The Journal of San Diego History
October 1963, Volume 9, Number 4
Jerry MacMullen, Editor

Discussion and controversy over Scenery vs. Billboards are not by any means limited to the Freeway Era; probably the first example in San Diego County is exactly three-quarters of a century old. The Board of Supervisors, on Oct. 16, 1888, gave due consideration to a complaint about painting advertising signs on rocks and bridges. The complaint came from the El Cajon Road District, and was on a somewhat different basis from complaints of today: such signs, the district declared, frightened horses.

The late judge Oliver S. Witherby (1815-1896) is a well-known figure in local history as a jurist and civic leader in many fields, but so far, no one has connected him with the operation of lighthouses. Recent research by Ross Holland reveals that when the judge was serving as Collector of Customs in the early 1850s, his duties included supervision over all of Southern California’s lighthouses. There weren’t many of them to inspect, and it is not indicated that he ever left San Diego to visit, for example, the bleak headland of Point Conception, in Santa Barbara County.