The Journal of San Diego History
San Diego Historical Society Quarterly
April 1959, Volume 5, Number 2
Jerry Macmullen, Editor

[the first item was printed on the previous page, but fits better here]

IT TOOK SAN DIEGO JURIES a long time to get around to convicting people for such trivial things as cattle-stealing, according to Capt. Rufus K. Porter, local correspondent for the San Francisco Bulletin, who wrote the following in August of 1867:

“The great event of the past week has been the trial and conviction of a Mexican for killing a beef belonging to the family of Don Francisco Ames, who reside in the ranch of Los Coches. I learn that a conviction by jury has never occurred in this town before for a similar offense…. The culprit in this case has long been suspected of living on other people’s stock … The first jury could not agree, as the wife of the accused has many relatives among the Californians in this town; but the last jury did not weigh anything but the testimony, and could not help finding him guilty. The sentence was comparatively light, $100 fine or the cage at $3 a day. He found the con que to fix the fine and went off rejoicing. People find fault with the lightness of the punishment, but it seems hard to shut even a cattle thief in such a jail as this county boasts for a long time at this season of the year. Cattle stealing is the great crime in these cow counties, as there is no protection against them, and a thief can rarely be caught in the act by anyone who will follow up the matter.”


BURTON CITY is just another of the long-forgotten place-names of the West Coast; its location was near where Ensenada, B. C., now stands, and it appears to have been another of the enterprises of an early civil engineer whose activities in the Southwest were nothing if not varied. On February 2, 1871, the San Diego Union announced that O. P. Calloway had left to lay out the new town which was, of course, going to become the metropolis of Baja California. Calloway was the man who gave San Diego its first water system, supplied from wells in Pound Canyon; he also was at one time Superintendent of the San Diego-Fort Yuma turnpike, and he filed, in San Diego, the first claim for water from the Colorado River. At the time of his death a few years later, he was working on an ambitious irrigation project in the Palo Verde Valley.

IN ADDITION TO BEING FIRE CHIEF, Henry Bayly appears to have been the father of “heavy industry” in San Diego. Following an unsuccessful attempt to have James M. Donahue of San Francisco’s Union Iron Works locate a plant in Roseville, Bayly arrived here early in December of 1872, and leased land for his foundry in the block bounded by Sixth, Seventh, E and F Streets. Not long after its establishment, the foundry was called upon to effect some fairly heavy machinery repairs for the U. S. S. Narragansett, The job was done in such a manner as to win high praise from her chief engineer and from her commanding officer, Comdr. (later Admiral) George Dewey. Active in civic affairs, Bayly was elected as chief of the volunteer fire department on Oct. 3, 1876, succeeding Joseph Faivre, a real estate dealer.

HARD-FISTED MINERS “getting away from it all” by organizing debates and other activities of a cultural nature were not found solely in Bret Harte’s poems — such as Truthful James’ account of that hectic “…society, upon the Stanislaus.” On January 4 , 1872, the San Diego Daily World announced that the Ready Relief mine was sinking a new shaft in the Banner district — and that the people of that rugged little mining-town were organizing the Banner Debating Club. There is, unfortunately, no further account of the forensic activities of San Diego County’s miners, and with the end of the Julian-Banner gold excitement, the group passed into oblivion.

THE JULIAN-BANNER DISTRICT was not alone in producing gold in San Diego County. An item in the Union for January 17, 1889, reports that A. K. Cravath, manager of the Escondido gold mine, was in town to attend to the processing of gold ore running up to $385 a ton, at the National City Reduction plant. At that time, the mine at Escondido was “working 24 hours a day” with two shifts of miners.


Victims of progress in 1958 included the famous old Crosthwaite adobe in Mission Valley, which stood not far to the south of Highway 80. Below, left, a little gem of Victorian “story-book house” architecture, at Union and Grape Streets, was one of the victims of the coast-Jong super highway which cuts through mid-town San Diego.At the right, the stately old Munier home in lower State Street comes down to make way for a parking lot. (Crosthwaite photo from Union Title’s historical collection.)