalry sergeant from old San Diego Barracks, hastily recruited for the event as a matter of civic pride. The affair was said to have ended in what was at least a technical draw.

Of course, there were other better gardens in the era of the Great Boom and bust of the late 1880s. Over the hills and far away (it was away out in the boondocks at 32nd and N Streets) a man named Lippert opened a place called the Silver Gate. Fred Kaiser ran what was appropriately if unimaginatively called Kaiser’s Garden, at Front and F Streets. And the next time you stand in front of the new First National Bank Building and look diagonally across 5th and B to the southwest corner, half close your eyes and try to imagine that you see a modest, ship-lap house, shrubbery, and lattice fence and a sign which says “City Garden — L. Mayrhofer, Prop.”

Times change, and at the end of that fantastic real-estate boom they changed swiftly and ominously. People moved out as if the place has the plague, and Union Park — briefly known as K Street Gardens — went to join a lot of other pleasant things, such as knowing where the next meal was coming from. The “K Street Gardens” sign was taken over and applied to the saloon, but it wasn’t the same; it changed hands and policies and clientele and now the gendarmes left it alone chiefly because there are times when discretion is the better part of valor. A crowd of Cape Horn sailors, relaxing earnestly after six months at sea, was not to be taken lightly. And they liked the K Street Gardens.

In preserving Union Park for posterity, publishers of the 1886 City Directory have let us down badly; they locate it not at 13th and K but at Union and K which, at that time, was under several feet of salt water, at least at high tide.

October 15, 1976. “San Diego’s City Park, 1868-1902, an Early Debate on Environment and Profit,” by Gregory Montes.

About 1886, Elisha Babcock and H. L. Story built a steam power street car line, the University Heights Motor Road (or Park Belt Line) through the southeast section of the city, up Switzer Canyon, and onto the Mesa. (Pourade, p. 185, Hopkins, p. 324).

December 1886. U.S. Army offered to trade its downtown barracks for a City Park location.

G.W. Marston favored proposal (San Diego Union, December 29, 1886, 3:2-3).

Levi Chase proposed selling park in stages until 600 acres remained.

Barracks exchange opponents included John G. Capron, Mr. Parrish, and Daniel Choate (San Diego Union, December 30, 1886, 3:4).

The Union noted that among those against selling or bartering parts of City Park were speculators, “connected with land-grabbing syndicates,” who owned land near the park and feared the deflationary prices if more choice, adjacent land were put on the market. (San Diego Union, December 30, 1886, 3:4).

After the above arguments the City Trustees resolved to ask the State to authorize San Diego to sell 760 acres of City Park and to approve the barracks exchange. Then no further steps were taken and the whole matter died away. (San Diego Union, December 30, 1886, 3:4).

San Diego Union, March 3, 1886, 3:3. On motion of Trustee Sherman, the City Marshall was instructed to ascertain whether any persons are using the City Park for pasturing stock, or whether any stock is running upon it, and, if so, to give proper notice that such stock be removed and kept off.

San Diego Union, December 24, 1886, 3:1. The committee of the “Society for Improving and Beautifying San Diego” have secured, it is said, some 250 names to a petition to the Board of City Trustees, memorializing them against the division, though ever so small, of the City Park; we are opposed to the sale of even one foot of it.

San Diego Union, December 25, 1886, 3:2. “Progress” writes letter to the editor questioning the need of a 1400-acre park.

In my limited acquaintance I find that there are a good many people who think that the reservation of more than 1400 acres of land forever for park purposes is an absurd piece of folly; some are of the opinion that a Park of 600 acres is a pretty big thing to take care of; why should the handsomest residences in the city be forever locked up?

San Diego Union, December 30, 1886. EDITORIAL: Discuss It On Its Merits

The question of selling a portion of the city park is the chief topic of local interest and is bringing out a goodly number of “letters from the people.” It seems to be quite possible in a discussion of this kind, to get on without the usual quantity of insinuation, personal abuse and harsh language, although this contributes nothing to the force of the argument on either side.

Because a citizen favors reducing the park’s limits, it does not necessarily follow that he is a thief, and because another citizen opposes reduction, it is not therefore to be concluded that he does so from motives of personal interest. Men may and do differ radically and at the same time with perfect honesty upon matters of public policy; and while self-interest undoubtedly has a potent influence upon individual judgments, it is foolish to assume that it is the controlling motive with everyone who cannot see things as we see them.

Admitting the existence of purely selfish reasons for the positions assumed by different people, there are higher grounds on which such subjects may and should be discussed. Let the park question be considered on its intrinsic merits, without reference to the real or supposed motives of the individual advocates of either policy. Whether it is better for the present and future welfare of San Diego to maintain intact the existing park lines, or to contract them, is a question of far greater importance than any that has arisen in the city since the railroad issue in the days of the Texas Pacific. We must take it up in a cool, commonsense way, and settle it on sound business principles.

Looking to the distant future, will our city every need for a park so large a tract as fourteen hundred acres? Looking to the near future, will not wants be developed that cannot be met without a very large revenue? Looking to the present, are there not important needs requiring an outlay that can only be met by increased taxation, or by some other revenue? If, for example, we can have permanently set apart and improved a tract of one square mile in area, San Diego will have a magnificent public park. San Francisco’s reservation is scarcely larger.

It is worthy of reasonable thought, where such provision is not a sufficient legacy to the unborn inhabitants of the city of the future. At our present rate of increase, this city will have a population of 25,000 at the close of the coming year. It is certainly not extravagant to estimate the population five years hence at 50,000. During the coming five years this city will want some public buildings — a City Hall, fire-engine houses, more public schools, etc.; it will also be asking for Government buildings — Custom House, Post Office, bonded warehouses, etc., and it will very much facilitate the erection of such buildings if we have it in our power to offer the Government free building sites.

We shall need a first-rate system of protection from fire losses — storage reservoirs and cisterns for this special use, a paid fire department with ample apparatus. Surely nothing is so important as the making of our harbor as near a free port as possible, and a city wharf or wharves whose tolls would only be large enough to keep up repairs, would be vastly beneficial to our commerce.

Certainly we shall want more than one big park, three or four small parks right down in the city ought to be made; they would add immensely to the attractiveness of the place. And for present needs, is anything more important than the establishment of a thorough sewer system?

How shall the city raise the revenue to pay for these things? Can we afford to increase the rate of local taxation? There can be but one answer to that question. Now, if it can be shown that by the wisely regulated sale of surplus park lands ample funds can be obtained not only to carry on continuously the improvement and maintenance of the permanent city park reserve of 600 or 1,000 acres, but also to purchase and improve land for smaller parks in the midst of the city, to erect public buildings, buy sites for Government edifices, provide for the best fire protection, build public wharves, complete a sewer system, and do all other things needful, and at the same time increase the taxable wealth of the city and lower the general rate of taxation — is it not good financial policy to do it?

There is another point. If we become a large city, we shall have a large working class. The working men are the majority, largely so, now; their majority will increase as the city grows. What is the basis of our present and coming prosperity as a city? Commerce and production, certainly; but we cannot have these things without labor. It is the busy hand that carried out the planning of the active head. There must be remunerative employment for labor here, and, as we advance step by step in cityhood, we shall comprehend this more and more. That is a wise policy that increases the field of industry, and it is sound business policy to promote private and public improvement to this end.

The opening of surplus park land for residence creates first taxable real estate; next taxable improvements in the form of new buildings, and the construction of these gives employment to mechanics and laborers. In the improvement of the park lands, in the erection of public buildings, in the building of sewers and other public works, a host of men will have steady employment during the growing years of our city.

And finally there is something to be urged on behalf of the present generation. The San Diegan who is now on top of the ground ought to have some of the fruits of his own work while building for the future. There ought to be some park privileges for the children of the city now growing up. Some of the benefits as well as the burdens of city improvement, ought to be enjoyed by the people who are here now.

San Diego Union, December 30, 1886 (also December 25, 1886). PREPOSTEROUS PARKS

Editor, Union: We have a local reputation of extensively advertising our property and when an offer is made of the price stated — of getting out from under and marking it higher. General Howard has suggested the exchange of a few acres of land of what is now, has been, and will be for a long time a large tract of useless land for a piece of property that the city can’t well do without. The pros and cons were before the people. Some threatened injunction on having any part of the Park sold; others were in favor. It’s the same way with our Government lands, in which we all have similar rights with the injuncting class referred to. Until the Government lands are disposed of, the park will remain the largest elephant any city ever had to carry. Give 10 acres to the Government and it still leaves 1320 acres. With the barracks on the hill and with the Government appropriation for improvement, San Diego’s mesas will begin to look like a new Jerusalem, and, as time is money, we shall (have?) our days a few minutes longer as the sun rises earlier and sets later from that standpoint.

We have had some very social gatherings in the interest of the park, proposing to admit members to the Park Committee for five dollars each. It would take as many members as the city can inventory to build a rabbit-proof fence around it. Contract its limits and it can be managed. One member did remark in the old vernacular, “We may not, and you may not see the day, when it will be all improved, but what difference does it make?” That gentleman should go further in the application of his doctrine. We have a large county on hand, and if none of it is let loose for railroads or sold to producers, it would made big difference to the people who have united here to live. That gentleman should take a walk around some of the German states or of Rhode Island, nearer home, and inquire what they would be with 1,400 acres of arable land (if they had it). That party must have been living in Texas or Old Virginia, where a farm is never half cultivated or fenced in.

The advocates of a park on such a giant scale should consider that breathing places will be wanted in other sections of the city. There are vacant lots between 11th and 12th, that require immediate attention for city parks. Either of these plats are as large as Washington on Tompkins in New York City, and nearly as large as Boston Common, the only park in that city.

Have plenty of park roots, but more parks. Cut down the present one to 800 acres, take the money and sewer grade the streets, and be consistent. If this city with its possible number of inhabitants undertakes to tax the people to cultivate 1,400 acres and irrigate it, we shall soon find ourselves further in and over the hill to the poor house, which institution is further over and needs attention more than that park does. Sell off a few squares and put that in shape, then work on the park.


San Diego Union, December 29, 1886, 3:2-4. OUR BIG PARK RESERVE: Conference of Trustees and Citizens Yesterday; Interesting Directions. . . . At the regular meeting of the Board of City Trustees Monday evening, a communication from George W. Marston suggested the feasibility of setting aside a portion of the park lands as a military post for the Government in lieu of the ground now occupied by the barracks. The Committee of the Whole was instructed to confer with citizens upon the subject. Yesterday afternoon the meeting room of the Board of Trustees was filled by representative citizens who has assembled to consider the matter. State Senator Bowers and Assemblyman Young were present by invitation as also Lieutenant Mason, U.S. Army.

Trustee C. S. Hamilton, President of the Board, was called to the chair, and City Clerk Christian acted as secretary.

The proposed amendments to the Fourth Class Charter were first discussed, when at the suggestion of Senator Bowers that on the meeting of the Legislature each city interested would probably send up amendments, and that time should be taken here to embody in proper form the wishes of the city. It was resolved that a committee of five be appointed by the chair to formulate amendments, the same to be forwarded to our delegation at Sacramento.

The matter of exchanging a suitable tract of park land for the present site of the Government barracks was then brought up. W. Parrish, Esq., addressed the meeting, taking strong ground against the alienation of a single foot of the park grounds for any purpose whatever. He believed 1400 acres was not a bit too large for a park. Parties were talking about selling a portion of the park land; but when such a movement began there would be no park land left. Some people thought 100 acres was enough. If we ever began to touch that reservation, it would all go, there would be no agreement where to draw the line. Philadelphia, St. Louis and Chicago were cited as instances where larger parks existed than our own. We wanted a park big enough to turn a buggy round in, and we needed every foot of that 1400 acres.

Levi Chase, Esq., said he had seen the principal cities of the United States and Europe, and he regarded the idea of improving so immense a tract of land as that here reserved as absurd. The cost would be enormous, beyond the power of a city as large as San Francisco. He was in favor of selling, under proper regulations, a limited portion of the park lands from time to time, the proceeds to create a fund to be applied to the improvement of a park of reasonably limited dimensions. He thought 640 acres would make a large park for a city of 250,000 people. That would be a square mile of land. And it would be as much as we could reasonably undertake to improve as a very large city. He was in favor of selling part of the land to improve the rest. The land as it stands now is a mere burlesque upon the name of a park. He was in favor also and very decidedly of setting apart a liberal tract of this reservation for a military post. He believed such action would not only be wise but financially profitable. The lands now occupied by the barracks were of great value to the city commercially, and of no value to the government, while the park lands were at present of no value to the city, but exceedingly desirable to the government. Both parties to the exchange proposed would gain by the transaction. A larger military post would be established here, and the officers would take pride in improving and adorning the lands allotted for the post. It would be a first and practical step in improving these now waste lands.

Trustee Stewart thought if the present location of the barracks was unsuitable, a better location than any in the park, and one perfectly salubrious could be found on the government’s own reserve on the Playa. If the blocks which had been given by the city for the use of the post were abandoned, the land should be held for the erection of government buildings.

Judge Puterbaugh was decidedly against setting aside any of the park lands for a military post. He did not think the contiguity of a post was a desirable thing. He thought the park reservation should be sacredly held in its entirety. The area of 1400 acres was little enough for such a city as San Diego was certain to become. He was opposed to the sale of any part of it, or its use for any purpose whatever than a public park.

John G. Capron said that if we once began to meddle with the park, we might as well say good-bye to the whole thing. He did not think we could spare one foot of it. If anything, it was not big enough. He believed there was no legal power to touch it. He said that, as a citizen, he had a fee-simple interest in the park, and that, if any attempt was made to touch it, injunction proceedings would be commenced at once. He read the form of a petition and agreement which was in circulation protesting against the disposal for any purpose of any portion of the park lands, and pledged the signers to fight any movements of the kind in the courts.

Senator Bowers said that, as a resident of San Diego for the last 17 years, he had personal opinions on this subject. He desired to express his views as an individual and not as a representative at this meeting. Whatever his personal ideas might be on this or any other question, however, he wished it to be understood that as member of the Legislature he should be governed by the will of the people. If public opinion in this city should be contrary to his private opinion, he should deem it his duty to obey the expressed wishes of his constituents. Speaking here as a citizen he desired to say that the notion of locking up for all time against building improvements of the finest residence sites in San Diego seemed to him about as foolish and shortsighted a policy as can be imagined. The idea of holding so enormous a tract as 1400 acres as a park reservation he had long thought absurd. The revenues of no city in the United States would be adequate to the improvement of such an area as that. We must consider that in the eastern country the lands reserved for public parks were made more beautiful by nature than by the hand of man. That is a land of trees and natural vegetation. Here, on the seacoast of California, man must create at great expense the verdure and shade that nature freely bestows in the East. Look at the enormous expense of the improvement of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Now here we are 12,000 people. Suppose a time when we have 50,000 or 100,000 — will we even then begin to take care of so large a park as one square mile? Certainly the idea of improving 1400 acres is preposterous. The speaker wished to have a public park, in fact, and within the lifetime of some people now living. Every stranger visiting his house has asked what the barren waste meant, why there were no buildings beyond 5th Street, and when they were told it was our 1400-acre City Park, it made them laugh. Let the city sell some of the beautiful residence property on the south side of the park, and it would have a large revenue to beautify and improve the rest of the land. He did not believe in rushing it all into the market in a lump, but sell enough from time to time to meet the current requirements in the creation of a real park. As to the proposition to set apart enough of this land for military uses, he was decidedly in favor of it and thought the city could not do a better thing.

  1. S. McLure offered a resolution, which was seconded, requested the San Diego delegation in the legislature to introduce an act authorizing the City Trustees to set apart a proper amount of land in the park reservation for a military post; also authorizing the Board to sell such portions of the park lands as they deem advisable. Mr. McLure addressed the meeting in support of the resolution, declaring that the reservation of so large a park tract was unreasonable and prejudicial to the growth and prosperity of the city. The true policy was to foster building improvement. The land now lying barren and worse than worthless, could be made to yield an immense revenue, and would quickly be covered with handsome buildings and grounds. Six-hundred acres was land enough in all reason and commonsense for a park, and more than could be improved in years. Instead of holding this land forever unoccupied and unimproved, let some of it be sold and diminish taxation, while adding to the taxable value of the city by the creation of valuable real property that would be improved by costly residences.

Mr. Parrish said the sale of park lands now would be bad finance; by holding them fifty years they would be worth enormously more than at present.

Mr. McLure said that if all the land in the Pueblo had been held by the city until now, there would be no town here. It was the sale of city lands to Horton and others that made the building of the city possible.

Major Chase said he thought that what was good finance in private business was good in public affairs. Owners of large tracts here are cutting them up and putting them on the market. They are selling a part to make the rest more valuable. Why not apply such a policy to the park lands? Why don’t these gentlemen do with their own tracts what they advise the city to do with the park; refuse to sell any of their land; wait fifty years for it to enhance its value?

Mr. Carlson introduced an amendment to the resolution asking legislation to authorize the sale of sufficient park lands in twenty years to pay bonds of the city for sewer construction and park improvement.

Major Chase opposed the amendment; he was against the creation of bonded indebtedness.

Douglas Gunn said, while he favored the general idea of the original resolution, he thought it should be more precise in terms. He believed that a public park should be maintained as one of the most important features of our city, both as an attraction and in a sanitary point of view. He believed such a reservation should be liberal in its dimensions and he thought the area suggested by Mr. Chase of one square mile was liberal enough to satisfy the ambition of a city as large as San Diego was expected to become by the most sanguine of its citizens. He thought that legislation should provide for the setting apart as a permanent park reserve a tract of 640 acres within the present park limits, the ground to be selected with care and competent engineering assistance by a Board of Park Commissioners, and when selected to be properly enclosed, and a system of improvements begun under a comprehensive plan — not at haphazard nor in any desultory way. He would have the Board consist of say three members — one to be appointed by the Governor, one by the Board of City Trustees or Common Council, and one by the Chamber of Commerce. This would insure the appointment of citizens of high character who would serve without compensation but would be empowered to employ the necessary engineering and clerical assistance, and should not only have supervision of all improvements, but of the entire existing park reservation.

The funds for improving the park proper, or permanent reserve, should be raised by the sale of exterior park lands. The Board of Trustees, or Common Council, should be authorized to sell these lands at stated periods, and in limited quantities, a public sale, after giving at least three months notice of sale; the selection of lands so offered to be made by the Park Commissioners.

. . . The natural trend of the city’s growth is toward those slopes. As 5th Street extends northward over the mesa; so would 6th, 7th and 8th, and all the numbers eastward. . . .

  1. Choate said not one foot of the existing Park Land should ever be sold. He followed Mr. Capron in declaring that he had a fee-simple title in the reservation as a citizen and they would go into court and stop any attempt to dispose of the lands for a military post or anything else. The citizens would band together to prevent the stealing of the park.

George D. Copeland said then when, in behalf of the San Diego Flume Company, he presented their proposition to the Trustees to being in the water of the river, he made the assertion that San Diego was the richest municipality in the State; and that was the fact. Possessing this 1400 acres of Park reserve, this city could either be the richest or the poorest town in California. If a commonsense policy was adopted, this tract would be worth millions to the city. If it was kept locked up as it is now, it would be worth a great deal less than nothing at all. . . .

President Hamilton said that Lieutenant Mason was present; and they would like to hear from him.

Lieutenant Mason said there seemed to be some misapprehension in regarding the proposed change of location of the post. The military authorities of the Government had no proposition to make. General Howard thought that a proposition might come from the city, or citizens, to give a more suitable location than the present one, and such a proposition, he thought, might be favorably entertained. It was not likely that the present location would be much longer maintained. The accommodation was limited and unfavorable to the military policy of concentration of troops. A location was required sufficiently large for three or four companies with ample ground for drill, etc. There were several points in the Park reservation that would meet the requirement.

The meeting was then adjourned, subject to the call of the chair.

San Diego Union, December 30, 1886, 3:2. SAVE THE PARK

Editor, Union: Honest old Daniel Choate was right when he talked right out in the meeting and told the men who are trying to steal the public park that they were thieves. That’s just what they are. Talk about “progress” and “development” and all such trash!

Suppose the hills are “bare” for a few years longer, what of it? There is something better than fine buildings on those hills. It is better to hold that park land sacred for the use of future generations, as it was meant to be. We are building houses fast enough. Let us have something for our children and our children’s children. A hundred years from now, when we are forgotten, that two and a half square miles of park will be a proud monument of the early days of San Diego.

Let us stamp down the men who would for one instant touch one single foot of this sacredly-dedicated ground. Not for a military post, nor any other purpose should this land be given. It was fatally bad to give the occupation of the ground for the Russ School a few years ago; that was the entering wedge. By such spacious pleas the thieves try to get in their work. I should like to see the city even now provide lands outside the park and remove the school building; it has no proper place there.

There is land enough outside the park for “development” and “progress.” There are “additions” on every hand where good lots can be bought cheap.


San Diego Union, December 30, 1886. THE CITY PARK RESERVE

Editor, Union: With myself, I doubt not that many of our old residents were highly amused in reading your report of the emphatically eloquent remarks and the virtuous threats of several impassioned citizens of the “park” meeting held under the auspices of our kind-hearted City Trustees. Amused in noticing how some of the speakers who demurred so strongly at the idea of selling any portion of our 1,400-acre reservation, are among those who are and have been connected with land-grabbing syndicates in the vicinity of “our” reservation. Dry lands that they have been gobbling up recently (as well as years ago) in a very quiet way for a mere song, they are selling and preparing to sell for $1,000 to $3,000 an acre, when cut up into lots. Amused to notice how suspicious they were, lest the park lands be stolen. No, no, it’s all wrong to place 200 acres of the city’s lands on the open market until the thousands of lots they are interested in are sold. It’s all right to expend tens of thousands of dollars for boulevards, etc. on the park for this will make their additions, and the Methodist church property more valuable.

The noli me tangere park law was passed by the Legislature on the petition of a large majority of the voters of San Diego. We wanted to keep it from being “stolen” by men who were grabbing city land for additions. That race hasn’t died out yet.

I believe that when the people of this city realize that the time has come to improve a portion of the desolate-looking park lands adjoining Horton’s addition, and sell the same legally by public auction, and the majority petition for it, the land will be sold. Those gentlemen who are so greatly interested in not having the park lands “stolen” cannot them stop the sale by any “stop thief” cry.

Our visitors laugh at the absurdity of keeping 1,400 acres of bare, brown land as a “reservation” ` for raising jack rabbits, or as a supposed flower garden on which to feast the eyes of said visitors.

I will add that the men who own these many additions to San Diego, don’t own everything. They don’t own three-fourths of the voters of San Diego.


San Diego Union, December 31, 1886, 4:2. CITIZENS’ IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION

Editor, Union: Some citizens have recently taken steps to form a “Citizens’ Association to Improve and Beautify San Diego.” Under the head of “Preposterous Parks,” there was published in your issue of yesterday a communication from “Citizen” in which he intentionally or ignorantly misstates the objects of the Association. In either event, the misstatement is inexcusable. As a citizen he should have public spirit enough to learn the objects of any citizens’ association to improve the city before attempting to deceive the public by belittling its aims.

The objects of the Association were printed in full in a recent issue of The Union. Had he read them, he would have learned that the society desires to do all that he contends for except selling off part of the “preposterous park.” With the selling or subdividing of the park, the society has nothing to do. It may hereafter make suggestions and recommendations, but whether these will favor selling of subdividing the park will depend upon the opinion of the members therein.

It is a society wherein the majority will rule, but the minority can be heard. Its objects are to advise as well as to work. Every citizen should belong. Its objects are as much to improve the “vacant lots” near 8th, 10th, 11th and 12th Streets as to improve any part of the city park or county. In short, its objects are very comprehensive in every way, and I cannot imagine how any citizen could wish to obstruct its work with any unfavorable comments.

No one can doubt the fact that this town, aside from its grand natural beauty, needs beautifying. It’s like the man who asked the doctor what he should do for his bad breath. The doctor told him, “anything would help and nothing would make it worse.”

All citizens are solicited to become members of this Association and it does seem to me that all good citizens will do so. The five dollar membership fee can be paid in work or money, and, under the direction of the Society, the work can be done in front of a member’s own property as well as elsewhere.

Is it now high time for our citizens to cease all personal abuse and begin pulling for the good of the whole city, and drop the detestable habit of throwing cold water on all public enterprises? The best thing for Mr. “Citizen” to do is to apologize for this slurring insinuations and hasten to become an active member in our Association.

One of Them

Source Unknown, Date Unknown. Indigent Gentlewomen Make Way for Needy Children: In 1887, the good ladies of the San Diego Chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union found themselves with an expanded treasury. As a result, $1,000 was invested in a “home for indigent gentlewomen,” located at 1365 16th Street.

When the San Diego Children’s Industrial Home, on the present site of Naval Hospital, burned to the ground a decade later, the gentlewomen made way for the children; since that time this location has been the San Diego Children’s Home.

San Diego Children’s Home Association, founded 1887 (5.4 acres)

Women’s Home and Day Nursery before June 1898

Women’s and Children’s Home after June 1898

San Diego Children’s Home after 1904 . . . 16th and Ash

Russ High School . . . 14th northwest corner A

Public Works Department (14.2 acres, since 1940)

San Diego Union, February 12, 1887, 8:1. George W. Marston claimed 1400 acres not too large for a park; Bryant Howard replies. (Note: entry taken from card index, California Room, San Diego Public Library; newspaper of that date does not contain article in question.)

San Diego Union, June 8, 1887, 5:4. For Beauty and Improvement . . . Last night in the rooms of the Society of Natural History, the organization known as the Citizens’ Association for Improving and Beautifying San Diego held a well-attended and very interesting session; Bryant Howard, president, Kate Sessions, secretary . . . . Attention was called to the reckless manner in which earth is being removed from the City Park, in the region of Florence Heights.

San Diego Daily Bee, June 8, 1887, 1:7. A Good Work: Meeting of the Citizens’ Improvement Association met in the rooms of the Society of Natural History on 6th street last evening; Bryant Howard, president of the Association; Kate Sessions secretary : A Pleas for the Missions; New Sidewalks, Tree Planting Along Streets; Building Improvements, etc. . . . Other points brought up before the society were the removal of dirt on 6th street near the City Park, and the building of sidewalks all over the city in places needed. . . . A topographical map of the city park was ordered made for the use and benefit of the society in making future improvements.

San Diego Union, June 25, 1887. OUR CITY PARK

Editor, Union: Our City Park should be utilized. It contains much more ground than is necessary for park purposes. It strikes me that it might be used in some small degree by the erection on it of a building for public purposes. Why not set aside a sufficient portion for the use of a county fair ground? It would be no difficult matter, if the grounds were first obtained, to raise sufficient funds to erect the necessary buildings. Again, the erection of other public buildings might be encouraged and facilitated by the proffer of the use of grounds for their location. For instance, we need and should ask at the next session of Congress for a time ball and signal service establishment. Certainly the proffer of the ground would encourage and increase the probabilities of our obtaining an appropriation for the same. Already the farseeing and liberal Farm and Land Company have offered lands for the location of the Custom House and other offers will probably be made. Now why not proffer the eligible site for this, for with street car conveniences already established and others in contemplation, the southern portions of the park will be in easy access from all parts of the city. We need other public institutions, such as parade grounds and an observatory. Some of these, if not all, might be brought to a successful conclusion if steps were taken in the right direction. Our public park would be utilized and our citizens materially benefited thereby.

Surely we have more land in that park than will be needed for park purposes for the next half century, if indeed it is ever to be made useful for such purposes. Then why not make use of it for our more immediate wants? Now, Mr. Editor, lend your journal as a powerful influence towards having something done to our present worthless park.

G.G.B. . . . (apparently G. G. Brandt, president, Chamber of Commerce)

San Diego Union, June 25, 1887, 4:2. EDITORIAL: The City Park . . . The utilization of some portion of the city park is again made the subject of discussion by a communication in another column. Among the uses to which our correspondent would devote a part of the 1,400-acre area are county fair grounds, public buildings, such as Signal Service establishment and Custom House, public parade ground, an observatory, etc. The discussion of this subject ceased when the vote on the sewer bond proposition was taken. It is a subject on which there is a wide variance of opinion. Some oppose the appropriation of any portion of the area to any other than park purposes. Some favor selling a portion of it off in residence lots. Some oppose doing anything at all with it at present, claiming that it should lie in its present condition and await developments. One of our correspondent’s suggestions at least can be commended. A county-fair ground ought to be provided. A portion of the park might well be taken for this purpose. If the ground were available, it would be an easy matter to secure the buildings. And with these provided in permanent form, it would be an easier matter to carry out the annual enterprise of an exhibit of the produces and resources of the county. If there are legal obstacles in the way, let steps be taken to have these removed.

San Diego Union, August 5, 1887, 3:3. Bryant Howard appeared before the Board of City Trustees and urged the necessity of making a boulevard; a petition for one had been filed with the City Clerk some time ago; Howard thought drives should be laid out in the park and asked that a topographical map be made of the park; ladies would build a Women’s Home on the grounds and beautify and adorn the park; details.

San Diego Daily Bee, August 13, 1887, 1:3. FAMILIAR TALKS: Opinions of Various Men on Various Subjects; Park Improvements.

Judge M. A. Luce: I am in favor of a boulevard on the west side of the park; in fact I would be willing to pay my share to construct a boulevard all around the outside of the park. I do not think, at the present time, it would be necessary to go to a very great expense. I do not mean a level grade, but a good highway, and bridged where it might be necessary over the canyons intervening. The grades would be light, and if completed within six months, at the end of the rainy season the track would be in a very fine condition, and become a very pleasant drive for the people of our city. It would be one movement towards beautifying and improving the Park. I do not think such a highway would cost to exceed $2,500. There is no grade needed, except, perhaps, at one place. It certainly would not require over $4,000 if properly expended, and I think the amount could be raised by subscription. There is another thing I would like to say. I would gladly be one to give $100 towards sinking an artesian well in the Park at some point which might be considered best for the purpose, provided the well should be sunk 1,000 feet if necessary to get water. I think it would be well enough to try it and give it a fair test. We might just as well find out and if we cannot strike water, we may strike something else.

San Diego Union, August 18, 1887, 3:1. City Trustees instructed Chief Engineer to draw up a topographical map of park and to draw up plans for a grand boulevard. 200 ft. wide, to be constructed on the west side of the park.

San Diego Union, August 18, 1887, 3:4. IN A WORTHY CAUSE . . . A benefit performance to be given at the Louis Opera House to raise funds to pay off a $700 debt owned by the Women’s Home Association, after which the Association will proceed to erect a Home for Women on a site in the City Park.

San Diego Union, August 21, 1887, 3:4. Sherman’s Illusions drew quite a large audience to Louis Opera House last night. The entertainment was given for the benefit of the Women’s Home Association.

San Diego Daily Bee, September 19, 1887, 3:1. EDITORIAL: The City Park . . . Early Improvements Contemplated in this Locality; Trustees Take Action; Horton Plaza, Old Town Plaza, Plaza de Pantoja.

Parks, boulevards and recreation grounds go hand in hand with civilization and progress and in almost every city which has arrived at any reasonable degree of commercial importance, these desirable improvements can be found. In this respect, however, San Diego is lamentably deficient and for a long time expressions of surprise and regret have been freely vented at the seeming negligence of the city authorities to provide a suitable place for this purpose. It is a well known fact that in 1871 the city council then in power laid aside 1400 acres of land on Florence Heights for a city park, although no attempt has been made to utilize it and at present it lies a barren waste. The reason that the matter has not been hitherto taken in hand is owing to the press of other matters connected with municipal legislation which were deemed of infinitely more importance. Four weeks ago, however, the city trustees issued orders that the park should be surveyed and laid off in boulevards and drives, and O. N. Sanford, city engineer, was instructed accordingly. The plot of land is so located as to command a full view of the bay, with National City and the head of the bay in the distance, while the Mexican mountains stand out in bold relief, making the situation one of the most charming and delightful of any in California. The boulevard will be 200 feet wide and will be laid out with every variety of trees and plants peculiar to tropical climes. It is proposed to build a military school upon the grounds, a home for the widows of soldiers and sailors, and other institutions of an equally beneficial nature. When completed it will be the largest Park in the State and will not only be an ornament and credit to the city, but will supply a long-felt want from a domestic point of view. Children can disport themselves to their hearts’ content away from the bustle and business activity of city life, and when the daily toil is over lovers can hear find a lonely retreat and pour sweet nothings into each other’s ears, wafted by the gentle zephyrs which ever play on old Pacific’s shores.

This is a consummation devoutly to be wished, and the energetic matter in which the Trustees are pushing the scheme is commendable in the extreme and gives assurance that in the near future San Diego will have a park to which it can point with pride and admiration.

At present there are three parks in the city. One is called the Old Town Plaza, but is located within the city limits. One is the Horton Plaza, between 3rd and 4th Streets on D, and the other is called the Plaza de Pantoja, and is situated on F Street, between State and Columbia. The last named two are well cultivated and the city has provided experienced keepers to improve and beautify them. They are very small and totally inadequate to the requirements of the population. They are frequently visited by lovers of solitude, and indeed large numbers of citizens and Eastern visitors make them a daily resort.

In view of these facts, too much importance cannot be attached to the park question, and their early construction and adaptation to the public requirements has now become a most urgent necessity in conjunction with the many developments of the city.

San Diego Union, September 25, 1887, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Improve the City Park . . . The time has come when San Diego, with its 20,000 population, that is soon to be doubled, should begin in an energetic and systematic manner to improve its park. The city possesses a noble domain of 1,400 acres devoted to park purposes, which, with proper management and a wise expenditure of money, can be made one of the handsomest and most attractive public resorts in America. Thus far little has been done to improve this future playground of the populace, for the reason that the City Trustees saw no way to secure the necessary funds, save by public subscription. This plan was not considered safe or practicable, and the result is that these broad acres are a barren, dull, uninviting waste. All that is required are the magic influence of water, and the application of labor to change this valuable possession from its present condition to one of beauty and attractiveness. We understand that there is and has been a general desire on the part of the Board of Trustees and the public to bring about this desirable transformation, and we are pleased to announce that there is nothing to prevent such action. The Trustees, owing doubtless to the fact that they are driven with work six days a week, have overlooked the fact that the last Legislature passed an act relating to public parks, that was approved by the late Governor Barnett on March 8th last. Under this act, “The Common Council and Board of Supervisors of the several cities, counties, cities and counties in this State, are authorized to levy taxes for the maintenance of public parks having an acreage of over ten acres within their respective corporate limits.” The tax to be levied shall not exceed 3 cents on every $100 assessed valuation of property real and personal in such city, or city and county. This law was passed particularly for the benefit of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, but was of necessity made general. San Diego comes within the scope of this law, and, in consequence, there is no reason whatever why the city should not begin the improvement of the park without needless waste of time. It would not be necessary for some years to come, to levy the full amount authorized by the law, for a levy of 1-1/2 or 2 cents of the $100 assessed valuation would furnish a handsome sum for beginning the work. The initial improvement might well be in the shape of a graded driveway, with a long avenue of trees planted like the famous and beautiful Alameda between San Jose and Santa Clara. In connection with this work, the growth and maintenance of greensward should be commenced and a certain area thus reclaimed each year. San Diego’s park is capable of being made to rival the far-famed Golden Gate Park of San Francisco, and the sooner the work of beautifying it is begun, the better for the city. Now that there is no obstacle in the way, we hope to see the City Trustees take the matter in hand and begin this important undertaking. The question, whether or nor the park should be improved, rests entirely with them.

San Diego Union, November 2, 1887, 5:3. Complaints about smoke from garbage fires north of Russ School house.

San Diego Daily Bee, November 3, 1887, 8:1. FACTS AND FIGURES: the double track on 5th Street, its probable cost and workings; meeting of Woman’s Home Association held yesterday at residence of Mrs. Marston; proposal to organize an exchange and build a home at the City Park; two hundred men and eighty teams at work grading streets; cost of grading.

A meeting of the directors of the Woman’s Home Association was held at the residence of Mrs. G. W. Marston, yesterday. There were present Mesdames W. W. Stewart, president; C. C. Babcock, Dr. Murry, G. W. Marston, and Miss E. M. Chapin. The meeting was called for the purpose of discussing the establishment of a Woman’s Exchange in connection with the Woman’s Home. It was decided to appoint a vice-president from each of the churches, in order to make the work more universal and to promulgate where it would do most good. It was further decided to hold a meeting on the 15th inst. for the purpose of appointing a board of managers.

The Woman’s Home Association was incorporated on the 17th day of February last, at the instance of several ladies who took an interest in Christian work, with the object of forming an institution similar to the YMCA. A building was erected and a room set apart for social purposes, and many beneficial results have accrued. The object of the new branch is to form an exchange where women can leave articles which are for sale. It has been found that a large number of women are able in their leisure moments to prepare fancy and useful articles of which they have at present no means of disposing. The association has applied to the Board of City Trustees for permission to erect a home on the city park. The directors propose beautifying the grounds and providing an institution worthy of the city.

October 15, 1976, “San Diego’s City Park, 1868-1902, An Early Debate on Environment and Profit,” by Gregory E. Montes – The Howard Tract

November 4, 1887, B. Howard and E. W. Morse asked the City Trustees to grant them and several associates 100 acres of City Park on the promontory between Cabrillo and Florida Canyon (San Diego Union, November 4, 1887, 5:3).

Howard said that his group could obtain free land elsewhere, but wanted the charitable institutions “near the heart of our city, within easy access of the larger number of those they are intended to benefit.” (San Diego Union, November 4, 1887, 5:3)

December 2, 1887, City Trustees granted 100 acres to Howard and Company and also 5 acres to the Women’s Home Association on which to house indigent women (San Diego Union, December 3, 1887, 5:5).

San Diego Union, November 4, 1887, 4:2. EDITORIAL: A Great Beneficence

Messrs. Bryant Howard and E. W. Morse applied to the Board of City Trustees last night for a grant of one hundred acres of the City Park, extending from the south line of the park north between the extended lines of 14th and 20th streets, for the use of the following named institutions: An Orphans’ Home, the Pierce Boys’ and Girls’ Home, a Kindergarten, an Industrial School and a School of Technology. The principal objects of these institutions as stated in the application are:

To protect and provide homes for orphans and other poor children, to educate younger ones in the Kindergarten, to give them all a good common school education, to teach them in the Industrial School a useful trade, and to afford the more proficient ones among them an opportunity to study the higher branches of the useful arts in the School of Technology. The Kindergarten, the Industrial School, and the School of Technology will, however, be open to all respectable and deserving children and youth who may wish to avail themselves of such means of education. These institutions are to be purely benevolent and educational and are not to be under the control of any church or sect. The sole purpose for which they are established is to help the young, to aid not only the children of the deserving poor, but to save from vice and pauperism and crime, homeless orphans and children of the cruel and debased. It is intended to give all who come under their charge a useful education, to train them for some honest calling, to instill in their minds the principles of morality, and to prepare them for right living, with strong and healthy bodies, skilled hands, active minds, and high and noble aims.

The foregoing outlines of this charitable and educational scheme show it to be one of great beneficence, one that will be of incalculable benefit not only to the city but also to the State, and one that will be a grand and enduring monument to the charity and generosity of its founders.

The grant of land is not desired for any purpose of doubtful accomplishment. The funds to carry out the scheme are already provided. The munificent bequest of the late James M. Pierce, which will amount to $150,000 has been supplemented by equal amounts contributed by Mr. Howard and Mr. Morse and a gentleman whose name is not mentioned; making a total fund of $600,000 available for buildings and endowment. This will be ample not only to establish the institutions, but to permanently sustain them. Aside from the charitable and educational benefits that will result from this scheme, there will be the additional advantage of improving and beautifying a portion of the City Park.

Beyond question this project is one of the grandest benefactions of the time. And it will ever justly be a matter of local pride that it was conceived and executed by men closely identified from the first with the history of San Diego, men to whose faith and courage and effort we are largely indebted for the San Diego that is and the still greater San Diego that is to be.

San Diego Union, November 4, 1887, 5:3. CITY TRUSTEES: At the regular meeting of the Board of City Trustees, Bryant Howard, as one of the executors of the estate of the late J. M. Pierce, presented a petition requesting 100 acres of that portion of City Park situated on a ridge north of the south line of the park, and between 14th and 20th Streets where those streets extend northward, for the use of the following institutions: Orphans’ Home, Pierce Boys’ and Girls’ Home, a Kindergarten, an Industrial School, and a School of Technology; matters were referred to the Committee.

We are willing and indeed it is our desire that the land we ask be granted under the most careful and guarded restrictions.

In putting under the control of private citizens so much and such valuable property, the interests of the city should be fully protected. Bonds should be required that good buildings be erected and that the grounds be improved and kept open to the public, so that the purpose for which the Park was established shall not be defeated or in any wise interfered with. If you will grant our request, we will accept the trust with all these restrictions and give bonds to establish and maintain the institutions we have named in a creditable manner.

Should you accept our proposition, it is our intention to plough the grounds and commence improving them during the coming winter; and, as soon as an Act of the Legislature can be obtained ratifying your action so that we shall be protected from future improper interference, we shall at once commence the erection of the buildings necessary to carry out our design.

Bryant Howard

G.W. Morse

Mr. Howard also spoke regarding the Woman’s Home, asking the Board to take some decisive step toward granting land for the buildings of that institution. On motion both matters were referred to the Park Committee.

The Daily San Diegan, November 4, 1887, 5:3. OUR CITY FATHERS: The Pierce executors ask for 100 acres of the public park; a fund of $600,000.

Ordinances: An ordinance granting a railway franchise to D. Choate and others for a line to Choate and Klauber’s addition via the City Park was adopted.

San Diego Union, November 11, 1887, 5:1. Captain William Blanding, of the National Soldiers’ Home for Disabled Volunteer Veterans, in a communication to the Board of City Trustees, asked that the City Attorney look into the matter of granting or leasing 160 acres of City Park for Veterans’ Home purposes.

The Daily San Diegan, November 11, 1887, 1:5. BOARD OF CITY TRUSTEES: City Park and Soldiers’ Home . . . Captain William Blanding of the National Soldiers’ Home for Disabled Volunteer Veterans, in a communication, asked that the City Attorney look into the matter of granting or leasing 160 acres of the City Park for Home purposes. While Captain Blanding was before the Board of Trustees, it was a question of doubt whether the Board had the right to lease any portion of the Park for such purposes. Captain Blanding also asked if the Commission would be allowed the privilege of selecting any site it should choose. The City Attorney will report on the matter at the next regular meeting.

San Diego Daily Bee, November 11, 1887, 4:1. Soldiers’ Home . . . The commission which is to determine the location of the soldiers’ home is already on the way to the coast. Only a few days will elapse until they will be with us. We should well remember that we are not alone in our application for the location. San Jose, Napa city, Monterey, Salinas, Los Angeles, San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara, and we know not how many other places are begging for the location at their respective cities. . . . We must remember that, though Captain Blanding’s expressions were most favorable to our city, there was no positive assurance on his part that his voice would be in our favor, and besides, he has but one vote in the commission. . . . San Diego can not fail to win the prize.

San Diego Union, November 15, 1887, 5:3. THE WOMAN’S HOME . . . Among the many evidences of the rapid growth of this city is the establishment of institutions of a benevolent and charitable character and the prompt and cheerful readiness with which the people respond. . . . In order to begin their benevolent labor without delay a fund of a few hundred dollars was raised and a temporary building on leased ground on 7thStreet between E and F was erected. . . . The rapid increase in the population of the city demands the erection of a permanent home sooner than was anticipated and the association expects that the City Trustees will give a decisive answer to their petition at an early date. . . . In connection with the Home, the ladies desire to establish a “day nursery,” where working women can leave their children by the day or week while they are earning their own support.

San Diego Union, November 17, 1887, 4:2. The laudable enterprise of the Woman’s Home Association in providing a home for indigent women is one which deserves the commendation and assistance of all.

San Diego Union, November 17, 1887, 5:1-2. Meeting of Woman’s Home Association yesterday afternoon at the residence of Mrs. George W. Marston; revised constitution and by-laws adopted; ways and means of procuring buildings, etc. for the establishment of an Exchange discussed; Bryant Howard authorized to petition the Board of Trustees for 5 acres of land in the park for the site of the Woman’s Home building.

San Diego Daily Bee, November 18, 1887, 8:3. CITY COUNCIL: important measures discussed at meeting last night; proposition to establish fine benevolent institutions on a portion of the City Park; licenses of two 5th Street saloons rescinded through a disregard for the City Ordinance.

The bond presented by [Bryant Howard] was for the sum of $100,000, stipulating that upon the instigators neglecting to comply with their agreement, the land and property would revert to the city. He further offered a security bond that $250,000 would be expended within a specified time. Mr. Howard stated that they proposed spending $600,000 in these improvements and the buildings to be erected would probably cost over $50,000 each.

Mr. Voolman thought that the only chance to improve the park was by selling a portion of it, and he did not agree in disposing of that part of the land.

Chas. Hamilton stated that the proposition to form a horticultural and agricultural association had resulted in their appearing before the board to ask them for a certain portion of land upon which to erect a suitable building.

The matter was referred to the park committee.

The Daily San Diegan, November 19, 1887, 4:1. Slicing the Park . . . The Horticultural Association only wants 40 acres of the City Park, and will be satisfied if the City Council will donate this unnecessarily large tract from that portion of the park property that forms a continuation of 6th, 7th and 8th Streets. On commonsense grounds we agree with the Sun that 10 acres would be amply sufficient for the purposes of a Horticultural Association. About a year ago, the cry was “not a foot of the park for any purpose except a park.” Now a vehement cry is made for a partition of the park in big blocks without any regard to the possibility of maintaining the tracts donated in a manner worthy of the purposes designed. Nothing seems to satisfy those who are trying to prey on the patrimony of the city, but the most desirable portions of the park, and they want all or nothing. The Horticultural Associations wants “40 acres and a mule,” the mule to crop the sage brush. We should think the better way would be to try 10 acres, and after that had been utilized, additions could be made as necessity required. We do not think the committee should consider for a moment the idea of donating any part of the park at present west of 12th or 15th Street, but for certain reasons they probably will. At present, about 250 acres are asked for by various societies from the park reservation. The flood gates are being opened. If the whole park is to be gobbled up in big mouthfuls, better begin at its eastern limits, and work this way. It is an old saying that beggars should not be choosers. The Horticultural Association simply ask the city to donate a piece of property that at the lowest calculation is worth over $1,000,000 cash, and we fear they will get it, and get it where they ought not to have it. Improve the park by all means, but keep a little of the 1,400 acres for park purposes.

The Daily San Diegan, November 28, 1887, 1:4. Soldiers’ Home: Making Arrangements for the Reception of the National Board . . . time and place of holding a banquet and reception discussed; Point Loma Land and Town Company offers $25,000 in cash or 80 acres of Point Loma land as a location for the Soldiers’ Home. . . . It was the opinion of all present that a site for the Home in the Park is the only location that would be acceptable. . . . J. A. Melten responded that as far as the Park is concerned, the Board of City Trustees cannot give a title to any portion of it, without special permission from the Legislature. A decision to this effect has recently been given by City Attorney Titus.

The Daily San Diegan, November 30, 1887, 4:1-2. Our City Park.

Messrs. Editors: The question of “What shall we do with our Park?” has been propounded so many times, and so different were the answers, that the writer now propounds the conundrum: “What can we do with the Park?” And the law on the subject seems to imply that we can do nothing with it, but make it a free park. Certainly we cannot sell any part of it, and it looks as if we could neither lease nor give any part of it away to anybody, but must forever keep it a free public park. That a part of it could be sold to good advantage, none can deny; that a part of it ought to be given to the Soldiers’ Home, a Horticultural Hall, or to aid benevolent enterprises, all will concede; but how to override a decision of the Supreme Court, and disregard the statue under which the park was created is the question. In California, reports, statutes of 1869-70, page 40, section 1, reads as follows:

“That so much of the resolution heretofore passed by the President and Trustees of the City of San Diego setting apart and dedicating certain lands, to wit: Pueblo lots 1129, 1130, 1136, 1137, 1142, 1143, 1131, 1144, containing 1140 acres of land, said numbers being according to the official survey of the City of San Diego as made by Charles H. Poole in the year 1856, to the use of the citizens of said city for a public park, is hereby approved, confirmed and ratified, and the said lands, and none others, are by this statue declared to be held in trust forever, by the municipal authorities of said city, for the use and purposes of a free and public park, and to be under the control and management of the said authorities, and for no other or different purpose, as fully and effectually as though set apart and dedicated in strict pursuance of a statue passed by the legislature for such purpose.”

If we could repeal that statue, it would be an easy matter to utilize the park, but our Supreme Court decisions would seem to indicate that we cannot. In the case of San Francisco vs. Canaran, Forty-Second California Reports, pages 553-554, the court expressed the following views which are pertinent to our park:

“Until accepted, the dedication, whether may by deed or otherwise, may be revoked by the owner of the land. To constitute a valid and complete dedication, two thing must occur to-wit: an intention by the owner clearly indicated by his words or acts, to dedicate the lands to public use, and an acceptance by the public of the dedication. This acceptance is generally established by the use by the public of the land, for the purpose to which it had been dedicate. The use must be of such duration that the public interest and private rights would be materially impaired if the dedication were revoked, and the use by the public discontinued.”

In our City Park, it might be contended that, as we have never spent any money on the park, that the dedication was incomplete, but in the case of Hoadley vs. San Francisco, California Reports 50, page 273, this contention is settled.

In this case the Supervisors of that City attempted to sell some of their public parks to private individuals, and, as the lands were valuable, the best of lawyers were employed by each side. As the decision of the Court is rather lengthy, I will only quote that part which would apply to our park:

“It is contended that the order of the Justice of the Peace was void on the ground that they could not be invested by the Legislature with the power to perform duties of that character; but it is unnecessary to determine that question, for, conceding it to have been void, the question to be determined is what was the effect of the act of March 1st, 1858, in ratifying the ordinances and order, all of which were void at the time of their adoption; that is to say, void, so far as they attempt to convey titles to private persons, and select and dedicate to public use the squares involved in the case? The act of March 1st, 1858, ratifying and confirming the ordinance, and the order there recited, operated, as we construe it, as a selection and dedication to public use of the squares in controversy, and no further acceptance by the public than was afforded by the act was needed in order to make the dedication complete.”

This decision would imply that the statue of 1869-70 confirming the resolution of the City Trustees was a full and complete dedication, and as it now stands, the city only controls the park in trust for the purpose named: a free public park forever — and the decision in California Reports 42, page 553, seemed to decide the question whether a dedication can be revoked, to wit: if the dedication is accepted, such dedication cannot be revoked, and in California Reports 50, page 273, it states that the ratifying of the dedication by the legislature acted as a complete dedication and acceptance. Returning to the question, what can we do with the park? Let us beautify a part of it, say 10 or 20 acres in the westerly part, about where Fir Street would intercept 7th Street. This is one of the highest and sightliest parts of the mesa and commands a view of the entire bay and ocean, National City and Point Loma. Let us do something, if nothing more than a few acres put into blue grass and a few trees and flowers.


The Daily San Diegan, November 30, 1887, 4:1-2. Editors Note: we publish today a forcibly written article on the important question of the disposal of any portion of our city park for any purpose, philanthropic or otherwise. A prominent citizen presents some legal points that will prove interesting reading to those who believe in the partition of the park, and we are among that class.

The Daily San Diegan, December 1, 1887, 4:2, 5:4. Soldiers’ Home . . . The Commissioners who have been appointed to select a site for a Soldiers’ Home in California arrived this morning and are domiciled in the Florence Hotel. We do not deem it necessary to multiply words in regard to climate and ozone, as the distinguished gentlemen who compose the Commission have probably been surfeited with such talk during their progress through California, and particularly through Los Angeles. Good wine needs no praise. San Diego, her beautiful site, ocean view and commodious harbor, are eloquent of merits, without the addition of sky-scraping adjectives. If our actual merits will not convince the Commissioners of our superior advantage no words of newspaper praise could add to the conclusion they may reach. Of course, it is all nonsense to say that a portion of the City Park cannot be appropriated for philanthropic or other proper and legitimate purposes, for it certainly can be at the request of the municipality and by an act of the legislature. We certainly believe no city in the United States — and surely none in California — can furnish more substantial esthetic merits than San Diego by virtue of her climate and commercial resources.

San Diego Union, December 2, 1887. City of San Diego deeded 100 acres across the south end of what is now Balboa Park to Bryant Howard, Chas. S. Hamilton and M. A. Luce as trustees for the purpose of establishing thereon an Orphans’ Home, a Boys’ and Girls’ Home, a Kindergarten, an Industrial School, and a School of Technology.

San Diego Union, December 3, 1887, 5:5. CITY TRUSTEES: Site granted for the Pierce Beneficiary Institution — President Hamilton in chair and trustees Julian, Woodman, McRea and Valle at meeting last evening; voted unanimously to grant Bryant Howard and Ephraim W. Morse 100 acres in the City Park to erect buildings of a benevolent institutions provided in the will of the late J. M. Pierce; petition for five acres of the City Park for the Woman’s Home Association for the erection of buildings for indigent women also granted.

The Daily San Diegan, December 3, 1887, 1:4. The Board of Trustees . . . Bryant Howard appeared before the Trustees in behalf of himself and E. W. Morse asking that they be granted a deed in trust of 100 acres in the City Park, upon which to erect the buildings for the benevolent institutions provided for by the will of the late J. M. Pierce. He presented to the Board a synopsis of the plans, partially matured. The tract asked for lies nearly in the center of the park and includes the most elevated portions. The petition was granted by a unanimous vote of the Board.

A petition was presented asking that five acres of the City Park be set aside for the Woman’s Home Association, the organization to erect buildings for the benefit of indigent and poor women. The petition was granted.

A petition was presented by a number of citizens on 22nd and 23rd Streets, in the southeastern part of the city, asking that the Indians camped in that vicinity might be compelled to fold their tents and steal away for sanitary and moral reasons. Referred.

San Diego Union, December 5, 1887, 5:1. The Board of City Trustees last Friday granted to Bryant Howard and E. W. Morse a trust deed of 100 acres in the City Park for the purposes specified in the estate of James W. Pierce; the initial step in what promises to be the most extensive and comprehensive system of benevolent and educational institutions in this country, if not in the world.

The Daily San Diegan, December 5, 1887, 5:3. The Parks . . . The proceedings of the Board of City Trustees shows that that body has concluded to donate from the big park 100 acres of land for the Pierce charitable institution, and 5 for the woman’s home. We hope the Trustees understand exactly what they are doing; and are doing their work so that their acts will not be called in question hereafter. Of course, this action, unless it be the property is merely leased, will have to be subjected to further legislation or to a vote of the people. The Board may be entirely right, but it is not in consonance with the views we have entertained, unless it is intended by placing these gifts well back on the park, to hereafter utilize portions of the frontage so as to meet and pay off a city debt, which is unnecessarily adding to our tax bills. That may be the intention. We will see further on.

The Daily San Diegan, December 8, 1887, 5:2. Soldiers’ Home Located . . . A dispatch from Las Vegas, New Mexico, dated yesterday says the Board of Managers of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Veterans at a meeting at the Phoenix hotel last night selected 300 acres of land adjoining the town of Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, for the Pacific Branch Home for Disabled Veterans. . . . During their visit to the Pacific coast they visited ten different cities in California and inspected 20 sites offered.

San Diego Union, December 13, 1887, 5:5-6. Contractor dumping at least 20 wagon loads of garbage daily in ravine just above Ivy Street in City Park.

San Diego Union, December 16, 1887, 5:2. Health officials have put a stop to the dumping of garbage in ravines in City Park.

San Diego Union, December 30, 1887, 5:1. CITY TRUSTEES The last regular meeting of the Board of City Trustees was held last evening. Bryant Howard read the form of a deed conveying five acres of the City Park to the Woman’s Home. The deed conveys the property in trust for a benevolent purpose, and it is to be kept open as a public park. Mr. Howard wished the Board to authorize its president to sign the deed, and on motion it was so ordered. By the terms of the deed the projectors of the Home agree to commence building within one year after the passage of an act by the State Legislature confirming the grant.

At the request of W. J. Mossholder, the ordinance granting to Albert E. Castle and others the right to construct a street railway connecting the eastern terminus of the D street road with the City Park terminus of Steiner, Klauber, Choate and Castle’s Motor Railway was read and adopted.

San Diego Union, January 1, 1888, 5:5. For the purpose of a thorough topographical survey of the City Park its exterior boundary has been retraced and nearly 15 miles of meander and contours have been run. In addition, about 1,000 stations have been located in the park where the elevation of the grounds has been taken.

The Daily San Diegan, January 10, 1888, 5:1. The survey of the belt road to extend around the City Park by way of D and 5th Streets, University Heights and Steiner, Klauber and Choate’s addition, was completed yesterday by the staking of the link connecting the two suburbs named. The road in Switzer Canyon is ready for the steel, as it is graded and the bridges and culverts have been completed. Ties are on the ground. Tract laying on the line through Steiner, Klauber and Choate’s addition will commence within ten days, and in less than three weeks Superintendent of Construction Howard expects to have trains running.

San Diego Union, January 25, 1888, 5:2. Park Committee in favor of leasing not over 5 acres to John A. Helphingstine to develop a lime deposit; City Council instructs City Engineer to survey a boulevard 150 feet wide from City Park line on 12th Avenue to College Heights.

The Daily San Diegan, January 25, 1888, 1:4-6. CITY FATHERS: The Committee on Parks recommended that no ground be leased to anybody for the purpose of building a baseball park, but that a general permission be granted to play in the park. Adopted.

The same committee reported in favor of granting the lease to John Helphingstine and Company to five acres in the park for the purpose of taking off the lime therefrom, they paying the city a royalty on each barrel taken out.

The joint committee on streets and parks reported upon the matter of laying out a boulevard in the park to connect with the University Heights boulevard, and recommended that the city engineer be instructed to lay out a drive 150 feet wide along the ridge where the road now extends, and prepare estimates for the work.

The Daily San Diegan, February 15, 1888, 1:4-6. CITY FATHERS: The Park Committee reported that they had visited the park and found that several parties were occupying different portions of it, and that brickmakers are damaging it considerably by great excavations. The matter was referred back to the Park Committee for further investigation.

An ordinance was adopted creating the office of pound keeper, and locating the city pound in the City Park, near block 24 of the Bay View homestead. A Mr. Logan was elected pound keeper.

San Diego Union, March 7, 1888, 5:1. Chamber of Commerce advocates building an Agricultural Hall.

San Diego Union, March 21, 1888, 5:8. D. Cave and others protest granting leases to different institutions.

San Diego Union, March 30, 1888, 8:3. “Mayor” W. J. Hunsaker, president of Board of Trustees, opposes granting portions of park land to institutions.

San Diego Union, April 17, 1888, 1:4. A flower festival will be held in this city early in May, the proceeds going to the Woman’s Home.

San Diego Union, May 16, 1888, 5:2. The ladies and management of the Woman’s Home Association have determined to raise the fund as nearly as possible from the people at large by giving the contributors entertainments.

San Diego Union, June 23, 1888, 2:2. At yesterday’s meeting of the Woman’s Home Association the subject of the day nursery was considered and acted upon. . . . The object of the day nursery is to provide a comfortable and suitable place for children while their parents are at work during the day.

San Diego Union, July 4, 1888, 5:2. The Woman’s Home . . . At a recent meeting of the Woman’s Home Association it was decided that the society make an early effort towards meeting the needs of a day nursery.

San Diego Union, August 1, 1888, 5:5. Judge M. A. Luce returned from an extended trip; reports the Republican party united; says San Diego known in the east as a winter resort; “streets must be paved, proposed boulevards built, and the park pushed to completion.”

San Diego Union, September 5, 1888, 1:5. City Council meeting yesterday . . . A petition asking permission to store manure in a portion of the City Park was referred to the Board of Health. . . . E. D. Switzer and others asked that the Indian rancheria in Switzer Canyon be removed; accordingly, a committee, consisting of Councilman McRae, Arnold and Pringle, was appointed to look into the matter with power to act. . . . The City Lands Committee reported favorably on the petition of George Currenreid for permission to prospect for coal in the City Park. Adopted.

San Diego Union, September 23, 1888, 5:4-5. San Diego Charity: a million dollars on behalf of the needy; a benevolent institution; the work of Bryant Howard.

The grand system of charitable educational institutions towards the establishment of which the first steps were taken in the closing of the month of last year by the grant of 100 acres in the City Park as a site for the buildings and grounds is about to commence its active and practical developments.

An outline of the system, as presented in the columns of The Union last December, showed it to be the grandest, most comprehensive, most practical and most useful charitable educational project which has been devised in this country, and probably in the world. So broad and liberal were its purposes, so complete its objects, so practical and so striking in their evident usefulness were the features of the plan that it has attracted the attention of the educational and philanthropic world.

Mr. E. T. Dooley, who was for seven years superintendent of the boys’ and girls’ aid society of California, is now in the city in charge of the preparatory work necessary to the perfection of the plans. Mr. Dooley, who nearly a year ago resigned his position as superintendent of the boy’s and girls’ aid society to take charge as manager of the great San Diego project, has since last June been busy in the east; having made a three month’s tour; visited all the representative charitable and educational institutions of the country, and attended the conference of national charities and correction held in Buffalo, New York, last July. To the Buffalo conference he went as state commissioner of charities by appointment of Governor Waterman, and, besides making the great San Diego project prominent before the conference, he lost no opportunity of presenting its remarkably commendable features to all the prominent societies and persons in the country interested in charitable and educational work.

Mr. Dooley, who was seen at the St. James last evening, said: “The object of my work in the east was to come in contact with the foremost men and women interested in all the various departments of charity and education, to lay before them the plan of this great institution which is to have its center in San Diego, to get their ideas of the work, and to bring back with me all the information obtainable from the best sources in the country for the benefit of the institution. All with whom I counseled, among them being Dr. J. D. Rankle of the Boston School of Technology, the father of the idea of manual training as an educational factor by principles; Dr. Feliz Adler of New York; Dr. Belfield of the Chicago manual training school; and scores of other men whose lives are devoted to various departments of the work contemplated here, declared that the San Diego plan provided for the most complete and comprehensive system of charitable-educational institutions ever devised in this or any other country. It is not intended to ask any money from the state for the support of the system, and it will not be dependent upon any private source beyond what has already been provided, though any aid which may be furnished can and will be put to a good use. It is to be a San Diego institution, and will continue to attract, as it already has, the attention of the philanthropic world.”

The outline of the plan of the work and the institutions, as given by Mr. Dooley as state commissioner of charities for California to the conference of national charities and correction at Buffalo is substantially as follows:

Without doubt the most comprehensive system of charitable educational institutions in America will be that now being established in San Diego for the benefit of the children and youth of the Pacific coast. The enterprise will represent an investment of over $2,000,000, and will comprise a chain of institutions intended to receive children of all ages and both sexes mainly but not exclusively of the “dependent” class, and equip them physically, morally, mentally, and, I may add, industrially for the everyday business of life. For the present, details can hardly be given, but a glance at its history will convey some idea of the work designed.

Bryant Howard, several years ago, conceived the idea of founding an industrial school for poor children — not a reformatory, but an establishment to supplement the common school and prepare its pupils to effectively cope with the realities of their sphere. He saw that education of the intellect alone was not enough, that the greater number of our boys and girls needed most to express themselves through their hands, that their fingers, so to speak, should be taught to think, and so to think that from the start they might be the guaranty of a proper solution of their owner’s life problem. He discussed the matter with the late James M. Pierce and other friends, one of whom, whose name is for the present withheld, immediately provided the equivalent of $250,000 to found an orphans’ home.

About a year ago, Mr. Pierce died, bequeathing property which is today worth another $250,000 to the establishment of a child-saving institution, to be conducted mainly upon the theory of the boys’ and girls’ aid society. This is known as the Pierce bequest. These gifts were the foundation of the large present and larger prospective resources of the scheme. Bryant Howard, Judge M. A. Luce, and C. S. Hamilton were named by Mr. Pierce to be the executors of his estate — this trust. Mr. Howard and another leading San Diegan, E. W. Morse having agreed that they would each contribute as much as the Pierce endowment. We thus have in money a certain million of dollars. These gentlemen have secured in trust from the City of San Diego one hundred acres of the City Park land for the purposes of this child-saving university, which was conveyed to Messrs. Howard, Morse, Luce and Hamilton as trustees; Messrs. Howard and Morse voluntarily executing a bond of one hundred thousand dollars for the faithful observance of the conditions of the trust. Another very important gift has been secured from the flume company by these philanthropic men — the guaranty of a full supply of water for the entire one hundred acres for all time to come.

Thus it will be seen that nothing but proper administration and the devotion of personal interest and experience are required to develop this scheme, the like of which, I believe, has never been undertaken or devised elsewhere in this department of humanitarian service. Every care will be taken to unfold a system as nearly perfect as may be, that there be no reaching upon ground already covered, no overlapping, but a perfect interlacing each department sustaining its proper place and its just relation to a symmetrical whole.

In general it may be said that the establishment will include first (the idea of protection, shelter, subsistence) the orphans’ home. The family idea will be observed as closely as possible in every detail of the work. Cottages will be erected — each to be in charge, probably, of a man and wife — to contain, say, twenty boys or girls; and the cottage arrangement will admit of a careful, general classification of inmates. The little children will be instructed in the kindergarten, others will attend the public school, and the natural principle of human development will permeate the entire work. There will be a manual training school with various departments, containing every requisite for such an establishment, for both sexes of the pupils, between, say, 10 and 13 years of age, and particular attention will be given to the instruction of girls in sewing and domestic duties. There will be a technological department for the older and brighter, those who evince inclination and capacity for advanced training. It is the intention of the directors to have on the premises and under the same administration a hospital for women and children and a training school for nurses. The nurse graduates they hope to be able to develop from the larger girls of the establishment, and the hospital will specially provide for the care of children having infectious diseases. There will be the adoption and indenturing of children and their proper supervision when placed out as practiced by Michigan and by the aid society in San Francisco.

Finally the entire establishment will be a school or college for the preparation of young men and women of character and general education, who have fondness and capacity for it, for life service in child-saving and child-training, and who, after a two or three-year course of systematic study and discipline will be given diplomas. It is also proposed as part of this same general scheme, to erect in the heart of San Diego an institution for youths and men, which will include eventually the best features of the Cooper Institute of New York and the Christian Union in Boston.

Among the results of Mr. Dooley’s work in the east, where he lectured in many towns and cities and in the Buffalo conference, was the securing to San Diego the next annual meeting of the conference of national charities and correction. This important result, which, as heretofore reported in The Union, was one for which Bryant Howard of this city has been actively interested, and which was accomplished against the efforts of Baltimore, Philadelphia, and a score of other eastern cities, all of whom were desirous of obtaining the coveted prize, will bring to San Diego a body of men and women embracing more culture, education and wealth than any other in the country. It is believed that fully 1,000 representatives will be present at the San Diego conference, and it promises to be the largest event ever held in the United States.

Mr. Dooley states that a large number of inquiries and applications for the benefits of the institution have been received, and that the work of classification will begin at once, without waiting for the erection of the magnificent buildings which are to constitute the plant of the completed system. For temporary accommodation, it is likely that a number of cottages will be built.

The final plans of the institution include the erection of large structures and a great expenditure in beautifying the lands in the city park with lawns and landscape gardening to make it equal, if not superior to the beautiful grounds of the eastern institutions, and it is expected to be one of the most famous attractions of the Pacific coast.

San Diego Union, October 10, 1888, 5:5. City Council meeting yesterday . . . In the matter of Winter and Johntize, who asked for the sum of $24 paid the pound master for a number of head of cattle found in the City Park, the Park Committee recommended that the money be not refunded. Report adopted.

San Diego Union, October 24, 1888, 1:7. The Park Committee reported a fund on hand and recommended its expenditure in the construction of a driveway on the west side of the park.

San Diego Union, October 31, 1888, 5:1. City Council meeting yesterday . . . Bryant Howard said $2,072.05 was in the city treasury for the park. . . . By motion, George Forsyth was discharged from the position of Park Superintendent and S. H. Reno was appointed.

San Diego Union, December 18, 1888, 3:3. A. Wentacher, G. W. Marston, C. A Chase, A. Klauber, A. Blochman, S. Levi, H. P. Koster, C. S. Hamilton, C. W. Jones, C. F. Francisco, D. Gunn, Allison Bros. petition Board of Trustees to plant eucalyptus trees alongside one of the roads leading over the mesa.

San Diego Union, January 10, 1889, 4:2. EDITORIAL: The City Park Lands — advocates continuance of charities deed to executors of the will of the late J. M. Pierce for 100 acres of City Park

San Diego Union, January 10, 1889, 5:3. The Park Tract Charities — a letter from Bryant Howard.

San Diego Union, January 13, 1889, 1. Full text of the petition and bond for City Park charities.

San Diego Union, January 17, 1889. Mayor Hamilton recommends park improvements; lease sections for a year or two for the planting of barley to clear brush.

San Diego Union, January 20, 1889, 12:3. Letters from John F. Sinks, H. P. Whitney and W. H. Pringle regarding 100-acre park reservation.

San Diego Union, January 22,1889, 8:1. Letter from Bryant Howard regarding the park tract.

San Diego Union, January 23, 1889, 4:2. EDITORIAL: The Charity Grant.

The Sun makes the absurd claim that the location of the park charities, with their “decrepit old men and women and orphan children”, in a place which was “originally intended for beautiful landscapes, flowers, shrubbery,” etc. is likely to depress “the overburdened and weary people of the city” who may visit the park for recreation. And a little further along in the same article, it says, “if it [the Charity land] should be located upon the park, let it be put up on the opposite corner, away from the bustle and confusion of the city.” It is to be presumed that the “overburdened and weary people” will hardly seek that 100-acre corner of a 1400-acre park, which is not near “the hustle and confusion” they want to avoid. What The Sunreally proves by its amazing paradoxes is that the charity grant is in just the place that its kind of pleasure-seekers would prefer to have it. “Mr. Howard may think it hard,” as The Sun says, “that other people do not see as he does,” but our esteemed contemporary need not take that to heart, so far as its own dissent is concerned. Mr. Howard and the other trustees of the charity fund are doubtless perfectly willing to have such opinions advanced, for the very ease with which they can be refuted and destroyed.

There is no good reason yet adduced why San Diego should refuse the million-dollar benefit which the charity trustees wish to give it. The objections rest upon the most puerile and mischievous fault-finding. Mr. Howard and his friends are concerned in no “deal” or “job,” and contemplate no private gain whatever except such as may come from the thanks of the sick, the motherless and the suffering. They ask for 100 acres of land out of a city park which is six times as large now as the city can improve and twice as large as it [the City] would care to tax itself if it had 250,000 inhabitants, a park larger than that of New York and Brooklyn combined, and which, from the nature of its soil, would incur a heavier daily expense for care and cultivation than do those metropolitan pleasure grounds. This 100-acre reservation, moreover, is not asked as an out-and-out gratuity. Under the terms of the deed, it must always be subject to the general boulevard system and can be traversed freely by the city’s pleasure seekers. All the right which Mr. Howard and his associates reserve is the right to expend several hundred thousand dollars upon it, relieving the city of the tax for its maintenance and thereby fixing a place where children can be taught to earn a living and where the sick can find care and medicine.

Suppose that the malcontents succeed in their crusade against the grant, causing the charity trustees to withdraw, discouraged, from their humane enterprise, and what does the city gain? The answer is easy enough. It gains the right to add just that amount to its taxes which the improvement of the 100 acres would call for. And what does it lose? Why, the possession of the noblest system of charities on the Pacific coast. Let every reader sum up the profit and loss for himself.

We have too much respect for the people of the city to think they would join The Sun in objecting to the presence of “decrepit old men and women and orphan children” in the park; and that they would insist that such unfortunates be driven away from all that might serve to cheer their declining days or raise their drooping spirits. San Diegans, however, “weary and over-burdened,” would not protest when “sad-eyed orphans” catch a glimpse of “beautiful landscapes, flowers and shrubbery”; and the assumption they would is an insult to their humanity.

San Diego Union, January 23, 1889, 6:1. Letter from C.C. Brandt regarding the park charities.

San Diego Union, January 24, 1889, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Other Parks Than Ours.

San Diego Union, January 24, 1889, 8:1. Letters regarding park grant.

San Diego Union, January 26, 1889, 4:1. EDITORIAL: (untitled) . . . The attempt to convict the City Park philanthropists of self-seeking in the matter of the charity grant would be amusing were it not for the motive than inspires it. Here are men who want to spend a million dollars for the public benefit and are restrained in every legal way from speculating with their trust. They ask 100 acres of mean land to improve for the common good, and, in no possible manner could they use it to line their own pockets. The men who stand in their way are little less than public enemies.

San Diego Union, January 26, 1889, 6:1-2 (See also February 6, 1889), MR. MARSTON’S VIEWS, He Discusses the Park Charity Question and Explains His Action.

Editor Union: In compliance with the conversation in our recent interview, I beg to hand you my letter upon the park grant question.

It is consistently asserted that our City Park is too large, and instances are given of larger cities with much smaller parks. But there is no force in the objection, for San Diego is not to be measured or treated by the examples of other cities. What other city of this size has a hotel that is comparable to the Coronado? Such a palace would be a complete failure and absurdity in almost any city of five times our population; San Diego should have a park also of grand proportions and capabilities. The large cities of the United States are far behind the cities of Europe in respect to great parks, and much to our disadvantage, as we are beginning to discover. London has 22,000 acres of parks; Paris, 17,000; Vienna, 8,000; and Berlin, 5,000; as against 1,000 to 3,000 in our largest cities. New York City, with only 1,000 acres, is now endeavoring to add nearly 4,000 acres to the park area at an estimated cost of $9,350,000. San Diego is comparatively small, but she has “great expectations” and the time for securing great and invaluable advantages is before the city grows large and the difficulties are increased a thousand fold. Instead of arguing from the smallest of these cities’ parks, that we do not require _______ , let us consider it their misfortune and congratulate ourselves upon our rich inheritance. Our resources for growth and prosperity are not only commercial and agricultural, but they lie largely in the attractiveness of the city and its suburbs. The climate is an unfailing capital, but other cities also boast of good climate. Tourists and health seekers went beautiful surroundings. In its natural features, San Diego should be built up more like Paris than London, a city of resort and residence for the wealthy and leisure classes. Our park lands are not too extensive for long, wide boulevards, numerous driveways and bridle paths, masses of trees, open groves, stretches of greensward, plazas and parade grounds. Since the opening of the new road, I have been surprised to find how quickly one may drive around the elevated portions. Our park is actually too short by a considerable distance on the northern side; and the park committee were compelled to run the boulevard into Fifth street at the northwest corner, so as to get around the large canyon by way of University Heights. The new boulevard is horseshoe in shape, with the curve outside the park. Between the driveways, the ground is broken up with canyons and ravines. The east boulevard is on the high, wide ridge near the center of the tract. Further east, there are more canyons and arroyos, with some spurs of mesa land.

This central ridge, running northerly and somewhat easterly from the Russ schoolhouse, is the principal portion of elevated plateau in the park, and it extends further south and nearer the central part of the city than the other high lands. It is this crowning, magnificent promontory that Messrs. Howard and Morse have selected for the site of their institution, and I admire their good taste and discernment. One needs to drive up to the north line of their grant in one of our glorious days and then come toward the city to the very crest of the land to appreciate its beauty and desirability. Canyons to the left and ravines to the right are carefully reserved for the city. To say that we are only giving one-fourteenth of the park is not so true as to say that it is one-fourth, when location, accessibility and value are considered.

As one of the Park Committee of the council, whose duty it is to guard the city’s interests, I cannot recommend the grant and use of this valuable property for any other than park purposes, however worthy and beneficial their object. The Park Committee are accused of being obstructionists and opposers of charity. Just as well accuse a man of cruelty to animals if he should object to a watering trough in the doorway of his business office. Electric light is a good thing for a city to have, but would a citizen lack public spirit if he objected to a 300-foot mast being planted on his lawn. In their petition to the Board of Trustees, Messrs. Howard and Morse used these words: “While we can, without cost, obtain the land necessary for our purpose and a large bonus, also, by locating these institutions elsewhere, we are desirous of placing them near the heart of our city, within easy access of the large number they are intended to benefit, and besides, we wish to avoid the appearance and even the suspicion of being engaged in a real estate speculation.” In his recent communication to the papers, Mr. Howard has stated that if this deed is annulled, San Diego will lose these charities, and they will be compelled to write to the National Conference of Charities that San Diego does not want them to assemble here. How does this follow? Why must they have a full hundred acres in the park, and in exactly that part of it, or else the charities go? Would the National Conference stay away if the city should give only twenty-five acres in another part of the park? By their own statement, the institution builders can obtain land without cost and a bonus besides. The word “elsewhere” evidently does not mean in another city, for they say they desire a location near the heart of the city, easy of access for those they are intended to benefit. And James M. Pierce, without _______ , meant to provide for a San Diego school without a grant of the best one-hundred acres in the park. In the early days of San Diego, Mr. Howard and Mr. Morse were among the foremost opposers of any encroachment whatever on park lands. They are both signers of the petition to the legislature upon that subject, and did their part toward forming the public sentiment that our park should be maintained intact. It is still necessary to keep up that public feeling, or else by gradual compliance with the petitions of associations and societies, and the efforts of discontented taxpayers, our park will be cut down from time to time. So able and influential a citizen as Senator Bowers thinks now that the western portion should be sold off, and many share his views. In my opinion, this tendency to narrow down the park should be opposed and no precedent established even in behalf of charitable and money-distributing projects. Already the water company are asking for a reservoir site at the very crown of the west boulevard, and several other organizations are seeking for sites, and they all want the choicest tracts.

It is claimed, and with fair reason, I admit, that the managers of the charities would be able for some time to improve their tract more highly than the city would. Even if this be so, it still seems to me more desirable and wise to make all the improvements under one comprehensive plan, and put the park management entirely under on Board of Commissioners. My study of the subject leads me to believe that these grounds can be splendidly utilized and improved with far less expenditure of money than is commonly thought necessary. In the springtime, it is even now a beautiful place and in a few days it will afford the pleasantest drive there is about the town. I am not afraid of a few taxes for good purposes, but if our city government would adopt a policy that would lessen the need for so many policemen, judges and jailers, there would be more money on hand for trees and flowers. But if there or four citizens are able to

beautify a hundred acres of land, besides supporting a whole series of institutions, I think a whole city full of people are not unable to compass and care for a little larger portion of public land.

George W. Marston

San Diego Union, January 30, 1889, 4:2. EDITORIAL: An Original Bear Movement . . . The City Council in passing a condition which may deprive San Diego of a million-dollar benefit misrepresents the people, misuses the taxpayers and creates the impression that some of the members are “bearing the town.” The proposition set before it has been clearly set forth in these columns, and may be briefly outlined again. The council was asked to exchange 100 acres of land for a million-dollar system of charities, and, after the charities are built, to regain all necessary control of the site. This it refuses to do, because it prefers the whole tract — larger than that covered by the great parks of New York and Brooklyn combined — to spend the people’s money upon. In place of organized benevolence on 100 acres of the 1,400 public acres, it seems to prefer the organized rapacity that will appear as soon as park construction gets fairly started.

If this is the way San Diego is to be run, the sooner the new charter is adopted and a council made of public-spirited citizens elected, the better for all concerned.


February, 1889. Latin and Greek added to high school curriculum; Superintendent of Schools reported attendance of 393 at Russ.

“San Diego City Park, 1868-1902,” by Gregory Montes

February, 1889. Marston and other San Diego businessmen asked the State not to authorize the city’s conveyance of park land to Bryant Howard (CCO Balboa Park-1, Document 154); State confirmed the act.

San Diego Union, February 2, 1889, 5:1. Citizens quoted favoring charities grant.

San Diego Union, February 6, 1889, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Where A Critic Errs. . . . Mr. Marston explains his attitude toward the park charity in a letter which The Union prints this morning and accepts as the best presentation of their side which the anti-grant people have yet made. Throughout the letter bears the mark of candor and thoughtfulness, and but for the fact that it proceeds from a false assumption, might well be deemed conclusive.

If it were true, as Mr. Marston believes, that the 100-acre tract is sought as an out-and-out donation, all rights going with the deed, his attitude might be supported by hundreds, instead of dozens. But, as The Union understands the case, the Pierce trustees propose to improve the tract with trees, flowers, shrubs, drives, walks and stately buildings and then throw the grounds open to the public. There will be no regulations to conflict with those of the Park Commission, and for all purposes of pleasure and sight-seeking the 100 acres will not differ from the 1,300, unless in greater attractiveness.

There is a deal of civic pride in the statement that San Diego may one day need as much park room as London, Paris and New York, and we certainly hope that Mr. Marston is right in thinking so. But when that time comes, San Diego ought not to have all its park behind one fence, but should enjoy instead, enough smaller parks to accommodate a widely diffused population. If the city intended to legislate for a million or two inhabitants, and had but 850 acres for its central park — about the area covered by New York’s great pleasure ground — and additional acreage beyond Old Town, National City, and out in the direction of Chollas Valley, the situation would be better than it is now. Then San Diego might properly go further, and consult the charitable needs of that vast prospective city as well as its requirements for pleasure; seeing to it that hospitals, industrial schools and other humane institutions of a great metropolis are grouped at some central and easily accessible point. We merely throw out these suggestions as the better plan in case the City Fathers wish to adopt a useful device for the San Diego generations which are still waiting for their grandfathers to be born.

No, let us have some of the city park opened to the hand of private improvement and charity, and we answer for it that the millions of San Diegans who will be here in 1989 won’t bewail the forethought which prompted the concession.

San Diego Union, February 10, 1889, 4:2. EDITORIAL: The Grant Confirmed.


At the request of a correspondent, The Union republishes the bill recently passed by the State Legislature confirming the trust deed to this tract. It will be seen that this bill prohibits the land from being used for private or sectarian purposes, and requires that it shall be kept as a public park.


Section 1. Whenever the City Council or Trustees of any city of less than 50,000 inhabitants, or of any incorporated town, has by deed of trust conveyed property, or any portion thereof, that has been set aside for a public park, to Trustees for charitable or educational uses, such conveyance is hereby ratified and confirmed; provided that no institution now existing or to be established on such property shall be private in its benefits or sectarian in its teachings, or be to any extent under the management or control of, or in any way tributary to any religious creed or order, church or sectarian denomination whatsoever; provided further that land so conveyed shall be kept open as public grounds by the trustees of such institutions as are or may be placed thereon, and that public visitation of such grounds may not be restricted, excepting by such reasonable regulations as park property and the proper maintenance of such institutions may require; provided further that the property so conveyed shall revert to the grantors whenever and so far as the grantees do not use the same in accordance with the stipulation of the deed of trust and with the requirements of this statute.

San Diego Union, March 28, 1899, 5:5. Letter from C. S. Babcock stating election of Capps would retard progress.

The coming city election gives the voters an opportunity to express their desire, which expression I shall accept as the will of the people. Should they elect Mr. Capps, who is the candidate of the San Diego Water Company, I will accept the result as an endorsement of that company and a declaration by the voters that they are satisfied with present conditions. I will then by default permit the San Diego Water Company to have the bonds declared void, which will annul the water contract, and will conclude the people do not want municipal ownership, either of the water supply or distributing system.

San Diego Weekly Union, September 7, 1889, 2:3-4. Chamber of Commerce, Park Improvement Discussed. (from Friday’s Daily)

There was a larger attendance at the meeting held in the YMCA auditorium last night under the auspices of the chamber of commerce for the discussion of the park improvement question than at any of the previous meetings of a similar character. It is a pretty good indication that the interest in the meetings is increasing and that they are accomplishing the purpose for which they were planned, namely, the arousing of interest in matters of public improvement.

Secretary H. P. Wood of the chamber of commerce presided at last night’s meeting in the absence of President Marston and Vice President Ballou. The remarks of C. S. Hamilton, who was the first speaker and who told of the efforts which have so far been made toward park improvement, were very interesting and gave a bit of past history to many who are not old residents of San Diego. An unusually excellent paper on park improvement was read by Miss Kate Sessions. She told of how the desert could be made to bloom as the rose. Mayor Capps read an interesting paper, giving his plan for the improvement of about thirty-five acres in the city park by building dams across three large canyons and making artificial lakes.

Mr. Hamilton, in his remarks, first told of the effort made in 1886 to build a boulevard to Old Town on the bay shore. The moisture from the bay, it was thought, would keep the road damp and there would, therefore, be no dust and chuckholes. The plans were not completed before another council took office, and the new body abandoned the project. Mr. Hamilton then spoke of the main roads entering the city. He said that it was his idea that the principal roads leading to the back country should be kept in good condition. The minor roads should be sacrificed, if need by, for the good ones. The speaker then told of the reservation of the park lands over thirty years ago. After a large amount of land had been sold in this section, the city trustees decided to sell no more, and had the legislature pass an act reserving 1,400 acres on the hill for a city park. From that time to this, there have been numerous efforts to subdivide the park, but all have failed.

The New Town park was spoken of. This block was formerly the Spanish plaza and was set apart in 1886 for a park. The work of the Woman’s Annex, which laid out that portion of the park north of Sixth street was touched upon, and also the park charities, on which $100,000 was spent by the late Judge Witherby and Bryant Howard. The Howard tract was laid out by these parties. Mr. Hamilton praised Mr. and Mrs. Howard for what they had done. Mr. Hamilton then gave his idea as to the manner in which the park should be improved. He said it would be done gradually, at the rate of $5,000 or $6,000 a year, and in that way the appropriations would not be missed. He was opposed to bonding the city, believing that the money which would be paid for interest would be sufficient to help the work along.

Miss Sessions paper was listened to with marked attention. She said San Diego is so unique in her geographical location, so beautifully set on the hill slopes above the sea, and so individual in her climate, that the people need to be educated to the fact and keep it continually in mind that this park must not be like any other park in the United States.

“We can grow a magnificent collection of palms that shall make one realize the beauty of a tropical growth,” she said, “we can arrange bamboo in groves and clumps that cannot be excelled in famous Japan, we can train vines over arbors and hillsides that will cover acres and be a marvel of growth and brilliant coloring, we can grow cacti from the deserts of California, Arizona and Mexico that will flourish and bloom and be of more interest to all travelers than almost any other order of plants. We cannot see these possibilities and results elsewhere for they have not been accomplished for several good reasons.

“Imagine a broad driveway, one to two miles long, bordered on both sides with a double row of palms, like the largest date palm in the court of Hotel del Coronado. The plant is only twelve years old, yet its spread is forty feet from tip to tip, and its glorious crown of feathery, vigorous greenness is magnificent and superb. Let us turn and admire those two fine cocos plumosas in the court, now forty to fifty feet high. Along some broad path, rows of this variety of palm would make the landscape a close second to many of the celebrated palm avenues of the tropics.

“Select one of these sun-beaten, rocky south slopes of the park leading down to a canyon, blow out with dynamite half a dozen holes, put in good soil and plant bougainvillea in the month of June. The pelting sun will start every cell into action, the great strong shoots will burst forth and revel in growth and vigor, and in three years they will spread themselves over the hillsides and to the very top, a solid mass of oriental and extravagant coloring, gorgeous and artistic against the surrounding grayness.

“On the south slope a collection of a variety of eucalyptus trees would flourish. One the mesa a low rambling arbor, covered with palm leaves, would give inviting shelter and resting places. Hedges of pepper trees as a windbreak would give an ideal ferny background for a mass of poinsettias that might be acres in extent. On some gentle eastern slopes to receive the first rays of the morning sun the California poppy would grow to the exclusion of even the weeds. If we had but $1,000 a year to spend the money would be building a part of the grand whole, and not paying for work that in the future might be changed.”

Mayor Capps read a paper outlining a plan for the improvement of a tract of about thirty-five acres of the park. His idea is to confine the flood waters of Switzer, Powder House and Pound Canyons, connecting them with ditches in the form of a chain, and allowing the water to flow from the lake in Switzer Canyon to that in Powder House Canyon, and then this water to flow into the lake in Pound Canyon, making a park under each one of these lakes. Mr. Capps confined his remarks last night to the proposed work in Pound Canyon.

It is proposed to construct a dam thirty feet high across the canyon to catch the winter rains. Several tables were given showing the amount of the rainfall and the amount of water that would be impounded. Mr. Capps said his idea of the true design for a park is to copy wild nature as nearly as possible; all set designs should be excluded. As the water would be under pressure, waterfalls, fountains, springs, and geysers could be made. There could be a running stream between the lakes, with rustic bridges across the stream. Clumps of tropical and semi-tropical trees and plants could be scattered here and there, interspersed with wildflowers and shrubs of this county; fill in the interstices with glades and glens of blue grass neatly trimmed, place in the shady nooks and dells lounging rustic seats and benches, and construct winding, strolling paths and carriage roads.

At the conclusion of Mayor Capps’ paper, R. H. Young moved that the chairman appoint a committee of five to prepare a memorial and present the same in the common council, the memorial to embody the plans of park improvement as set forth in the several papers presented to the meeting, also to urge as speedy action as possible. The resolution was adopted, and D. F. Garrettson, Miss Kate Sessions, C. S. Hamilton, Capt. Maize, R. H. Young were appointed to the committee.


Mrs. Lake’s resolution . . . a resort where [the ladies of San Diego] may take their families and friends for recreation

Application to the City for 10 acres to plant shade trees and flowers and otherwise to improve it with booths or other buildings suitable for recreation, thus forming the nucleus for other park improvements.

San Diego Union, October 8, 1889, 5:2. CITY COUNCIL MEETING YESTERDAY . . . The City Attorney submitted a report on the proposition to sell portions of the city park stating that the city has no power to sell any portion of the park without legislative enactment

San Diego Union, October 18, 1889, 2:4. City Heights (Steiner, Klauber, Choate and Castle addition), part of city, to have rapid transit; two miles through Park to City Heights; trains will be running three round trips or six trains per day.

San Diego Union, October 30, 1889, 2:3. THE LADIES AT WORK

The Ladies Annex was called to order by the President, Mrs. Hill, and the minutes of the last meeting ready by the Assistant Secretary, Mrs. McConaughy. . . .

Mrs. Ben (Emma) Lake explained her plan for improving a portion of the park. She had watched the improvement of the San Francisco parks and thought San Diego has better soil and better climate and that our park could be more easily improved, surveyed and plot out by a landscape gardener, then make an effort to get free water. Each lady might take some shrub or flower and the school children also. Mrs. Gregory was mentioned as being willing to give a wagon load of plants, etc. It would be an easy matter to disprove the idea that the park was infertile. The park, if improved, would be a resort to which women and children could walk and thus get health and pleasure.

A committee was appointed to see the proper authorities about getting the privilege of improving the park, consisting of Mrs. Ben (Emma) Lake, Mrs. Sargent, Mrs. Lawson, Mrs. King and Mrs. Hale.

Mrs. W. G. Riffenburg sent a letter which was read, outlining a plan for park improvement much the same as that of Mrs. Lake,

San Diego Union, November 6, 1889, 5:1. THE LADIES ANNEX . . . Mrs. Lake, for the park committee, said they had met with the Mayor, who received them cordially and that he would present their paper to the City Commissioners. The members of the committee are Mesdames Sargent, Margam, Hale and Lawson. . . . Secretary of the Chamber, Mr. Nolan, here stated that while the park subject was before them, he would say that he had been requested to inform them that Mr. Garrett, a San Francisco millionaire, will donate to whatever part of the park tract the ladies beautify a $50,000 statue. This announcement was received with enthusiasm and the hearty thanks of the Annex were given Mr. Garrett.

San Diego Union, November 12, 1889, 1:7. BOARD OF DELEGATES MEETING YESTERDAY . . . The request of the Ladies Annex that they be permitted to improve 10 acres of the city park was granted.

San Diego Union, November 24, 1889, 7:3. A NOBLE WORK: The Quarterly Meeting of the Woman’s Home Association . . . work of Day Nursery at 10th Street near H described; the largest number of children at any one time was 15, the smallest 4.

San Diego Union, December 12, 1889, 6:2. Letter regarding park charities

To The Union: The paper of Andrew Carnegie in the December North American Review is commended to the San Diego millionaire philanthropists who covet our City Park. But since some of them may not have convenient access to that periodical, the publication in your popular journal of the extracts from the paper referred to may be opportune:

“The first requisite for a really good use of wealth by the millionaire . . . is to take care that the purpose for which he spends it shall not have a degrading, pauperizing tendency upon its recipients, and that his trust shall be so administered as to stimulate the best and most aspiring poor of the community to further efforts for their own improvement. It is not the irredeemably destitute, shiftless and worthless that it is truly beneficial or benevolent to reach and improve. For these there exists the refuge provided by the city or the State, where they can be fed, sheltered and clothed, and kept in comfortable existence and — most of all — where they can be isolated from the well-doing and industrious poor, who are liable to be demoralized by contact with these unfortunates.

“The individual administrator of ample wealth has as his charge the industrious and the ambitious; not those who need everything done for them, but those who, being most anxious and able to help themselves, deserve and will be benefited by help from others and the extension of their opportunities at the hands of the philanthropic rich.

“Those who have surplus wealth give millions every year which produce more evil than good, and which really retard the progress of the people, because most of the forms in vogue today for benefiting mankind only tend to spread among the poor a spirit of dependence upon alms, when, what is essential for progress is that they should be inspired to depend upon their own exertions.

“In the very front rank of benefactions, public parks must be placed. . . . No more useful or more beautiful monument can be left by man than a park for the city in which he was born or in which he has long lived. . . . If a park be already provided, there is still room for many judicious gifts in connection with it.

“While the bestowal of a park upon a community as one of the best uses for surplus wealth will be universally approved, in embracing such additions to it as conservatives, or in advocating the building of memorial arches and works of adornment, it is probable that many will think we go too far and consider these somewhat fanciful The material good to flow from them may not be so directly visible, but let not any practical mind, intent only upon material good, depreciate the value of wealth given for these or for kindred, aesthetic purposes as being useless as far as the mass of people and their needs are concerned. As with libraries and museums, so with these more distinctively artistic works; these perform their great use when they reach the best of the masses of the people.”

Henry Shaw probably entertained such notions during all the years that he devoted to the Mission Botanical Garden and the Flower Grove Park, which he presented to the City of Saint Louis, after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars beautifying them.


San Diego Union, December 24, 1889, 5:1. Letter to Board of Delegates from Ladies Annex regarding park.

Gentlemen: Inasmuch as the Common Council has already assigned to the Ladies Annex a tract of ten acres for city park improvements, it is desirable to know whether the city will also survey and pipe said tract, as the Annex desires to begin improvements immediately.

On the 17th inst. this petition was presented to the Board of Aldermen who instructed the City Engineer to survey the tract desired and furnish estimates for piping. His report will be made at tonight’s session of that Board.

Will not your honorable body facilitate action in the matter by instructing the Park Committee to secure this report so they may be able to report on it at the next meeting of the Board.

Respectfully: Mrs. James Lawson . . . Mrs. Chas. Hamilton . . . Mrs. Z. May Waite

Mrs. Emma L. Rifenberg . . . Frances M. Bagby


On motion of Delegate Wagner, the matter was referred to the Park Committee to report as requested.

San Diego Union, May 12, 1910, 16:2. Planned Fair for City Park in 1890 . . . “The Panama-California exposition was not the first project of its kind,” said Deputy Clerk Allen H. Wright yesterday, holding up for inspection a bundle of old papers. “These papers contain an application for the setting aside of a portion of City Park to be used by the Southwestern Exposition Company. This was in 1890, just at the time of the breaking of the boom. There is no record I can find that shows what finally became of the proposition.” . . . The papers were signed by George B. Hensley, H. C. Palmerston, and Philip Morse, while a committee report on the reverse side was signed by H. A. Begola and H. F. Norcross.

October 15, 1976, “San Diego’s City Park, 1868-1902, An Early Debate on Environment and Profit,” by Gregory E. Montes.

Spring 1890. Howard planted the grounds of the “Charities Tract” with over 10,000 trees — mainly blue and sugar gums, acacias, pepper trees, fan palms, and cypresses (San Diego Union, March 15, 1990, 5:2; April 27, 1890, 7:1). . . . Irrigating water pipes and winding drives laid out; 3-story Children’s (or Orphans’) Home and nearby Woman’s Home built (San Diego Union, April 27, 1890, 7:1, 2.).

January 7, 1890, Report of Park Committee regarding Ladies Annex . . . we thoroughly appreciate the necessity of beautifying a portion of our City Park for as the lungs are to a human body, so is a park a breathing spot of the people; Offered tract of two acres at south between Date and 7th; planting may be difficult because of limited depth of soil and unlimited quantity of rock; told not to obstruct view of bay; reference to a tract between Ivy street on south and Palm street on north with good soil and a magnificent view.

San Diego Union, January 1 1890, 5:1. Mrs. Chas. Hamilton, Ladies Annex, explains Mr. Howard’s position regarding park improvements. . . . He had said to the Annex that he desired their sympathy, advice and cooperation, but did not want their money. Also said, he would far rather the Annex would assist in improving the Woman’s Home tract of five acres than the Park Charities grant.

San Diego Union, January 4, 1890, 5:2. Description of activities of Ladies Annex.

San Diego Union, January 5, 1890, 1:5. A NOBLE CHARITY: The Woman’s Home and Day Nursery and Its Good Work. . . . By act of the Legislature in February, 1889, the grant of the City Trustees of a tract of five acres to the Woman’s Home Association was confirmed but on condition that within one year said Association begin the work of building.

San Diego Union, February 13, 1890, 6:2. The Woman’s Home . . . Plans for a very desirable building will cost $5,500 have been donated. To build, more than $2,500 more is needed.

San Diego Union, February 20, 1890, 4:3. The Woman’s Home . . . Plans for a suitable building have been presented to the Association by architect Trotsche and it is the desire of the ladies to use them. The plans contemplate a Home to cost about $5,000 or $6,000.

San Diego Union, April 13, 1890, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Water for the Annex Park . . . The trees that the Ladies Annex had planted in the park are suffering from the want of water. Unless water can be obtained immediately the trees will die and all the good work amount to nothing. J. H. Woolman has the contract for piping water through the park tract, but it will take some time to do the work. Unless the Council makes some special provision for paying him there will be a long delay as the park fund is exhausted.

Residents in the vicinity of the park are willing that water should be taken from hydrants on their premises to supply the immediate need, but the water company have notified them to permit no more water to be taken. If the company will allow water to be used until the pipes can be put in the 700 trees can be saved; otherwise they will die. The water company is not in good humor but it can hardly be believed that the company will refuse a favor as the Ladies’ Annex have requested. Even a water company should not show bad temper to ladies.

San Diego Union, April 15, 1890, 4:2. The Water Company and the Annex Park.

It is evident The Union was right when it said on Sunday morning that the water company, although not in the best of humor toward the city, would hardly be guilty of ill-temper toward the Ladies Annex, nor defeat the efforts of that admirable body by refusing water for the park trees. . . . Mr. Flint of the water company says that rather than let the trees dies for want of water he will send water up there at the company’s expense.

San Diego Union, April 16, 1890, 6:2. Mrs. Watkins donated to the Annex Park one horse chestnut, one sugar maple and one elm tree brought from Oswego, New York.

San Diego Union, April 27, 1890, 7:1-2. Improvements on the Park.

Most of San Diego’s citizens have doubtless noticed a large building now being erected on the City Park, northeast of the Russ School house, but probably made of them are not aware of the other extensive improvements going on there. On visiting the locality yesterday a Union reporter noted the following facts:

A hundred acres of the highest and most sightly portion of the park have been cleared of brush and the debris which had been dumped there for several years and the land ploughed as deeply as possible, harrowed, and a thousand loads of fertilizers spread over it to enrich the soil, which, however, is naturally of a very fine quality. The whole tract has been laid with water pipe and over ten thousand trees have been planted. The principal varieties of trees set out are the blue gum, red gum sugar gum, cypress, pepper, several varieties of acacia, pine and Grevillea robusta. These trees have been carefully watered and cultivated and are growing finely. Winding drives have been made and well graded and in a year or two our citizens will have a beautiful park half as large as the cultivated portion of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, and much more sightly — all without being taxed a single dollar towards its accomplishment. We are informed that Mr. Howard contemplates, if the city will provide the water, the construction of a series of small lakes with miniature waterfalls between them, in the deep canyon the head of which is in the upper portion of the tract, but the final outlet for the water being along two or three of our principal streets. Such a flow and exhibit of water would be of more value to the city than almost any other improvement.

The building now being erected on the tract is the first of a series which will be built as fast as the requirements of the great charity of which it is a part shall demand. It is three stories high, with an attic, and though intended to accommodate about thirty children, can accommodate sixty if necessary. It is being constructed in the most substantial manner and will doubtless be the most symmetrical and beautiful building in the city. Its cost will be $12,000. The ground dimensions are 77 by 55 feet. The basement is of pressed brick, with a height of 10 feet, the two stories above each being 14 feet high. Its architecture is of the Queen Anne modern style. A handsome round tower occupied the northwest corner of the building. There are eleven, large comfortable rooms, each heated by a fire place. The main front of the building is toward the west and on all sides is a magnificent view of the scenery which has made San Diego famous. The view to the westward is particularly fine, as the complete outline of the harbor and of Coronado can be seen at a glance.

A short distance southwest of this building, which will be called, the Orphans’ Home, is another beautiful and substantial building going up. This is the Woman’s Home and is located on five acres deeded in trust by the city to the Woman’s Home Association. The building stands near the south end of the park, near the head of Sixteenth Street. It faces the south and will have ten rooms heated by fireplaces. It is of Queen Anne style of architecture, and will cost $7,000. To the left of this building, at the head of Eighteenth Street, a broad avenue leads in graceful curves to the Children’s Home previously mentioned.

Comstock & Trotsche of this city, are the architects of these buildings.

A brief account of these noble charities will be interesting to our readers.

Some years ago four of San Diego’s citizens, Messrs. Bryant, Howard, E. W. Morse, James M. Pierce and another gentleman who does not wish his name mentioned, concluded to devote the main portion of their fortunes to founding a number of charitable institutions. The depreciation of the value of real estate for a time retarded the work, but two of the parties are now pushing it rapidly forward. The plan outlined by one of their number, who had devoted much thought to the subject for years, was to rescue from evil surroundings the children most likely to grow up criminals, paupers, or prostitutes — that is: orphans and children of dissolute parents — place in homes, care for their wants, give them a good physical, mental and moral training, and if proper homes could be found for them, to place them in private families where they will be under the refining influences of home life and become happy, useful, and worthy citizens. The most watchful care will be used to see that they are properly treated and cared for in these families. The plan contemplated:

First – Children’s or orphans’ homes where, under the most careful sanitary provisions and surroundings and physical and moral training, all their wants can be provided for.

Second – The establishment of kindergartens.

Third – The location of a common school near these homes that the children may receive a good common school education. Water has been procured from the flume company to put upon a five-acre tract of the Park, upon which it is expected the building will be placed.

Fourth – The establishment of an industrial school, where the pupils may be training preparatory to following some useful calling in the mechanic arts. In connection with this school, however, it is intended to train the children in the knowledge and cultivation of such plants and trees as it may be desirable to cultivate in this climate.

Fifth – The establishment of a school of technology, where the most advanced or skilled pupils of the industrial school may acquire a knowledge of the higher branches of art.

The kindergarten, industrial school and school of technology are intended to be open to all who wish to avail themselves of this means of education.

From the time the children are able to write and have a knowledge of the four cardinal rules of arithmetic, they will be given what is much neglected in our schools, a careful business training. They will be encouraged and stimulated by a system of rewards and payments for whatever they do well and will be required to keep their own books of account, so that when they go out into the world to act for themselves, they will have a much better business education than is ever given to children under our present system of education. The young men or women who have the thorough training which will be given in these homes and schools will be made as nearly perfect physically, mentally and morally, and as well prepared to obtain a livelihood and become useful citizens as in their nature it is possible for them to become. The symmetrical development of the whole man is the aim of this plan of education. “A sound mind in a sound body,” with every sense acute, with every faculty educated, with every purpose in life noble.

These homes will not be a reformatory. Vicious and incorrigible children, who may chance to fall under their charge, will be sent to the State reform schools. Nor will the homes be used to encourage pauperism. The greatest precautions will be adopted to prevent imposition on the part of unworthy parents who may attempt to escape their duties and responsibilities.

To carry out this comprehensive system of charities required not only the use of large sums of money but also a large tract of land, and the thought occurred that a portion of our large and unimproved public park might be devoted to the purpose. No better use could possibly be made of a part of our park than to dedicate it to charity, provided that the part so given be kept open to the public as part of the park. In such case it would not be diverted from the purpose for which it was intended. It would be a deed of charity. It would be patriotic, for it would be doing a great good to our city by improving the park without taxing the citizens. It would be helping and educating poor children and be giving work to the laborer.

Fortunately for our city and for humanity, we had a wise and generous City Council and the petition which was presented by Bryant Howard and E. W. Morse, asking for 100 acres of the public park to be deeded in trust for charitable uses, after being considered several months, was granted unanimously, and shortly afterwards, through the efforts of Mr. Howard, five acres more were granted on precisely the same terms to the Woman’s Home.

Some months later the flume company deeded the necessary water for the use of these two tracts, and in a short time they will, no doubt, be so improved as to become the most beautiful part of San Diego.

The Woman’s Home has done a noble work by establishing the Day Nursery, which takes care of many children, while the Children’s Industrial Home, the organization incorporated for the purpose of carrying out the purpose of the men whose generous munificence will found and endow the noble charities to be established on the hundred-acre tract, has already provided homes in good families for fifty four boys and girls who might otherwise have become paupers or criminals.

San Diego Union, April 27, 1890, 7:2. The Flower Festival. . . . The Flower Festival in Loomis Hall, Tuesday through Friday evenings, is to raise funds for the support of the Woman’s Home and Day Nursery.

San Diego Union, May 21, 1890, 2:3. Board of Public Works permits target practice in park; details.

San Diego Union, June 15, 1890, 2:3. The Woman’s Home; further assistance necessary to complete the establishment.

The Building Committee of the Woman’s Home and its Day Nursery department report that the finishing of the exterior of the building is nearly completed. Much credit is due the architect and contractor for the degree of thoroughness with which this has been done. The architect not only donated the plans and specifications, but has gratuitously superintended the work.

The present contract, which includes no interior work except rough flooring, is for a little more than $3,200. This, thanks to generous donors, the ladies are able to meet. . . .

While workmen and tools are on the grounds and while labor and material can be obtained at present rates, the work of finishing the rooms on the first two floors can be accomplished at much less expense than by attempting to do the same at intervals as was at first proposed. The cost of this, including plumbing, will be about $2,800. Toward this amount the county appropriates $1,000 on condition that for the next five years such county cases as come within the scope of the work of the Home be received there.

It is the hope of those who have this institution in charge that the necessary $1,800 may be raised at once in order that the workmen now employed may be continued.

There are ten children in the Day Nursery Department and it is important to have them in a more healthy locality by midsummer; also, as soon as possible, to discontinue the payment of rent.

San Diego Union, September 13, 1890, 5:1. The Woman’s Home . . . On the knoll at the south line of City Park Heights, where 16th Street has its northern terminal, the building for the Woman’s Home Association is receiving its interior finish. If the ladies’ expectations are realized, the early part of November will see the Woman’s Home and the Day Nursery moved to this commanding height, but one terrace below the thrifty young forest trees rounding from the Associated Charities Tract.

The Board of Supervisors gave all the trees and shrubs removed from the Courthouse grounds and Mr. Trotsche befriended the Association by raising some $150 among his acquaintances to pay for transporting and transplanting them to the Association’s five-acre tract.

The six large peppers have been set in a big circle on the edge of the slope, and between them and the verandah will be laid out a circular grass plot. The agaves, date palm and fig trees fill out the corners. On the east have been placed in irregular fashion the fourteen orange trees, and on the side next the Russ school is a circular arrangement of pomegranates and maples.

San Diego Union, November 5, 1890, 8:2. To Help the Woman’s Home . . . A concert for the benefit of the Woman’s Home will be given at Louis’ Opera House on the 20th by Ohimeyer Bros. Orchestra.

San Diego Union, December 5, 1890, 5:2. The Woman’s Home; It is Now Occupied . . . Mrs. Adair, matron of the Woman’s Home and Day Nursery, has moved with her assistant and fifteen little charges into the commodious Woman’s Home building at the head of 16th Street’

San Diego Union, December 13, 1890, 2:1. Chamber of Commerce meeting to discuss Exposition

San Diego Union, December 14, 1890, 4:2. EDITORIAL on proposed Southwestern Industrial Exposition to be held in San Diego beginning on November 1, 1891.

San Diego Union, December 15, 1890, 5:2. Donation Reception for Woman’s Home . . . The “donation reception,” Saturday afternoon, which opened the new quarters of the Woman’s Home and Day Nursery, was attended by a large number of ladies.

San Diego Union, December 20, 1890, 6:1. Mr. Van Renasselaer addresses Escondido on behalf of Exposition.

San Diego Union, December 28, 1890, 6:1. List of people supporting Southern California Industrial Exposition in San Diego beginning on November 1, 1891 and continuing for six months.

San Diego Union, December 30, 1890, 2:1. Colonel Dan Stone tells of advantages of Exposition

So much interest has been awakened in favor of the exposition project, that a Union reporter called yesterday to see Colonel Daniel Stone, the Chairman of the Provisional Committee, to get his views.

Colonel Stone is very confident that the convention on January 1 will be largely attended, and that it will lead to the final success of the exposition. Though, owing to the pressure of private business, he never took any part in the executive management of the famous Cincinnati expositions, Colonel Stone was instrumental in bringing about the preliminary steps of organization, and so had ample opportunity of seeing the inside workings. The main difficulty in Cincinnati was with the first exposition, and with this the only real trouble was in raising the money. This once found, and with a good executive board, the path was clear. Out of fourteen expositions held, Colonel Stone says all were financial successes except the last. This unfortunately became a political affair, and was consequently carelessly and extravagantly managed. During the period in which these expositions were held, Cincinnati grew very rapidly in population, and her trade expanded in all directions. The direct results were the creation of a permanent exposition building, a college of music, a music hall and an art museum. They were the cause of a series of great operas being given annually in Cincinnati and from then directly sprang the May festivals, so famous throughout the United States.

“We found,” continued Colonel Stone, “that the results of the exposition were these: First, they advertised the city and county; second, they brought an influx of people; third, in Cincinnati an exposition brought 2,000,000 people into the city and probably put at least $5,000,000 into circulation. They were, therefore, profitable, first, to the merchants; second, to the hotels, lodging-houses and restaurants; third, to the street car companies, liverymen, etc.; fourth, in enlarging business acquaintances they widened the channels of trade and were of immense advantage to the business community at large. Let us now,” said Colonel Stone, “take a conservative estimate of the number of people likely to come to San Diego next Winter. Let us say that 10,000 people are brought here as a result of the exposition. Say they remain on an average of a fortnight and spend $5 a day each. This alone would put $750,000 into circulation. This does not include any wholesale trading which, of course, would be a direct outcome from country people coming into the city, nor does it include any possible investments which may result from Eastern parties coming into the county. Further, we should not underestimate the value of such an increase of travel to the railroads nor the possibility of influencing in this way another transcontinental line to extend to San Diego.” As it is generally known that Colonel Stone is a great believer in the future of this city, he was asked what, in his opinion, were the possibilities for 1891. He said that there were seven substantial possibilities overhanging the future of the city: First – An appropriation of $50,000, which will be spent in building a quarantine station at once. Second – Exposition building to cost $75,000. Third – A possibility of getting a railroad to San Quintin. Fourth – A ten-company military post. Fifth – An excellent chance of the city getting an appropriation for a Custom House and Postoffice, as the bill has already passed the Senate and is now favorably before the House. Sixth – A State appropriation of a sea wall. Seventh – An electric railroad to National City.

San Diego Union, December 30, 1890, 4:2. EDITORIAL: The People Want It (the Exposition)

San Diego Union, December 31, 1890, 2:1. Colonel Olin Welborn tells why he favors Exposition.

San Diego Union, February 14, 1891, 5:4. Over $80 recently received from guests at Hotel del Coronado for the needs of the Woman’s Home and Day Nursery.

San Diego Union, February 26, 1891, 2:1. Women and Children . . . Very interesting reports for the year ending February 1st were made yesterday afternoon at Mrs. Geo. W. Marston’s parlors where the annual meeting of the Woman’s Home and Day Nursery was held. Mrs. D. F. Davison, president of the home, presided. Mrs. J. H. Carter, secretary, reviewed the history of the commodious new building in which the noble charities have been housed since December 3rd last, the inmates now numbering one woman and fifteen children. During the year six woman were cared for an aggregate of twenty-three weeks, for which the total amount paid was $19.

In the nursery there have been thirty-four taken care of by the week or month. The average cost per month was $13.02. Nine were not paid for, and seven were partially paid for by working mothers. There are now three motherless children being take care of. The little children have been almost wholly clothed by donations and the kindergarten maintained for them is nearly entirely supported by the mite boxes kept at Hotel del Coronado and the Woman’s Exchange. . . .

San Diego Union, February 26, 1891, 2:3-4. Children’s Industrial Home – Special Object: To serve in every way practicable the various needs of Homeless, Abused or Neglected Children; Boys and Girls for service at Wages, for Indenture, or for Legal Adoption; Board of Trustees: E. W. Morse, M. A. Luce, James McCoy, Chas. S. Hamilton, Bryant Howard.

San Diego Union, February 27, 1891, 5:1. Seven working mothers, who paid something for their board, kept their children at the Day Nursery during the past year.

San Diego Union, May 1, 1891, 5:3. The Triple Charities: a brief history of the beneficiaries of the flower festival; there is a $1,400 debt to be lifted from the new three-story building into which the Woman’s Home and Day Nursery were moved five months ago.

San Diego Union, May 3, 1891, 5:4. The annual flower festival, which closed at Lafayette Hall last night after an existence of four days, was a success artistically and financially.

San Diego Union, May 5, 1891, 2:1. Mayor Sherman’s message to the New Council.

San Diego Union, May 6, 1891, 6:1-5. Ex-mayor Douglas Gunn’s message.

San Diego Union, May 16, 1891, 5:2. “M” writes letter wondering if birds are being killed by riflemen in the Central Park.

San Diego Union, May 21, 1891, 2:1. Judge M. A. Luce writes letter about Park Improvement

To The Union. What shall the city do this year in the way of improvement is a question that appeals to every progressive citizen. It is contended on the part of some that we should pave more streets, or that we should build a city hall. I do not agree with either of these propositions. As long as suitable accommodations can be obtained at present rentals, it would be folly to build a city hall. As to the pavement of streets, I think it will be conceded that all our business streets are paved and that by the free use of water on the residence streets, there is no real necessity for paving at this time. But I wish to call the attention of the people to a proposition that seems to me to be a feasible one, and one which will add greatly to the beauty of the city. And this is that the city should issue bonds to the amount of $100,000 for the purpose of improving the park. The expenditure of this money in the planting of groves of trees and the building of two small lakes in the upper part of the two valleys, together with valley roads and wide boulevards over the high lands, would make the foundation for a most beautiful park. These two lakes need not cost to exceed $10,000 each. They could be built so as to be enlarged if found necessary, and the water which flows into them will find an outlet down the valley and thus water the whole extent of these two valleys so that trees and plants might grow along the line of these outlets. It is a very proper thing that bonds be issued for this purpose, for the benefit of the park will be greater to those who may hereafter come among us than even to those now living here, and it is but fair for them to pay a portion of the debt. The completion of this system of improvements would be a great advertisement to San Diego and would make this city an especially attractive home for all classes of people. I see that the city of Tacoma has voted to issue bonds in the sum of $100,000 for the purpose of improving their park. We should not be outstripped in real improvements by any city on the coast, and especially in this respect, when we have so beautiful a tract of land for park purposes. If this improvement is undertaken, we will not only add to the value of our homes much more than the amount of taxes we shall have to pay, but will also give occupation to many of our citizens who may be in need of employment at this time. It is to be hoped that our citizens will investigate and agitate this question.

  1. A. Luce


San Diego Union, May 24, 1892, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Park Improvement . . . In order to sound public opinion more accurately on the subject of park improvement, The Union obtained a number of interviews yesterday with representative taxpayers. The intention was to publish these interviews this morning, but it was inexpedient to do so, therefore they will appear on Monday morning. To a man they favor park improvement, many of them enthusiastically and a large portion of them also favoring bonding the city to raise the necessary funds. As suggested by a prominent businessman and an able financier, it probably would be advisable in case of issuing $100,000 bonds for park improvement to make that amount cover a period of, say, three to five years and thus keep a number of persons steadily employed and a large sum of money in constant circulation, instead of spending it all in one great effort. The expenditure of $20,000 a year would work a mighty transformation on the rough, brown hills. Everyone now concedes the wisdom of granting Bryant Howard the park charity tract, and the $20,000 per year for five years would reproduce several areas even more elaborately beautified than that beautiful tract that now commands much attention and praise. Just contemplate five hundred acres of trees, lawns, fountains, lakes and flower plots, instead of the meaningless, desolate stretch of hills that now excite nothing but derision from strangers and regrets from citizens and then ask whether it will not be wise to issue bonds.

San Diego Union, May 27, 1891, 2:1. Kate Sessions writes letter about Park Improvement

To The Union. The subject of park improvement is more interesting to me than any other public improvement, and I hope that this discussion will lead to a substantial beginning — otherwise I would not care to speak. I am positive that our park lands are more favorably situated than any others that could be selected in any place in any state of the United States. They have every advantage of climate, water and soil we can commend. I believe the improvement of our park would be more advantageous to our city than anything else that could be done for its welfare. I quote from an excellent and reliable article on park improvement: “So essential have public parks come to be _____ in a satisfactory city life, that a city destitute of one stands at a great commercial and financial disadvantage. Beyond the considerations of health, public parks directly pay for themselves. There is no doubt that the millions which Central Park has cost New York have been returned through the profit that has accrued from the attractiveness of the city as a residence for men of means and from increased sales of real estate alone, taxes are actually lighter than they would have been, but for the park.”

San Diego needs park improvement more than any city in California, for which I can give many reasons. I have seen Golden Gate park grow up from a sand dune and I can foresee better results for ours in less time, for which I also have substantial reasons.

The beginning of public park construction in cities of the United States soon demonstrated the far-reaching advantages to be obtained in the employment of competent advice and superintence [sic] in the laying out of expensive public grounds, and it brought into prominence the occupation of landscape architect. Among the foremost members of the profession today throughout the world stands Frederick Law Olmsted of Brookline, Mass., whose services have been employed in nearly every principal operation of park construction in America. Here is a man of long experience and great ability whom we can employ to give us the best park in the best place in the United States. He is the one to advise with in regard to the best methods for raising park funds, the amount of money to be advantageously spent each year, and the best way to make a beginning, etc. His ability I have known of for a long time and had some correspondence with the firm in regard to parks at the time the ladies began their work on the park. The right time for me to speak of Mr. Olmsted has never seemed at hand until now. The Leland Stanford University grounds are in his charge entirely. I am confident that he would make the work the one grand success of his life, for think for a moment of the materials here at his command.

With Mr. Frederick Law Olmsted as landscape architect, Mr. J. D. Schuyler as engineer, financiers such as Mr. Jacob Gruendike, Mr. Bryant Howard, and Mr. J. W. Collins, park commissioners selected from our citizens of travel, leisure and taste, how could there be failure? I refer all interested toHarper’s Weekly, September 27, 1890, for the most excellent articles on the Boston parks and a sketch of Mr. F. L. Olmsted. This subject I am most earnestly interested in, and the many facts of data and value I may have I should be pleased to discuss with those interested, and will be glad to help on the good work in any way in my power.

K.O. Sessions

San Diego Union, May 27, 1891, 2:1. Colonel Kastle Has Something More to Say

To The Union. It seems a little strange to me that anyone could misunderstand any suggestions I made on the above subject through the columns of your esteemed paper on Saturday last. I stated distinctly that I thought it possible that there were several hundred families in this city who owned their homes who would take it as a godsend to lease a five or ten acre tract, under the restrictions that they plant trees upon a given plan in a given time, thus earn a living without leaving their homes and possibly add greatly to our exports besides. I repeat how anyone could conclude that I was in favor of moving “shanties” or “rookeries” on the park is beyond my conception. Indeed, I beg to refer ________ to my communication of two or three years ago, having gone into details at that time. I am at a loss to know how anyone can conclude from such a proposition that I desired to make a sort of poor farm out of our park. There are people here besides capitalists and paupers, and they are the ones who usually build up cities, and are not ashamed to till the soil if needs be.

Mr. N. evidently has not traveled very much, as in Europe and in portions of this country, the tillers of the soil live in cities and villages, and the countries where that is done are a perfect panorama as far as the eye can reach. You there see grain fields, vineyards and orchards without a single “shanty” to obscure the view for miles in every direction, and the workers live a greater distance away from their work than they would if they lived in the most remote part of the city from the city park.

I have no desire to push any particular plan, and am perfectly willing to vote for bonds for that purpose, but would like to see something done, if we cannot carry the bonds. I would, however, much prefer to vote for bonds to build a county road from Lakeside to the line of the Southern Pacific, and cannot understand why that project has not been pushed. Public sentiment seemed to be in favor of the project and an earnest effort ought to be made to carry it out.

John Kastle

San Diego Union, May 27, 1891, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Park Improvement – To What Extent? . . . Recent agitation in park improvement is all to certain to share the fate of many other projects for the betterment of the community, unless representative men of the city make some move toward crystallizing public sentiment into action. While there certainly is an overwhelming majority of taxpayers in favor of improving 10 to 100 acres of the reservation, it is probable that a large majority would vote against the issuance for $100,000 bonds for the purpose, because so large a sum would, no doubt, be considered unnecessary at this time and disproportionate to the wealth of the community. People who are worth from $25,000 up might favor bonds, but the great body of voters would be pretty sure to consider such a large amount of bonds at this time a hardship. Would it not be more expedient to improve, say fifty acres this year and fifty the next upon a plan with which subsequent improvements will harmonize, as long as may be found practicable, increasing the amount to be beautified from year to year as may seem best from time to time. The chief prerequisite is water. Absolutely nothing can be done without an abundance of that, and if the water lease is signed by the English company, the city will have an ample supply for park purposes. A very moderate amount of money, five to ten thousand dollars, would be sufficient to make a beginning. The main thing most need is to get trees to growing and to make a showing of lawns and flower gardens. The making of a park is an evolution, not the creation of a single year nor a dozen years. The average taxpayer and the small property owner must be protected, and such improvements undertaken as will not work a hardship upon the people at large. This can be done and improvements made commensurate with the city’s rank and prospects at the same time.

San Diego Union, June 5, 1891, 4:2. EDITORIAL: A Suggestion for Park Improvement . . . Now that the city owns the water plant and supply and has a greater amount of water to dispose of than it has present use for, one of the principal and long-standing obstacles to park improvement is removed, and it would seem that there can be no tenable reason for not utilizing at least a portion of the water to beautifying a tract of the park reservation. If city funds were abundant, it would, of course, be advisable to engage the services of an expert landscape gardener, such as Frederick Law Olmstead [sic] to lay off the reservation in one grand design, arranging, however, for the improvement of tracts from year to year in such a manner as to conform to the general plan. That is, of course, what ought to be done, but at present it may be inexpedient to do it. However, there is a much simpler plan, the execution of which would in no way interfere with future operations. That is for the city council to have the city engineer lay off a wide boulevard, say 200 feet wide, on the margin of one or all of the four sides of the park, have all or a part of it graded, as may be deemed best, and then have trees planted on both sides of the boulevard continuously all the way around. In the middle of the roadway a space twenty feet wide ought to be reserved to be planted with palms and other semi-tropical shrubs and with flowers, this portion to be improved as rapidly and as extensively as may be deemed best. In this way the city would soon have a magnificent boulevard, far surpassing anything in Southern California, without incurring a serious financial burden. It would be a great attraction for visitors and a perpetual source of pleasure to our own people. The interior could subsequently be designed and improved without disarranging the previous work, and no matter how the interior might be improved, the boulevard would always remain a thing of stately beauty and of great pleasure.

San Diego Union, June 27, 1891, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Improve or Cultivate the Park . . . There seems to be a not at all creditable apathy regarding the improvement of the park, as recently suggested by Judge M. A. Luce. The city is owner of the 1,400 acres comprising the park reservations, which it has been held cannot be sold without consent of the legislature. If it is the sense of the city that it would be financially inexpedient to develop it, some means ought to be agreed upon by which it could at least partially improve the great tract, even if it were leased, under ample restrictions as to buildings, fence, etc., in small tracts for potato patches. In its present condition it is worse than useless. Its desolate aspect cannot fail to produce other than an unfavorable impression upon spectators, who will be very apt to draw their conclusions as to the remoter sections of our surrounding country by the appearance of this vast tract right on the city’s edge. Now than an abundance of water is assured and the water commission settled, it has been suggested that the leasing of the reservation in small tracts would be practicable and advisable. Heretofore, no one has wanted the land because without water its cultivation would be unprofitable, but this objection is now permanently removed. The rich mesa soil would yield immense crops of vegetables, berries, potatoes, etc., the experience of market gardeners and fruit growers in this and neighboring counties, particularly in the Cahuenga foothills in Los Angeles county, having effectually exploded an old foggy notion that mesa lands are unprolific, for they have in fact yielded results in every way equal to valley lands. There is no doubt a large number of persons in this city who would at once avail themselves of the opportunity to cultivate small tracts on a reasonable lease, and the rents thus accruing to the city would go a good way toward defraying the annual rent of the water plant, besides making the tract more presentable to strangers.

San Diego Union, June 27, 1891, 5:2. Despoiling the Park Tract . . . The ten-acre tract in the southwest corner of the city park reservation, which the women control, is being depradated by the rowdy boys of upper 6th Street, a committee woman reports. “They have partially destroyed the vine house,” she says, “hacked the benches and broken the shrubs. What is worse, there are adults not over scrupulous in staking their horses or other animals out on the tract under cover of darkness. These creatures have done more damage than the boys. Nipped shrubs and trees show where they have grazed, although it is seldom that one is observed there after the early morning hours. We have protested and explained, where possible and feel that each person should in a sense be a guardian instead of a despoiler of this public tract.”

San Diego Union, June 28, 1891, 6:1. Bryant Howard’s Fruit Trees . . . The arboreal growth of the 100-acre charity tract, which now contains the first of the buildings for a children’s industrial home, is a refreshing oasis in the brush solitudes of the great central reservation known as the city park. The western slope, from the site of what will at an early day be opened as a home for orphans, is already showing its cypress lettering of “A sound mind in a sound body”; but on the slopes east and south the most rapid growth has been made by the eucalyptus trees. To The Union’s question as to whether forestry was meant to dominate the tract, Bryant Howard replied that his plans included horticulture on an extended scale. This spring there have been set out about 8,000 guava bushes of the strawberry variety, and some thousand Villa Franca lemons and oranges of the Malta blood variety and budded navels. These fruit trees have not been planted solidly, but are scattered among the forest trees, Mr. Howard believing that this protection for several years will be advisable for the young trees. He intends, when prudent, to have the forest growths cut out, except for certain groves that have not been invaded, and gradually to put in more fruit trees. Several thousand will be added next year. Thus the whole tract, nearly in the center of the south boundary of the park, is practically covered with a growth that is itself a convincing reply to the skeptic who asks if the back country will grow anything. That portion of the 150-ft. boulevard of the park system which crosses the Howard tract is over a quarter of a mile in length and without any delay Mr. Howard has had his gardeners plant it in a way that will make it one of the great sights of the region, and which, if continued over the city’s line of the boulevard, would give San Diego the most beautiful boulevard of the coast. Mr. Howard has divided this thoroughfare into twenty-foot walks, separated by two forty-five feet roadways. The center walk has on each side a line of fan palms, the alternating spaces being filled each by a red castor bean tree and a poinsettia (Christmas flower) tree. The walk on the outer side of each of these roadways has for its further edge a line of sugar gums and Grevillea robustas, while each inner side has a line of rubber trees, their alternating spaces each being centered with a red castor bean and a poinsettia. Mr. Howard says that magnificent as this stretch will be when it is fully grown, he shall not consider it completed until he adds a double row of oranges beyond the tree line of each outer walk.

San Diego Union, June 28, 1891, 6:1. The Howard Kindergarten . . . There will enter the primary department of the public schools this fall a class of fifteen children from the Howard kindergarten. Thirteen of these are girls and the ages range from 5 to 8 years. When this kindergarten closed its first year a few weeks ago, the enrollment was about ninety, although there have been over 100 under the care of Mrs. Anne Porter and her four training school assistants. The term, which opened in October, was uninterrupted except for the fortnight vacation at Christmas. With the exception of a few who voluntarily paid something toward the tuition of their children, the year’s expenses were borne wholly by Bryant Howard, who lavishly filled the schoolroom with the latest conveniences in kindergarten training and furnishing. Three buses were employed every forenoon to gather and carry up the pupils who, in like manner, had to be driven down at noon to their various corners for dispersion.

Mrs. Porter found it necessary to supply some clothing for the little ones not comfortably clad, and was most enthusiastically assisted by the King’s Daughters of the Congregational tabernacle, who mended and made over many a half-worn or too sizable garment. Contributions were always forthcoming when she mentioned the children’s needs, the misses of the Southwest Institute being especially generous in collecting and donating.

What effect the new law may have, admitting to public schools at the age of four, will not be known until the next school year begins. But as Mr. Howard’s declared intention was to supply a free kindergarten for the public until this branch should be incorporated in the school system, it is probable that the one will go on until the other is established.

San Diego Union, August 24, 1891, 2:2. Notes on Planting by Miss K. O. Sessions

The Ficus or fig family is a large and useful one, furnishing the fig of commerce, the India rubber producing tree of the tropics, and not a few ornamental trees and shrubs. If you will observe the large rubber tree on 8th Street, between C and D on the east side, with its large dark green leaves and strong substantial trunk, and then compare the shrubbery tree directly opposite on the west side with similar but smaller leaves, quite a lesson can be learned. The former is the ficus macrophyllum (meaning large leaf) or the Australian rubber tree, often called the Moreton Bay fig. This does not produce the rubber of commerce, but it is one of the grandest trees in cultivation, where a large and spreading shade tree is needed. The smaller leaf variety is the ficus australia and is more desirable for a large shrub and for grouping than shade. At Mr. D. C. Reed’s corner, D and 10th, and at Mr. Levi Chase’s corner, 11th and D, are fine and symmetrical plants of this shrubbery variety.

The Australian rubber tree is planted extensively on the sidewalks and roadways of Melbourne, a city famous for her magnificent avenues. On the park charity tract last spring, a double row of 100 of these trees was set, which, I believe, is the only long avenue of them in the state. The cost has been a drawback to extensive planting, while the climate of northern California is too severe for successful cultivation on streets.

Mrs. Keating also planted a row on the sidewalk to the south of her residence and Judge Puterbaugh, owning the opposite block, intends to plant the same tree. Ten years hence these rows will form grand avenues of shade, fully fifty feet high.

The best ficus for planting within the gardens of the city, unless the grounds are spacious, is the true Indian rubber tree, the ficus elastica. It is of smaller growth, yet branching with the most beautiful foliage of all the rubbers, shading from the darkest green to russet and brown. At Mr. George Copeland’s corner, A and 7th, a thrifty young plant may be seen, and at the Coronado botanical gardens and the Del Coronado grounds three-year old plants are making a fine showing.

San Diego Union, August 25, 1891, 2:1. Board of Delegates . . . Delegate Pauly moved that Section 18 of the ordinance forfeiting the franchise of the Park belt street railway granted A. Klauber, S. Steiner, D. Choate, et al, be stricken out. There was an objection that if they began striking out section after section there would finally be no ordinance. The ordinance passed in 1887, granting the franchise, was called for and read.

The opinion of the city attorney was asked for. He said that he had taken no official notice of the failure of the road to operate the franchise, but he knew personally that the road or a portion of the road had not been operated for over a year. As for the litigation, he said that he had been told that one of the stockholders had brought suit to compel the company to operate the road but had failed. He was of the opinion that it was the duty of the company to operate the franchise, and if it failed to do so within a reasonable time, that, under the law, he believed it forfeited; however, the council had not the right nor power to take away any vested rights belonging to the corporations or individuals.

Judge Luce, appearing for the Klauber franchise, stated that Messrs. Klauber, Cassell and Choate paid $65,000 out of their own pockets to build the road. He spoke at some length against forfeiture of the franchise, going over the legal obstacles in the way of its operation.

The motion to strike out was carried.

San Diego Union, November 29, 1891, 1:1-2. Douglas Gunn Dead; his body found yesterday afternoon in his private office; paralysis of the heart suddenly terminated an honored career; death finds him alone with his books and papers; anxiety about business career; something of his life and work in this city.

“San Diego City Park, 1868-1902,” by Gregory Montes . . . In February, 1892, even before the Sessions’ lease had received complete city approval, Riley R. Morrison and S. G. Blaisdell requested city park land for “experimenting in growing trees and flowers” under the same terms granted to Miss K. O. Sessions (CCO, BP-1, Doc. 311, filed February 1, 1892, p. 1). . . . In October, 1892, the City Park Commission, which included Bryant Howard, informed the City Board of Delegates that the Morrison-Blaisdell lease was sought for “private purposes” and that several other parties were waiting to see if the land request succeeded and, if so, they would jump for slices of city park. The Commission summarized, “If these leases applied for are granted, there will be no limit to them.” (CCO, B.P.-1, Doc. 312, filed October 23, 1892, p. 1).

San Diego Union, February 10, 1892, 5:4. BOARD OF ALDERMEN: The ordinance granting Miss K. O. Sessions the use of a certain tract of land in the city park for an experimental garden and nursery was adopted.

City Council granted 36 acres of the extreme northwestern portion of the park to Miss Kate Sessions for a term of years for use as a nursery and garden; consideration being the donation of 300 trees yearly to the city and the permanent planting of 100 additional trees; nursery covers 10 acres.

San Diego Union, March 6, 1892, 5:2. A debt of $1,000 still remains on the Women’s Home, which cost $6,500. The annual report shows that in the past year 11 women had been provided with a temporary home and 56 children of average age of 5 years had been cared for.

San Diego Union, May 25, 1892, 2:1. BOARD OF ALDERMEN: The Board of Public Works presented a report asking for the fixing of the salary of the superintendent of parks at $60 per month to commence May 1st. Mr. Gassen though such recommendations should come from the mayor. The recommendation was referred to the Committee of Streets, Highways and Parks.

San Diego Union, July 19, 1892, 5:2. BOARD OF DELEGATES: The ordinance increasing the salary of the superintendent of parks was defeated.

San Diego Union, July 25 1892, 5:2. Suggestions of Miss K. O. Sessions on tree planting.

To The Union. I firmly believe that San Diego is in more need of improvement than any other city in Southern California and I am very sure, as I have said before through your columns, that no public improvement could be undertaken that would do more good for the city than a moderate expenditure annually in beautifying the park and streets.

San Diego is like San Francisco. It was laid out for a city from the beginning of its existence, and their location was on the comparatively barren seashore.

Man can redeem these shadeless hill slopes and prove that everything is at hand for the success of the tree. See what Golden Gate is daily proving to every visitor in the way of plant growth, and what the shores about San Francisco can accomplish in ten years can be done in six here.

A committee of citizens with leisure and with ambition for the beautifying of our city can accomplish a great deal. There is work in abundance for a beginning today in giving attention to and demanding respect for every tree now growing within our city.

What seems to me to be the most important part of the preliminary work and a foundation of a grand success in this worthy undertaking is a plan of tree planting.

It will necessarily take time to secure this, but it can be done long before the season for extensive tree planting is at hand and no time will be lost.

A careful discussion and investigation of the most expeditious and at the same time most practical methods for accomplishing these ends, a committee can certainly undertake at once, and with such men as Capt. Maize and Capt. Sweeney as volunteers in this work of organizing, we are certain of success.

The work done by the Improvement Association of San Diego four years ago, as recorded in the pamphlet that the society published, will be of material aid to this work and, no doubt, the small funds in their treasury will be available.

  1. Sessions

San Diego Union, July 29, 1892, 5:3. For Tree Planting

To The Union. In your short editorial referring to the water lease in Saturday’s Union, in view of the tree planting movement now on foot, your assertion that “it is an excellent time to go slow,” as far as it is applicable to the water question, has special weight. If the proposition to plant trees in all the resident streets of the city is worked out to a successful issue, the subject of cheap water or dear water is a most important factor.

The article in this morning’s (Sunday’s) Union, under the head of “The Water Question,” deserves the serious consideration of every individual who is an impartial and unbiased advocate of improving the city permanently, and who has the welfare of San Diego at heart. Abrogate the water lease we have at present and all our work will go for naught, and San Diego will remain the barren, unsightly town it is, for, putting aside all buncombs, there is nothing lovely about San Diego as a city, but its site, that unquestionably cannot be surpassed.

Mr. Bryant Howard and the other trustees of the water lease, as well as every solitary member of the city council, know full well, without being told, that any attempt to beautify the city by arboreal or horticultural means must be a failure now, as it has been in the past, if anything is done toward reducing the present supply of water, or adding to the cost thereof, it would be time, money and energy thrown away to plant trees, individually or collectively, if we cannot have cheap water. By breaking the present water lease and going back to the old system, we might as well drop the tree question right now.

It is sincerely hoped that the good sound sense of the gentlemen composing the Board of Trustees of the water lease will guide their action in the premises, and induce them to retain the present supply of water for the city use and allow us to carry out the plans for planting street trees, so auspiciously begun, and which are being fully and thoroughly digested, so as to have all the information obtainable to lay before a mass meeting of our citizens, which it is hoped will be called during the present week.

Henry Sweeney

San Diego Union, July 29, 1892, 5:3. Trees and Water: two sensible plans proposed for park improvement; maintain the lease, build a reservoir in the park; use water to beauty city; a promised money contribution.

“I am emphatically opposed to annulling the water lease,” said Daniel Cleveland, the well-known attorney, yesterday. “And,” he continued, “my opposition is based on several, as I believe, good and legitimate reasons.

“In the first place, we must beautify the city with lawns, flowers and trees. We cannot go away from home without being told that our city looks so dry and barren. We can remedy this, but to do it will require plenty of water. To secure an adequate supply will necessitate the city either owning its own plant or effecting a lease. The former proposition is not at all practicable at present. We have a lease now and the city has been operating the plant for over a year. It is true there is a deficiency, but this will be lessened year by year, and it will not be long before the city will be deriving a handsome revenue from its lease, as I am so firm a believer in the future of San Diego that I am positive its population will soon rapidly increase. In connection with this, the increased assessment of property improved under the operation of the lease will lessen the rate of taxation on the many to make good the deficiency.

“I will admit that I opposed the lease when it was first under consideration, on the ground that I did not think the railroad proposition had a solid basis, but now, laying aside all reference to the railroad, I am convinced that the water lease will be a handsome investment for the city, and I am perfectly willing to go on record as advocating the continuance of the lease.”

A Park Reservoir

Several prominent gentlemen were in the office of the Board of Public Works yesterday discussing the all-absorbing topic of the water lease. They were generally in favor of a continuation of the lease, and the question of the city paying for more than it was using was under consideration.

“I have a proposition,” said one, “which I think will meet with general favor. We are paying for 3,000,000 gallons of water daily, and using 1,000,000. Build a reservoir in the highest portion, the northeast corner of our 1,400 acre park. At night, when there is no danger of lessening the pressure, run this surplus water into the reservoir, shutting off the feed pipe in the daytime. Then, by popular subscription and donation, secure trees for the park, set them out and have them well under way by the time we get ready to improve the park as a city park should be improved. The work can be done under the supervision of the park commissioners or board of public works, and the expense would be light. A 1,400-acre grove in the heart of the city would do much to do away with that dry and barren criticism. The water that is now going to waste would be turned to good advantage, as every acre of the park could be irrigated from the reservoir.” This proposition was agreed to by the gentlemen present and they pledged themselves to subscribe $25 each for a tree-planting fund.


San Diego Union, July 30, 1892, 2:1-4. An organization formed for an aggressive campaign for tree planting.

The mass meeting called by Mayor Sherman for last evening at the chamber of commerce to formulate a definite plan of action regarding the tree-planting proposition drew forth a large and representative gathering of property owners. Numerous expressions in favor of the movement were made and a plan was agreed upon.

Capt. H. Sweeney called the meeting to order in the following language:

Gentlemen: Being the first of the names mentioned in the call for this meeting, made by his honor, the mayor, I beg to state partially in a few words the object of the meeting. We have assembled here this evening to adopt some organized system of tree planting on the residence streets of the city. To do this we must have the assistance of the city government to regulate by ordinance the distance, both maximum and minimum, each tree shall be set out, one from the other, and the distance inside the curb. Whatever may be the sense of the meeting on this subject, it should be formulated by resolution and a copy of the same sent to the proper city official to be laid before the city council as a basis for their action in the premises, asking the council to give it attention as soon as possible. That this meeting will adopt plans for the practical carrying out of the work is hoped and expected.

Now gentlemen, I presume it is in order to select a chairman.

Acting on this suggestion, Dr. W. B. Woodward nominated, and Capt. W. R. Maize seconded, H. M. Kutchin was unanimously elected. Capt. Sweeney was elected secretary.

In taking the chair, Mr. Kutchin expressed his appreciation of the compliment paid him in being called upon to preside at a meeting of such a character and composed of such representative citizens. He stated that the good work which those present had been called together to discuss had been fully outlined in the public press and that he would not attempt to repeat. Upon calling for an expression from those present, Capt. W. R. Maize responded in the following lengthy and full presentation of the subject, with valuable suggestions, resulting from his observations of the tree question:

Having given a great deal of attention to the subject which we are here to discuss this evening, I think it best that this should be a voluntary movement on the part of the people resident in San Diego. In order that the best results may be obtained from this movement without further delay, I would suggest that an advisory committee of live, active men be appointed. That authority be given the committee to appoint all sub-committees, consisting of one for each street, which will organize, superintend and encourage the uniform and early planting of shade and ornamental trees on that street. The street committees to consult and to act in concert with the advisory committee. By selecting active and energetic men on each street committee, a healthy competition will be incited between the residents of the different streets, and the best results will be accomplished.

If we succeed in getting the trees planted in front of our own residence — and I blush to think how many of us have neglected to do so — we will have a first claim to call for a small assessment on the non-resident owners and non-improved property. Ordinances may then be secured to plant, care for and provide such property with trees, in order to have it conform to the streets generally.

But few, if any non-resident lot owners will object to this slight tax, providing we have planted our trees one year or a few months in advance of the assessment. But, gentlemen, there are people in San Diego who would like to have the city dig the holes, plant and water the trees in front of their houses, and care for the trees as well. This can be done later on for non-resident property owners by a city ordinance, and for residents who are not living on their lots, by taxation. But let us set the example and plant in front of our own homes before we advocate taxation of the non-resident or other property owners.

Let it be understood that this tree-planting movement has no connection with politics or water corporations, but has for its motto, “Pro bono publico.”

For present work, let us secure a city ordinance regulating the distance at which trees may be planted from the property line and the distance that the trees may be planted apart from each other.

The distance is a most important item. I will read from a paper by Miss Kate Sessions, which was read at the annual meeting of the Pomological Society of Southern California May 4, 1892: My observation has proven to me that the first necessity of tree-planting along any street is to have the same sort of a tree planted on both sides for as great a distance as possible. Nature everywhere gives us examples of such symmetry. The weeds and shrubs growing on either side of the road are about the same; of course, soil and conditions are the same, but nature has made the tree, the shrub, the flower, the seed pod, the shell of the sea, asymmetrical to some medial line. She has not laid out her parks, the forests, in square and straight lines, but she has ornamented the paths through them harmoniously. The rivers, her highways, are symmetrically ornamented on the banks. If high trees grow on one side, they do on the other, or where they are growing man detects the greater beauty. We do not tire of an avenue with the same tree on both sides for a mile or more, or even five. We do not wish some other tree would appear, but, on the contrary, the repetition, the continuation of the same, intensifies our enjoyment and appreciation, and we are proud and interested in the length and regularity of the avenue. We compare tree with tree, we observe the foliage, the branching, the bark, the flower, the seed. We calculate the age and the habit, and become a student filled with thoughts of nature, inspiring us to better deeds and thoughts.

The next great need in tree planting to the one already mentioned, is that the trees be set far enough apart. In California, and particularly in these southern counties, where the growths of plants is so continuous, owing to the slight difference in the seasons, in a few years we find trees with their branches intermingling, forming a perfect hedge and barrier in mid-air. Their graceful outline against the sky entirely obliterated, except at the top, and the individuality of each tree entirely lost. Often beautiful views of mountain and landscape entirely hid by the well of green, while if the trees were well apart, the scene would be even more beautiful viewed between their graceful boughs. If we stop to calculate and observe a little, we are soon convinced of the short time it takes for trees to touch each other. Trees growing symmetrically extend as far on one side as the other. If set twenty feet apart, they will only need to throw out branches ten feet long before they are touching. Where can you see a shade tree in California only a few years old that has branches less than ten feet long? You find more with branches twenty feet. If the trees are set fifty feet apart that space will allow each plant a perfect development for at least ten years before they appear to think of approaching each other; and yet many a tree can be found shading a space spreading over more than fifty feet — observe the pepper, the rubber, the locust, the oak, the eucalyptus that has been properly trimmed. Most of our trees can be made to spread more if trimmed, but they grow out of our convenient reach so soon that we stand helpless at their base, and well it is so. If for the first five years or so the rows seem scant, and we think more of ourselves than posterity, set some deciduous tree or slender and slower tree between, or plants like the dracaena. We do not plant trees upon our streets in California for shade, but for beauty. In most cases the pedestrian during the summer finds shade too cool a resting place. The beauty of a street ornamented with trees is most interesting in its length, as we look along the vista and see the swaying boughs meeting in the distance beyond. It matters not whether the trees are fifty or 100 feet apart to give such an effect.

Let us excite a friendly competition between the residents of the different streets on this subject, by the advisory committee selecting good, energetic, active men for each street committee. Then get each resident to dig or have dug holes 4x4 feet square and at least 3 feet deep, and fill them with rich soil, adding very little if any manure. These holes to be prepared without delay, so that the planting may occur simultaneously about December 1. Where persons who have young trees in pots or boxes who desire to plant at once, encourage them to do so.

In many cases each person owning property along a given highway seems to want a different kind of tree, thereby producing inharmonious effects. Wherever a fine avenue has been properly planted it has been controlled by a single person or company. Take as an instance Magnolia avenue in Riverside and Euclid avenue in Ontario. You can have no fine street unless the trees are of uniform variety.

Therefore, let the residents of the different streets act together and plant the same trees as far as practicable, remembering each one has to yield to the majority on his street, or be considered wholly selfish. I have a clipping taken from an interview with Bryant Howard in which he say from his experience in planting and maintaining the 15,000 or more trees on the park charity tract, now known as the “Howard forest,” he could recommend the sugar gum, Grevillea robusta and the pepper, providing they develop no enemies. The sugar gum is a symmetrical, rapid grower, and naturally assumes a pyramidal shape. It is a large tree and can be trimmed into almost any desired form, so as not to obstruct the view. Another good tree is the “thickhead” eucalyptus, also a rapid grower. The bright, green foliage of the pepper makes it desirable, though it is a slower grower than the sugar gum and will not thrive in as hard soil. The robusta is also behind the sugar gum in rapidity of growth. The Monterey cypress, Mr. Howard considers too gloomy and too much of a view-obstructer; it also catches and holds the dust

I have been asked how we are to get along without funds. We have not asked for a cent, neither do we intend to. Mr. Marston before leaving for New York, volunteered $50 for this object. I will give $20 and I will ask the secretary to take the names of any others who may feel enough interested to volunteer in any sum, large or small, to be paid when called for. I would also ask Bryant Howard if the Citizens’ association has not a balance on hand, which could be appropriated to this fund to aid it. Voluntary contributions will be carefully and judiciously expended in planting on lots where resident owners are too poor to do so themselves. No part of this fund will be expended for clerk hire or salaries.

Another important thing before I close is to urge the sub or street committees to insist on cutting down and weeding out the common acacias or other worthless trees. I understand that the University Heights boulevard is the most harmoniously planted street of any in the city and that these trees are about to be sacrificed for the want of water and a little care. Let us ask the city fathers to authorize the watering of these trees once a month and save them to the city. The University company will send a man to dig around them.

Mr. H. C. Orcutt of this city has kindly offered 1,000 trees as a gift to the city. Herbert Richards, too, has come forward with an offer of about 10,000 blackwood acacias, nearly a year old, which are growing on his ranch in El Cajon. This is the tree so highly recommended.

An ordinance should be passed giving the city engineer authority to furnish the street committees the proper grade on graded streets. The city engineer informed me that this would necessitate only the expense attending the employee transportation to and from his office.

The remarks of Capt. Maize were received with much attention. At their conclusion, W. E. Allis moved that a committee of three be appointed to select an advisory committee of seven to take under consideration the best methods of bringing the subject before the people and the city authorities. The chair thereupon appointed W. E. Allis, Dr. Woodward and W. D. Woolwize (?). After consultation the following names were suggested and unanimously approved: W. E. Allis, W. J. Prout, Capt. H. Sweeney, W. R. Maize, T. J. Arnold, Col. R. B. Spileman (?), and W. W. Stewart.

Bryant Howard was called upon to speak about the existing organization, known as the Citizens’ Association to Improve and to Beautify San Diego, and, as usual, responded in a forceful and interesting manner as follows:

In regard to the organization there are a number of citizens here who have always had at heart the beautifying of the city. In the fall of 1886, the citizens’ organization was effected for that purpose. We did not expect to be able to raise a great deal of money, but hoped by studying the question and posting ourselves thoroughly on the subject to become capable of acting in an advisory capacity. There were a number of reasons why nothing remarkable was accomplished. There was a scarcity of water, many of the streets were not graded, and the residences were so scattered and there were so many non-resident owners that gradually interest in the organization ceased until now there are only three of us left taking any active interest in it. We, of course, did not expect to do a great deal, but hoped to do some good, and I believe we did. I believe also that by now an organization of the citizens, a great deal of good can be accomplished. Now we have an abundance of water, the streets are graded, more houses have been built, and people generally are taking more interest in the matter. Now a good many of the streets are graded, and many trees can be planted on these streets. The trees can be planted at such a distance from the sidewalks that, by setting them deep, there need be no disturbance when those streets at the present time not graded, are cut down. The reasons why trees should be planted now are six times greater than they were then, because there are six times as many people and six times as many houses.

The non-residents should certainly feel great interest in this proposition. Every tree planted here or elsewhere helps the country. By beautifying this city every property owner is benefited and the non-resident should show greater interest in this question.

We must have the matter taken up by the city, that there may be some uniformity. By some municipal regulation, every lot will be treated alike and there will not be an oasis in the desert here and there, but the city as a city will become a garden, such as it should be. Let the citizens of every street agree upon what trees they want, and either by subscription or individual effort make a start in this matter.

I wish to say one or two words with reference to the best tree. I think the sugar gum is the best tree for immediate results. They are very hardy, very rapid growers, and well adapted to this climate and are not bothered by insects. I think that for every quality that we need in our climate, the sugar gum answers every purpose and so far as I know anything about it, the best we can plant. Yet I am very partial to the pepper and think its appearance amply repays the labor necessary to make it symmetrical. The Grevillea robusta, the elm, the walnut and the rubber tree would also make a very fine appearance.

Anything I can do personally to promote this good cause, I shall be happy to do, and would like to say that if the trees and shrubs that naturally belong here are set out, San Diego can soon become the most beautiful city in the world.

Capt. Sweeney followed in a few words of approval of Mr. Howard’s remarks and said that it was not expected that another meeting would be necessary. That what was wanted was work and not talk, and, as far as he was concerned, he was willing to do his part so that the committee appointed would fill the requirements, and that the work would be pushed vigorously and in conformity with the ideas and wishes of the people.

  1. D. Bloodgood: Referring to the remarks of Capt. Maize regarding the trees on University Heights, I wish to state that we have expended $600 (?) for the trees and over $100 for care and water. The trees are suffering for water which we are unable to get on account of the water company having removed its standpipe and the city refusing to allow the fire plugs to be used.

Mr. Bloodgood asked that the committee use its effort in behalf of the University Heights tract in order that a lower rate than 30 cents per 1,000 gallons might be obtained, and promised that if water could be obtained, the company would to its part toward saving the trees.

  1. C. Brandt: In this discussion the city council has been several times mentioned, and as a member of the council and the water committee I think I may say that the council and the water committee will do anything possible to further the successful accomplishment of this matter.

On motion of Capt. Maize the question of such trees as are suffering for water was ordered brought up before the next meeting of the council, with the request that immediate steps be taken for their preservation.

Dr. Burnham hoped that when C Street was graded, that those in front of his and other property would not be sacrificed, as had previously been done in street grading.

John Ginty stated that he had talked with Mr. Babcock regarding the cost of caring for and watering trees and that Mr. Babcock had said that from his experience on Coronado Beach, he estimated that for $5,000 per year trees on 200 blocks could be watered, trimmed and kept in order. He deprecated the idea of planting trees on the hilltops on account of their obstructing the marine view, which was what made that property desirable. He favored the planting of vines and shrubs instead and referred to many places where beautiful effects had been obtained without detracting from the view. Mr. Ginty suggested that a committee be appointed for each street, so that there would be uniformity in planting and in order that property owners could express their preference.

Capt. Maize replied that it was the purpose in appointing the advisory committee to have its members canvass the property owners on each street and ascertain their wishes. He also said that there was no city ordinance regulating the distance at which trees should be planted apart or from the curb line. Ordinance No. 90 (?) regulated the width of streets and sidewalks and was as follows:

The width of sidewalks on all streets less that seventy-five feet shall be ten feet; on seventy-five feet, sidewalks shall be twelve feet; on eighty feet width of streets, sidewalks shall be fourteen feet; on streets between eighty and one-hundred feet in width, sidewalks shall be sixteen feet; on streets exceeding one-hundred feet in width, sidewalks shall be twenty feet.

It had been suggested that the meeting recommend an ordinance providing that permanent shade trees be planted at various distances from the property line, according to the width of the street, as follows:

All trees to be 25 ft. apart; on streets with 10 and 12 ft. pavements, 8 ft. 6 inches; on 14 ft. sidewalks, 12 ft.; on 16 ft. sidewalks, 14-1/2 ft; on 20 ft. sidewalks, 17 ft. The distance from the property line is suggested, as all know where the line is, but few know where the curb line is on unpaved streets.

Several expressions favorable to the preparation of an ordinance similar to the one proposed were made, and on motion of C. C. Brandt, the advisory committee was instructed to prepare and present an ordinance to the next meeting of the city council.

  1. H. Young advised that the trees be not planted too close together. He stated that he was glad to see the movement started at this time as there would be a large influx of visitors after the world’s fair and the trees would then have a fair start.

Col. E. B. Spileman said this is a step in the right direction and I am glad to see it. I have never owned a lot that I did not improve and I believe in the planting of trees. I hope every citizen will set out trees in front of his property and if there is any man on National Avenue, which is the street upon which my property fronts, that is too poor to pay for his trees, I will buy them for him.

A large banner suspended from the stage contained the names and prices at which the nurserymen of the city would furnish trees. The list is as follows:

Blackwood acacia – acacia meolonxylon, 4 to 6 ft., 50 cents; 1 to 2 ft., 25 cents;

Sugar gum – eucalyptus corynocalyx, 1 to 2 ft. in pots, 20 cents;

Rubber tree – ficus macrophyllum, 3 to 4 ft. in pots, $2;

Grevillea robusta – 4 to 5 ft., balled, 35 cents, 2 to 5 ft., potted, 25 to 50 cents;

Pepper – 2 to 4 ft., potted, 20 cents;

Dracaena, 4 to 6 ft., 50 cents to $1;

Fan palm, medium size, balled, 35 to 50 cents; potted, 50 to 75 cents;

Deciduous trees

Cork elm, 6 to 10 ft., 75 cents;

Sycamore, 6 to 10 ft., 75 cents;

Locust, 6 to 10 ft., 50 cents;

Plane tree, 6 to 10 ft., 50 cents.

Signed: Miss K. O. Sessions, Sweetwater Nursery, E. Benard, Jr., Blaisdell & Son, Ford’s Tropical Nursery

San Diego Union, July 30, 1892, 4:2. EDITORIAL: The Work Commenced – The energetic manner in which the subject of street and park improvement was handled at the mass meeting last night is full of promise. The large audience and the enthusiasm manifested at the meeting are an earnest of what may be expected from the diligent prosecution of the work. . . . The newspapers all over the state have observed the interest already displayed, and join The Union in congratulations to San Diego.

San Diego Union, September 28, 1892, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Will Have Trees . . . Should any of the strangers who visit San Diego this week feel disappointed by the lack of shade trees and the unkempt appearance of some of the residence streets, it may relieve their minds to know that the defect will soon be remedied. . . . donations have been received of 13,000 shade trees of assorted varieties and $327 in cash to aid in the systematic and general planting of trees along the streets and avenues of San Diego.

“San Diego City Park, 1868-1902,” by Gregory Montes . . . Failure of Consolidated Bank in 1893 wiped out fortunes of Bryant Howard, his associates, and the Pierce estate (San Diego Union, January 1, 1899, 1:5; July 5, 1903, 7:1-7).

San Diego Union, January 1, 1893, 16:6. City Parks, Public Grounds Comprising over 1,400 acres.

The public grounds of the city devoted to park purposes comprise one block 200x300 feet in size and known as the New Town Plaza, and a tract of land containing 1,400 acres known as the city park. For the past year or two there has been no funds available for park purposes and the only work that has been done was simply to protect and preserve the improvements already made.

The New Town Plaza is enclosed, laid out in walks and contains about 40,000 square feet of neatly kept sward. In this plaza are 170 tropical and semi-tropical trees and shrubs. The plaza lies between the business portion of the city and the water front and is frequented by many people.

The city park, containing 1,400 acres, lies on the heights in a commanding position and from its more elevated portions a magnificent view of the mountains, city, Coronado, bay and ocean can be had. The topography of the tract presents one of the finest opportunities imaginable for a handsome park, and it seems that nature has exerted itself to aid man in making the spot as attractive as possible. However, the only improvements of importance thus far made are the construction of two boulevards, one running through the central portion, and the other along the west line of the tract, and the planting of a number of palm trees, which have made good growth for the time planted. During the past year several tracts comprising from five to ten acres each have been leased to several parties for experimental gardens and the growth of ornamental trees and shrubs. In consideration of the leases, the city is to receive a specified number of trees each year to be transplanted in different localities throughout the park. The newly appointed park commissioners, Bryant Howard, Capt. W. R. Maize and Dr. B. Woodward, are now engaged in devising plans for laying out the entire tract, and when completed it will be one of the finest parks on the Pacific coast.

Tree Planting

The noticeable lack of shade trees along the streets of San Diego has been the occasion of no little comment by tourists and strangers and by a majority of the more progressive and public-spirited citizens. This fact is all the more noticeable when the climatic conditions and soil of the city, with an abundance of pure water, rendering the growth of all varieties of trees indigenous to a temperate semi-tropic or tropic zone quick and sure, is taken into consideration.

However, in a short time, there will be no further cause for comment of this sort. During the summer the question of tree planting was agitated through the columns of The Union, and the agitation resulted in the call for a mass meeting and the organization of a tree planting society; an ordinance has been adopted by the city council regulating the planting of trees; a fund has been created; thousands of trees have been donated, and ere long what was once said to be dry, barren hills and long, hot, dusty streets will be transformed into beautiful groves and handsome, shady avenues.

The Howard Forest

The Howard forest, which is pushing up vigorously on the southern boundary of the city park reservation, has no parallel in all Southern California. The first tree in its 100 acres was planted the latter part of February, 1889, and now over 15,000 trees are growing on the tract. The beginning of the people’s park shows numerous trees already reaching a height of thirty-five feet. In but a few more years the spot will become the leisure and picnic resort for the entire bay region. When the city trustees deeded this tract from their abundance of chaparral-grown mesa to be used for a system of charities projected by Bryant Howard, three provisions suggested by Mr. Howard were included. First, that the 100 acres should never be put under sectarian control; second, that it should forever be kept open as a public park; third, that it should never be used for private purposes.

San Diego Union, January 1, 1893, 16:7. Charitable Institutions, Organizations for the Relief of the Sick and Needy . . . Perhaps the more important of the charitable institutions is that of the “Children’s Industrial Home.” The late James M. Pierce, E. W. Morse and another large property owner, had associated themselves with Mr. Howard, the mutual agreement being that the greater portion of their several fortunes should be given for the promotion of this system of charities — to include a children’s home, a kindergarten, an industrial school, a school of technology, and an old people’s home. These gentlemen thereupon incorporated as the Children’s Industrial Home association. Soon after ensued the general depression of realty values, which has thus far rendered the Pierce estate unproductive, and for the same reason but one of the number has been able to render Mr. Howard assistance in the preliminary work, which to date represents a cash outlay of between $90,000 and $100,000. This includes no expense for water, as the San Diego Flume Company donates that free forever.

In October, 1890, the Children’s home rose upon the sightliest hill of a picturesquely elevated site in the city park, and suitable outbuildings accompanied the handsome structure.

During the short time the Home has been opened, homes have been secured for many orphaned children. A free kindergarten has been opened, and by the employment of busses, the attendance has averaged over 100, necessitating the employment of six teachers.

San Diego Union, January 24, 1893, 5:3. The Delegates: A joint resolution was adopted instructing the board of public works to re-survey the public park.

San Diego Union, February 28, 1893, 5:3. The Delegates: A petition from George M. Dannals, secretary of the county agricultural society, asking for a lease of 7-1/2 acres in the southwest corner of the city park, was referred to the city lands committee. It is proposed to erect buildings thereon for the next county fair.

March, 1893, “San Diego City Park, 1868-1902,” by Gregory Montes . . . Delegates approved a lease of 7.4 acres at the southwest corner of City Park to the San Diego Agricultural Society for its annual fair (CCO, B.P.-1, No. and Doc. No. follows Doc. 374).

San Diego Union, March 7, 1893, 2:1. The Ordinance Passed; A Water Bond Election to Be Held April 11th; both branches of the city council act favorably on the proposition.

After several months of work among those favoring the project, the ordinance calling for a bond election was finally passed last night, and the citizens of San Diego will have an opportunity on April 11 of voting for or against the issuance of bonds to the amount of $865,000 for the construction and acquisition of water works and a water distribution system for the city; the bonds to run forty years from July 1, bearing interest at 4 percent, payable semi-annually. That is the election will be held unless the mayor vetoes the ordinance, which is not expected.

The delegates approved the report of the city lands committee favoring the leasing of 7.44 acres of the city park to the County Agricultural society for its annual fair. The aldermen referred the petition of the society.

A joint resolution was passed by the delegates ordering a special committee to report the responsibility of the error in not order a bridge placed on C Street, between 17th and 19th streets, for the passage of water from Switzer canyon, which is now gathering behind the earthwork of the newly-graded C street, and threatens property and lives below the dam.

San Diego Union, March 21, 1893, 2:1. At the City Hall: meeting of the Board of Delegates last night – The question of appointing a special committee to investigate the Switzer canyon bridge was referred.

San Diego Union, March 28, 1893, 5:1. The boundaries of the city park have been marked by City Engineer Sedgwick by the burial of fourteen granite monuments, one at the corner of each pueblo lot, according to the orders of the council.

San Diego Sun, May 12, 1893. The County Fair; an entire change from first plans; a new site has been chosen; large tract at the north line near the center; improvements there would cost less than grading alone of southwest corner; driveway through the park runs to the east of the proposed fair grounds; date fixed September 20th to 23rd inclusive

San Diego Union, May 13, 1893, 5:4. The board of public works has awarded the contract for building the C street bridge at Switzer’s canyon between 17th and 19th streets to E. C. Emery. The contract price is $850.

San Diego Union, May 21, 1893, 5:4. Grounds must be donated; terms on which San Diego might become a military post; letter from H. Sweeney.

San Diego Union, May 23, 1893, 2:1-3. A Wholesome Cut: Mayor Carlson sends in a surprise to the Board of Delegates . . . A communication from the mayor was read, announcing that sundry superfluous city officials were abolished and their present incumbents relieved from further service.

San Diego Union, May 30, 1893, 5:3. The Hatchet Buried; Mayor Carlson willing to conform to the city charter . . . {Mayor Carlson} is learning that his powers did not extend so far as he previously understood, he desired that his order should be regarded only as a recommendation to the council. . . . [The Council} granted Co. A, N, G, C a target range in the city park.

June, 1893. “San Diego City Park, 1868-1902,” by Gregory Montes . . . Pastime and Silver Gate gun clubs obtained approval to use one acre of park near Cabrillo Canyon and the line of Maple Street for a trap-shooting range (CCO, B.P.-1, Doc. 489, filed June 5, 1893). . . . Common Council approved petition of Company “A”, National Guard Reserve, to operate a rifle range in city park near the range already occupied by Company “B” (CCO, B.P.-1. Doc. 481, filed June, 1893).

San Diego Union, June 7, 1893, 5:3. The Aldermen: Shooting grounds in the city park were granted to Company A, N. G. C, Company A, naval installation, and the Pastime and Silver Gate gun clubs. . . . The city pound ordinance was amended to become effective after three publications instead of ten, and was adopted.

San Diego Union, June 21, 1893, 2:2. The Aldermen: The petition of the county agricultural society for 80 acres in the city park for the fair grounds was granted. . . . The ordinance establishing a public dumping ground in the city park was adopted by a vote of 8 to 2. Aldermen Prout and Nutt opposing the proposition.

San Diego Union, June 22, 1893, 3:1-2. Finance Committee Report to the Common Council; Mayor Carlson’s charges of extravagance investigated – Department of Public Works: Your committee after a thorough and searching investigation of this department and the duties of its various officers and employees, find that the best interests of the city will be subserved by retaining it as at present constituted. In regard to the superintendent of sewers, the superintendent of streets, and the superintendent of parks, we find these officers are busily engaged in keeping up their departments, which requires all of their time. . . . The superintendent of parks is simply city gardener, and is continuously employed. . . . Your committee has taken into consideration the matter of a possible consolidation of superintendent of sewers with plumbing inspector, also superintendent of streets with superintendent of parks, and some other changes, but find the same impracticable and not for the best interests of the city.

San Diego Union, June 1, 1893, 1:3. World’s Fair; De Young’s proposition to bring it to California; scheme favored by many local and foreign exhibitors; the Chicago World’s Fair’s treasury pressed for ready cash; Contractors have trouble in getting their payments.

San Diego Union, June 3, 1893, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Mr. De Young’s Proposition . . . to supplement the great Columbian exposition with a commercial world’s fair to be held in California has much to recommend it.

San Diego Union, July 1, 1893, 4:2. The Midwinter Fair . . . The plan proposed by Commissioner M.H. deYoung for holding in California a midwinter world’s fair, as a final climax to the Columbian exposition, was favorably commented upon by The Union as soon as it was made public.

San Diego Sun, July 4, 1893, 4:3: At Phoenix Park: a big crowd celebrating the Forth and commencement of construction of the San Diego & Phoenix railway; picnicking and speech making; picnic grounds immediately adjoining Coronado Waukesha pump works and on the line of the extension of the Coronado belt line.

San Diego Union, July 17, 1893, 2:1-2. The White City; Early Days of the Great Columbian Exposition; A correspondent who visited Chicago among the first tells of the disorder which prevailed out of which perfect order had been wrought . . . We went to the California building only to find a board with “no admittance” across the door; but we went in, and it was a worse jumble than any other place, full of lumber and nothing to be seen. A great deal of complaint has been made about the management, and it seemed the most behind band of all. We afterwards found our San Diego people, Mr. and Mrs. Young, Mr. Allen and Dr. Cogswell in the horticultural building.

San Diego Sun, July 22, 1893, 2:1-2. The Consolidated Bank . . . The local phase of the financial depression about which the people of San Diego just now need have most concern is whether the Consolidated National Bank will be able to resume or not.

San Diego Union, July 30, 1893, 2:3. The Midwinter Fair . . . What Southern California will stand for is present transcontinental rules of travel with the rates reduced. This secured every reasonable effort will be put forth to make the midwinter fair a grand success.

San Diego Union, July 30, 1893, 5:4. At Phoenix Park in Otay Valley . . . Over 500 visitors and pleasure-seekers went to Phoenix park from this city by train yesterday and about 500 more found their way to the park by private conveyance, coming from the surrounding country. The barbecue was a success in every sense. . . . President Reed made a few remarks giving the present status of the road and speaking hopefully of arranging with the Land and Town company whereby the latter will withdraw its injunction and permit grading toward Yuma.

San Diego Union, August 10, 1893, 4:2. The Midwinter Fair . . . The mid-winter fair, if held at all, must be held without special aid from the state. If it is possible to raise funds by the plan originally proposed, all possible encouragement should be given to the project, but otherwise the advantages to be derived from the fair cannot be made to justify the imposing of so considerable an expense upon the taxpayers of the state.

San Diego Sun, September 16, 1893, 4:1. Letter from Clark Alberti: California on top at Jackson Park; great day; frantic rush for fruit; San Diegans who assisted in the great event.

San Diego Sun, September 16, 1893, 4:3. Marston at home; brings cheery news of business outlook; great time at the World’s Fair; business is reviving all over the country; will enlarge his own.

San Diego Union, September 27, 1893, 2:1-2. San Diego’s initial step for participating in Midwinter Fair taken last night

San Diego Union, September 27, 1893, 4:2. EDITORIAL: The Midwinter Fair

San Diego Union, September 28, 1893, 5:3. The Midwinter Fair

San Diego Union, November 24, 1893, 2:3. California’s Fair – she is preparing a surprise for eastern visitors

December, 1893, “San Diego City Park, 1868-1902,” by Gregory Montes . . . Delegates moved to let Timothy Ryan “occupy” 200 to 300 acres of city park with his plant nursery for 25 years; opposed by San Diego Union, December 31 1893, 4:1).

San Diego Union, December 6, 1893, 3:2-4. Southern California Building at the Midwinter Fair

San Diego Union, December 18, 1893, 4:1. EDITORIAL (untitled) – opposes leasing 300 acres of city park to private parties for gardening and tree culture: The proposed occupancy by private parties of 300 acres of the city park to be devoted to gardening and tree culture with such improvements as may be made fortunately has not been regarded with much favor by the city council.

San Diego Union, December 23, 1893, 2:1. The Parks of Paris.

San Diego Union, December 31, 1893, 4:1. EDITORIAL: A Park Improvement in opposition to Timothy Ryan’s application for a contract for park land: If some arrangement could be made for park improvement without tying up city lands indefinitely to private corporations every sensible person in San Diego would favor it. It would be folly, however, to give Mr. Timothy Ryan or any other applicant such a contract as is asked for at the present time. The city park, if preserved intact, will make a magnificent pleasure ground in future years, when this city has expanded as it must expand in obedience to nature’s laws, nor is this development to come in the misty future. San Diego today stand on the threshold of a new era. While extending all reasonable encouragement to legitimate enterprise, the people should guard with jealousy the city park and all other public property against the greedy assaults of land hunters.

San Diego Union, January 1, 1894, 1:1-6. City of San Diego; What Nature Has Given and Man Developed.

The City Water System

Over 100 miles of water mains within city limits

Pursuant to a decision of the superior court declaring the lease void under which the city held the municipal water-distributing system, the system was, on December 1, turned over to its owner, the San Diego Water Company. The city is supplied, without interruption or change in price, by the water company which obtains the water supply from the San Diego Flume Company. To give an adequate idea of the size of the system, it is only necessary to state that there are over 100 miles of water mains in the city, reaching the suburbs of Roseville, Pacific Beach, Golden Hill, Mt. Hope, etc., and affording means of irrigating thousands of acres of land within the city limits.

Besides the supply furnished by the flume company, which was about 3,000,000 gallons daily during the year, the water company owns a supply, obtained from the San Diego river, of a capacity of at least 15,000,000 gallons per day. The company’s pumping station is located on the south bank of the river above Old Town, and is equipped with two compound Worthington pumps and two Gaskill compound condensing cut-off engines, high and low pressure, making a capacity of almost 5,000,000 gallons every 24 hours. Four storage reservoirs of nearly 5,000,000 gallons capacity have been provided, and another, of sufficient capacity to contain all the others, is now being constructed on University Heights. The water plant company’s plant cost something over $1,000,000.

Either the flume or the river will furnish the city with an unfailing supply of water in sufficient quantity for immediate years. In addition, however, the Mountain Water Company, a newly organized corporation, is about to begin the construction of the Pamo water system for the Linda Vista irrigation district, involving an expenditure of $800,000, and the city will be offered another source of water supply, the company being under contract to develop 2,000 inches of water, much more than will be needed by the Linda Vista district for years to come. Other irrigation works are now underway, notably the Mt. Tecarte system, and others whose plans are told in detail elsewhere. Altogether the city is more than amply supplied with water and through competition the cost will doubtless fall to a rate as low as any in California. The present rate paid to the flume company is 5 cents per 1,000 gallons.

An election was held during the year upon the question of municipal ownership of a water distributing system. The common council declared that the vote to issue $680,000 of bonds for constructing and acquiring such a system had carried. Serious doubts exist, however, as to the legality of the bonds, should they be issued, and the question is now pending in the courts.

The Street Car System

Electricity the Motive Power on Most of the Lines

The electric car system of San Diego is the equal of any in the United States, and no institution in the city shows more energetic or level-headed management. Twelve miles in length in this rather compact city, it reaches all thickly settled portions and gives excellent service.

The system was inaugurated on September 22, 1892. The horse car lines in the city were on the 30th day of the previous January purchased by A. B. Spreckels for $115,000 cash, and the announcement made that an electric system would be constructed. The San Diego Electric Railway Company was incorporated with the following officers, who are still in authority: A. B. Spreckels, president; E. S. Babcock, vice president; Joseph A. Flint, secretary and general manager. The board of directors is composed of A. B. Spreckels, John D. Spreckels, Capt. Charles T. Hinde, E. S. Babcock, and Joseph A. Flint. The road is owned by A. B. Spreckels, only a sufficient number of shares being held by the directors to constitute a legal board.

Ground was broken for the construction of the track on H street in April, 1892, the contract having been let to F. M. French for $50,000. An injunction temporarily hindered the work, and work was actually begun on May 10 following. Several hundred men were employed, and the road pushed to completion in September. The system includes a double track line from the ferry landing out H street to 16th and on 16th to N street; single track on Logan Avenue from N Street to 26th; a double track on Logan from 26th to National Avenue and 26th; and out National Avenue to 31st Street. A double track extends also on 5th Street from L Street to University Avenue, from H to D Streets on Arctic Street, and a double track on D Street from California to 5th, a total trackage of 12 miles. Several miles of horse railway are also operated by the company, connecting with the electric-lines. . . . .

A first-class cable street railway, constructed at a cost of $250,000, extends from L Street up 6th Street to C Street, thence of 4th Street, following along the latter to the northern suburbs and to Mission heights, where a beautiful park of five acres has been laid out, surrounding a handsome pavilion.

San Diego Union, January 1, 1894, 13:6. City Parks – Immense Pleasure Grounds of San Diego: At an early date in the history of San Diego, the people, realizing the importance of public parks to the attractiveness of the city, set aside 1,400 acres for that purpose, and this tract yet remains intact.

It lies on the heights in a commanding position and from the more elevated portions the finest view of bay, ocean, city and mountains can be had. The topography of the tract is such that the expense of converting it into a magnificent pleasure ground will be comparatively slight, diversified as it is by ravines and plateaus, canyons and hills. At present, but little has been done towards beautifying the grounds. Two fractional parts have been leased as flower gardens to parties who agree to plant a certain number of ornamental trees and shrubs each year in such parts of the grounds as the park commissioners may select. These leases are at the option of the city council.

An application has been filed by a Mr. Ryan for a twenty-five year lease on 500 acres of the park, which he will improve something after the manner of the famous Shaw’s garden in St. Louis. At the expiration of the lease, he agrees that the ground will all improvements shall revert to the city.

The Howard tract, comprising 100 acres on the southern boundary of the park reservation, is showing remarkable growth, and other 15,980 (?) trees are now growing on the tract, many of the trees having already reached a height of forty feet.

Between the business portion of the city and the water front is New Town plaza, comprising a block of ground 200x300 feet. It is enclosed, laid out in walks, and contains about 40,000 square feet of neatly-kept sward. In this plaza are nearly 200 tropical and semi-tropical trees and shrubs.

San Diego Union, January 26, 1894, 5:1. City Engineer Capps will next week lay out a new road through the park beginning near the mouth of Switzer Canyon and running to the left over the hill and entering the La Mesa road at the northeast corner of the park. The new road will be the best and most picturesque driveway through the park. As soon as laid out, Street Superintendent Prouty will put a gang of his men to work making the road.

San Diego Union, January 28, 1894, 1:1-3. Midwinter Fair; Opened to the Public with Appropriate Ceremonies; An Enthusiastic Crowd in Attendance Yesterday; Mrs. DeYoung Presses the Button; Southern California’s Building the Center of Attraction; Other Structures.

San Diego Union, January 29, 1894, 4:2. EDITORIAL: The Midwinter Fair . . . The opening of this Pacific coast exposition in the “dead of winter” is a novel and highly gratifying proof of the climatic excellence to be enjoyed in California at this season of the year.

San Diego Union, January 31, 1894, 1:4. The Midwinter Fair; A California County Commissioners’ Club; Hosmer F. McKoon elected president; object of the club; total admissions yesterday.

San Diego Union, February 1, 1894, 5:3. Local Intelligence: A gang of 100 men worked on the streets yesterday. Ninety were kept busy on the new road leading from Switzer canyon through the park, and the balance were mostly at work on University boulevard. The Switzer canyon road will be completed today in case there is fair weather.

San Diego Union, February 1, 1894, 5:4. Back from the Fair; Messrs. McKoon and Young pleased with the outlook.

San Diego Union, February 11, 1894, 5:2. The San Diego exhibit; how it compares with other counties at the fair.

San Diego Union, February 23, 1894, 5:1. Washington’s Birthday; the day’s festivities in the city and at Phoenix Park: At 9:30 a parade took place under the management of President Carlson of the San Diego and Phoenix railroad. . . . Most of the people went to Phoenix Park to attend the celebration. Trains were run hourly via Coronado or National City and every train was crowded.

San Diego Union, April 3, 1894, 2:1. The Delegates: A joint resolution was adopted instructing the board of public works to take proper steps to preserve the trees in the Howard tract, city park, and on University boulevard.

San Diego Union, April 3, 1894, 2:2. Aldermen: The resolution instructing the board of public works to care for the Howard tract was referred to the city lands committee.

San Diego Union, April 10, 1894, 2:3. The Delegates: Bryant Howard appeared before the board and strongly urged that the council help to maintain the 100-acre charity tract in the park, and the 5 acres of the Woman’s Home. He asked that help be given and that some means be taken to secure water from the flume company. Mr. Howard declared that a deed was on record giving free water forever to the charity tract.

On motion of Delegate Olmsted, the board of public works was instructed to place three men at work on the tract, under direction of Mr. Howard, their wages to be paid out of the appropriation provided for employing indigent men. The water committee was invited to aid Mr. Howard in investigating the matter of obtaining water from the flume company.

San Diego Union, April 19, 1894, 5:2. The Howard Tract; Committee considering matter of securing water: A deed is on record from the flume company giving free water perpetually for the tract, but the company repudiates this and has brought suit to recover $1,300 for water furnished to the tract.

San Diego Union, June 30, 1894, 5:3. The Howard Tract; sensational testimony elicited in court yesterday; Judge Witherby, the actual philanthropist; transfer of stock to cover the costs of the improvements; Bryant Howard scored by Judge McNealy.

During the trial of the case of A. J. O’Conor, receiver of the Consolidated National Bank vs. O. S. Witherby, an action to recover $10,000 claimed to be due as assessment on bank stock, the arguments of the attorneys yesterday developed some interesting information. On the previous day, Bryant Howard, who as the president of the defunct bank had occupied the witness stand, a good part of the time was the subject of scathing remarks by Judge McNealy, Witherby’s attorney. Judge McNealy asserted that the bank stock claimed by Receiver O’Conor as belonging to Witherby was in reality the property of Mrs. Howard, and the lawyer then proceeded to severely score the ex-president all around on general principles. Mr. Howard sat in the courtroom and quietly heard every word in denunciation of the peculiar methods which were followed by the bank’s officials.

Yesterday the wrangling of the attorneys brought out the information that the improvements on the city park tract, which have generally been supposed to represent the charity and public spirit of Bryant Howard were really the work of O. S. Witherby, who, by an agreement with Howard by which Witherby transferred to him certain bank stock, real estate, notes and mortgages of the value of $250,000, furnished the means with which the “Howard tract” was improved. Witherby, it seems, was to receive credit for his charitable deeds after death. The information brought out by the remarks of the attorneys to introduce in evidence certain documents which the plaintiff’s counsel objected to. The jury was excused pending a ruling by Judge Torrance on the objections raised.

San Diego Union, February 24, 1894, 1:3-4. Fair Awards; official list of Southern California Citrus Fair; San Diego secures fourth place in general county exhibits; the same in lemons and second in budded oranges; also second in one class of cured lemons, but away up in jams, jellies and such.

San Diego Union, February 25, 1894, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Fair Awards . . . The awards of the Southern California citrus fair, while possibly equitable so far as individual exhibits were concerned, must not be regarded as affording a true insight into the fruit-growing industry of the Pacific coast.

San Diego Union, October 3, 1894, 2:1-4. No End in Sight; the Council does nothing decisive in the water question: On motion the report of the city lands committee as amended by the delegates was adopted, allowing A. E. Horton $100 per month up to $10,000 for a deed to the plaza.

San Diego Union, October 3, 1894, 2:1. Board of Delegates: The joint city lands committee recommended that the city pay $10,000 to A. E. Horton for a deed in fee to the plaza. The report was amended to pay $100 per month to Mr. Horton during his life, limiting the total to $10,000.

The city attorney has advised the common council that the city cannot lawfully acquire any water system, except for its own legitimate needs, not even, he asserts, for irrigating the lands within the city limits. The Mt. Tecate system, as proposed, is a great system of irrigation for a large territory outside the city, embracing the Jamacha and Otay irrigation districts, National Rancho, etc., and is not the subject of legitimate city ownership.

San Diego Union, October 9, 1894, 2:2. The City Council: The resolution accepting a grant deed to the plaza and providing for paying A. E. Horton $100 per month therefore up to $10,000 was laid on the table for a week.

San Diego Union, October 23 1894, 5:1. City Government: The following joint resolution was adopted by a vote of 11 to 3.

Resolved, That the city of San Diego accept a deed from A. E. Horton and H. L. Titus for all their right, title and interest in and to that certain place of real property known as the plaza, Horton’s addition to San Diego; that in consideration of the aforesaid deed the said city of San Diego pay to said A. E. Horton the sum of $100 on the 1st day of January, 1895, and continuing during the lifetime of said A. E. Horton, providing no greater amount than $10,000 in the aggregate be paid.

San Diego Union, November 20, 1894, 5:1-2. City Affairs – Board of Delegates’ Meeting Last Evening: A house resolution was adopted instructing the chief of police to furnish a list of all parties living within the limits of the city park, with a view to ejecting them. . . . Engineer Capps reports on Mission Valley Water Proposition: It has been suggested that merely a diverting dam in the river be constructed and the flood flow be diverted into a reservoir constructed in the city park. I wish to say in regard to this that to carry the flood flow of the river would require a very large and expensive aqueduct, while the forming of a large body of water in the city park would be a standing menace to the lives and property of the residents lying in the path of the water in case of the possible destruction of the dam, as the dam would be a high one and built entirely of earth, owing to there being no suitable foundation to construct a masonry dam. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that an earth dam of this height (about 120 feet) may be destroyed by earthquakes, or by burrowing animals, while the reservoir is filled with water. In case such a disaster should occur, this vast body of water would be disgorged into the very heart of the business portion of the city, the results can be well imagined.

San Diego Union, November 30, 1894, 4:2. EDITORIAL: City Park Squatters . . . While it would be folly to allow squatters on the city park to remain upon it long enough to secure title, or to cloud that of the city, the fact should not be ignored that most of those whose homes are temporarily established there are poor, and that removal would entail great hardship upon them. Individual cases might be referred to which should deter hasty action on the part of the city council. Families in the depths of poverty, wholly without means of subsistence save the charitable offerings of their neighbors, are housed upon the city lands, nor has there been any disposition on their part to acquire title or otherwise impair the value of the city’s property. Ejectment on the even of winter would be a great hardship, as indeed it would at any time. It would be far better to adopt some system of rentals, nominal in amount, by which those in need might be allowed to remain where they are, not as squatters but as tenants of the municipality. In cases where the payment of even a dollar a month would be a hardship, some plan for municipal assistance might be adopted, the payment being remitted altogether. The idea would be merely to make the families upon the city’s lands acknowledge the ownership of the municipality in some way, in order that no future complications might arise regarding the actual ownership of the land occupied by them. If removed from the park, some at least of the people there would become a public charge and their maintenance would be more costly than at present while supported largely by private charity. Some plan should be devised whereby they may be allowed to remain in the peaceful possession of their homes, which though humble, have many features of attractiveness and which are certainly not in the way of any contemplated public improvement.

San Diego Union, December 9, 1894, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Municipal Improvement . . . Pursuant to the intention expressed a few days ago, The Union this morning presents some facts regarding the workings of municipal improvement societies, such as have been so common in the eastern states and which have been established in some cities of California. There is ample room for such a society in San Diego, where the general indifference of the people is so pronounced as to call for heroic methods for its eradication.

San Diego Union, December 11, 1894, 4:1. EDITORIAL: An Improvement Society . . . The interest with which the suggestion of The Union has been received that a municipal improvement society be formed justifies the hope that action to than end may not be long delayed.

San Diego Union, December 11, 1894, 5:3. Board of Delegates: A joint resolution was submitted by Delegate Olmsted instructing the proper committee to investigate the advisability of selling a part of the city park and devoting the proceeds to the purchase of three or four blocks in various parts of the city for park purposes. Adopted.

San Diego Union, December 11, 1894, 5:4. Deed to plaza filed in the county recorder’s office yesterday.

San Diego Union, December 16, 1894, 4:2. EDITORIAL: The Vagrant Source . . . Indignation must be felt on account of the persistent dumping of tramps at the county jail by interested constables, whose fees run up into the hundreds of dollars every winter — money which comes out of the pockets of taxpayers and benefits nobody but the officers making the arrests, the committing magistrates and the transportation companies bring this undesirable freight to San Diego. The unnecessary arrest of vagrants and their support at public expense has been combated by The Union times without number, and there is a well-defined feeling of opposition to the continuance of such practices, but the work goes on with increasing volume until it is evident that some remedy must be adopted of a more effectual nature than any yet devised. The establishment of chain-gangs at all outlying towns infested by tramps and their employment on the roads seems to be the most sensible of any plan that has been suggested for ridding the county of vagrants. Such a remedy is needed here in the city, also, for the housing of these lazy fellows and their support at public expense should be paid for in labor by the persons benefited. Men who take to the road are almost always drunken reprobates who might get an independent living if they were to work when they have a chance and look out for the chance as the average citizen is compelled to do in order to keep from becoming a public charge. Illness, disease, misfortune may drive a few discontented and mentally unbalanced men out to the highways, but the hordes of tramps roaming over the country would not exist if the men composing them were disposed to labor and would let liquor alone. They should be cared for when they come to San Diego, but made to earn the money with which they are fed and housed. When this policy becomes firmly established and the “sad” tidings that a chain-gang had been formed in every town should get abroad, there would be few tramps who would turn their steps this way, and the constables who are rolling up enormous bills of costs against the county for the arrest of vagrants would find their opportunities less frequent for leaching (?) the county. Burglaries, highway robberies, incendiary fires and petty misdemeanors would be reduced in number, and the work of the police court considerably lightened. The scattering of the vagrants would be speedily accomplished if the chain-gang should be established. It is an effectual remedy for the tramp nuisance, and nothing else will answer the requirements of the case.

San Diego Union, March 18, 1895, 2:2. Municipal Business: The city council will meet tomorrow; the first committee has in charge the resolution directing the city attorney to take steps to secure the reservation to the city of the “Charity Tract” in the city park, which has been forfeited by Bryant Howard.

San Diego Union, April 1, 1895, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Tomorrow’s Election . . . vote for Republican slate, including Judge Sloane for mayor.

San Diego Union, April 1, 1895, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Park Improvement . . . Los Angeles is moving in the direction of park improvement. Realizing the advantage of having the work that may be done performed with systematic regard for the contour of the land, it is not proposed to place the whole matter in the hands of the distinguished landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead [sic] of Brookline, Mass., who laid out Central park, New York, the world’s fair grounds, the Boston and Louisville parks, as well as numerous other parks of national reputation in this country. This is a sensible decision on the part of Los Angeles. With competent advice, better results will be secured with the same expenditure of money, and the systematic improvement of the parks of that city will add greatly to its numerous attractions. San Diego would do well to follow the example so auspiciously set by her northern neighbor. The park reserved by the founder of this city exceeds in size all the parks of the United States save one, and if properly improved would be more beautiful than the most of them, the varying contour of the land giving ample scope for artistic gardening. The work should be undertaken now while the city is small, that the trees planted may have some size as the town expands and population increases. Some man who wants to leave a memento of his generosity might well set apart a liberal sum for park improvement and oversee the expenditure of the money, instead of leaving it for his executors to do. But, whether private funds ever become available or not, the people owe it to themselves and to posterity to improve the lands reserved for a pleasure ground and to make the most of the natural beauty of location possessed by them. The present is the time for action, and this truth may be applied to the water question, the railroad issue, and to park improvement. It is time for some radical changes to be made in the appearance of the city. The admirable work done by the citizens under the leadership of the advisory committee on street tree planting, has not been forgotten, but there remains work yet to be done, and the people should lend every encouragement to those who have been so faithful in this matter of beautifying the streets and parks of San Diego.

San Diego Union, April 21, 1895, 4:2. EDITORIAL: The Proper View to Take . . . In the question of public improvements it is not only necessary to consider the actual expense which such matters may entail, but there should be the same conservative view taken of the benefits which may naturally be supposed to follow as the result of any considerable expenditure of public funds. Every dollar spent in practical improvements, such as making better streets and beautifying park sites, will, in the ordinary course of events, come back to the people and then fully repay them for the original outlay.

San Diego Union, May 2, 1895, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Improve the City: The fourteen thousand [sic] broad acres, now by courtesy called a “park” could, little by little, be made “a thing of beauty and a joy forever.” Its natural contour is such that when once properly improved it would have no equal in America, and while all this takes time and money, it also calls for public pride and personal interest. When once the work is started, the improvement will be so marked that no one will be willing to discontinue it, but rather will be more eager to help it along, and then in time San Diego will become so famed for its beautiful appearance and surroundings as it is now for its climate.

San Diego Union, May 7, 1895, 2:1-3. New Council Organized – Mayor Carlson’s Message, May 6, 1895: I respectfully recommend to your honorable body the following in the interest of the community.

First – That the city acquire a large and ample water supply and pipe system, so as to furnish the community cheap water and plenty of it, and that to acquire the same the question be submitted to the voters at an early date.

Second – That the City Park be improved.

Third – That the city stop paying rent and own its own city hall and fire engine house.

But the principal thing is to acquire a large water supply and pipe system. With its acquisition will follow park improvement, general progress, and better times. With it will come the building of San Diego’s much desired direct east line of railroad, as well as the short northeast line.

San Diego Union, May 8, 1895, 4:1. EDITORIAL (untitled): Park Commissioner Maize has asked for an appropriation of $1,000 with which to make a preliminary survey, with the intention of securing a complete plan for beautifying the park grounds later on. This is a step in the right direction, and the council should not refuse so small an amount for so good an object. What is most wanted in this question of park improvement is a beginning.

San Diego Union, May 8, 1895, 5:4. Park Improvement

To The Union: The mayor in his message to the common council of this city has recommended that the City park be improved. This recommendation will meet with the hearty approval of the progressive element of San Diego’s best people and newcomers. The people of Los Angeles have just voted $400,000 in bonds for park and other improvements. An estimate of $1,000 should be included in the San Diego tax levy for the present fiscal year for park improvement.

The present committee of ways and means have a chance to distinguish themselves by being the pioneers in a movement that will eventually made this the garden city park of the country, if not of the world. We have now a chance to cooperate with Los Angeles in securing the services of the firm of Frederick Law Olmstead [sic] and Co., the celebrated landscape artists, in making the preliminary survey of our park with a view to further recurring their services in making a complete park plan for the 1400 acres. Los Angeles is corresponding with this firm, trying to secure their services in connection with the improvement of their parks, and I have the firm’s letter to the effect that provided that San Diego and Los Angeles will cooperate, the firm will make the preliminary survey of both parks for one fee and necessary expenses.

This would effect a saving of about 50 percent in the preliminary survey. I have letters from Gen. Forman of Los Angeles asking me to try and secure cooperation in this matter, and it is to be hoped that the new council will grant this much, as it is believed to be a progressive one. This preliminary survey will have no bearing on the water question, which will be settled long before water is desired for park purposes.

  1. Maize, Park Commissioner

San Diego Union, May 10, 1895, 5:1. The board of public works met yesterday and instructed City Engineer Capps to survey a road through Switzer canyon, the present road being reported closed over private property.

San Diego Union, May 10, 1895, 5:3. Tax Rate $1.25 per $100 . . . After deciding that the rate would be fixed at $1.25, the ways and means committee set to work to apportion the total amount. . . . The $750 estimated for park improvement under the plan offered by park commissioner Maize was nowhere in sight and the project had to be abandoned.

San Diego Union, May 10, 1895, 5:4. Park Improvement

To The Union: The suggestions of our park commissioner, Capt. Maize, called forth by Mayor Carlson’s message, are timely and should be given careful consideration by the city council.

Those of our citizens who have noted the development and improvement of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco with its many beautiful features, where but a few years ago nothing could be seen but an undulating sea of sand, can realize the possibilities of our 1,400 acres, so much suited for park purposes.

The basis of all location work, whether it be for railroad, canal or park purposes, is an accurate contour map, the contours being spaced vertically according to the character of the ground, very rough ground necessitating a less vertical distance between contour lines than another ground having more regular slopes.

I am informed that about four years ago a complete contour survey was made of the city park, the contours being spaced at five feet apart. Several months were spent in securing this data by a force of qualified engineers, careful and thorough work being done. Now, by delineating on this map the character of the soil, whether loam, gravel, etc., the landscape artist will have all the data necessary to an intelligent exercise of his art.

Inasmuch as the city has this information, obtained at a large cost, which could be easily supplemented by a few panoramic photographs showing the topography of the surrounding country, it occurs to me that instead of effecting an immediate contact with some one firm, let the council decide how much it will pay for approved plans, making the offer liberal enough to attract the best talent, then advertise in several large cities for plans to be based on the data to be furnished by the city engineer. By so doing you will bring San Diego’s prosperity and enterprise to the front all over the union, and secure many valuable bids for our park commissioners; for, in all probability, the plan that is considered the most desirable and which will be accorded the prize, many not be adopted in full, but improved by the addition of novel and desirable features suggested by some of the less successful landscape artists in their plans.

  1. Wood

San Diego Union, May 10, 1895, 5:4. Do the Work at Home

To The Union: Most certainly our mayor is right, “the city park needs improvement,” which means improvement to our city, and our citizens have long felt the want of a promenade. But is the method recommended by our park commissioner suitable to our park funds? San Diego is not a wealthy city — Olmsted & Co. will not make that preliminary survey for nothing, neither will Los Angeles cooperate with San Diego to beautify here without ulterior motives. If a survey is necessary, surely we have men right among us who will be glad to make it, so circulating our money among our own people. But it is supposed to have been surveyed already once, and for the rest it would seem that further planting and beautifying would make more show than surveyors’ stakes. Let us, instead of employing more surveyors, put the money to plants, flowers, lawns and music, and we and our visitors shall then find our park some attraction and enjoyment. With all due respect to our park commissioner, we are

Two Women of San Diego

San Diego Union, May 11, 1895, 4:1. EDITORIAL (untitled): Park improvement in San Diego will have to wait another year since the insignificant appropriation of $1,300 that has been decided upon will not go far towards beautifying the 1,400 acres which the people are patently waiting to have improved. It would be a good plan for the residents of our city to imitate some of the nearby towns and organize a series of planting bees, road making clubs, lawn and flower societies and similar ideas, and use their spare time in improving the park.

San Diego Union, May 11, 1895, 5:3-4. City Council in Session: Scheme to Improve the Park . . . Delegate Barker made a few vigorous remarks on the amount of money to be raised by the new tax levy that goes to corporations, showing that of the $111,000 available for city use outside of bond redemption, the corporations get $42,750, as follows: Fire hydrant rental, water for sprinkling streets and for flushing sewers, $23,000; electric lights, $18,530; gas, $600; telephones, $300. Mr. Barker proposed that as the corporations received the lion’s share of funds in the city treasury, they should be called upon to aid in improving the park, a move that was desired by all citizens and which it was found impossible to aid in the present levy.

“I have prepared two resolutions that will follow,” said Delegate Barker. “One is that the Electric Light company, the gas company, the Western Union Telegraph company., the Postal Telegraph company. and the Electric Railway company be charged a grand rental of $1 per pole per year and that the money so collected shall be turned over to the park improvement fund. The other resolution is that the telephone committee be requested to recommend a rate to be fixed on telephones in the city. The present rate is about double that of most cities.”

The resolutions were read and on motion of Mr. Barker referred to the committees interested.

San Diego Union, May 14, 1895, 1:2. How to improve the park; why not organize the San Diego Improvement Society?

To The Union: I am pleased to learn that the suggestions made in my article in The Union on park improvement met with such general approval. I have been urged to continue the good work by a large number of the progressive people of this city. H. P. Woods’ suggestion as to furnishing a complete contour map or survey of the city park has already been anticipated, as I secured a very complete copy, through the courtesy of Mr. Capps, city engineer, about a year ago when it was forward to Olmsted & Co., who have been figuring on it as the basis on which to estimate the cost of the final plans for a 1,400-acre park. We must not forget that we are planning for a park which will be visited by tourists from the known world, and that it should be planned as the start for a city of 100,000, and not for a city of 25,000 or 50,000 inhabitants.

New York city when it was making Central park had Mr. Olmstead [sic] on the ground to superintend the work. Chicago had him or his aide constantly on the ground while the World’s Fair grounds were being prepared. Mr. Wood suggests contour maps, photographs, etc. On the same principle, why do artists go to the trouble and expense of globe trotting to portray in oil and water colors the wonders of the sunrise when panoramic views or photographs could be secured and the artists do the work at home? It is not necessary to get out park plans yet, but it all important to work the non-progressive element up to the idea that we have the finest park site and the largest one, except one, in the United States, and that we do not want it desecrated by any amateur landscape artists or home talent gardeners. The best artist in the landscape line is none too good for San Diego’s 1,400-acre park. Professor Sargent of Harvard college, who has the largest and rarest collection of trees and plants in his collection in the world and who has spent a fortune on his collection, traveling all over the habitual universe for this purpose, during a recent visit to this city stated that he had not seen in all his travels such an attractive park site as ours, commanding, as it does, a magnificent view of the entire city, bay, ocean, and a continuous and broken chain of beautiful mountains. He added that the park could be planted with the largest collection of rare plants and trees yet brought together and such as no present arboretum possesses.

Are we then to participate in laying out this park a la San Diego in the days of the pioneers, when alleys were not considered necessary, and blocks 200x300 feet were considered sufficient for business purposes?

We want a few more men of the type of Herman Weltsch in this city, who will exert themselves unselfishly in the interests of the public before we can make progress. We can do without a park as New York city and San Francisco did until we are financially able to provide a suitable one. I will be satisfied if we can do better at present than keep off intruders and cranks from farming out the park in job lots to would-be land grabbers, and allowing them to plant it with hollyhocks and dandelions according to their fancy you know.

With regard to the “Two Women of San Diego” who want the work done at home, I have to say that home talent artists of the landscape pattern secured the expenditure of about $1,500 from the city three or four years ago in the park or just about double the amount that I asked for as park commissioner. That money was expended in planting a few trees and shrubs, laying water pipes, etc., but no one will claim that the park has been improved by such an expenditure, and visitors only ridicule the manner in which the work has been done. I think it is time to move in making park and other ideal improvements, such as grading, paving, street tree planting, etc., and, as the city is not in financial condition to move in this matter, let us as citizens, one and all, join in forming the San Diego Improvement Society for the purposes above mentioned. If all the best element of the city, rich and poor alike, will give this association their financial and moral support, we can raise money in small and large amounts which, in the aggregate, will amount to many thousands of dollars, secure the best park plan, and have the park plan laid out several years in advance of the time that the city can afford the expense and go ahead instead of crying poverty and trying to depreciate the energy and progressiveness of Los Angeles and other prosperous neighbors. For one I am proud of Los Angeles and am pleased to know that it is attracting the attention of the entire country. So will San Diego prosper when we get a move on, but to do with we must stop growling, put our hands in our pockets, and contribute each his mite in a willing way. The Lord loves and prospers a cheerful giver. Encourage the movement by giving it an energetic and enthusiastic as well as financial support. If such an organization as I refer to can be effected and made a success, it will be through the aid and assistance of women, married and single. I have thought seriously of suggesting to the mayor to call a mass meeting of the citizens, and especially to invite the women to attend, for the purpose of effecting this organization. Shall it be done or shall we sit listlessly by and see Los Angeles get the cream of the wealthy population from among the newcomers because we are too penurious and indolent to exert ourselves in our own behalf? The history of local improvement societies all over the United States shows what can be done to advance a city’s or a town’s interests rapidly.

The Real Estate association, the owners of real estate, the individual owners, and, in fact, every man, woman and child should become a member of the association to which I refer. It could be incorporated and managed by a board of directors and, in such shape, would no doubt receive bequests, large and small, when its great usefulness was practically demonstrated. Let us hear from the whole community on this subject and especially from the women on whom the success of it alone must depend.

W.R. Maize

San Diego Union, May 17, 1895, 2:2. More Park Improvements – Pasadena Makes Another Move in the Right Direction (from Pasadena News): We owe it to ourselves and the people we are inducing to come here. We owe it to posterity to see that Pasadena has a park.


San Diego Union, May 17, 1895, 2:3. Bonds and a Park; Novel Plan for Raising Funds to Improve Parks

. . . A public park bought and improved by comic operas would be a distinction for the city [Oakland] in one way at least for it would be the only one in the country created in that manner. . . . The [Oakland] Enquirer does not believe the people of this city are anxious to vote a million or two million dollars worth of bonds at this time, but they would vote for $200,000 or $250,000 worth, if they were satisfied every dollar were put to where it could do the most good. In a few years at most the city will recover her waterfront and then a considerable issue of bonds will be needed to create commercial facilities. So there is no need to rush into extravagant debt at this time. Bonded debts are not a blessing; they are a pretty heavy burden and only very manifest advantages will justify incurring them.

San Diego Union, May 18, 1895, 4:2. EDITORIAL: To Improve the Park . . . There being but little hope for park improvements from any municipal appropriation at least for this year, the people of San Diego should not be content to let the matter rest if there is any possible plan whereby the good work could be commenced. Up in Oakland, there are seven public parks, some of them extensive but the aggregate area is fairly large. These parks are now attractive, but not as beautiful as the residents of that city desire them to be. In order to beautify them still more private subscriptions have been raised, and the money thus secured is to be expended in the purchase of tropical trees, flowers and shrubbery, the selections to be made by the mayor, and the money instead of passing through several hands, is to be paid directly to the florists who furnish the stock. This is certainly an excellent plan for park improvement, and one that will makes its effect felt from the start. It will not be necessary to raise a fund sufficient to beautify the entire 1,400 acres, but make a commencement of some kind. Lay out one central boulevard, plant its entire length with trees, adorn it with flowers and shrubbery, and if the result does not lead to additional improvement either by the city or continued private aid, there still will be something to show for the work. Once started, however, park improvements will always progress.

San Diego Union, May 19, 1895, 4:1. EDITORIAL: Organize a Park Society . . . Among the many extensive park sites which add to the attractive appearance and reputation of cities possessing them, there is not one that could be made more beautiful than the magnificent area which San Diego is now permitting to remain in its wild unkempt condition. It should be so improved that thousands of tourists who come here annually would speak of its beauties wherever they might be, and then add another attraction to the many which the city has to offer intending visitors and residents. The city council either does not appreciate the benefit that San Diego would derive from its park were it improved as it should be, or else it would devise ways and means to have the work done at public expense. This, unfortunately, the public must endure, but if the people of this city would get together and, actuated by one common purpose, organize a park improvement society, collect every dollar possible from private subscriptions, and then go to work intelligently to gradually improve the park, it could be made the center of attraction and interest on the Pacific coast. What is first necessary is organization, and such a society should have as its members every man, woman and child in the city. Subscription books should be circulated by the proper committees from house to house, and any amount, no matter how small, be asked for so that all could have a share and interest in the work. It is to be believed that many of the wealthy residents here would liberally help such a project, and continue their support once the good work was started. The fact that everyone, however, could and should give something is the most essential requirement to the success of the plan. Every dollar would help to attain the end desired, and the results that have been accomplished in other places by just such societies could be repeated here. The sooner the plan is put into motion by the people the nearer will come the time when actual work on the park can be commenced, and when the council will be more likely to offer financial aid in helping the good work along.

San Diego Union, May 22, 1895, 2:3. Park for Sport; Grand Boulevards and Improved Streets the Result: Oakland is awakening to the importance of park improvements and good streets as the following report from The Times of that city will show. . . . People of means who now reside in San Francisco will not be long in choosing between the two cities. San Francisco with its cobbles or Oakland with its magnolia and palm-lined boulevards and its grand climate.

San Diego Union, May 25, 1895, 2:2. Improve the City – How San Diego Can be Made Attractive . . . letter from P. S. Leisenring endorsing efforts to stir up an interest among the city officials and private citizens to improve the appearance of San Diego by planting trees, etc.

San Diego Union, May 31, 1895, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Gradual Park Development . . . In those cities where the importance of public parks is best understood and fully appreciated, the policy is to increase the area whenever opportunity presents. Following out this admirable principle, Boston now has 14,000 acres reserved for park purposes, and the greater portion of this large area is now under the highest state of development. During the last seven years Philadelphia has, in addition to constantly improving Fairmount Park, established twenty-six new parks and squares, all of which are now as beautiful as art and adornment can make them. Here in San Diego there is one park of 1,400 acres which could be made the peer of any site in this country, and all it requires to make it so is improvement. This cannot all be done at once, but if the plan adopted by Philadelphia, for instance, was followed, of doing the work gradually, then the result would be fully as satisfactory. . . . . .

San Diego Union, June 8, 1895, 5:4. The Day Nursery; Annual Report Showing the Condition of the Institution: Though the only reserve fund which this work has is the hold on the hearts of the people, yet it was reported in prosperous condition but with constant needs. . . . The greatest number of children cared for in the past year was 31 and the present number is 15.

San Diego Union, June 23, 1895, 5:2. Street Matters . . . The joint street committee of the city council voted to recommend that a ground rental of 50 cents per year be charged for all electric light, telephone, telegraph, electric railway and other poles in the city, the revenue to be devoted to the improvement of the city park.

San Diego Union, June 23, 1895, 5:3. Bryant Howard’s answer . . . The answer of Bryant Howard, a defendant in the case of the people vs. H. W. Weienke, ex-tax collector, was filed in superior court yesterday. The answer begins with the statement that Howard is not indebted to the plaintiff or in any way liable as a bondsman for Weineke. . . . .

San Diego Union, June 27, 1895, 5:3. In Golden Gate Park; the Bloomer Girl out in force and attracting much attention . . . There were not many teams and turnouts, but 10,000 people spent yesterday in the city’s breathing space.

San Diego Union, August 6, 1895, 2:1-2. Business of the City; meeting of two branches of the city council last night; Mayor Carlson vetoes ground rental of 50 cents per annum for each pole for the suspension of electric wires erected or used by telegraph, telephone, electric light, or electric railway in the streets, alleys or public places in the city of San Diego; “I do not think it is time for this city to levy a tax on enterprises which, though built by private capital, are welcomed by the public.” . . . The board of public works was instructed to find out by what authority a line of poles was placed through the city park. It was stated that the San Diego Flume Company had strung a telephone wire through the park without permission. . . . A new pound ordinance was adopted. The main change from the old one is in a provision requiring the police to take up horses found at large in the territory bond by B, 8th, L and 4th streets, to be turned over to the poundmaster if not claimed within two hours.

San Diego Union, August 23, 1895, 5:3. Public Works: City Attorney Doolittle was asked for information regarding the actual amount done by the holders of the Howard charity tract in the city park, it having been claimed that the contract with the city was not being carried out. Bryant Howard, M. A. Luce and Chas. S. Hamilton will be summoned next Tuesday to give information in the matter.

San Diego Union, August 28, 1895, 5:4. Charity Tract, Bryant Howard defends his trust and asks city aid . . . Bryant Howard, Charles S. Hamilton, and M. A. Luce, trustees of the charity tract of the city park, appeared before the board of public works yesterday morning to furnish information as to the condition of affairs in connection with their trust. Messrs. Hamilton and Luce explained that they were simply advisory trustees and that Mr. Howard had had active charge of the tract and its development.

Mr. Howard reviewed the city’s title to the park and the trust deed whereby he was given control of the charity tract for the purpose of erecting an orphans’ home, children’s home and school for technology. It provided that improvements shall be commenced within one year and that buildings shall be erected and the grounds kept in order, and that the schools shall be maintained. Mr. Howard said that is was impossible for him to keep the tract up as he would like, and he asked that the city continue to pay for two or three men to keep the grounds in condition.

Regarding the maintenance of the schools, he still hoped that he would be able to establish and maintain them. He argued that so long as the work already done had been in good faith, and was in the line of requirements, the trust could not be taken from him. He claimed to have put $100,000 in improvements on the tract. The city is not called upon to pay for water, the Flume Company having given a deed to supply the tract free of charge.

The board will prepare a report tomorrow to submit to City Attorney Doolittle, and the latter will report the facts to the council, with, perhaps, certain recommendations as to the legal steps necessary to be taken.

September 11, 1985, 2:1. Board of Delegates . . . A communication was received from the city attorney regarding the occupation of a portion of the park by Mrs. Taylor. Referred to the street committee. Olmsted called attention to a report that garbage was still being dropped in Switzer Canyon in the park and this matter will also be investigated by the committee. A communication was received from D. C. Collier to the effect that numbers of men and teams were removing dirt from the location of 6th and 7th streets and the park without authority, and destroying one of the most sightly portions of the park. Referred to the street committee.

San Diego Union, November 19, 1895, 2:1-4. Meeting of City Council Last Night . . . The ordinance instructing the City Engineer Capps to prepare estimates of the cost of the Upper Otay system was read, and Prout moved that the committee of the whole recommend its adoption. The motion carried by a vote of 20 to 4. . . . The ways and means committee recommended that the chain-gang ordinance be revived and put in operation, on account of the many hobos arriving in the city. The matter caused more discussion among the delegates than the water question, and much heat was displayed. It was finally referred to the police committee and city attorney. . . . The city lands committee recommended that the petition of J. H. Crawford to lease a portion of the park be denied. Adopted. A similar petition from Thomas Burbank was also denied. . . . The city lands committee recommended that the Indians in Mission valley be removed. Adopted. . . . The resolution of intent to change the grade of 6th street, about which much feeling was also exhibited among property-holders was also voted down unanimously.

San Diego Union, December 21, 1895, 3:2. Day Nursery, Out of Debt, but there are many needs. . . . The present number of children is 17. Of these three are under 14 months. Ages of the rest from two years to twelve.

San Diego Union, January 1, 1896, 10:2-3. Magnificent Park – Provision Made for One of the Finest in America

There has been good provision for public parks in the city of San Diego, and should the city ever grow to have a population of even a million people there would still be ample park area. Years ago when the present city was first laid out, a tract of 1,400 acres was set aside for this purpose, and it has ever since been kept intact. It is situated conveniently to the business center, and possesses all the natural attributes of a magnificent park.

The park is situated in a commanding position on the heights, and from the more elevated portions of the tract, an unequaled view of mountains, city and sea may be obtained. The topography of the park is such that it can be improved and beautified at a minimum of expense. There is a diversity of hills, canyons, plateaus and ravines, which some day will constitute a splendid park as there is in the United States. No better arrangement of its topographical features could be desired. As yet, however, little has been done toward beautifying the tract. Small portions have been rented to florists who are bound by agreement to plant a certain number of trees and ornamental shrubs each year in such parts of the tract as may be selected by the park commissioners, and these leases are at the option of the city council.

On the southern boundary of the park is the Howard tract of 100 acres, where 15,000 trees were set out some years ago. They have made remarkable growth, some of the trees having reached a height of over fifty feet.

San Diego Union, May 5, 1896, 2:1-5. Mayor Carlson’s Annual Message – Park Improvement . . . The city park should be improved more extensively. It is susceptible of being made one of the most beautiful parks on earth. A plan of improvement should be laid out by a competent landscape gardener. Then, once a year, on Arbor day, every child in the city should be asked to plant a tree and look after its care. It would be a child’s delight and a fond father’s pride to see a tree planted worthy of the child and the city.

The result would be the planting of thousands of choice, beautiful and rare trees annually, and their care also without one dollar’s expense to the city further than the original plan by a landscape gardener and for the furnishing of water. It is a wish most noble and one that all people, no doubt, would be pleased to see carried into execution. With a beautiful city park, the stay of tourists in our midst would be prolonged, as well as made more pleasant for them, as well it would be the pleasure ground of the people.

San Diego Union, July 7, 1896, 5:3. Olmsted moved that the city attorney be instructed to investigate whether the city park is included in any ward in the city. He said several voters were challenged and denied a vote at the last bond election because they lived on the park. Assistant City Attorney Lewis said the park was included in the Fourth Ward.

San Diego Union, August 3, 1896, 5:1. Fifteen hundred persons visited Mission Cliff at the end of the new electric line yesterday afternoon and listened to a concert by the City Guard Band.

San Diego Union, August 4, 1896, 2:1. Olmsted introduced a resolution providing for the appointment of a special committee consisting of the city engineer and a member each from the board of delegates and aldermen to confer with the park commissioners to devise ways and means of improving the park.

San Diego Union, August 9, 1896, 2:1-2. Citizens’ Traction Co. makes great improvements to Mission Cliff road.

San Diego Union, August 23, 1896, 5:2. The Howard tract reverts to the city; Pythian Home proposed there.

A decision was rendered yesterday by Judge Puterbaugh in the case of the city vs. E. W. Morse, Bryant Howard, Charles S. Hamilton and M. A. Luce, executors of the will of James M. Pierce, deceased, whereby a lien is foreclosed on 100 acres of land embraced in the city park.

The decision, which has been awaited with much interest, recites that the city set apart the land to the defendants in trust for the purpose of establishing and maintaining thereon an orphans’ home, boys’ and girls’ home, kindergarten, industrial school, and school of technology. The defendants planted a number of trees on the land, which is about the finest in the park tract, and prior to October 1, 1891, erected a house and barn and maintained an orphans’ home from about October 1, 1891 to June 1, 1892. No other buildings were erected, and the defendants have shown their inability to carry out their part of the contract with the city, hence the land reverts to the city.

It is expected that the grand lodge of the Knights of Pythias in this state will now take steps to establish a home on the tract for aged Pythians, a resolution having been adopted at the last meeting of the grand lodge accepting an offer made by Harry W. Vincent, of the buildings and land, for a long term of years, free of all cost, and with water free for all purposes. The offer of the city was contingent upon the decision rendered yesterday. The Pythians will expend many thousand dollars in fitting up the tract.

San Diego Union, December 18, 1896, 3:1-2. Judge Witherby Dead; Passing Away of San Diego’s Best Known Pioneer; A Resident of San Diego since 1849: After the collapse of the Consolidated National Bank and the downfall of Bryant Howard, who up to that time has stood as a pillar of San Diego finances, it was learned that Judge Witherby had been dragged down in the crash. His once considerable wealth was dissipated in many ways, but principally in the expense of maintaining the “Howard park tract,” a portion of the city park set apart to Bryant Howard and several associates, including Judge Witherby, where certain public charities were to be instituted at the expense of the grantees. Bryant Howard received the credit for the great charity, but in proceedings involving the Consolidated National Bank business, it was discovered that Judge Witherby had given the bulk of the money, leaving Howard to reap the glory with the understanding that after Witherby’s death the truth would be told. But through the bank and Howard’s downfall, Witherby’s fortune was swept away, and his beneficence in the park could not be continued.

San Diego Union, August 24, 1896, 5:2. Will World’s Pythian Home be located on the old Howard tract?

San Diego Union, December 20, 1896, 2:3. Dr. R. M. Bowers opposed to garbage crematory in park or waterfront.


San Diego Tribune, December 1, 1981, Leisure, 8; April 19, 1982.

Began in 1897; nine hole, 2,389 yards long with rocky, bare-dirt fairways and sand greens;

small wooden clubhouse, 15x20 ft.; bounded by Upas Street on the north, Richmond on the

west, Laurel on the south, and Florida Canyon on the east

Mid-City Press, December 1967, 7, Early San Diego duffers roughed it on the “greens,” by Jonnie Wilson . . . The sport of golf, which became popular on the East Coast in the 1880s, did not arrive in San Diego until 1896. It was in that year that Dr. and Mrs. William S. Edwards of University Heights became the first city residents to chase after those little white balls.

The Edwards, transplants from the East, arrived in town with golf bags in tow, but could find no suitable place to indulge their new hobby. Before long, however, they had recruited a small group of intrigued new friends to help them lay out San Diego County’s first golf course, in the northern part of Balboa Park (then City Park).

The city granted them permission to use the area bounded by Upas Street on the north, Laurel Street on the south, Richmond Street on the west, and Florida Street canyon on the east. The primary occupant of this land today is the San Diego Zoo.

The golf pioneers had a big challenge ahead of them. In 1896, their chosen site was one gigantic rough — a dry, brush-covered, rock-strewn area studded with ravines. But the golf enthusiasts were undaunted, in true gung-ho style, they attacked the brush and undergrowth, with garden tools, and in a few short months, had transformed the wilderness into a satisfactory — a least by that day’s standards — nine-hole golf course of 2,485 yards.

One oddity must be mentioned — the course had no grass. Believing that San Diego’s dry climate precluded the successful cultivation of turf, the do-it-yourselves came up with some interesting alternatives. The “greens” were a mixture of crude petroleum and sand; the fairways were bare dirt.

In the fall of 1897, a small clubhouse was erected at Upas Street and Park Boulevard on land donated by the developers of University Heights. By this time, there was sufficient interest in the sport to start a private club, thus the San Diego Country Club came into being. In April, 1898, board members set dues at $1 a month.

A short time later, the club celebrated its first Fourth of July with a big bang by spending $35.25 for fireworks. A major improvement in the clubhouse that year was the installation of high technology — a telephone.

The views from the clubhouse were spectacular. The San Diego skyline was uncluttered at the turn of the century, and one easily could see the Hotel del Coronado, Point Loma and even the Coronado Islands off in the distance.

By 1899, the club had grown to the point that its 15-by-20 foot clubhouse was beginning to bulge at the seams. The structure was moved east to a larger site, and an addition containing two dressing rooms, each with 25 lockers, was built. Also added were two “closets” and a septic tank.

Over the next decade, the club continued to make improvements, adding a weather vane in 1900, electricity in 1902, and a piano and new flag in 1903. A Chinese man named Song soon was employed to supervise the establishment. The live-in attendant also served as chef, janitor and greenskeeper, the latter being somewhat of a misnomer.

Soon the club’s amenities extended well beyond golf. According to an early newspaper report, additional facilities included “a shooting box with modern traps, double tennis courts and a croquet court for those who fancy ground billiards.”

Tournaments — men’s, women’s and mixed foursomes — were held frequently. In January, 1900, it was reported that there was an 18-hole tournament in progress, but because the San Diego Country Club had only a nine-hole course, it would take two successive Sundays to complete. The lucky winners (one gentleman and one lady) each would be awarded a beautiful loving cup.

With its varied terrain, the course was a difficult one. Many of the holes were given names that bore witness to this such as “Hard Luck,” (No. 1), “Deception” (No. 4), “The Crater” (No. 7) and every golfer’s nemesis — “Canyon del Diablo” (No. 9), which featured a treacherous ravine.

But not all mishaps could be blamed on the lay of the land. Many a golfer was frustrated by the favorite sport of neighborhood children who delighted in fielding the golfer’s shots in their mitts, then disappearing into the brush.

By 1910, membership was 233, and club facilities once again were declared inadequate. More land was purchased, and Irving Gill was hired to draw up plans for a new, more spacious clubhouse. Unfortunately, when the eminent San Diego architect submitted his plans, the board found them “unacceptable,” and Gill was eliminated from the club’s expansion plans, after being paid $200 for his services.

A new architect, E. Layman, was engaged. His plans for s stately, two-story clubhouse, complete with cocktail lounge, grill and ballroom were approved. The building was erected at 1748 Upas Street at a cost of $8,460.

The new clubhouse was popular and much used for social events. Unfortunately, the golf course for which it existed was threatened with extinction. The city of San Diego wanted its park lands back to begin preparing for the upcoming Panama-California Exposition. In June, 1913, the club was asked to vacate Balboa Park.

Luckily, about this time, the membership had been invited to merge with an 18-hole golf club being built in the western part of the city by A. B. Spaulding of sporting goods fame. Spaulding’s offer to accept all present members into the Point Loma Golf Club without initiation fee and with maximum monthly dues of $2 was accepted. The clubhouse on Upas Street was sold and all furnishings moved to the new facility on the Point.

The members had a few good years in their beautiful new location before receiving more disturbing news. The Point Loma club was near Chatsworth and Rosecrans, and the land it occupied was needed by the military for expansion plans, which included both Marine and Navy installations.

Faced with a second relocation in seven years, undoubtedly members were beginning to think their links were jinxed. Once again they had to clear out their lockers and start looking for a new home.

But there is a happy ending. In 1920, after eliminating the possibility of relocating to Kearny Mesa because the area lacked a water supply, 160 acres of farmland was purchased in Chula Vista. And when the San Diego Country Club moved to its third and final home, it realized a major improvement over its humble beginnings in Balboa Park. The “greens” were finally green — a grass course had been planted.

San Diego Union, January 1, 1897, 12:7. Commendable Charity; Woman’s Home and Day Nursery Doing a Good Work . . . Occasionally strangers who have not visited the place have concluded it was an old ladies’ home, but in the usually accepted sense of that term, it is not all such for the obvious reason that as there is no fund or reserve provision for support, no permanent home can be assured. But even with the present limitations, it is the purpose of this department to afford a comfortable temporary home in time of need to self-dependent working women when seeking employment or recuperating from overwork. However, the place is practically more a children’s home and since the association which built on the heights of the Howard tract have failed to use their building as was originally designed — as a children’s home — this Day Nursery is the only institution in town which specially cares for children. The usual number is from fifteen to twenty, though occasionally for a short time it has been thirty or more.

For several years past, the children have remained by the month instead of the day, as when the work was first established, and to some of them it is the only home which they can remember. The ages vary from a few weeks to 10 to 12 years, though it is not desirable to receive boys over 6 or girls over 10 years. These children are usually motherless or the children of widowed mothers obliged to work away from home. Children who are old enough regularly attend the public schools and Sunday-school. Nearly all are clothed by the institution, which makes the family sewing no small matter. Some mothers find themselves very busy with the sewing for two or three children. The maintenance of this work comes from contributions of the charitably disposed, from the small amount that parents can pay, and from the county, which provides for the support of children sent by supervisors.

San Diego Union, January 1, 1897, The City Parks (same as January 1, 1896 with slight additional comment) . . . The Howard tract is under the supervision of George M. Havice.

“San Diego City Park, 1868-1902” by Gregory Montes . . . Woman’s Home burned in 1897, one month after the city had insured it for $4,000 (Hopkins, p. 327). The city promptly collected the insurance. . . . When the Howard tract was forfeited to the City in 1896, it seemed to some like a vacuum begging to be filled. In January, 1897, a fraternal order, the Knights of Pythias Lodge of California, asked the Common Council to deed it 30 acres of the former Charities Tract for a home for aged and ill Pythians and their dependents. (CCO B.P.-1, Doc. No. 1312, filed January 18, 1897). . . . The City Lands Committee was quite willing to grant the property, merely adding for a note of respectability, that the Pythian grounds be open to the public and designated in accord with “a general plans of improvement for the entire park.” *CCO B.P.-1, Doc. No. 1312, letter of January 21, 1897, attached to Doc. No. 1312) . . . Two days after the Pythian request, on January 20, Alderman Dodson, truly swept by the New Year’s spirit of giving, proposed that the City also deed 70 acres of City Park, near the head of 27th Street, to the State for a normal school (San Diego Union, January 20, 1897, 2:3)

San Diego Union, January 22, 1897, 2:1. Council favors granting 30 acres of former Howard tract to Knights of Pythias for establishment of a World’s Pythian Home.

San Diego Union, January 23, 1897. EDITORIAL: The Park Question in opposition to grant of park land to Pythians . . . It is very easy to see that if perpetual use of 30 acres were now granted for a Pythian home, it might not be long before some other organization would ask for a slice of the park.

San Diego Union, January 23, 1897, 2:3. Letter from Capt. Maize expressing opposition to farming out city park.

San Diego Weekly Union, February 11, 1897, 3:6. The City Park – The Magnificent Possibilities Noted by a Celebrated Botanist:

To The Union: My article which The Union published about a week ago against sub-dividing any portion of the city park to the Knights of Pythias or to any other organization, has met with the warmest approbation of a large number of our leading citizens and taxpayers — old and newcomers — who have congratulated me upon the stand taken in opposition to the proposed grant. As this subject is still before the board of aldermen, having been referred by that board to its city lands committee, it is quire apropos to refer to a visit to the city park made within four years by Professor Sargent, who is one of the best known authorities on arboriculture living.

Professor Sargent has made several tours around the world in connection with his profession as a collector of rare trees, shrubs and plants. He now occupies the chair of professor in that line at Harvard college, Cambridge, Mass., having charge of the Arnold arboretum, one of the largest and rarest collections in the world.

After seeing the city park, ascertaining its dimensions, and getting a general idea of its contour, he remarked that it was the most magnificent park site that he had seen in all his travels; that the beautiful view of the bay, ocean and mountains could not be surpassed, and that the view could never be cut off, owing to the altitude of the park grounds. Professor Sargent added that “a park of this amplitude with such exceptional opportunities for growing a large and varied collection of trees and plants such as could be grown here, was a botanical necessity in the United States, and one that science would appreciate, endorse and encourage, and it was confidently believed that a liberal donation could be secured to aid this park.”

The fact that Professor and Mrs. T. S. Brandegee, so long identified with the best botanical work in California and the Pacific coast, both in independent work at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, have located here and established the best herbarium in the state, speaks a great deal for this locality and its wonderful possibilities. Their private collection of growing plants is a valuable one today, no more labor nor time being spared by them.

It should not be forgotten than our park site is unique; that it is in the very heart of the city and can be enjoyed without a cent of expense for transportation. We have a treasure in this 1,400-acre tract which posterity will value beyond our highest imagination, and we must not allow it to be desecrated. We hope to secure with or without the city’s financial help, complete plans for the park and have them placed on file in the city engineer’s office in the near future. And when appropriations can be secure, work can be commenced on that portion of it which will be nearest the city where it can be enjoyed as drives, bicycle roads, picnic grounds, etc. by the humblest citizen.

W.R. Maize, Park Commissioner

San Diego Weekly Union, April 1, 1897, 2:5-6. City Park Schemes – Commissioner Maize opposes the tobacco grant of 60 acres.

To The Union: It is surprising to learn that the board of aldermen has voted to grant the exclusive use of 60 acres of the city park to private parties for a period of 5 years, to be used as a tobacco plantation, and it more surprising to learn that in Section 2 of the ordinance referred to, a provision is made that “no right of like character shall or will be granted by said city to any person or persons whatever,” during this period of 5 years. If the park is to be leased out in 60 acre tracts, why not give every taxpayer an equal show? Tobacco is now being cultivated and developed by parties at El Cajon, and at other points who have not asked for help in their ventures, and who are, therefore, more deserving of assistance, if the city is to aid in this line.

The city has a specimen of this kind of grant or lease already. Miss Sessions now occupies a conspicuous portion of the city park under a lease for which she agrees to pay the city annually 300 trees at a cost to her of probably 5 to 10 cents each, or a rental of from $15 to $30 a year. This lease was granted before the park commissioners were appointed. I have no reflections to cast upon Miss Sessions, who has fulfilled her part of the contract honesty and faithfully. But one mistake of this kind is enough.

It is a source of gratification to know that the board of delegates is the deliberative house of the two, else we now would have the Knights of Pythias, the tobacco plantation, and probably, for variety, a slaughter house, garbage crematory, etc. There are plenty of acres contiguous to the city that can be secured for the philanthropic culture of tobacco, at a fair figure, and there is no reason why the present applicants should have a monopoly. If it is to be so good a thing, let the average poor man have a show.

As formerly stated, I have in the near future the offer of substantial aid towards getting out the plans for this park, meaning about $8,000, providing the land-grabbers, charities, and would-be philanthropists can be kept out. If poor old Ryan is aware of the proceedings in the board of aldermen on the park question, he will rest uneasy in his grave and regret that he did not live under this regime.

W.R. Maize, Park Commissioner

San Diego Union, May 6, 1897, 5:1-2. Mayor Reed’s Message . . . I am unalterably opposed to leasing or in any manner whatsoever disposing of any portion of our magnificent city park. This 1,400 acres should for all time remain intact for this people and for their children’s children, and be as sacred as Holy Writ; and whenever the financial condition of this city will justify the same should be improved in a moderate manner; transforming her canyons into artificial lakes and serpentine drives, with roses, flowers and trees of all climes dotting her hillsides, making this park the grandest for scenery and beauty in the American continent, if not in the world.

San Diego Union, May 10, 1897. . . . The Children’s Industrial Home in the Howard tract of the city park was burned to the ground at noon yesterday. It was in charge of George M. Havice, keeper of the tract, who lived in the house with his family. Havice and one child were the only persons in the building when it caught fire.

San Diego Weekly Union, May 12, 1897, 6:1:2. It Went Up in Smoke; Children’s Industrial Home burned to the ground; Cost $12,000, insured for $4,000; Owned by the City; Great plan for a charitable institution in the park, why it failed.

(From Monday’s Daily) The Children’s Industrial Home in the Howard tract of the city park was burned to the ground at noon yesterday. It was in charge of George M. Havice, keeper of the tract, who lived in the house with his family. Havice and one child were the only persons in the building when it caught fire. The Cadet band, composed of young boys, was marching in the park grounds, and after Havice had built a fire in the kitchen stove and otherwise made ready for a quick lunch after his wife’s return from church, he went outside and watched the band boys drilling. Five or ten minutes later he saw smoke pouring from the third story, near the chimney.

Havice ran upstairs and fought the fire, or tried to, with a little hose attached to a two-inch pipe. But the pressure was not strong enough to send the stream up to the fire, and Havice soon had to withdraw. Two of the band boys ran down to 14th and D streets and turned in the alarm, while the others, numbering fourteen, went into the house and helped to carry out the furniture. The carpets, pictures, beds, chairs, and other moveables were hustled out in a hurry, both in the first and second stories. Everything in the basement was also gotten out. The boys worked with a will and would have continued, had not Mr. Havice warned them of the danger of one of the big chimneys falling in.

The fire department was unable to do anything in the way of quenching the fire, though the fireman rendered service in removing windows, mantels, etc. The nearest fire hydrant was at 12th and A streets, just a mile away by the road, and it is doubtful, even had a hydrant been handy, whether the water pressure would have been sufficient to do much good. The only water that could be utilized was that running from one and two-inch taps on the premises, but the pressure was next to nothing.

The building was over an hour in burning. The fire had to work downward, and as the building was located on a knoll at the head of a small canyon, the wind blowing up the canyon served to check the flames somewhat. With adequate fire protection the building could have been saved easily. The sight of the big house in full blaze was one of grandeur, heavy black smoke rolling back in the brisk breeze, making a cloud that must have been visible from far out at sea.

The cost of the building was about $12,000. It had been built in 1889 by Bryant Howard, O. S. Witherby and E. W. Morse, as part of the charity institution designed by them, which included 100 acres of the city park, leased to them for ninety-nine years on condition that they would carry out certain work for the public benefit. The history of the work is told by Bryant Howard himself in a subjoined communication. Since the lapse of the work on the part of Mr. Howard, the city brought suit under the lease for the recovery of the land, and secured it over a year ago. It has since that time been in charge of the board of public works, the caretaker looking after the extensive grounds.

About a month ago, after urgent solicitation on the part of a local insurance firm, the board of public works insured the building for $4,000 in the Caledonian Insurance Company. The city will thus save something out of the wreck. A strong effort will be made to have this money devoted to the purchase of a chemical engine for Florence Heights, which is entirely unprotected, though having more expensive residences than any other part of the city. It was stated yesterday, however, by a city official connected with the park, that the money would, no doubt, be made a nucleus for further park improvement.

The Howard Charity

The following communication was handed to The Union yesterday by Bryant Howard.

The burning of the Children’s Home today makes it seem almost necessary that I should now give a brief account of the building and the hundred-acre charity tract in order that the truth concerning them my be better understood than heretofore. A full statement of the facts, circumstances and details would fill a volume.

About the year 1886, the late James M. Pierce, E. W. Morse and myself projected the establishment of an industrial school with several branches in San Diego for the support, education and training of poor children. Not long after that the late O. S. Witherby signified his wish to join us in the undertaking.

During the time of the boom it was believed that each of us could contribute at least a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and we did not doubt that others would also give to so worthy an enterprise. Afterwards three other parties, whose names I do not have permission to use, made wills in which large bequests were named for the benefit of these charities, and others which might be established, and to secure the improvement of a hundred-acres of the City park, and the great advantages of the location of these charities upon it, our far-sighted and liberal-minded city council set apart for charitable uses the hundred acres of the park now known as the Howard tract. The property was deeded in trust to E. W. Morse, Bryant Howard, and the three trustees of the Pierce estate, Charles S. Hamilton, M. A. Luce and Bryant Howard.

I drew this deed myself, and was very careful to protect the interests of the city. By it no possible advantage could have been gained by the grantees. The land could not be used for any private purpose, and it would revert to the city should the provisions of the trust fail to be fulfilled. The only right that the grantees had was to use the land and spend more money on it — not the city’s money, but their own money — for charity.

Yet, strangely enough, many people in San Diego opposed the dedication of this tract for charitable purposes, even though a hundred acres of the 1,400 acres of barren waste, which we call a park, was to be improved by it, and the city saved thereby a large amount of taxation.

At the next session of the legislature, Mr. Bowers, our senator, and Mr. Young, our assemblyman, procured the passage of a bill confirming the act of the city council. In this bill, which I drafted, the city’s interests were carefully guarded. An examination of the act of the legislature will show that the tract could not be used for any private purpose; it could not be used for any sectarian purpose; and the public should have the full use of it as a public park.

These three provisions show conclusively that the city was not parting with any right whatsoever; that the grantees gained no right whatever save to use it for charitable purposes, and to spend their own money on it for the public goods.

After a while most of the people reached the conclusion that it was good thing to have a hundred acres of the park improved without taxation, and that orphans and other poor children had just a good a right to the use of a portion of the park as those who play baseball, ride on bicycles, or even in carriages. If a park should not be used for charity, and by the poor, how, in God’s name, should it be used? I have read in a book a sermon preached long ago, the precepts of which people profess to follow, but don’t, that sweet charity is all that wins eternal life, and only those who do not practice it are lost.

Turn over half of the desolate region, which is now inhabited only by horned toads, tarantulas and snakes, to charitable institutions on condition that they adorn and beautify it, and allow it to be used by the public as part of the public park, and you will have set a noble example to the whole world and good people from all lands will come here as a shrine, where charity and brotherly love are shown by such acts as nowhere else on earth.

Before the improvements were made on the hundred-acre tract, a portion of it had been used for years as a dumping ground for most of the debris and filth of the city, the odor of which at times perfumed the air for miles around. But in 1890 the debris and brush were cleared off, the land plowed up, avenues laid out, and trees planted on the whole tract. Iron pipes were laid down and water procured through the kindness of the city water company and the Flume company. Indeed the Flume company deeded water for the whole tract forever. The two buildings were also erected, a superintendent employed and sent east to study the operation of charitable institutions, to buy books and apparatus, and to carry on the work of charity when he returned. A kindergarten school was established, and assistance was rendered to many destitute children, and homes procured for some. An attempt was made to raise oranges and lemons, and many trees were planted, for horticulture and floriculture were to be taught as well as the mechanical trades, to the children who were to be educated and trained at these institutions. But hard times were with us and grew harder as the days went on, and the burden of carrying on the work fell upon Judge Witherby and myself, with the assistance of my good wife. The amount expended for all purposes in connection with these charities, with interest, amounted to over $100,000 at the close of 1893, when, on account of the panic, we were obliged to give up the struggle. About half of the amount was expended by Judge Witherby, who enjoined the strictest secrecy about his connection with the matter, and the remainder by myself. Yet, Mr. Morse and Mr. Pierce are entitled to just as much credit as if they had contributed the full amount they had promised. Their noble endeavor should endear them to all who appreciate good deeds. The widow’s mite was not measured by its money value, but by the spirit of love and kindness with which it was given.

Bryant Howard, San Diego, May 9, 1897

San Diego Weekly Union, May 27, 1897, 5:1. The City’s Business (from Tuesday’s Daily) . . . The public building committee reported against the refitting of the barn in the Howard tract for a residence for the caretaker. It recommended that the barn be removed to the west side of the park to serve as a fire engine house.

San Diego Weekly Union, August 19, 1897, 7:4. Bay View Park; Best All-Around Athletic Grounds on the Coast . . . Bay View Park, situated between 25th and 26th streets, and Newton and Pierce avenues, will be a decided addition to the resorts of the city. The stock company that has undertaken the work of preparing the place for bicycle racing, baseball games, and other athletic sports has already expended considerable money at the park, but much more will be used in making this place superior to anything of the kind in this locality. . . . The formal opening will take place next Sunday, when two baseball games will be played.

San Diego Union, September 9, 1897, 2:3-4. Council in Session . . . The resolution to remove the barn in the city park to University Heights to be used for fire purposes was laid over for one month. . . . An ordinance ratifying the action of the Board of Public Works in employing William Gilcher to plow and harrow the Howard tract in the city park was adopted. The ordinance provides for the payment of Gilcher’s claim of $155. . . . The Board of Public Works requested authority to spray trees and shrubbery in the park. Referred to Committee on Parks.

San Diego Union, September 13, 1987, 5:1. Fun at Bay View Park; new bicycle track opened with several good races; bicycle meet, 1500 people on the grounds, including many entire families; baseball games.

San Diego Union, September 18, 1897, 2:3. Street Improvement; joint street committee’s recommendations to council: It was recommended that the Board of Public Works be instructed to have the park superintendent investigate and report as to the necessity of spraying trees in the park infested with insect pests and to trim trees and shrubbery and for the Board of Public Works to water trees on upper 5th street, in the Howard tract, and in the ladies’ annex park once.

San Diego Union, September 21, 1897, 5:1-2. Board of Delegates, Location of Garbage Crematory starts the old fight: James wanted to know if the city could not order the crematory placed in Switzer canyon. City Attorney Doolittle said the contract could not be changed without the consent of the company.

San Diego Union, September 25, 1897, 3:2. Water Shut Off . . . The Board of Public Works met yesterday and found that the park fund had been exhausted again. As the auditing committee some time ago notified the Board that it would not allow bills against overdrawn funds, the Board has been careful to keep within bounds. The order was therefore given to shut off the water from the parks until the council appropriated more funds.

San Diego Union, September 30, 1897, 5:3. Orchard and Garden; Notes and Comment by Horticultural Commissioner G. P. Hall: The botanical garden, as proposed by H. Stiles, in the Howard park can be made very efficient as well as ornamental by way of a series of experiments that will demonstrate the utility of raising plants that may prove valuable acquisitions when properly treated. We trust the city may be able to place at Mr. Stiles’ command the facilities that will be the means of enhancing the valuable practicable experience.

San Diego Union, September 30, 1897, 5:1. The state shoot of the naval reserve will be held today at the range in the city park. The targets will be placed at 200, 300 and 500 yard’s range.

San Diego Union, October 5, 1897, 2:1-4. Council in Sessions: A joint resolution was adopted transferring $155 from the public building to the park improvement fund.

San Diego Union, February 19, 1898, 5:2. Country Club Organized; Will Maintain a Club House and Suitable Grounds: The Country Club filed articles of incorporation in the county clerk’s office yesterday. The purpose of the organization is to promote social intercourse among its members and to maintain a club house and grounds suitable for such sports as the members of the club may desire to promote. The incorporators are Oscar A. Trippert, Charles P. Douglass, R. C. Vroom, H. B. Clarke, Sadie P. Ingle, Minnie J. Douglass, W. Dana Kimball, Francis B. Clarke, Leda Gerichten, Ada N. Smith, Bird Hildreth, E. H. Bagby, Heber Ingle, and Gertrude Clarke. The first seven were elected directors to serve for one year.

San Diego Union, February 18, 1898, 5:3. “The Romance of Califia” will be given at the Fisher opera house on February 18 and 19 for the benefit of the Woman’s Home and Day Nursery.

San Diego Union, February 26, 1898, 5:1. The executive committee of the “Califia” entertainment announces that the Woman’s Home and Day Nursery received $650 from the proceeds of the combined entertainment and souvenir programme.

San Diego Union, May 5, 1898, 5:1. Supervisor C. H. Swallow circulated a petition yesterday to raise funds for purchasing a flag and the necessary pole and tackle for the Children’s Home in the city park.

San Diego Union, May 15, 1898, 2:2. The Day Nursery: Much of the success and efficiency of the work of the nursery for the past nine years has been due to the efforts of the retiring president, Mrs. D. F. Davison, and great regret was expressed at her withdrawal from the board on account of the pressure of other duties.

San Diego Union, June 3, 1898, 5:1. The name of the Woman’s Home has been changed to Women’s and Children’s Home so as to correctly identify the purpose of the building. The organization will retain the name of Woman’s Home Association.

San Diego Union, August 3, 1898, 5:1. Amended articles of incorporation of the Women’s Home Association were filed in the county clerk’s office yesterday. . . . There is no capital stock and the association was not formed for pecuniary profit.

San Diego Union, October 4, 1898, 3:1. Charter Amendment; City Council disposes of important business; special election to be held in December. . . . The recommendation of the Board of Public Works that an appropriation of $100 be made for the care of trees in the Howard tract was granted after an amendment had been made cutting the amount to $50.

San Diego Union, October 14, 1898, 5:2. Board of Public Works: It was decided to ask the city council for authority to repair the building in the Howard tract of the city park, in order that it may be used as a residence for the park superintendent.

San Diego Union, October 14, 1898, 5:2. Target Practice; Policemen Held Their Drill in the City Park: The weekly target practice of the police department was held yesterday in the park range. . . .

San Diego Union, October 15, 1898, 5:1. Council in Session; Petition for a Code Charter is Denied: The request of the Board of Public Works that the building on the Howard tract be fitted up as a residence for the park superintendent, and that authority be given to the Board to do the work, was referred to the Building Committee.

San Diego Union, October 30, 1898, 3:1-4. Should Plant Trees; Views of Harvey C. Stiles, park superintendent: The following interesting and comprehensive article on “Shade and Ornamental Trees” was read by the author, Harvey C. Stiles, at the meeting of the County Horticultural Association held at Pacific Beach last Wednesday.

In this country, so bare and brown, everyone should plant trees — some only one or two, some many. The object, however, should be more to add beauty to the landscape and rest to the eye than to obtain shade; for with our constant cooling breezes that we love so well, we learn also to appreciate the sunshine; and we need to be very cautious about growing such huge, dense masses of shade, lest we repent it, and feel compelled to cut down our great, beautiful trees that we have grown with so much pain and learned to love.

The planting of trees for shade or ornament alone, and not for fruit should, in most instances, be confined to the sidewalks, street row, the avenue and the front yard. The back yard, at least, should be devoted to trees which produce fruit, many of which are as beautiful as the simply ornamental ones.

In sidewalk planting in the city, and sometimes in country places as well, the first thing to consider is the amount of cutting or filling that will take place in front of the property when the roadway and sidewalk is graded. In many instances, if the grading is not already done, it is best to postpone tree planting entirely. In some instances where the official grade is or can be established or approximated, certain varieties may be planted by making a small cut or fill for each tree, or in some cases, the change caused by the grading will not be great enough to cause the death or serious mutilation of the trees. As proof of the importance of this question, let us recall the many hundreds of beautiful sidewalk trees ruined in grading the streets and sidewalks of San Diego.

Probably the most important question to decide is the variety of tree to plant. The many beautiful varieties succeeding here may be narrowed down to a very few, by peculiarities of soil and exposure in our particular case. Further, the special object we wish to gain may limit us again to one or two varieties. But unquestionably we can find some trees which will grow and be a thing of beauty and delight for almost every location, however forbidding, bleak or discouraging it may be.

For high land, where there is no frost, we have the greatest number of varieties to select from. For great beauty, freedom from insect attacks, resistance to drought, and absence of bad points the sugar gum (eucalyptus corynocalyx) excels all others. Its only fault would be its very robustness or habit. It will grow and thrive where the blue gum (e. globulus), so long considered the paragon of desert land, will burn up or starve out. This is amply illustrated in the Howard park in San Diego, where they may be seen growing vigorously with fine color and beautiful feathery tops, right alongside and among the blue gums, which have succumbed by the hundreds to drought and starvation; and the sugar gums, of the same age as the blue, are twice or three times as large.

I believe there is scarcely a location this side of the desert, where with a reasonable depth of soil, the sugar gum will not grow and be ornamental, without any irrigation whatever. However, if it must get along without water, it must have certain treatment. It should have no water at all in the summer, after becoming established. A tree once watered in the summer must be kept watered, or it will suffer. Give it all the water you can in the winter, and good cultivation in summer, if you want your trees to stand drought.

The sugar gum is a much handsomer tree in every way than the blue gum, or than the E. robusta, planted on upper 5th street, San Diego. The blue gum (e. globulus) should be entirely discarded, except for timber planting in low, moist land. The E. robusta, too, though it has been highly recommended for avenue planting, is not very satisfactory. Like the E. globulus, it is a moist land native, and must have plenty of moisture to do well. It is also very coarse and straggling in habit and requires regular cutting back to make a presentable top. While the sugar gum requires very little or no cutting to make a fine round top.

The red gum (e. rostrata) is also a good dry land tree, though not quite so resistant to drought as E. corynocalyx. The foliage is more feathery and of fine texture, the tree is of somewhat slower growth, and it may be more acceptable to many than the other.

The lemon scented, or peppermint gum (E. Atriodora) is a very fine tree for sidewalk or avenue, being of slower growth than either of those last mentioned, very fine, drooping branches, graceful top, and exquisitely scented foliage. It requires reasonable moisture.

  1. ficifolia, the crimson flowered variety, is a splendid tree for either sidewalk or lawn. It is of moderate growth, rich foliage, and bears its huge pinnacles of brilliant flowers after the second or third year, remaining a long time in bloom.

Another variety, E. cornuto, has been tested in other parts of the state, and has proven itself well adapted to planting in alkaline or salt lands. All these other varieties of eucalyptus have been thoroughly tested here, and their habits are well known. Owing to its rampant growth, I would not plant E. corynocalyx in front of a nice house, or handsome well-kept grounds: citriodora of ficifolia being less vigorous and more graceful, would be preferable.

The camphor tree is well suited for planting in front of a nice place, if it will get good care. We may easily manufacture our own camphor gum from the product of a single tree. I have, by a simple contrivance, made good gum camphor from a tree only four years old. It makes a very handsome tree, and instead of becoming shabby in winter, becomes very attractive because of the bright red color the tip of the branches assume in cold weather. The tree is rather liable to scale attacks, and so must be sprayed occasionally. But it is well worth the trouble.

The various members of the fig family all do well, and make good street trees, though the edible fig (ficus carica) in its various varieties is not desirable for that purpose because of its fruit.

The three or four sorts of ficus elastica, sometimes called India rubber trees, all evergreens, make splendid massy tops, but are not desirable where cement sidewalks are to be laid, because their surface roots develop very largely above ground, and are sure to lift and break the concrete. These roots make them somewhat objectionable for lawn planting, also. But I am sure that by cutting the surface roots for a few years, when the tree is small, the habit may be entirely broken.

The have the most rich, glossy, waxy foliage of any tree that does well generally here, and their good color, vigor and massive tops make them very desirable for certain places. A fact not generally known is that they will live and thrive on a very limited water supply. A tree eleven years old, standing in the New Town park, San Diego, is 18 inches in diameter, 40 feet high, and has a spread of 40 feet. So neither should they be planted in restricted space, nor where the outlook or inlook is to be kept open. There is another ficus, three specimens of which I have found growing in San Diego that I have not seen elsewhere. It has foliage much like elastica, but is deciduous; the leaves are beautifully veined and tinted.

Several of the acacias are also desirable for our purpose. A melanoxylon (blackwood acacia), particularly, make a very handsome, round-top tree, of upright growth, good foliage, and moderate vigor. While not a choice tree, it is one of the best, all things considered, especially for avenue planting. The black wattle (of mournful memory) that we destroyed without mercy some years ago, because of its scale-breeding proclivities, should not be remembered as a relative of this variety; for this had no such associations. Of the perpetually blooming acacias, floribunda, or retinodes, are, perhaps, the best. Either makes a good sized, rather spreading tree, with good light green, graceful foliage, and for nearly the whole year the tree is a cloud of beautiful yellow blossoms. But these flowers are always dropping, therefore some would not want them over a walk or porch. Some of the dwarf acacias are also fine for certain places.

One of the very best small trees for planting in front of a fine place, or well-kept grounds, or on a lawn, is Pittisporum undulatum. It is easily grown, low, into a close, dense bush if desired; but if trained, to a single stem, makes a most beautiful, symmetrical tree, with light green shining leaves that are exquisitely serrated and wavy. The stem and branches are gleaming white and make the tree very attractive. Its growth is rather slow, not reaching more than 25 feet in height, and somewhat less in spread of limbs, in ten years; so it can be planted where less dainty trees would not be desirable.

The magnolia does very well in some sheltered localities, but needs a good depth of soil, which is often hard to secure on high ground. It requires plenty of moisture in order to insure fine blossoms.

The beautiful and well-known pepper tree is oftentimes the best thing to plant. Its constantly dropping leaves, blossoms and berries are a source of annoyance to some if planted where they overhang lawn, building or walk. But for a long shady lane, what can be more beautiful. Their drooping, swaying branches, their fern-like leaves, their bright red berries and dainty flowers are hard to resist.

The Japanese privet is a very fine small-growing tree, suitable for sidewalk or grounds. In appearance, its leaves are somewhat like the rubber, the tree more slender, but with small round top and clean, bright stems and branches. It bears abundantly long clusters of purple berries that gleam rich among the foliage for several months.

For frosty locations, the catalpa speciosa is very good, with its huge leaves, and great clusters of fox-glove flowers in spring. The tree grows quite rapidly here, in deep soil with plenty of moisture. The pepper, too, will endure considerable cold — as will the acacia melanoxylon before described. Our native sycamore (Platanus racemosa) is another very handsome tree for avenue planting, which also endures severe frost, as well as some alkali, While its deciduous habit would be objectionable for some purposes, it would make it very desirable where shade was wanted only in summer. Even when bare of leaves, the tree is picturesque and beautiful. The European plane tree, of which our native sycamore is the California relative, is also highly recommended for ornamental use in Southern California. It is more sensitive to frost than our sycamore. Both varieties need soil of a good depth and an abundance of moisture.

The several pines native to our mountains may all be successfully grown where there is good depth of soil, and some of us can never forget our love for pine trees. One variety is also a native of our own city, Pinus torreana, and should be perpetuated, and the variety saved from utter destruction by planting some trees. These are a few of the trees, the only specimens so far as is known in the world (except a few on Clemente island and off our San Diego coast), and, be it known to our shame, no adequate provision for their protection has been made, and it is a question of a few years only till these priceless landmarks of vanished ages will be all destroyed. For this reason, it seems to me some should be willing to plant and protect a few trees. It must be said, however, it is not so handsome a tree as some other evergreens, although not at all ugly.

Very few of the palms are available for sidewalk planting, owing to their spreading habit. Some of the dwarf species are very nice, but are apt to get injured in such a place. But the many beautiful varieties and species must not be neglected for inside use, as so many of them are so much at home here, and their peculiar foliage is of the most appropriate in our semi-tropic land. Cocos plumosa, which is the variety the city has planted on Horton plaza, is of upright growth, after getting well started, and will make a most elegant and graceful, small-topped tree, where such is desired. It will endure no frost, does not do its best if whipped by wind, and needs plenty of water. Almost the same may be said of seaforthia elegans, but it is rather more robust and a little coarser.

I suppose the stateliest tree we may grow is a towering fan palm, stretching up forty or fifty feet, its trunk a perfect and graceful pillar, crowned with fan-like branches. Such a tree (the largest of the variety in San Diego coast region) is on the grounds of W. W. Stewart, corner E and Union streets, this city. This tree, which is now about 21 years old, is bearing blossoms this year for the second time. It matures no seed, owing to the last year being the first absence of any staminate flowered tree. This is the first tree of this variety blossoming in San Diego or this side of the mountains. Of course, there are plenty of them over on the desert, of which region the variety Washington sonorae,” is a native, and also in Lower California, from whence this tree was brought, I am told, by Mr. Stewart.

Both this palm and Washingtonia filifera, a close relative, until recently supposed to be identical, are grand trees for avenue work or for single planting or grouping. An example of its fine effect for avenue planting is to be seen in Howard park, San Diego, where is a double row, half a mile long. They have been planted seven years and receive only one or two waterings a year. To do their best, however, and to quickly attain their full stately stature they should have plenty of moisture.

The different varieties of the Phoenix, or date palm, are the most graceful of all, and unexcelled for all purposes of ornamental planting. It is hard to conceive a richer sight than a date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera), full or ripe fruit, eight or ten great golden clusters, weighing twenty-five to forty pounds, each hanging down from among the long, graceful, frondlike branches. Such a tree may be seen on the grounds of J. M. Julian, corner 6thand Cedar streets. I have seen it loaded with fruit, which I think would aggregate 300 pounds, is of fine quality, but not equal to the date of commerce for the probable reason that the blossoms do not receive pollination, which is necessary in the native land of the date. It may be accomplished here and perfect fruit produced, although it is possible that our climate may not furnish the requisite heat.

According to the old Arab saying, “The date tree thrives best with its head in the fire and its feet in the water.” Another tree in the city had last year a crop of fruit estimated at 600 pounds. This tree is over thirty feet high. I understand that it is soon to be destroyed by removal. The famous palm at Old Town and at the old mission are of this variety, as was also the noted one which graced our exhibit at the world’s fair in Chicago. Another variety, Phoenix Canariensis, is of a more handsome growth and is more desirable. It, too, makes a large tree, very spreading for a number of years. Phoenix Reclinata, Phoenix sylvestria and Phoenix tenuis are all more slender and graceful, but smaller sorts, all doing well here.

The three of four varieties of Arancaria, or Norfolk island pine, are beautiful, stately and striking trees that give a wonderful touch to the semi-tropic landscape. But there are so spreading when young as not to be available, except for lawns or grounds. They are quite rapid growth, requiring plenty of food and moisture.

The Grevillea robusta (silk oak), which has been extensively planted, should be entirely discarded in the future. It has so many bad habits that they scarce need to be enumerated, the worst of which is the constant shedding of unsightly dead leaves and seed pods. Its certainty to split down also makes it unfit for general use.

The Dracena, so much used in the past for sidewalk planting, is not long satisfactory for that or any other purpose, as it loses its beauty and becomes almost hideous after a few years. It seems to me to be quite as essential to warn against some trees that have been found objectionable as to tell the desirable ones.

There are many other fine trees suitable for planting here, but most of them have, as yet received no critical test. Those mentioned as satisfactory make an ample list from which to select.

For alkali or salty soils there are a number of suitable trees. Phoenix dactylifera, the date palm spoken of above, will endure a remarkable amount of alkali or salt. The statement is made in a report of the department of agriculture that there are in Arizona very fine bearing trees growing in soil, the water of which is so strongly alkaline as to kill animals which drink it. The Carolina Poplar, a species of cottonwood, is another tree good for alkali soils, and endures considerable cold. I have seen trees of this variety in Kern county, sixty feet high and two feet in diameter, growing in soil so strongly alkali that no crops would grow, while the temperature sometimes goes as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. But it requires rich, sandy soil and plenty of moisture.

The distance apart to plant is a very important consideration. Frequently the specimens are so crowded now that they have reached the age of 10 years or so, that they are all hopelessly marred; and very frequently they are so distanced they cannot be thinned by any plan that will leave the balance properly distributed. Before planting, the size of the tree at maturity should be ascertained as well as its rate of growth, and distance allowed accordingly. If a quick effect is desired from the planting, plant just twice as thick as they are to remain, then when half of them have been removed, the remainder will be where wanted. Don’t try to compromise on distance, as then you can never thin our satisfactorily..

The exact distance that the tree shall stand from the property line, as specified by city or county laws, should also be strictly observed. The oldest and finest trees in the city have had to be sacrificed because this was not observed in the plantings of past years. The trees had precious values, but they had to go.

In planting the sidewalk row of a small lot, the mistake is usually made of planting too many trees. For permanent planting, one tree of the larger growing sorts is ample for a twenty-five foot lot. If the lots each side are not planted, two may be used, one near each side. Smaller or slower growing trees allow somewhat closer planting. For a fifty-foot lot, two trees are enough to stand permanently, each twelve and one-half feet from the line, or three, where the lots on each side are not planted. Where a full block or more is planted, the distance should not be less than fifty feet.

As suggested before, temporary trees may be planted half way between at these distances, but the danger is that they will not be cut out before they begin to crowd, and mar the symmetry of the others. In cannot be too strongly urged that one or two symmetrical, well-developed trees, which can only be produced by giving them sufficient room and sunshine are worth vastly more than half a dozen crowded, stunted wrecks.

In digging holes for the trees, if a great depth of soil is found, go no more than eighteen inches or two feet deep, and as big around as you like. If hardpan is reached, blast it out and shake it up as far around as possible, provided that you can go through it so to insure drainage.

If large growing trees are selected, and the desire is to grow trees of noble proportions, they should be pruned very sparingly. Constantly, regularly cutting back any tree is the surest way to dwarf it.

San Diego Union, November 7, 1898, 7:1. City Playgrounds: How Chicago has provided for the children of the poor; vacant lots in squalid tenement house districts transformed into places of joy for the little ones; growth of the movement, by Mildred Merriam.

San Diego Union, November 11, 1898, 5:3. The weekly target practice of the police department was held yesterday at the park range. . . . .

San Diego Union, November 15, 1898, 3:1. Affairs of the City; Aldermen and Delegates Held Sessions Last Night: A message was received from Mayor Reed transmitting a communication from George P. Hall, county horticultural commissioner, advocating the idea of laying out small parks in this city, Mr. Hall stated in his communication that the beautifying of streets and the setting out of parks was something that should be taken up in earnest by the people of San Diego. He suggested that a block of vacant land in each ward be set aside for park purposes and be placed in care of the citizens of the various wards, an arrangement that would be beneficial to the city at large, since it would engender a spirit of rivalry between the various wards, each striving to have the best park. Or the large park, now unused, could be divided or sold, and the proceeds be devoted to the purchase of small tracts in different parts of the city. Mr. Hall dwelt upon the effect that well-kept parks would have upon visitors, and urged that the council devise ways and means for beautifying the city. The communication was referred to the joint street and park committee. . . . A joint resolution was adopted authorizing the Board of Public Works to increase the height of the protecting guards around the palms on the plaza at a cost not to exceed $12.50. Referred to the street committee. . . . Pound keeper Davis sent in a communication naming Anton Osuna and J. Martinez as his deputies. Action on confirmation was postponed.

San Diego Union, December 3, 1898, 3:2. Council Committees, City Land Committee: A recommendation will be made that the park superintendent report to the council at his earliest convenience the names of all persons using or occupying lands in the city park.

San Diego Union, December 6, 1898, 7:3. Affairs of the City; Proposition of Delegate Barnes to sell pueblo lands: A joint resolution was introduced by Delegate Barnes and referred to the city lands committee by both boards, proposition to sell one-half of all the pueblo lands of the city, one-half of the proceeds to be devoted to improving the roads leading into the city, and the other half of the proceeds devoted exclusively to the improvement of the city’s parks. . . . Both boards of the city council adopted the recommendation that the park superintendent and city engineer furnish the names of all persons using or occupying any part of the parks or public lands.

San Diego Union, December 16, 1898, 2:2. Board of Public Works: Park Superintendent F. E. Belden submitted to the board a report showing the names of persons located on the city park. These include John H. Gay, who is alleged to have fenced in 150 (?) feet of the park on the corner of Juniper Street and planted the same to eucalyptus trees; shows that Martinez Chick had fenced in 20x100 feet of the park at the corner of 6th and Date streets; that Mr. Morse had fenced in 25 square feet near the corner of 11th street; that Mrs. Boch had about 25 square feet with small house and shop on the park; that Mr. Starbird had about 100 square feet fenced in for a chicken yard at the corner of 11th and Ash streets; that Mrs. Mary Woodward has fenced in 25x100 feet near the head of the B-street flume, which is occupied by a small cottage; Mrs. Holt has a small cottage on the northeast corner of 11th and Ash streets; that John E. Springer occupies 200 feet of the park and has improved the same with a cottage, outhouses, and has planted trees; that Benj, J. McLaren also occupies 200 feet square on which he had a cottage and is preparing to plant about 1,000 olive trees. The report will be sent to the council at the meeting next Monday night.

San Diego Union, December 20, 1898, 2:1. Affairs of the city; meeting of aldermen and delegates: A joint resolution was adopted authorizing the city attorney to remove all squatters from the city park. Referred to the public lands committee. . . . A communication was received from the Board of Public Works submitting the names of squatters on city park lands.

San Diego Union, December 22, 1898, 3:2. Woman’s Home Association; an appeal to the charitable for Christmas remembrance . . . There are at present 22 inmates, besides matron, cook and nurse. . . . Mrs. Geo. W. Marston, President, W. H. A.

San Diego Union, December 23, 1898, 2:3-4. Geo. P. Hall’s Views; anxious for road and park improvement.

To The Union: No beneficial results are accomplished but by frequent reference to them. In fact agitation and candid consideration are the levelers by which public enterprises are forwarded, advanced, accomplished, or defeated. . . . Engineer Capps has a plan for converting some of the great park into lakes, boulevards, parterres, etc., all most commendable, and if nothing else can be done, by all means do that. But the plan is open to the objection that the entire park itself is remote from the population, inaccessible, and non-come-stable by the people who most need the refreshment of a park, namely invalids, who come here to recuperate; children whose parents cannot hire a team to take them a mile or two away, tired parents and nurses that need some place beside the four walls of their own house to find surcease from care and labor. . . . As a merely business proposition, how commendable it presents itself to our consideration, if the city abounded in parks and green spots of beauty, our rivals could not truthfully say to invalids intending to come here, “There was not a public park where they could rest . . .” . . . We wish Mr. Capps’ plan could be perfected and that portion of the city made as fair as Hyacinthus, but we most not lose sight of the needs of the majority who could never be benefited by them . . . Oh, the tired feeling it gives one to meet a conveyance driving over the city, and have them stop and ask, “Will you please direct me to a park nearby? I suppose there must be some place where you have masses of color or public gardens.” And you look up toward the gum trees that are dying in the Howard tract, you choke and are upon the point of saying, “Madam, I cannot tell a lie!” But you want to save the honor of the city, and put on your blandest smile, and say: “Have you seen our Howard tract on the hill?” . . . Beyond the fact that Mr. Barnes has never been notorious for any dishonest scheme and seems to maintain a pretty level head, what could be the possible advantage he could gain from the proposition to exchange enough of the pueblo lands to make some parks and fix up roads? This is a question the public ought to be interested in.

“San Diego City Park, 1869-1902,” by Gregory Montes

January, 1889. J. S. Mannasse asked the Council to let him use part of City Park near Cabrillo

Canyon for “gardening purposes.” (CCO, Folder 1, Parks – Balboa Park, 1896-1930, Doc. 4240,

filed January 21, 1899)

Opposition of Judge M. A. Luce (San Diego Sun article pasted on Doc. No. 4240).

San Diego Union, January 1, 1899, 9:7. A Great City Park: 1,400 acres of varied topography . . . The city of San Diego is the possessor, through the wisdom of her founders, of a park of 1,400 acres, lying in the northeastern portion of the city proper, part of it already surrounded by fine homes and beautiful drives. Though almost entirely unimproved, the park is naturally so beautiful that it is an attractive place, and with the expenditure of money, such as a city can well afford to appropriate, it will become one of the gardens of the world, in a semi-tropic climate capable of producing anything in plant life worth having.

The park is by nature divided into mesas, canyons, gently sloping hillsides, and little glades. The landscape gardener, who undertakes the task of creating a park, will find half or three-fourths of the work done. The culture of the rich soil is all that is needed to transform the place. Owing to its great extent, the park can easily be made a wonderland in which visitors could revel in the visible blessings of the climate.

Some years ago the late Judge O. S. Witherby, in the height of his fortune, secretly set apart $100,000 for the beautification of the park, and for the erection of buildings designed to afford shelter for aged women and homeless children. The buildings were erected, and much money expended on the grounds through Bryant Howard, who posed as the benefactor of the enterprise. This tract, still called the Howard tract, contains about 15,000 trees and is in a fair state of cultivation. The city is hampered for means for carrying out the work as outlined, and the decay of Judge Witherby’s fortune, through the baseness of associates, left the benevolent institutions unprovided for. One of the buildings burned down, and the other is still maintained as a children’s home and day nursery, doing much good.

A plan is now before the city council, for the disposal of a portion of the city’s 6,000 acres of pueblo lands, the proceeds to be devoted to the improvement of roads and the cultivation of the park. Should the plan be consummated, the first steps may be taken to improve the park on a systematic basis.

San Diego Union, January 12, 1899, 5:2. New military post will not be located on city park lands: The Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce held a special meeting yesterday morning where it was decided not to recommend the donation to the government of 600 acres of the city park for a twelve-company military post. Resolutions were adopted to that effect. A special committee was appointed. The members of the committee are G. H. Ballou, S. Levi, R. M. Powers, N. H. Conklin, Philip Morse, C. S. Hamilton and D. F. Garrettson.

San Diego Union, January 31, 1899, 3:1. Affairs of the City: A communication was received from the Board of Public Works, asking for an appropriation of $300 for cultivation of the Howard tract in the city park during February, and for an additional $1,000 for street repairs. Referred to the joint street committee.

San Diego Union, February 14, 1899, 3:1. Council in Session: The recommendation of the joint street committee was adopted, denying the request of the Board of Public Works for an appropriation of $300 for the cultivation of the Howard tract in the city park.

San Diego Union, February 14, 1899, 4:3. The Woman’s Home: condition of the institution and its needs; the home is on 17th and Ash; there are at present 22 children in the home whose general health is good.

San Diego Union, February 21, 1899, 3:1. Affairs of the City: Residents of Carruther’s addition protest against the erection of a water tank on the hill on 8th street, between A and Ash; W. W. Bowers said the idea of letting a corporation build a tank anywhere near objecting property owners was reprehensible. He thought the city park was the place for the tank. In reply to a question form Attorney Shaw, City Attorney Doolittle said the park could not be used by private persons or corporations for any purpose whatever, without being enjoined.

San Diego Union, February 21, 1899, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Proposed Expositions: . . . as said before, there should be only one exposition at the beginning of the new century. If San Francisco’s claims should be recognized and the affair could be made thoroughly successful by the cooperation of the entire coast, every effort should be put forth to carry out the project. But the people certainly do not wish another “mid-winter fair,” and unless the present plans promise a vast improvement over that undertaking, the quicker they are dropped the better.

San Diego Union, March 5, 1899, 5:2. Left to the City; Dr. John Allyn bequeaths $3,000 for park improvement, under the direction of the Board of Public Works; will filed in the county clerk’s office yesterday.

San Diego Union, March 5, 1899, 5:4. In General: The Pastime Gun club opens the blue rock session today from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the shooting grounds in the park.

San Diego Union, March 7, 1899, 5:3. Affairs of the City, Aldermen and Delegates Meeting Last Night: A request of the Board of Public Works for $300 for the cultivation of the Howard tract in the city park and the repair of driveways was allowed, after the amount was cut down to $150.

San Diego Union, March 10, 1899, 5:2. At a meeting of the Board of Public Works yesterday, the Park Superintendent was instructed to cultivate the Howard tract at an expense not to exceed $150.

San Diego Union, March 17, 1899, 2:1. Chamber of Commerce Directors’ Meeting: Discussion of exhibit at Paris Exposition; Director D. F. Garrettson presented chamber with a contour map of the city park which he obtained from the Board of Public Works.

San Diego Union, March 21,1899, 2:1-2. City Council Meeting, Mayor Reed sends in his annual message: . . . Because the city had previously contracted a bond issue close to the limit allowed by law . . . we must look forward to another term of municipal government without acquiring our much-needed and much-desired city hall, park improvement, boulevards, and general park drainage system which we so fondly hoped to provide during our term of office, and also without a settlement of the all-important issue of municipal ownership of water. . . . A joint resolution was adopted authorizing the Board of Public Works to expend $150 in cultivating the Howard tract in the city park.

San Diego Union, April 1, 1899, 5:3-4. Profanity of Capps; Revolting Language of the Candidate for Mayor; Professes friendship for E. S. Babcock, but affidavits of reliable citizens prove he is a rank enemy; foul words from his mouth.

San Diego Union, April 4, 1899, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Re-Elect Mayor Reed: San Diegans will not try dangerous experiments with municipal government. They will not elect for mayor a man absolutely untried in municipal affairs, and whose only claim to office is his rabid hatred of a company that has expended hundreds of thousands of dollars in developing water in this county.

San Diego Union, April 4, 1899, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Must not be Kansasized. Capps’ election means Flume rule. . . . With that corporation in control of the municipality no other water company can enter San Diego and extensive projects now well advanced toward completion must be in abeyance.

San Diego Union, April 5, 1899, 5:1. Capps is elected; chosen mayor by a small majority; the new council.

San Diego Union, May 3, 1899, 5:1-3. City Council Meets; Aldermen and Delegates elect George B. Watson their president; Mayor Capps hands in his message . . . I earnestly solicit your hearty cooperation in the early settlement of this seemingly interminable water question.

With a liberal supply of water, fine drives lined with shade trees, well-sprinkled streets, beautiful lawns and gardens, and last, but not least, parks, will be in evidence throughout the city. These improvements would not only be a source of pleasure and pride to our citizens, but would rebound to our financial benefit by attracting thousands of tourists and invalids from all parts of the world. Many would remain with us and become permanent and desirable citizens. I know of no public work that this city could to better advantage, and more profitably invest public funds than in the construction of handsome parks, in this land of sunshine and congenial climate, all of the semi-tropical, as well as many of the tropical plants will grow in the open air.

I believe it possible to create in this city the finest botanical parks and gardens in the United States. Our 1,400-acre park is a possession that would be the envy of any city in America. I realize that it is impossible for our young city to attempt to plant out so great an area at the present, but if no more than twenty or thirty acres were planted as an nucleus, we could each year make additions as our finances would admit it.

The message then follows with an exhaustive description of what could be accomplished in this direction by impounding the waters of Switzer, Pound and Powder House Canyons, which are now allowed to run to waste down the B street flume, Then the message continues:

The upper dam would be in Switzer canyon, next lower in Powder House, and the lowest in Pound canyon. Along the lower side of the contour ditch, the excavated earth from the ditch would be leveled off to a handsome boulevard, lined on both sides with shade trees, and irrigated from the flowing water in the ditch. Underneath the lower, or Pound canyon lake and the most accessible for our citizens, there will be some thirty or forty acres of land to be planted to beautiful shrubbery plants and vines, and there could also be constructed artificial waterfalls, fountains, rustic bridges, spanning lakes floating full of aquatic plants such as the Egyptian lotus, and all supplied with water under pressure from the lake above; this lake would be about one mile in length and from 100 to 600 feet in width. The water level would be maintained by drawing the water from the two upper (Powder House and Switzer) lakes, as fast at the water is drawn from this late to irrigate the park. Completing encircling this lake, a fine drive of over a mile in length would be constructed, and both sides planted in shade trees, irrigating themselves from the water in the lake. The surface of the road would be just high enough above the surface of the water in the lake so as to keep moist by capillary attraction. Thus, in brief, I have outlined a plan which I think is perfectly feasible and the whole of which will be entirely inside the limits of our 1,400-acre park, and a nucleus for future expansion.

San Diego Union, May 30, 1899, 2:2. Affairs of the City, Water Company’s Supply to be investigated; meeting of aldermen and delegates last night: The report of the joint street committee prohibiting shooting in the parks was adopted and an ordinance covering the matter was adopted. A joint resolution was adopted granting permission to gun clubs, military organizations and the police to shoot at targets in the park.

San Diego Union, June 6, 1899, 2:1. Affairs of the City, Meeting of aldermen and delegates last night: A message was received from the mayor calling attention to an old well in Pound canyon in the city park which is said to be deep and dangerous to life. The Board of Public Works was instructed to place thick planks over the well.

San Diego Union, June 20, 1899, 2:1-2. Affairs of the City, Meeting of aldermen and delegates last night: [The mayor’s] recommendation that the street sweepings be removed to Pound canyon to be available as fertilizer in the park, was referred to the street committee. . . . The report of the city lands committee was adopted recommending that the city attorney be instructed to prepare an ordinance setting apart pueblo lot 1337, containing the Torrey pines, as a park. . . . The Board of Public Works was instructed to have an unused well in the city park covered with planks at a cost of not to exceed $10.

San Diego Union, July 1, 1899, 3:3. Committee of the Council: A recommendation will be made that the city attorney be instructed to bring Ejectment proceedings against persons occupying lands in the city park without permission. . . . A recommendation was also made to the council that the message from the mayor recommending that street sweepings be dumped in the city park be adopted.

San Diego Union, July 4, 1899, 5:1-3. Council in Session: Mayor Capps’ proposition to impound water in Pound Canyon meets with favor.

Improving the Park

The following message was received from Mayor Capps

San Diego, Cal., July 3,1899

To The Honorable Common Council of the City of San Diego, Cal.

Gentlemen: The question of parks is one of great importance to our city, and of the many subjects in which your honorable body should take a deep interest.

I believe the proposition of impounding the flood water of Pound canyon to be the most practicable, and would serve a three-fold purpose, to wit: It would furnish water for a park of twenty-five acres; it would reduce the expense in the rebuilding of the B-street flume, and last, the connecting of this large lake of water with the distributing system to be turned on during a threatened conflagration, would not only save the city from destruction, but would have a tendency to increase confidence in our fire protection and, consequently, reduce insurance rates.

Now, gentlemen, in order to develop a plan and ascertain the approximate cost of making this improvement, I have a request to make of your honorable body, and that is to grant me the service of the city engineer as his force to make the necessary surveys, maps, etc., and I will take pleasure in taking an active part in such work, and will lend my assistance in every way to make a feasible plan to present to your honorable body.

I am informed that Dr. Allyn bequeathed the sum of $3,000 to be used for park purposes, provided the city or citizens raised a similar amount.

I do not think there is a doubt that this sum could be raised by our citizens, provided a suitable and feasible plan is developed for their inspection.

Hoping that the request will be granted at once, I am

Yours truly,


Mayor of the City of San Diego

The request was granted by both the aldermen and the delegates without discussion. President Marston of the chamber of commerce and several members of the horticultural society were present, expecting to address the council in advocacy of Mayor Capps’ request, but the aldermen and delegates were both so favorable to the proposition than no addresses were made.

The street committee recommended that the mayor’s suggestion of street-sweepings be removed to a dumping place in Switzer’s canyon be adopted. On motion of Lambert the report was filed.

San Diego Union, July 11, 1899, 5:1. Council in Session: Mayor recommends that seeds of the Torrey pines be planted in city park . . . A message was received from Mayor Capps in which he stated that he visited the Torrey pines section of the county, north of La Jolla last Saturday and found the trees widely scattered and poorly protected, with intervening stretches of grass than might at any time be set on fire, resulting in destruction of the rare trees. The mayor recommended that a quantity of seeds be procured from the trees and planted in a four or five-acre tract of the city park. An appropriation of $30 to $35 for this purpose was recommended. On the motion of Douglas Frevert, the matter was referred to the Ways and Means Committee. The aldermen concurred in this matter. . . . The Board of Health was authorized to expend the sum of $100 in irrigating and cultivating the Howard tract in the city park.

San Diego Union, July 21, 1899, 5:1. Board of Education: Building on Russ grounds.

San Diego Union, July 28, 1899, 6:1-2. Public Library: discussion of site; letter of acceptance and thanks to Mr. Carnegie for his offer of $50,000 for a library building; Mrs. Horton is rather inclined to the idea that a site in the city park would be best.

San Diego Union, July 29, 1899. 6:1-3. Public Library: some citizens favor a central site, others city park.

San Diego Union, July 30, 1899, 6:3-5. Public Library: women give their views; W. W. Bowers opposes park site. . . . Mrs. A. E. Horton gave her views as follows: . . . Four years ago when I first began to think of this project, the corner of the park between 6th, 7th and 8th streets seemed to me to be an ideal location, and I think so today. The ground is high enough to afford a magnificent view from the windows. The building would be an ornament seen from all quarters. The quiet of the locality is favorable for study. When our park improvement is finally begun, cars will run to the entrance of Date street, doing away with the inaccessibility now feared.

In Favor of the Park

To The Union: This is the time for some courtesy to be extended to the ladies of this city in connection with the selection of a site for the new library. It is owing entirely to the enthusiastic, persistent labor of Mrs. Horton, endorsed by the faithful cooperation of the “Wednesday Club,” of which she was the first president, that this splendid donation has been made.

These ladies should be consulted. The matter has been often canvassed by members of the Wednesday club, who desire to make the spot where the library is located the most attractive in the city.

The many visitors who come here ask, “Where are your parks?” “Where your trees and luxuriant foliage and greenery and flowers, we were prepared to see?” At present one can only explain in an apologetic manner, that the season has been dry, that the one little park that was a spot of beauty ten years ago, has been sacrificed for a public plaza and band stand. Even the fine old trees that were once in the courthouse yard had to give way to some fancied improvement.

It is true we have a park of hundreds of acres, unimproved and uncultivated. It is on such a large scale that we cannot hope to see it the thing of beauty intended in our generation. Why not take the nearest corner of the park, bounded by 6th and Cedar streets, and have one block set off for the library building?

The elevation will make it a sightly spot from all parts of the city and bay. Every person entering this city by steamer or railway can see it. Let us have a one-story mission building with a tower, after the style of the Leland Stanford university. Something picturesque and characteristic of the country. Let us adorn the land with all manner of tropical plants and trees, and vines over the building. Liberal donations of plants from citizens would be gladly made.

Let us have it where there will be quiet and peace and sunshine and view. When San Diego grows to its full size, this will be in the very heart of the city, and near enough for all who need the library, only one block from the cars on 5th street.

San Diego is quite devoid of handsome public buildings, let us make this such a beautiful spot, we can point to it with pride and enjoy it with our friends.

We not only want a handsome library building, but we want it set in a frame of green on an elevation where it can be seen, and in a place where the student can pursue his investigations without being distracted by the noise and bustle of commerce, and the artistic taste can be cultivated by the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful surroundings as well as the brain be nourished by the volumes in the library. Now is the time for the ladies of this city to take the matter in hand and by their advice and influence secure a whole block for this building. Let it represent the taste and culture of San Diego’s ladies as well as their perseverance and success.

Mrs. W. H. Bailhache

“Clattered About Parks”

To The Union: . . . I am tired about this eternal clatter about parks. There is probably no city, big or little, in the United States so park-cursed as San Diego is with its huge 1,400-acre scab, a miserable unsightly desert, a stricture upon the growth of the city, one of the greatest drawbacks San Diego has, but it is as sacred as a white elephant, and appears to be consecrated to disuse for all time.

I think there is just one thing this city should consider in connection with Mr. Carnegie’s offer to build a library, and it should be considered and decided quickly — the parks can wait. It would be the height of stupidity to purchase a block of land in the business center of the city, where the library should be located, to make a park, and if such a thing is insisted upon, we will get no library building. . . .

Will this city act in a business way and promptly act in this matter and secure the library, or will its prominent citizens continue to maunder about trees and parks and grass, and let the library drop out of sight.

  1. Bowers

San Diego Union, July 31, 1899, 6:3-4. Mayor Capps favors plaza as site for library.

San Diego Union, August 1, 1899, 6:1-4. City Park as library site seems impracticable; letter from Mrs. John C. Smith: Undoubtedly a fine library building would add picturesqueness to a somewhat arid landscape, and it might be well for the city to erect a building on the park site for tourists to gaze upon, it could be used for picnic purposes. . . . The library should be in the center of town accessible to all.

San Diego Union, August 1, 1899, 6:4. Letter from H. Sweeney in opposition to a library in the park: During the last six years, while the undersigned had the honor of being a member of the city council, more than one proposition was formulated to donate or use a portion of the city park for public purposes other than strictly park purposes. Twice within my recollection these propositions were worked to a finish — which was that we cannot use one foot of ground in the city park for any outside purpose without first obtaining an act from the state legislature allowing it. It is some 18 months before the legislature meets again. We surely do not want to wait that long to obtain a site for a public library building in the city park. Ergo exit city park.

San Diego Union, August 1, 1899, 6. Letter from Judge W. T. M’Nealy: . . . I am almost opposed to the city parting with any of the park. There is plenty of room without it for all other purposes, and we hope that we will not only need it all someday, but be able to improve it. . . .

San Diego Union, August 1, 1899, 6. Letter from Joseph Kinder . . . If the park theory is to be adopted why not get a corner 100x100 feet, then put up an artist building 75 x 75 feet, three stories high, with a margin on the two sides next to the streets of 25 feet, where could at all times be seen the beautiful grass, with the accompanying sign, “Keep off.” . . .

San Diego Union, August 1, 1899, 6. Letter from E. S. Sutton, M. D., visitor . . . The suggestions of Mrs. Horton and Mrs. Bailhache seem to me exactly to meet these needs [of finding a place where one can go and enjoy himself out of doors]. You have grounds for a city park, running down to within six or seven blocks of the business center, and within one block of the electric railroad. Fortunately, this ground is an elevated spot, furnishing a magnificent view of the bay and harbor and the city, sloping down to the water; the mountains to the east; and to the south the beautiful fruit-growing suburb of Chula Vista, spreading out its orange and lemon groves down to the Mexican line. . . .

San Diego Union, August 2, 1899, 4:1. EDITORIAL: The Library Site: . . . Obviously then, the city must do the best it can with the means that are quickly available.

San Diego Union, August 4, 1899, 4:1. EDITORIAL: A Library Suggestion . . . If a children’s reading room in the Milwaukee public library has proved so useful there is no reason why a like arrangement in San Diego’s new library should not be equally valuable.

San Diego Union, August 5, 1899, 4:1-2. EDITORIAL: The Practical Plan . . . The Union is not advocating any particular site. But this paper believes that with the proceeds of the sale of the city’s 5th street property, there should be no trouble in obtaining a library location that shall at least not be unworthy of the building.

San Diego Union, August 5, 1899, 5:2. Chamber of Commerce favors corner of 7th and C as a library site.

San Diego Union, August 7, 1899, 4:1-2. EDITORIAL: A Downtown Location . . . A fine library on the higher ground of the city would certainly be a sightly object, but it would not be patronized so generally as would one situated down closer to the streets, which everybody traverses. . . .

San Diego Union, August 7, 1899, 6:4. Council to discuss library sites tonight

San Diego Union, August 8, 1899, 8:2. Down to one of two sites; south half of Block 47 and the Witherby corner

San Diego Union, August 11, 1899, 5:3. No site yet selected . . . telegram from George W. Marston, in New York: Will give $2,000 towards whole block on 8th, 9th, D and E, or any block bounded by 5th, 9th, B and E. Nothing for half block, City can handle half block purchase alone.

San Diego Union, August 13, 1899, 5:2. Trustees may secure a block for library site; trustees may yet secure one; one citizen offers to give $5,000 toward it.

San Diego Union, August 16, 1899, 8:2. Trustees proceeding slowly on choice of library site; the Tower house block bounded by 3rd, 4th, F and G streets considered likely.

San Diego Union, August 18, 1899, 6:1. Proposed sites

San Diego Union, August 19, 1899, 3:3. Library site has not been selected.

San Diego Union, August 21, 1899, 3:1. Switzer’s kind offer; library four miles out; advantages of having the building out of town

San Diego Union, August 21, 1899, 5:1. Choice is between Nesmith Block and 4 and A.

San Diego Union, August 23, 1899, 6:2. Southern California Mountain Water Company (E. S. Babcock, president) will ask Council Monday night for authority to construct a reservoir in the city park near the Russ High School Building, near the end of 12th or 13 street.

San Diego Union, August 23, 1899, 6:3-4. More library location comment.

San Diego Union, August 25, 1899, 6:1-2. Views on library site.

San Diego Union, August 27, 1899, 2:2. Russ Annex being painted inside and out; will be ready for use by Saturday of this week; old assembly rooms in main building divided into two classrooms; four new teachers in high school.

San Diego August 29, 1899, 5:1. More discussion on library site; Members of the library trustees are Judge E. W. Hendrick, Philip Morse, Frederick W. Stearns, and James W. Somers; Letter from Lydia Horton: . . . When the corner of the park on 6th and Date streets was suggested as a location the great cry was made that it was so far from the center of the city, conceded to be the corner of 5th and D streets, so far as business is concerned, the voting center between E and F streets. . . . Balancing these two locations against each other, the park location is far preferable for beauty of site. It is one block from the car line, which is better for quiet study. The Nesmith block, on 9th and G streets, requires and outlay of from $10,000 to $22,000 (report gives both figures). While the park site is free and can be used by the city for its own buildings. Both sites are equally remote from the business center. ; Letter from G. P. Hall . . . The center of resident population, as it now is, is figured out to be at 6th and F, which brings it down from the hill top and approaches the H street location

San Diego Union, August 31, 1899, 3:1-4. The Union says vote on library site.

San Diego Union, September 1, 1899, 3:1-6. Voting on library site.

San Diego Union, September 1, 1899, 6:1-2. Park improvement discussed at monthly open meeting of Chamber of Commerce; large attendance; Kate Sessions reads paper; Mayor Capps outlines plan for storing water; C. S. Hamilton makes remarks.

There was a larger attendance at the meeting held in the Y.M.C.A. auditorium last night under the auspices of the chamber of commerce for the discussion of the park improvement question than at any of the previous meetings of a similar character. It is a pretty good indication that the interest in the meetings is increasing and that they are accomplishing the purpose for which they were planned, namely the arousing of interest in matters of public improvement.

Secretary H. P. Wood of the chamber of commerce presided at last night’s meeting in the absence of President Marston and Vice President Bailou. The remarks of C. S. Hamilton, who was the first speaker and who told of the efforts which so far have been made toward park improvement, were very interesting and gave a bit of past history to many who are not now old residents of San Diego. An unusually excellent paper on park improvement was read by Kate Sessions. She told of how the desert could be made to bloom as the rose. Mayor Capps read an interesting paper giving his plan for the improvement of about 35 acres in the city park by building dams across three canyons and making artificial lakes.

  1. S. Hamilton, in his remarks, first told of the effort made in 1886 to build a boulevard to Old Town on the bay shore. The moisture from the bay it was thought would keep the road damp and there would therefore be no dust and chuckholes. The plans were not completed before another council took office, and the new body abandoned the project. Mr. Hamilton then spoke of the main roads entering the city. He said that it was his idea that the principal roads leading to the back country should be kept in good condition. The minor roads could be sacrificed, if need be, for the main ones. The speaker then told of the reservation of the park lands over thirty years ago. After a large amount of land had been sold in the section, the city trustees decided to sell no more, and had the legislature pass an act reserving 1,400 acres for a city park. From that time to this, there have been numerous efforts to subdivide the park, but all have failed.

The New Town park was spoken of. This block was formerly the Spanish plaza and was set apart in 1886 for a park. The work of the Woman’s Association, which laid out that portion of the park north of 6th street, was touched upon, and also the park charities, on which $100,000 was spent by the late Judge Witherby and Bryant Howard. The Howard tract was laid out by these parties. Mr. Hamilton praised Mr. and Mrs Howard for what they had done. Mr. Hamilton then gave his idea as to the manner in which the park should be improved. He said it should be done gradually at the rate of $5,000 or $6,000 a year, and in that way the appropriations would not be missed. He was opposed to bonding the city, believing that the money which would be paid for interest would be sufficient to help the work along.

Miss Sessions’ paper was listened to with marked attention. She said that San Diego is so unique in her geographical position, so beautifully set on the hill slopes above the sea, and so individual in her climate, that the people need to be educated to the fact and keep it constantly in mind that this park must not be like any other park in the United States.

“We can grow a magnificent collection of palms that shall make one realize the beauty of a tropical growth,” she said. “We can arrange bamboo in groves and clumps that cannot be excelled in famous Japan. We can train vines over arbors and hillsides that will cover acres and be a marvel of growth and brilliant coloring. We can grow cacti from the deserts of California, Arizona and Mexico that will flourish and bloom and be of more interest to all travelers than almost any other order of plants. We cannot see these possibilities and results elsewhere for they have not been accomplished for several good reasons.

“Imagine a broad driveway one to two miles long bordered on both sides with a double row of palms, like the largest date palm in the court of Hotel del Coronado. The plant is only 12 years old, yet its spread is 40 feet from tip to tip, and its glorious crown of feathery vigorous greenness is magnificent and superb. Let us turn and admire those two fine cocos plumosas in the court, now 40 to 50 feet high. Along some broad path, rows of this variety of palm would make the landscape a close second to many of the celebrated palm avenues of the tropics.

“Select one of those sun-beaten, rocky south slopes leading down to a canyon, blow out with dynamite half a dozen holes, put in good soil and plant bougainvillea in the month of June. The pelting sun will start every cell into action, the great strong shoots will burst forth and revel in growth and vigor, and in three years they will have spread themselves over the hillsides and to the very top, a solid mass of oriental and extravagant coloring, gorgeous and artistic against the surrounding grayness.

“On the south slope a collection of a variety of eucalyptus trees would flourish. On the mesa a low rambling arbor, covered with palm leaves, would give inviting shelter and resting place. Hedges of pepper trees as a windbreak could give an ideal ferny background for a mass of poinsettias that might be acres in extent. On some gentle eastern slope to receive the first rays of the morning sun, the California poppy would grow to the exclusion of even the weeds. If we had but $1,000 a year to spend the money would be building a part of the grand whole, and not paying for work that in the future might be changed.”

Mayor Capps then read a paper outlining a plan for the improvement of a tract of about 35 acres of the park. His idea is to confine the flood waters of Switzer, Powder House and Pound canyons, connecting them with ditches in the form of a chain, and allowing the water to flow from the lake in Switzer canyon to that in Powder House canyon and then this water to flow into the lake in Pound canyon, making a park under each one of these lakes. Mr. Capps confined his remarks last night to the proposed work in Pound canyon.

It is proposed to construct a dam 30 feet high across the canyon to catch the winter rains. Several tables were given showing the amount of the rainfall and the amount of water that might be impounded. Mr. Capps said that his idea of the true design for a park is to copy wild nature as nearly as possible, all set designs should be excluded. As the water would be under pressure, waterfalls, fountains, springs and geysers could be made. There could be a running stream between two lakes, with rustic bridges across the stream. Clumps of tropical and semi-tropical trees and plants could be scattered here and there, interspersed with wild flowers and shrubs of this country: fill in the interstices with glades and glens of blue grass neatly trimmed, place in the shady nooks and dells lounging rustic seats and benches, and construct winding, strolling paths and carriage roads.

At the conclusion of Mayor Capps’ paper, R. H. Young moved that the chairman appoint a committee of five to prepare a memorial and present the same to the common council, the memorial to embody the plans of park improvement so set forth in the several papers presented to the meeting, also to urge as speedy action as possible. The resolution was adopted, and D. F. Garettson, Miss Kate Sessions, C. S. Hamilton, Capt. Maize, R. H. Young were appointed to the committee.

San Diego Union, September 1, 1899, 6:3. Water Committee discusses reservoir in city park; members favor granting the permission; President Babcock of the Southern California Mountain Water Co. to be invited to meeting with the Committee Tuesday night. . . . City Attorney Doolittle said, “I think it is doubtful we have the right [to allow a reservoir to be constructed in the city park]. If the reservoir was built by the city there would be no question about the right.”

“Have we the right to lease any part of the park?,” asked Delegate Thorp.

“Some time ago,” answered Attorney Doolittle, “the San Diego Water Co. showed a contract granted to it in 1873 or 1874 by the city trustees, giving the company the right to dig a well and erect buildings in the park, in return for a supply of water. That contract is still in force. A contract has also been made with Miss Sessions, giving her a portion of the park for horticultural purposes, but there has always been a question whether the contract was legal.”

“We should go a long way to help build a reservoir in order to get more and cheaper water,” remarked Delegate Ecker.

“Possibly, with the assistance of the legislature, the city could give permission to build a reservoir in the park,” said Attorney Doolittle.

San Diego Union, September 2, 1899, 3:1-6. New site proposed for library; the Gay block at A and B, 7th and 8th is favored; opinions expressed in coupons; Letter from Mrs. H. A. O. Pearson favoring Nesmith Block on H street.

San Diego Union, September 3, 1899, 1:1-2. Library Trustees select site on the Gay block near the B-street schoolhouse

San Diego Union, September 4, 1899, 2:1-2. Friends of Nesmith Block enter protest; will appear before the council tomorrow night; Colonel John Kastle expresses his views on the subject: How the three trustees can undertake to set up their judgment against all of their fellow citizens is something astounding.

San Diego Union, September 4, 1899, 7:1-3. Miss Sessions offers suggestions for beautifying the park (same as San Diego Weekly Union, September 7, 1899).

San Diego Union, September 6, 1899, 5:1-2. City Council in Session: Judge Hendricks reviews action of library trustees in selecting a site for library building; park reservoir idea discussed . . . Delegate Denton introduced a resolution setting aside a portion of the city park at 6th and Date streets, 300 feet square, as a site for a library building. On motion it was referred to the library committee. . . . The joint water committee submitted a report recommending that the Southern California Mountain Water Company be granted permission to construct a reservoir in the city park. The reading of the report was followed by the reading of a communication received by the city clerk yesterday from the Southern California Mountain Water Company stating that as the city attorney had given it as his opinion that if the reservoir were erected in the park any citizen could enjoin the Company from going ahead with its work, the Company desired to withdraw its petition, and ask for permission to construct a reservoir on ground leased to it. The communication asked that prejudice be not allowed to prevent the construction of the reservoir. The letter was filed. . . . The city attorney was instructed to prepare a resolution allowing squatters on the city park until January 1 next to leave the premises.

San Diego Weekly Union, September 7, 1899, 5:1-2. Beautifying the Park, Suggestions from Miss Sessions.

At the public meeting held last Thursday evening under the auspices of the chamber of commerce, the following interesting and highly instructive paper on “Park Improvement” was read by Miss Kate O. Sessions:

San Diego is so unique in her geographical position, so beautifully set on the hill slopes above the sea, and so individual in her climate, that we all need to be educated to the fact and keep it constantly in mind that this park of ours must not be like any other park in the United States. It can be different and individual because it is possible to be so, and it is not possible for others to pattern after it. We can grow a magnificent collection of palms that will make on realize the beauty of a tropical growth; we can arrange bamboo in groves and clumps that cannot be excelled in famous Japan; we can train vines over arbors and hillsides that will cover acres and be a marvel of growth and brilliant coloring; we can group cacti from the deserts of California, Arizona and Mexico that will flourish and bloom and be of more interest to travelers than almost any other order of plants, for the cactus is a native of the Americas only, and it is always full of interest to intelligent and admiring lovers from abroad.

We cannot see these possibilities and results elsewhere, for they have not been accomplished for several good reasons, but we can go about our city and see such specimens of growth of three, five, ten and fifteen years that give ample proof that such a palm or tree or vine can be duplicated by the hundreds and grow well. Go into the court of Hotel del Coronado, stand beneath that large date palm, the ornamental date (the Phoenix Canariensis) now only twelve years of age. You can just reach its lowest leaves, its spread is forty feet from tip to tip, and its glorious crown of feathery, vigorous greenness is magnificent and superb. If there is leisure to all beneath the airy shade, the twirling leaflets will fill your ear with music. Imagine a broad driveway, one to two miles long, bordered on both sides with a double row of just such sized palms and a path beneath.

When ten more years are added to the life of such a stately row of monarchs, their trunks will be taller, they will look more slender, and a veritable colonnade crowned with the same magnificent foliage will each year grow more beautiful and grander, and during all these years, the interesting line of mountains to the north and south, the indescribable blue of the ocean to the west, the sunny skies and balmy air overhead remain the same. Do you think many travelers would forget such a boulevard? Let us turn and admire two cocos plumosas in the court. While the grand Phoenix Canariensis has been growing to its present breadth and height, the graceful, plume-crowned cocos has grown forty to fifty feet high. Its smooth, hard truck is only eighteen inches in diameter. Along some broad path, rows of this variety of palm would make the landscape a close second to the celebrated palm avenues of the tropics. One such avenue at Rio de Janeiro is of the cocos plumosas, although the royal palm, the Orodoxa Regia, is the one generally seen in the tropics; it will not grow well here, though there are a few alive about the city.

Select one of those sun-beaten, rocky south slopes of the park leading down to a canyon, apparently worthless for a garden, mark a half dozen spots for planting, blow out with dynamite the surface, and fill with cracks and fissures the bottom of the holes, so the water can percolate; put in good soil and plant bougainvillea in the month of June. The pelting sun will start everything into action, the great, strong shoots will burst forth and revel in growth and vigor, and in three years they will have spread themselves over the hillside and to the very top — a solid mass of oriental and extravagant coloring, gorgeous and artistic against the surround grayness, and harmonious in the absence of any scarlet or pink from other flowers in mass. Such a covered hillside would need so very little care; a watering once a month in the summer at the roots of the vines only, would be sufficient.

On the slope opposite with a north exposure, where the soil is always more fertile, a collection of a variety of eucalyptus trees would flourish, On the mesa, where some little canyon runs out and a fine view is unobstructed, a low, rambling arbor covered with palm leaves would give inviting shelter and resting place. Over this grow the bright orange-covered Bigonia that blossoms so freely during the winter months. At one end of the arbor let a few trees be grouped and the vines would fairly revel in festooning themselves from arbor to tree and onto other trees. Hedges of pepper trees as a windbreak would give an ideal ferny background for a mass of sheltered poinsettias that might be acres in extent. On some gentle eastern slope, to receive the first rays of the morning sun, the California poppy would grow to the exclusion of even the weeds, a golden field that the children and the tourists could feast upon through almost the entire year.

The vine that has covered my little building on Fifth and C streets for several years, has a great deal of merit. It is a perennial morning glory from Chili, and it loves to spread itself over the ground and run down a slope. On some projecting mesa near the edge a few plants could be set and then by cultivating just the small area where the roots where, the whole hillside below during the summer months would rapidly be covered with a greenness that would be as effective at a distance as a lawn. During the cooler months of winter the vine would be somewhat shabby, but never wholly devoid of greenness, and when the spring’s warm sun fell upon the dormant rope-like stems, fresh foliage would burst forth at every joint. Heat and dryness, and a very little water will accomplish a great deal with this plant.

It is unnecessary to try to picture more possibilities to your imagination. These few suggestions are quite sufficient, I hope, to bring out the idea that we do not need to have all the drives and paths bordered with well-kept lawns or made brilliant with conventional beds of bright foliage plants, as beautiful, more brilliant, interesting and unique can be the planting under the guidance of a skillful landscape architect. The flora of South Africa, Australia, and Mexico offer to use the greatest variety of interesting and new exotica and plants that are but little known in cultivation throughout the United States, except to the intelligent botanist.

Central park of New York was remodeled by America’s greatest landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, but at the time that it was done, about fifty years ago, New York was already a large and wealthy city, and had learned to appreciate how to work correctly. Boston has during the past fifteen years completed a grand new park system under the same most careful and experienced architect, but she, too, was a city of culture and wealth, and had a century’s experience and wisdom behind her. We see how these older cities have been doing their best park work of late years that is showing itself today and commanding the admiration of the public. It is not necessary for San Diego to begin at the foot of the ladder and experiment and lose time and money as older cities have done in the past. We know how the best work is being done, and we ought to begin our work on the same plane of intelligence that Boston, Detroit, Chicago and other cities are working on today.

The landscape architect is considered by many the greatest of all artists, and yet such an artist is available within our means. With the very best plan adapted to this individual locality in our minds, every clod that is turned, every cobble that is moved, every path that is made, every tree that is planted will be permanently located. If we had but $1,000 a year to spend, that money would be building a part of the grand whole, and not paying for work that in the future might be changed. It would be to our credit to work in this way and show that we appreciate what a park means, and that we will be glad to see the next generation go on with the good work we have begun. We can work just as fast as our means will allow and know that we are working economically, because safely. Such plans are not at hand, but an opportunity for someone to establish a beautiful memorial by giving such plans, with the privilege of naming the park, is at hand, and the honor of furnishing the plans for this park is certainly enviable.

Professor Sargent of the Arnold Arboretum of Cambridge, Mass., has said that a park here in this remote and exceptional locality is a botanical necessity for the United States. That beautiful memorial, the wonderful collection of glass flowers given to Harvard university, shows that there are those who appreciate such donations to science, and are thankful for the opportunity to give. Such plans would probably cost $10,000 to $15,000, depending upon the details of the work. We may not be favored with a gift of plans, but we can provide them ourselves by earnest effort and united action. A meeting can be called in the same spirit of this one, its object to devise the best ways and means to provide the best plan for our park.

A plan by the best landscape architect in the United States in hand before work is begun has been my fondest hope for this park. I have had the best opportunities to cherish this hope, for my bread and butter has been earned on her fertile mesa by hard labor during the past seven years. Daily I have hoed the soil, gathered the cobbles, given water to the dry and thirsty land, and walked miles among the beauty and fragrance that has responded to my care. The northwest corner of the park has been the birthplace and the nursery of a large part of the beauty that now surrounds many a home in this city in the form of climbing vines, waving palms, blossoming shrubs and fragrant roses.

The landscape architect who would undertake a plan for our park, would of necessity be obliged to reside here while he worked; he would need to see and feel the beauty of situation, study the peculiarity of climate, and learn to know the possibilities of growth by comparison with that growing throughout California.

I cannot help but feel sure that every dollar spent in park work by the city or by any individual would be the very best investment of money. In the next ten years we cannot expect to erect buildings to compare with those of the other cities, but we can accomplish most gratifying results in park work.

Being a California, I could not realize what a wealth of floral beauty we commanded in California until I went to Chicago in 1893. The variety of trees in her parks was very small, and the vines about the finest residences were confined to less than six sorts. Not a good rosebush did I see in the miles of driving about the city, and the one date palm in a tub on the lawn of the Potter Palmer residence, was a forlorn specimen indeed. I know, of course, that Chicago has a very severe climate on plants, but it proved to me conclusively that California deserves all the praise that she received for her luxuriant and varied flora, and along this line the municipal improvement should work stronger and more generously.

San Diego Union, September 8, 1899, 5:1-2. Plenty of business for Library Committee.

San Diego Union, September 9, 1899, 8:3. Protests against Gay block; Carnegie’s agent heard from

San Diego Union, September 11, 1899, 6:1. Fighting in Stingaree.

San Diego Union, September 13, 1899, 4:2. EDITORIAL: Dreyfus and the Exposition

San Diego Union, September 13,1889, 5:1. Library Committee will meet tomorrow night.

San Diego Union, September 14, 1889, 6:1. Advocates of Nesmith Block will work in the interest of Banks’ Block.

San Diego Union, September 15, 1889, 6:3. Banks’ property on 10th street to be offered to city in exchange for a half-lot owned by the city or with proceeds from the sale of the half-lot, which amounts to the same thing.

San Diego Union, September 16, 1899, 8:2. F. S. Banks site, bounded by E and F, 10th and 11th streets, favored; Councilmen give their views; apparent likelihood that Bank’s offer will be accepted.

San Diego Union, September 17, 1899, 3:1-3. New site offered; a half block on H street; the offer originates with the former advocates of the Nesmith Block and will be offered free of cost.

San Diego Union, September 19, 1899, 6:4. Hendrick’s plain talk; the trustees have done their duty; now let the people, do theirs, he says.

San Diego Union, September 21, 1899, 6:2. Library committee will consider proposed sites.

San Diego Union, September 24, 1899, 5:1. George W. Marston returns from an eastern trip.

San Diego Union, September 26, 1899, 5:2. The City Council – library and other matters: A joint resolution was adopted allowing squatters in the city park until January 1 next to remove and the city attorney was instructed to notify them of the council’s action.

San Diego Union, September 19, 1899, 6:4. Library site question remains unchanged.

San Diego Union, October 4, 1899, 6:1-3. New site selected, the Hazzard half block; library trustees decide to locate the Carnegie building there; can be had for $11,000 or $1,000 and the city’s half lot; site is bounded by E, 8th and 9th street and has a frontage of 200 feet on E street and 150 feet each on 8th and 9th streets; George W. Marston advocated the purchase of the entire Hazard block by an issuance of bonds by the city.

San Diego Union, October 7, 1899, 5:1. Library matters; special meeting of council; ordinance adopted providing for sale of the south half of lot C in block 35 of Horton’s addition; advocates of Nesmith Block appear and offer whole block for the City’s half lot.

San Diego Union, November 7, 1899, 6:2-4. City Council in busy session; Ralph Granger’s offer of $8,300 for the city’s half lot is rejected; to be sold again; railroad franchise is granted to the Chamber of Commerce committee; D. C. Collier offers $9,000 for the half lot.

San Diego Union, November 22, 1899, 4:1-2. EDITORIAL: The Mayor’s Veto of a common council resolution taking the decision of an inferior tribunal invalidating the water bonds to the supreme court; San Diego must settle this water question sooner or later. Substantial progress has been made in that direction since the city voted the bonds in 1896. All that now remains is to get the ruling of the court of last resort.

San Diego Union, December 12, 1899, 6:1-2. Library site matter settled; aldermen and delegates unanimously approve the selection of the Hazzard half block on E street; communications relating to the other proposed sites returned to the senders. . . . The petition of La Jolla residents to have La Jolla park included in the pound limits was granted.

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