San Diego: All in a Day’s Work

“It was planks that were laid crossways and I think they were about like three-by-tens. They were much longer, which would be wider for the road, than maybe eight or ten feet. In other words, for just one car. Then every so often maybe they would have a little wider section to pull out to pass. Without them, you just couldn’t have gone along at all on the sand. Even then the wind would start to come along and blow sand over it and they would lose it temporarily until they could dig them out again. Those would be around 1916-1917-1918; in those years we did that.” …William E. Waite (b. 1910, interviewed 1987)

“We were getting a little low on gasoline so we found a big ranch. I think it was the second biggest ranch in California. They were very good to us and got us a 5-gallon can of gasoline and we went on our way. However, the gasoline was a little dirty, and we had to take the carburetor apart and use one of Mother’s hairpins to clean it out.” …Ralph D. Lacoe (b. 1898, interviewed 1981)

“My husband worked for Nason & Company for quite awhile and then he had his own business, trucking produce from here to Imperial Valley. He did that for a good many years. He was always in the produce business. In the old days it took a day and sometimes a day and a half, to get to the Valley and he made about two trips a week for a long time. He hauled all kinds of fruit and vegetables and potatoes. Imperial Valley was not developed then as it is now—there was no railroad in there, and they depended on San Diego for a lot of things. He had two great big trucks. They usually came over on Saturday afternoon, loaded up and would leave the first thing on Sunday morning so as to be in Imperial Valley the first thing Monday morning. Then they would bring back in season—cantaloupe, lettuce, carrots—and sometimes he brought back livestock, pigs, but he didn’t do that very often. He did that for thirteen years.” …Dora Eckenrode Maydole (b. 1886, interviewed 1960)

COMMUTING   “But in the very early days before there was even the launch service, we used to have Kelly’s Livery Stable drive the Tally-Ho out to Point Loma and we’d all drive in the Tally-Ho down to San Diego. For individuals going down, we had a horse and buggy to drive across town. Do you know where the Naval Training Station is now? That was just mud flat in those days, and at high tide sometimes we just couldn’t get across. It was flooded. Then, as I say, we crossed over the bay. Then, later on, they ran a streetcar out as far as Chatsworth. We’d go in on the streetcar. Then the automobiles came in and the buses. I’ve gone all the way through from the one-horse way up to the present time.” …Iverson L. Harris (1890-1979, interviewed 1971)

SDHS Photo sensor 6-319.
SDHS Photo 82-13673-339.

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More photos An article in the Journal of San Diego History (Summer 2000) includes several more of the photographs from this exhibit.