By The Staff
Through the expenditure of half a sheet of sandpaper and a few postage stamps, we now are able to state definitely the age of the old San Diego — Julian stage coach, housed in the loggia of the Serra museum; its date of construction was August 17, 1866.
On the bottom of the center seat, under many layers of paint, was reported to be a number. By careful application of the sandpaper, the paint was rubbed away until the number, sunk into the wood by a steel die or stamp, was revealed — the number was 158.
Through the courtesy and interest of Elmer Munson Hunt, Director of the New Hampshire Historical Society at Concord, New Hampshire, the number became significant. He ran it down through the old records of Abbott-Downing, creators of famous Concord coaches, where the entry for Coach No. 158 showed it to have been built for E. M. Herr of New York, to whom delivery apparently was made on the date mentioned.
Much work remains to be done before the story of that venerable coach — by far our most popular tourist attraction — is completed. Unfortunately, much of which has been written in the past will not stand up under rigid scrutiny. We know that it ran between San Diego and Julian; we understand that before coming here it was used in Santa Barbara County, although so far we have been unable to substantiate this. And now, thanks to our new-found friend in Concord, we know its exact date, and the name of the original owner. Who will fill in the gaps with sound, historical fact?
From the San Diego World of May 11, 1873:v
Mr. J. D. Dorlan, having completed his new school house, will reopen his school tomorrow, Monday . . . Attached to the building is a large yard, enclosed by a close board fence six feet high. This yard will be kept strictly for the use of the female pupil, during the play hours, the boys using the common in front of the building for that purpose. Mr. Dorlan has so arranged his new building that the sexes will be kept separate and it is his intention to remain in the school house during lunch-time or recess, so as to prevent those who bring their lunches to school from leaving the playground, and wandering about the city during that hour. The boys and girls will hereafter be dismissed at separate times in order that they may be kept apart as much us possible. In the future as in the past, Mr. Dorlan will keep the closest watch over the morals of his pupils and will we In it that no language having the lightest tendency to slang or other impropriety shall be used by anybody, in or about his school … Four weeks will constitute a school month. Terms, $2.50 per month, invariably in advance.
NOTE: The foregoing was extracted by Herbert E. Hensley; who adds: “I think, from some previous references to Mr. Dorlans pedagogical activities, that this school of his was at the site of the original ‘yellow’ ‘pink’ or ‘B Street’ schools at Sixth and B Streets.”