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Looking Back to 1934: Burglars net $100 from warehouse safe, locals killed 

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 Research Director Jan Cannon. Newspaper photography by GiGi Green.

Excerpts from the Thursday, November 29, 1934 Paso Robles Advertiser:

Burglars net $100 from empty safe at warehouse

Thief doesn’t believe in signs; leaves message behind

A curious coincidence resulted in the loss of $100 which had been placed in the safe at the Farmers Alliance Association warehouse over the past weekend.

It was an old-fashioned safe, and on it hung a sign bearing the legend, “No money in this safe.” Originally, that sign spoke the truth, but an oversight Saturday, made it necessary to place the $100 in it along with the papers, notes and record books of the organization, for which it furnished a regular housing place.

When employees returned to work on Monday, it was at once evident that the office had been burglarized and authorities were notified. Entry had been through a trap door in the floor of the office; the padlock was removed from the save, and its contents scattered over the room. No fingerprints were found by the experts called in from the county seat to aid local authorities in their search for the criminal; nor was any trace of the safe’s padlock or evidence to show how it had been removed from its place discovered.

The only clue is the memento left behind by the thief or thieves, which was added to the sign on the safe door and read: “Don’t believe in signs.”

Paso Robles history

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Two killed in an accident near Santa Maria

Local contractor and son were enroute to Carpenteria

Funeral services for John C. Rooker, 58, and his son Arthur Rooker, 19, who were killed instantly in an unexplained traffic crash eight miles south of Santa Maria early Sunday, were held at 11 o’clock Tuesday at the Kuehl Funeral home. The bodies were taken to Escondido for interment.

The dual tragedy occurred about 10:30 Saturday evening, according to officers on the Solomon Canyon stretch of the coast highway, when the machine in which Rooker and his son were traveling collided with a car driven by Frank Takao, Oso Flaco farmer. Because all persons involved in the wreck were killed, and there were no witnesses, the accident could not be reconstructed, and the exact cause of the tragedy cannot be determined, officers said. Both cars were practically demolished.

Rooker and his son were enroute to pay a surprise visit at the home of another son, Garrett Rooker, and his family in Carpenteria, it was learned. He is survived by his wife and six children.

Early landmark purchased for its lumber

Announcement was made Monday of the purchase of the frame building on Thirteenth Street which adjoins the property of the Paso Robles Women’s Club by Otto Van Horn of this city. Mr. Van Horn will raze the structure, salvaging the lumber, with which he intends to construct a modern home adjoining his present residence at 428 19th Street. The wreckage of the old property was begun on Monday by L. D. Payne, and the new building will start within a short time, Mr. Van Horn said.

Built originally as a rooming house by Mrs. George Dickey, the property has passed through many hands in it’s over 40 years of existence. It has been a residence, medical office, private hotel, and chop suey palace within the memory of most citizens.

Its most recent owner was the mortgage holder, the amount of which is said to have been $6,000.


Read previous Looking Back articles


Thank you to the 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.