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Looking Back: No Destruction of Caledonia Inn Declares Highway Board 

Click here to see the full front page of the Thursday, October 30, 1930, Paso Robles Spotlight.

Excerpt from the Thursday, October 30, 1930, Paso Robles Spotlight

HIGHWAY TO PASS HOSTEL, MAY BE SET BACK AS ALTERNATIVE

DATES TO 1835

Structure Rich in Traditions, Stands in Way of New Line

Caledonia Inn, historic landmark, near San Miguel, will not be destroyed and in all likelihood will not be moved.

This was the cheering statement made today by Ellard W. Carson, right of way agent, district 5, division of highways, in an interview with the Spotlight.

Characterizing as “unwarranted” the assumption that the state highway department would seek demolition of the ancient structure Carson declared two alternatives in the Inn controversy present themselves.

Two Alternatives

One: The highway will be surveyed to pass in the rear of the structure or (two) the building itself will be moved back fifty feet, allowing the highway to pass in front of it with ample parking space for visiting tourist-motorists.

“The Spotlight is the only paper in the county that has called upon the highway department to get the true facts in the matter,” Carson asserted. “We appreciate the interest you show in bringing accurate information to the public. The highway department, you may assure the club women of this county is entertaining no notion of doing away with the structure.”

Lester H. Gibbons of the highway department is in Sacramento, and has presented alternative surveys to the highway commission. In any event, it was pointed out, the Inn will be preserved intact. A Paso Robles firm of house movers has already bid on the removal of the edifice should the commission decide to follow the original line, publicity on which brought San Luis Obispo county in arms against an implied threat of destruction.

Wires Sent

Photo courtesy of Rios-Caledonia website.

Wires were hot throughout the week as telegrams poured into highway and State governmental offices at Sacramento. Aiding the embattled organizations the Paso Robles Spotlight added its weight to the citizens’ plea with a telegram requesting the cessation of survey until an investigation had been undertaken.

Caledonia Inn is linked with the Missions. It was builded [sic] in 1835 of materials taken from San Miguel Mission. The old Inn is firmly woven into the historical fabric of the county and the coastal region.

Editor’s Note: Today, known as the Rios-Caledonia Adobe, the old inn is a California Historical Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The adobe is located at 700 S. Mission Street, San Miguel, California. For more information visit the Rios-Caledonia Adobe website.


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.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.