The Journal of San Diego History
Spring 1981, Volume 27, Number 2

We came from Evansville, Indiana, Rosebud, Texas, Quincy, Georgia and a hundred other places.

You can find the records and the dates, how many of us there were, where we came from, and where we lived back in the early days in San Diego. But the records don’t tell you what it was like …

We were maids, cooks, bootblacks, porters, janitors, blacksmiths, waiters, nurses, gardeners, and dressmakers. We owned hotels, laundries, a mortuary, a jewelry shop, restaurants, a bakery, blacksmith shops, and we laid sidewalks for the city of San Diego. We published a newspaper, passed the county bar, started our own churches, lodges, and clubs, practiced medicine, and started the Julian gold rush.

We can remember church meetings and how good Aunt Alice’s pomegranate jam and pound cake tasted. We remember how folks used to talk about who was “kin” and knowing just about everybody in town.

We remember the year the Sweetwater Dam broke, when the Bennington blew up in the harbor, and when the Exposition came to Balboa Park.

We remember taking the streetcar downtown to the Savoy Theatre or going out for a ride in a carriage to El Cajon.

We remember all this about San Diego back then because we were there.