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Looking Back: 200 take plunge for free swimming lessons, San Miguel School breaks ground 

Looking Back Paso Robles

Click here to read the full front page of the July 13, 1950 Paso Robles Journal.

Excerpts from the Thursday, July 13, 1950 Paso Robles Journal:

200 Are Enrolled for First Swim Lessons

–Two hundred answered the call Monday morning at the Paso Robles municipal plunge for the free swimming and life-saving classes when Miss Alice Durham, executive secretary, and her aides, Mrs. Ed Page and Mrs. Harold Bennett, enrolled the applicants.

Ray Bryant, head instructor with Robert Osman and Carolyn Reich as assistants, soon classified the entrants and set the time for classes.

The classifications were Beginners, 119; Intermediates, 33: Swimmers, 24: Sr. Life Savers, 6: and Jr. Life Savers, 18.

These are to be held as follows: 8:30 to 9:30, Life Saving; 9:30 to 10:15, Swimmers; 10:15 to 11:00, Intermediates; 11:00 to 11:35, Beginners; 11:35 to 12:15, Beginners.

Each candidate is urged to be on hand in a bathing suit when the lesson starts, ready to begin the class on time.


Ground Breaking Ceremony Held for San Miguel School

Ground breaking ceremonies for the Lillian Larsen school at San Miguel were held Sunday afternoon at Almond Acres with about 200 persons attending. Mrs. Larsen, who has taught in the elementary school for the past 27 years, turned the ground for the new site to which the present building, now four blocks away, will be moved.

R.W. Mann was master of ceremonies for the occasion. Principal speakers were Senator Chris Jespersen and Howard Negley, member of the school board which originally hired Mrs. Larsen.

The program was opened with a blessing by Father Urban of San Miguel Mission, followed by the singing of “America” by a group of children presented by Mrs. Kenneth Fee.

Negley introduced Mrs. Larsen who was escorted to the ground breaking location by Mrs. Louise Beyers.

San Miguel American Legion Post No. 749 presented the colors. Joe Heinsen directed the Legion drill team. Kenneth Heinsohn, commander, spoke for the Legion.

Mercedes Cisneros presented flowers to Mrs. Larsen, pointing out that she had taught eleven children of the Cisneros family. Also presenting flowers were Bert and Ann Turnbow and Kenneth Fee, Lions club president.

Bunn Turnbow, president of the San Miguel school board, represented that group on the program.

Also introduced were Mrs. Jespersen, Fred Houghton, 92, and the oldest resident of San Miguel, and Mrs. Larsen’s husband, Louis Larsen.

The Rev. Clarence French gave the closing benediction.

The platform truck was decorated with daisies, gladioli, and snapdragons, and ferns for the occasion.


Read previous Looking Back articles


This “Looking Back” view at Paso Robles history comes from one of the hundreds of local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. Several local newspapers, dating from the 1800s, have reported on local, national and world events, providing priceless historical views of our community that are not available from any other source. The Historical Society is seeking community support for the multi-phased Newspaper Preservation Project to help fund the transfer of these aged and fragile pages to microfilm and digital images.

Photography of the old newspapers is by Gigi Greene. News for this column is selected with the assistance of the society’s Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon.

The Paso Robles Historical Society is located in the Paso Robles History Museum at 800 12th Street in Downtown City Park. Visit the Paso Robles Historical Society website for more information about exhibits, research, becoming a member, volunteering, or donating.

The Paso Robles Daily News is pleased to support this important project. Watch this space for future “Looking Back” articles.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.