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Looking back to 1888: Paso Robles becoming a leading health resort in America 

Looking Back Paso Robles

This look back at Paso Robles history comes from local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. News for this column is selected with the assistance of the society’s Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon.

Excerpts from the Paso Robles Leader, December 22, 1888:

Undeveloped acres lying idle – an opening of great promise to all

San Luis Obispo County covered an area of land larger than the states of Rhode Island or Delaware. Before 1888, the county had “been isolated from outside communication except for tedious stage journeys or a rough passage by way of the ocean – either of which were neither pleasant nor rapid.” The Southern Pacific Railroad changed that isolation by “forging its way through this vast and fertile country, and we are now within eight hours ride of San Francisco daily.”

An “incoming of settlers on public lands and the subdivision and sale of the great ranches of the Huer-Huero, Eureka, Paso Robles, and Santa Ysabel,” brought changes “influenced by the construction of the Southern Pacific Railroad.”

Looking Back to Paso Robles 1888

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

Paso Robles

This locality has long been 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. But since the coming of the railroad, a town has been bult with not a few handsome business houses. The town provides ample grounds, including a large plaza near the Springs property, a large bath-house has been erected at a cost of over $20,000, the preparations for the erection of a palatial hotel have been commenced. All this together with many more improvements, will make this one of the most attractive and commodious health resorts in America.

Panorama view Paso Robles 1888

San Miguel

San Miguel has been a stage station and a small trading center through the period of American occupation, and since the advent of the railroad has sprung forward to a town of rapidly increasing dimensions. A newspaper, the Messenger, is published here and shares the prosperity of the place.

Templeton

A village of just two years’ growth, on the Paso Robles rancho on the west bank of the Salinas river. The place was sprung into existence as the terminus of the railroad, which is now rapidly slipping away; but the village has gained a strong foothold, and in common with all the town on the railroad will be greatly benefited by the completion of this line.

A reverie

The vast region of fertile land surrounding Paso Robles is pre-eminently suited for the fruit tree – not one or a dozen varieties, but of every variety that grows in Central or Southern California. The grape, the fig, the orange, the olive, not to mention the commoner fruits, grow rapidly and mature to perfection in this climate, nourished by the rich, warm, and moisture-retaining soil of our valleys, plains, or mountain sides.

We behold this grand country, rich in natural resources, grow from its struggling infancy of to-day into the ripened development of maturity, attended with the consequent enhancement of values, accumulation of wealth and strengthened enterprise from active business competition. The pioneer days of San Luis Obispo county are past—relegated to the niche of history that tells the story of the early days of all sections and countries.


Read previous Looking Back articles


Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back

Paso Robles Pioneer Museum – Come take a real look back into local Paso Robles history. Open Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446, www.pasoroblespioneermuseum.org (805) 239-4556.

Estrella Warbird Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display is also open. Hours: Thursday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, ewarbirds.org, (805) 227-0440.

Creative Concrete & Design delivers the highest level of professional concrete work. Operating in San Luis Obispo County since 2002, Karl Rush brings 35 years of concrete experience to every job and will ensure that you receive the very best quality work. Over the years they have completed a great many works on residential homes. They are very creative and willing to explore options for your next project. Concrete projects have many factors to consider to bring your vision to life. creativeconcreteanddesign.com, (805) 896-1384.

Golden Anchor Financial Services is committed to helping you find the right mortgage product for your needs. They understand that every borrower is different, and offer a variety of products to meet individual requirements. They make the process of securing a mortgage simple and straightforward by offering you the latest in financial tools that enable you to make sound financial choices. Call them at (805) 473-7733 on the Central Coast or (559) 473-7733 in the Central Valley.

1800 El Pomar is the site of a historic Templeton ranch located just three miles east of town. The property features an iconic, aged redwood barn, 3 story tank house, original farmhouse with an outdoor garden, original water tank structures, and many other original ranch buildings. Set on 20+ acres of vineyards, the 360-degree views of rolling oak-studded hills and surrounding vines are a photographer’s dream. A prime ceremony location exists in the vineyards behind the barn between two beautiful oaks. The northwest-facing location creates plenty of shade for your guests in an early to late afternoon setting. A perfect venue with plenty of open space to customize your wedding or event. www.1800elpomar.com.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

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