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Looking Back to 1946: Pioneer Day queen and grand marshal named, first fair held 

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 18, 1946, Paso Robles Journal:

Pioneer Day queen and grand marshal named

Two of our beloved and highly esteemed pioneers have been paid the highest honor of Pioneer Day.

Mrs. Mary E. Fowler of 1445 Vine Street will reign as Queen of the Day.

James Lemen, better known as “Jim,” and a pioneer rancher of the Adelaide district, will head the long parade as Grand Marshal.

‘Gay Nineties’ costumes to be featured at Pre-Pioneer Dance

U.S.O. building will be scene of big dance Saturday night, September 28, preparations now in progress

Plans for a Pre-Pioneer Day Dance, to be held at the USO building Saturday evening, September 28, are rapidly being completed.

All participants at the dance are asked to wear “Gay Nineties” costumes, which will be furnished by Charles Oliver of the Paso Robles Mercantile Col. All orders, he states, must be in by five o’clock Monday afternoon, September 23.

Ed Page will be in charge of entertainment and Ted Clarke will be in charge of the dance. His committee, not yet complete, is composed of Frost Harralson of the Exchange Club, Harlow Ford of the Rotary Club, and Bill Shannon of the Lions Club.

Paso Robles history

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Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. Prizes to the winners will be awarded again this year by the R.C. Heaton Company.

William Claassen made arrangements for getting the USO building. He got in touch with Harper Sibley, former USO president, at Quebec, only to be told the FWA had taken over the building. The FWA, in San Francisco, then gave permission for its use by the Pre-Pioneer Day committee from September 26 to October 14.

Tickets for the dance will sell for $150, plus a 30-cent amusement tax.

Search begins for youngest pioneer

Mrs. Nancy Stinchfield, chairman of the Fourth Annual Pioneer Day Baby Contest sponsored by the Business and Professional Women’s Club announces entry rules for babies of Paso Robles and outlying trading area. The youngest members of the oldest families are invited to compete for prizes of merchandise certificates from local stores; first prize $15.00, second prize $10.00, third prize $5.00, fourth prize $3.00 and fifth prize $2.00.

Babies not over two years of age whose ancestors have resided in this district at least 40 years are eligible. Three pioneer women residents will be selected as judges. Parents are asked to fill in registration blanks printed in local newspapers and leave them with Mrs. Irene Colt at the Vogue before 5:30 p.m., Thursday, October 10, 1946. Parents and contestants are requested to be present for personal awarding of prizes on Pioneer Day, Oct. 12.

Twenty thousand pour through gates at first annual fair

The first annual Sixteenth District Agricultural Association Fair closed Sunday night in Paso Robles and was adjudged a great success from almost every angle.

Despite wind and chilly weather that kept many people away Sunday evening and hurried many fair visitors home early, more than 20,000 people attended the three-day celebration, far exceeding the expectations of fair officials.


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.