Murder and Farming in Paso Robles

by Harold Franklin

The big news of 1915 for our area was the trial of Charlie Reynolds. It seems rough Charlie had left his farm and family on the north side of Creston and South El Pomar Roads. In the fall of 1914 he had spent a month or two fooling around with the wife of William Jardine over on Jardine Road, one of the two farming Jardines living along that road. They had come to that area by 1890. But then Charlie returned to his family and wife and put in his crop.

According to the local newspaper accounts, the two men had had some hard times with each other, including Charlie’s bunkhouse being blown up with him inside. Charlie was out harvesting on his farm in the summer of 1915. Jardine came riding into the farm’s yard on his horse, blood in his eye and his gun loaded. He set out to find the combine with his arch enemy. The header tender yelled to Charlie that Jardine was coming. Reynolds had his gun with him.

Old Paso over riverShots rang out in the field and Jardine lay dead. The jury ruled the shooting was justified and acquitted Charlie Reynolds of the murder. Enough said!  Some time later Reynolds lost the farm in debts. Jim Wilshusen bought the farm and farmed it until the 1980’s. Today the Roots live in Reynold’s house and 40 acres of the original farm of  800 or more acres.

Charlie moved near Paso Robles living several blocks west of the present Centennial Park in the farm’s house and barns on what is called Red Cloud Street. Charlie farmed all the land along the Airport Road, now Creston Road, and Niblick Road, then an un-named dirt track. It was the 1930’s and on the west side Coates had 20 acres or so, Lyell had his house and barn and sheds alongside South River Road with his alfalfa field across the road down to the river, now Albertson’s lot. There was no electrical substation. Capitol Hill Drive was off what is now Creston Road with the deep gully and canyon separating Coates property from the Capital Hill Drive and running up behind the Trinity Lutheran Church with its trails, once a deer route to the river. Tom Cropper had his house and property across the road from Bryans Beef slaughter house west across the road next to the river.

Charlie Reynolds farmed barley until the late 1950’s. Charlie also farmed the 241 acre E.C. Livingstone property on the east side of Spanish Lakes. Livingstone was the Allis Chalmers tractor dealer for many years in the metal building beside the railroad tracks at 13th Street; Cuendett’s blacksmith shop was across the street with the Lundbeck Brothers Blacksmith Shop on the south side, the original site of the first elementary school in Paso Robles in the 1870’s. The Pioneer Museum’s front façade is a copy of Lundbeck Brothers shop. Paso Robles High School vineyard is on part of that Livingston property. Harold and Wesley Franklin bought the property in 1947 and owned it until the 1990’s.

Different folks began buying parts of the farm in the late 1940’s including Paul Borkey along now Niblick Road.  Paul also bought what is now the Golf Club land from Mrs. Sharon about the same time. Mrs. Sharon’s house was back a quarter mile just north across the Shack Creek springs from Creston Village. She gave me a ride in her buggy about 1940. Clarence Wakeman bought the 200 or so acres from Borkey in the late 1950’s and the Schwartz brothers bought it in the early 1960’s and developed the Paso Robles Golf and Country Club. Jeff Nickerson bought the part of the Reynolds farm including the house and buildings about 1960. Trigo Lane was the first part developed about 1961 of the whole tract

With the building of the Golf Course, the dirt road was named Niblick Road and paved. One house on the road was Bill and Anna Cuindette Brown’s house about where  the School’s Administration Parking lot is now built.

Today Charlie Reynolds place is five schools, five churches, Centennial Park and hundreds of houses. The old olive orchard was located at the high school playing fields. Lyell’s house and barn are gone along with Tom Cropper’s house. In 1948 Tom Cropper used his CAT D7 and a carryall to realign Creston Road from South El Pomar all the way to Sherwood Acres and Niblick Road.  The road was renamed Creston Road from the Salinas River bridge to the original Creston Road past the big bend at Charolais Road. Tom was killed when his D7 rolled over on him when clearing land on the Erickson place past Creston a couple years later. Maurice Coates passed away two years ago and now his land is the last being developed into houses. Time marches on.

Harold Franklin

Pioneer Day Bake Off Registration Open!

Registration is now open for the 125th Anniversary Bake Off at Pioneer Day!

If you are an Amateur, Professional or Youth (under 18), submit either an Apple Pie, Cobbler or Cupcakes for a chance to win an award and major bragging rights.

The judges for the BAKE OFF are Brigit Binns, cookbook author; Andre Averseng, owner and chef of Paso Terra Seafood; and Sara Jester, pastry chef for Artisan Restaurant.

Enter the 125th Anniversary bake off, win bragging rights.

Enter the 125th Anniversary bake off at Pioneer Day, win major bragging rights.

If you’d like to participate in this fun event, here are more details:

Contest Rules for Pioneer Day Bake-Off 

  1. Pre-registration opens 9/12/2014 and closes 9/30/2014. Register below.
  2. Submissions must be home cooked (not store bought).
  3. Contestants may submit only one entry. 
  4. Contestants can be Amateurs, Professionals or Youth under the age of 18.
  5. Categories for baked items are:
    a. Apple pie
    b. Cobbler
    c. Cupcakes
  6. Please do not submit anything that requires refrigeration.
  7. Please deliver your entry in a disposable container or serving dish.
  8. Each submission should include a registration form. Preregister below by 9/30 (preferred, it helps us stay organized) or register the day of the bake off by 10am at the park.
  9. All submissions will become property of the 125th Anniversary committee, to be used in the cake walk.
  10. Winning recipes may be posted on the 125th anniversary website with winners’ permission.

Contest Day:

  • Check-in is from 8:00am to 10:00am on Pioneer Day, October 11, 2014, in the City Park gazebo.
  • The Contest Representatives are Jennifer Bravo and Rene Zavala, assisted by volunteers Pam and Jack Alch.
  • Awards will be given out at 2:00PM.

The Scoring System:

  • Each contestant will be assigned a number for judging so the contestants will be anonymous.
  • Submissions will be judged on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest.
  • Submissions will be judged on taste and appearance.
  • The Contest Representatives will tally all of the ballots. The contestant with the highest score in each category will be the winner of that category.

WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT 2:00PM THE DAY OF THE CONTEST.

YOU NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN.

Rules are subject to change.

Register here: 

City Library celebrating 125th birthday party with kids

kids-decorating-cupcakesIn honor of the City of Paso Robles’ 125th birthday, the Paso Robles City Library will host a birthday celebration for children ages 3-8 on Saturday, September 13 at 2:00 p.m. in the library conference room. Guest of honor, local author Elizabeth Spurr, will read to children from some of her best-selling picture books including a perennial favorite, The Biggest Birthday Cake in the World. Following the special birthday story time, children are invited to decorate their own birthday cupcakes using goodies that will be provided.

Elizabeth Spurr“Children love to celebrate birthdays, and the library wanted to be sure that the youngest Paso Roblans had a wonderful way to celebrate their city in style during this 125th anniversary year,” said Heather Stephenson, Children’s Services Librarian at the Paso Robles Library. “We are planning a fun-filled afternoon at the library, and while we may not have the biggest birthday cake in the world, there will be plenty of sprinkles and icing on hand.”

There is limited space to attend the birthday event, so those who wish to attend will need a free ticket which will be available at the children’s desk of the Library thirty minutes before the start of the 2 p.m. program.

Biggest birthday cakeMs. Spurr’s many picture books including one of her newest titles, Monsters Mind Your Manners, will be available for autograph and purchase during the program. To learn more about Elizabeth Spurr visit http://www.elizabethspurr.com.

The Paso Robles City Library is located at 1000 Spring Street and is open Monday – Friday 10-8, and Saturday 10-5. For more information on library programs and events, , please call the
library at 237-3870 or visit http://www.prcity.com/library.

Pioneer Day Bake Off Rules

Registration is now open for the 125th Anniversary Bake Off at Pioneer Day!

If you are an Amateur, Professional or Youth (under 18), submit either an Apple Pie, Cobbler or Cupcakes for a chance to win an award and major bragging rights.

The judges for the BAKE OFF are Brigit Binns, cookbook author; Andre Averseng, owner and chef of Paso Terra Seafood; and Sara Jester, pastry chef for Artisan Restaurant.

Enter the 125th Anniversary bake off, win bragging rights.

Enter the 125th Anniversary bake off at Pioneer Day, win major bragging rights.

If you’d like to participate in this fun event, here are more details:

Contest Rules for Pioneer Day Bake-Off 

  1. Pre-registration opens 9/12/2014 and closes 9/30/2014. Register below.
  2. Submissions must be home cooked (not store bought).
  3. Contestants may submit only one entry. 
  4. Contestants can be Amateurs, Professionals or Youth under the age of 18.
  5. Categories for baked items are:
    a. Apple pie
    b. Cobbler
    c. Cupcakes
  6. Please do not submit anything that requires refrigeration.
  7. Please deliver your entry in a disposable container or serving dish.
  8. Each submission should include a registration form. Preregister below by 9/30 (preferred, it helps us stay organized) or register the day of the bake off by 10am at the park.
  9. All submissions will become property of the 125th Anniversary committee, to be used in the cake walk.
  10. Winning recipes may be posted on the 125th anniversary website with winners’ permission.

Contest Day:

  • Check-in is from 8:00am to 10:00am on Pioneer Day, October 11, 2014, in the City Park gazebo.
  • The Contest Representatives are Jennifer Bravo and Rene Zavala, assisted by volunteers Pam and Jack Alch.
  • Awards will be given out at 2:00PM.

The Scoring System:

  • Each contestant will be assigned a number for judging so the contestants will be anonymous.
  • Submissions will be judged on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest.
  • Submissions will be judged on taste and appearance.
  • The Contest Representatives will tally all of the ballots. The contestant with the highest score in each category will be the winner of that category.

WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT 2:00PM THE DAY OF THE CONTEST.

YOU NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN.

Rules are subject to change.

Register here. 

Old Paso: Paso Robles High School Initiation

by Harold Franklin

PRHS photo courtesy of www.pasorobles-usa.com

PRHS at 24th and Spring, photo courtesy of http://www.pasorobles-usa.com

This farm boy was scared to begin high school. The Senior class initiated the Freshman the third week of school. I was not very familiar with the school but had attended various community functions in the auditorium over the years. But I was not familiar with the campus.

The brick building had been built in 1924 in a camping park. The front faced  Spring Street which was busy Highway 101 with its diesel trucks and vehicular traffic. The walls were covered in ivy. The first high school was a three storied building built in 1892 at what is now the Marie Bauer School. The third story was removed after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. This new high school was two story on the half facing the Highway. On the north end on the second floor was the library and study hall and one large classroom on the south end. On the second floor one could walk down the enclosed hallway and look to the west over the roof of the first story rooms. Large pictures lined the second floor wall with classes from the 1920’s and 1930’s. The school cafeteria was the first room on the north second floor with the chemistry room next to it. The building had been strengthened with steel beams and ties after the large 1933 Southern California earthquake. During my Sophomore year in 1952-1953, the outer layer of bricks were jackhammered off, steel reinforcing tied on the walls and gunite concrete shot onto the iron grid to strengthen the building. The bricks and ivy look was gone. Continue reading

Old Paso: The Southern Pacific Milling Company

by Harold Franklin

TrainDepot 1890

The Southern Pacific depot circa in 1890. The original building still stands today and is currently the home of Anglim Winery.

Paso Robles was in the center of a huge grain growing area. It just needed an impetus to develop. This finally happened on October 31, 1886, when the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in  our town and the engineer blew a long, loud blast with his steam whistle that echoed and re-echoed through the hills and plains.

For eleven years the railroad had ended at Soledad. Then 1,500 Chinese laborers began laying track on the right-of-way behind the surveyors and grading personnel in the spring of 1886. The track ended at Crocker, now Templeton, for several years. Within a couple of days, railroad cars arrived loaded with redwood lumber and a crew to build a warehouse. The warehouse was a separate entity from the railroad, The Southern Pacific Milling Company. This company was set up quickly to get the farmers and ranchers wheat and wool. The company offered sacks, twine, insurance and all the necessities needed by the farmers moving into the area.

It was a monopoly. Offering higher prices than the ports of Cayucos, San Simeon and Port Harford, the prices were still low. The Blackburn Brothers and James had built a bridge across the Salinas River in 1887 and the Cliff Road, now South River Road, for the farmers. Along with all the necessary items needed for ranching and farming, soon a mill was set up to produce feed, as well as a planning mill for dressing the lumber offered by the company. They also offered all types of farming implements needed for working the soil.

The S.P. Milling Company warehouse was built directly east of the depot across the tracks. Special crews built the warehouse, the depots, and the 60,000 gallon water tanks required by the steam engines. The crew quickly set up in a few weeks the redwood warehouse that was 50 feet wide and over 660 feet long. The walls were 14 feet high with open rafters to the roof. Later the warehouse was extended to almost 1,000 feet long to handle all the business. The warehouse was 50 feet wide. Every 50 feet on the railroad side was a door through which boxcars could be unloaded and loaded.

On the Riverside Street side were doorways with side steps every 50 feet where the grain sacks were unloaded from the wagons and later years the trucks. These sidings were about 4 feet high so the hand trucks could be used to haul 5 sacks at a time into the warehouse. Wheat weighed about 140 pounds to a sack with barley about 120 pounds.  A hand truck with 5 sacks of wheat was about 700 pounds.

Continue reading

Paso Robles Pioneer Day Celebration Includes 125th Anniversary Elements

Pioneer Day Celebration Includes 125th Anniversary Elements

Beer garden, bake-off, old-fashioned kids’ games and more planned!
Funfair Graphic_Pioneer Day

 

With a theme of “Old Fashioned Funfair,” the Paso Robles 125th Anniversary celebration is
teaming up with Pioneer Day to bring a few new elements to the City Park during the 2014 Pioneer Day in honor of the city’s Quasquicentennial year.  The event takes place Saturday, October 11, 2014.

In addition to the local favorite parade and other activities, there are a handful of fun elements planned to keep people in the park after the parade, including a street dance, a beer garden, a bake-off for amateurs and professionals, old-fashioned kids games including a cake walk and tug of war, and more.

Beer and Ginger Ale Garden Oaktoberfest12oz
Just east of the gazebo you will find the first ever Pioneer Day Beer and Ginger Ale Garden. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, ever dedicated to supporting its community, has donated beer to this event to be sold as a fundraiser for the 125th Anniversary. Ginger Ale will also be for sale, donated by Pithy Little Wine Company. Bottled water will be available for purchase.


Bake Off apple pie
Are you an amateur or professional baker? Got a famous recipe for apple pie, cobbler or cupcakes? Bring your creation down to the park before the parade for your chance to win bragging rights and recognition in the local media. No charge to enter. Local “celebrity” judges to be announced. For more information contact Shonna Howenstine at 227.7236 or shonna@prcity.com.


Kids Games
Come introduce your kids or grandkids to the games you loved as a kid. There will be a cake walk, tug of war, sack races, hula hooping and more. Located east of the gazebo.


Street Dance Monte Mills
Let the good times roll! A street dance will take place on Pine Street between 11th and 12th Streets, adjacent to the beer and ginger ale garden. Local favorite Monte Mills and the Lucky Horse Shoe Band are the entertainment.


Antique Equipment Display
Select Pioneer Day parade entries including some of the finest antique wagons and tractors anywhere, will be on display on 12th Street from 1:00 to 4:00 PM for the public to view and take photos with.

Volunteers Needed
If you are interested in being part of this fun celebration as a volunteer, please contact Suzanne Robitaille at 237.7811 or srobitaille@prcity.com.


Paso-125th-Logo_webAbout the 125th Anniversary Celebration:
2014 marks the 125th Anniversary of Paso Robles incorporating as a city, and the community is celebrating the occasion all year, including the “Happy Birthday, Paso Robles” event held on March 11, 2014; the old-fashioned 4th of July celebration; an Old-Fashioned Family Fun Day in the park during Pioneer Day in 2014, a grand finale on December 31, 2014, and many more events in between. For a complete list of events celebrating the 125th anniversary throughout 2014, go to www.paso125.com.

About Paso Robles: Recently named Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Paso Robles, California is located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on Highway 101 and is roughly a 20 minute drive inland from the Pacific Ocean. This small farming town boasts 250+ wineries, a charming historic downtown and town square, comfortable lodging accommodations, farm-to-table dining, art galleries, shopping, hot mineral springs and friendly locals. For more information about Paso Robles, CA, please visit  www.TravelPaso.com.