Catherine: A San Diego Girl.
By Charlotte Taylor Rowe. San Diego: Howard M. and Charlotte Rowe, 1988. Photographs. Bibliography. 89 pages. $16.50
Reviewed by Raymond Starr, San Diego State University
Catherine is an affectionate and charming account of the early life (up to marriage) of Catherine Fletcher Taylor, one of Ed Fletcher’s daughters. The book covers a childhood in early twentieth century San Diego, and gives some good insights into the community of that time, at least through the eyes of the elite. The book also provides insights into the character of Ed Fletcher, one of the leading citizens of the time; his family; and many of his friends. The book is illustrated with a number of photographs which appear to be from family albums and which have not been published before. The stories focus on family life and include social activities, trips to the backcountry, Del Mar, and La Jolla, especially in automobiles. Although the book is about family life and not public life, the focus on the outdoors, automobiles, and travel, does help us understand Ed Fletcher’s lifelong commitment and efforts on highway development and park development in San Diego. As a picture of one person and one family, Catherine is a charming book which will appeal to anyone who knew the Fletchers, or who is fond of early San Diego. On another level, the book illustrates the New England based value system, with its emphasis on family, education, nature, and responsibility–which was responsible for so many important contributions to the development of San Diego in the period 1900-1920.