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Looking Back to 1936: News from the sixth annual Pioneer Day 

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 Monday, October 12, 1936, Daily Telegram:

Big crowd at Pioneer Day celebration

By Frank Gehring

All traffic on San Luis Obispo County highways led to Paso Robles Monday, when the Almond City was host to its sixth, and greatest Pioneer Day.

Highways from all directions were crowded with traffic, moving in a steady stream to the big north county get-together. On the pavement was car just behind car, while on the soft dirt beside the concrete were groups of horsemen and horsewomen, riding to the varied entertainment, which the city was offering free to all who would come.

Contests open

From 9 a.m. when the horseshoe pitching contests opened to the close of events at sundown, there was something doing every minute to delight the record-breaking crowd that attended.

Moving promptly at 10:30 the two-mile parade passed through the business section before a massed crowd, at least 20,000 visitors being in the city to view the events of the day.

Only the highest praise was heard from everyone on the work of the general committee, for the smoothness with which the many events were conducted, giving credit for the efficiency which handled a great multitude of large and small details to make the celebration a perfect one.

Paso Robles Pioneer Day 1936

Click here to read the full front page.

Perfect hosts

Gene Booth, general chairman, Jared Brush, assistant general chairman, and representatives of civic, fraternal and patriotic organizations, and the people of the city as a whole, worked with the utmost enthusiasm to be perfect hosts to the central coast section of California, in a striking and brilliant review of the Pioneer Days of the section.

Celebration highlights

In the old vehicle section, a 1905 Auburn, an early-day Reo and a pioneer Model T Ford attracted much attention.

Whiskered men, all over the place, with whiskers all over the face, added to the pioneer atmosphere of the celebration.

J and R Almond Ranches had an almond grader in operation on a float, with a group of young women, labeled “The Nut Gang,” throwing almonds to the crowd.

Two girls in bright scarlet jackets and white trousers of satin carried the banner ahead of the Taft Union high school band, of 50 musicians in military uniforms of two shades of blue.

Efficiency in “dishing out” the ton of free stew prepared by Roy Cammack and his committee, came in for much praise by thousands of visitors.

A huge Scotch longhorn steer, and a Mexican longhorn led the parade by cowboys from Cholame ranch, caused some of the spectators to draw back from the procession as the animals passed.

As usual, the Standard Oil announcer car was on the job, acting for the committee in telling the crowd all about it.

Promptly at noon, Gene Booth, general chairman, announced through the loudspeakers that the combined bands would play “The Star Spangled Banner” as a tribute to the pioneers who are gone, and the crowd stood at attention, the men with bared heads, and women with hands over hearts as the national anthem was played.

Miniature newsroom is depicted

Creating much favorable comment along the line of march at Paso Robles Pioneer Day celebration was the float of the San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram-Morning Tribune, which presented a miniature newsroom.

At the typewriter, a staff writer for “You Newspaper” was clicking out the story of the parade, following a preview of entries before the march began. The story with others written on the float, appears in this issue of the newspaper.

Copies of a special feature section of the Daily Telegram prepared especially for the day, were distributed by regular carrier boys to the crowd.

Through the courtesy of Hugh Coleman, San Luis Obispo Ford dealer, who contributed the truck and driver, the view of modern newspaper operation was made possible.

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, (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.

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., (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.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

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