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Looking Back: December 1888 

Looking Back Paso Robles

Click here to read the full front page of the December 22, 1888 Paso Robles Leader

Editorial comments about the December 22, 1888 Paso Robles Leader

In 1888 undeveloped acres were lying idle and “this county has been isolated from outside communication, its only connections being by tedious stage journeys or a rough passage by way of the ocean.” The Southern Pacific railroad changed that isolation, by “forging through this vast and fertile country” bringing the area within “eight hours ride of San Francisco.”

Then young local communities added their own character:

  • Creston boasted the “usual number of business houses in a young place.”
  • Santa Margarita, “With its accompanying ranches, the Atascadero and Asuncion, the property of the Murphys,” covered sixty thousand acres and was “one of the grandest estates in California.”
  • Templeton was a “village of just two years growth.”
  • Paso Robles was long “famous as a health resort, its well kept hotel, its baths and pleasant grounds being favorably known to man thousands of visitors in search of health and pleasure.”
  • Santa Ysabel was an area of “Hot Sulphur Springs, where flows a large body of hot sulphur water,” with the promise to be turned into a “fashionable resort” by the San Francisco syndicate of owners.
  • In San Miguel, the Mission San Miguel de Archangel was not quite 100-years old. San Miguel was the home of the newspaper, the “Messenger” and “shares the prosperity of the place.”

Looking back the “pioneer days of San Luis Obispo county are past” by December 1888, “relegated to the niche of history that tells the story of the early days of all sections and countries.”

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. See the society website for more information about becoming a member or donating to any phase of this project.

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



About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at