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Looking Back to 1931: Local news from 91 years ago 

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 Wednesday, September 2, 1931, Paso Robles Advertiser:

Orcutt opens new market

Don Orcutt opened his new branch meat market in the grocery department of the Paso Robles Mercantile Tuesday. He is prepared to give the same excellent service there as at his other market in Hibbard’s Grocery.

Saturday, the Mercantile and Mr. Orcutt are inviting the local people to come in and inspect the new arrangements. Sandwiches, cakes, ice cream, coffee and other delicacies will be served to those coming into the store.

The store will be closed Monday, Labor Day.

Looking Back Paso Robles

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Stores to close here Labor Day

There will be a general closing of stores in Paso Robles on Monday, on account of the Labor Day holiday. Housewives will have to lay in a large enough supply of eatables Saturday to last over the double holiday.

Many Paso Robles people are planning to take advantage of the Sunday-Monday vacation by visiting out of town.

Water level not receding in reservoir

Contrary to the gossip that has been going about, the reservoir supplying Paso Robles with water is practically full. During the protracted heat wave last week, and while forest fires were burning all about Paso Robles, the water level did go down a foot or two, but has since risen.

If the new well had not been sunk, Paso Robles might have been in crying need of water, but the five foot well more than supplies the needs of Paso Robles.

Old Shandon landmark is torn down

Having withstood wind and weather and the ravages of time for more than 40 years the old S.E. (Jack) Worden building has been razed to make room modern bungalows by C.E. Clark, and the new owner of the property, and Eldon Tucker, son of Fred Tucker, who sold the property to Mr. Clark.

The building was formerly a hotel and saloon and was a stopping place for teamsters with jerkline mule times and big loads of wheat from the plains and outlaying districts, when there were no fences for many miles and feed grew to the horses’ withers.

Later the building was converted into a high school and used as such for several years, being abandoned about seven years ago. Some of the old timers have many romantic and thrilling tales to tell of what took place in the old time barroon and hotel in the days when the Dalton boys were frequent visitors to relatives in San Miguel and Paso Robles.

Swimming parties popular with Paso Robles women

A group of Paso Robles ladies met last Wednesday, and again yesterday morning for a swim in the plunge. Last week, after the swim, Mrs. C.G. Melgard served the group with a dainty breakfast at her home on 14th street. This Wednesday, the ladies took luncheon together after a pleasant hour in the water. These two were so successful, that the swimmers are planning to repeat the party next week.

Those attending the swims were: Mesdames C.G. Melgard, sponsor, Otto Kuehl, Wilbur Coburn, Mamie Thompson, Don Orcutt, Charles Kennedy, Wesley Weideman, George Singleton, William Fisher, M.S. Fisher, Walter Goff, Grace Lyle, and Miss Eva Franklin.

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, (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,, (805) 227-0440.

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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.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

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