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Looking Back to 1956: Council files for water rights, Atascadero escapee nabbed 

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 Thursday, May 31, 1956 Paso Robles Journal

City to protect Paso Robles creek supply

The Paso Robles city council Monday night announced that the city is filing for water rights on unappropriated water in Paso Robles Creek.

The action is described as a safety measure, to insure an adequate supply of water for the increased demand, which is anticipated in the future.

Paso Robles Creek is located south of town and includes the run-off from Santa Rita and Jack creeks. The annual safe yield of the creek is estimated at 15,000 acre-feet. Based on the present daily consumption of about 12 acre-feet within the city, the available water would handle a substantial growth in the city and surrounding territory.

Paso Robles history water rights

Click here to read the full front page.

Planners work

The action is the result of considerable work by the city planning commission over the past few years. Roland Gates, chairman of the planners, today indicated he is pleased to see the city take this action, “to protect the entire area for water in years to come.”

Plans for the development of the area will be considered by the planning commission and will possibly include the formation of a water district to serve Templeton, Paso Robles, San Miguel and adjacent territory.

Gates noted that the area was easily accessible to the city and that it offers an excellent potential for recreation.

Application filed

The application was filed with the State Division of Water Resources and further action will await their decision.

City engineer Bill Roe stated this morning that some development work would probably have to be undertaken within the next few years, “to protect the rights if they are granted,” but that complete development would probably be delayed pending a substantial increase in the demand.

Gates stated that he felt the action was especially wise and necessary, in view of the steadily declining water table in the area.

In other news of the day

49th Guard division due at Roberts June 16

Some 12,000 Northern California citizen-soldiers will drop their normal pursuits June 16 for two weeks of intensive active duty field training at Camp Roberts, as members of the 49th Infantry Division, California National Guard.

Final orders designed to accomplish this mighty troop movement were issued yesterday by Maj. Gen. Roy A. Green of Sacramento, division commander, following day-long range firing exercise in Contra Costa County’s Wildcat Canyon for division headquarters personnel.

“These two weeks of summer training are the climax of the training year for your citizen-soldiers, who will put into practice in highly concentrated form at camp everything they have learned during the year’s 48 brief armory or outdoor drills,” General Green said.

Atascadero escapee nabbed in Puente home

Broeske, 34, who escaped from the Atascadero State Hospital psychopathic ward was captured by San Dimas sheriff’s deputies at the home of his mother in Puente.

Broeske offered to resistance and told deputies he walked out through a door he found open at the hospital then hitchhiked to Peunte.

Dr. R.S. Rood and other hospital officials left for Los Angeles this morning to return Broeske to the hospital. The doctor said he thought the escapee, who was confined in a locked room, made his way to freedom by posing as a visitor.

46 Atascadero High seniors will graduate

Harold Hayes, dean of the division of engineering, California State Polytechnic College, will give the commencement address at graduation exercises at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 14 at the Memorial Bowl, when 46 Atascadero seniors accept their diplomas. His topic will be “Opportunity for youth.”

Click here to read the names of the graduates.

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.