This Month in History: Glimpses into Pacific Beach’s past

The changing rooms and pier at the foot of Kendall Street.
(Courtesy of Pacific Beach Historical Society)

This Month in History is a feature in PB Monthly highlighting local happenings from yesteryear. John Fry is a writer, publisher, historian plus co-founder and president of the Pacific Beach Historical Society. He also is the author of “Images of America: Pacific Beach” and “Pacific Beach Through Time.” He can be reached at

125 years ago

August 1897

“Bathing in the bay is the popular recreation of the season” reported the San Diego Sun. “Every day in the week parties and families resort to nature’s big bathing tank and from morning till evening carriages and other vehicles line the bank above the bay in the vicinity of the bath house.”

100 years ago

August 1922

The Pacific Beach Chamber of Commerce withdrew its opposition to the La Jolla Stage Line’s application to run “autobusses or stages” from downtown to La Jolla “operating through Old Town, Hardy’s, Pacific Beach, Bird Rock and South La Jolla.”

The chamber was assured that the proposed bus route “would in no way interfere with the granting of franchises for steam, electric or other methods of transportation.”

I assume that meant the electric railway — or streetcar — from Mission Beach to La Jolla could proceed.

75 years ago

August 1947

The city announced plans to build a bridge, using money from the San Diego River Flood Control, from Sunset Point to Ventura Point. That would be the span known today as the Glen Rick Bridge between what I will continue to call the Islandia Hotel and Belmont Park.

It would come in handy when the Mission Beach Bridge between South Mission Beach and Ocean Beach was torn down in 1950.

50 years ago

August 1972

Dr. Leonard Bloom received 10,000 suggestions for the name of the American Basketball Association franchise he brought to San Diego. The winning entry — the Conquistadores — was submitted by Lucy Sloan, a stewardess living in Pacific Beach.

“L. F.”, in a letter to the Evening Tribune Action Line, complained about a traffic sign at Turquoise Street and La Jolla Boulevard that said “Left Turn Yeilds”. “L. F.” was told that no one in the City Sign Shop would own up to the error, but that it had been fixed.

25 years ago

August 1997

A resident on Hornblend Street thought it strange that it wasn’t windy but her wind chimes were clanging. She looked out the window to see a woman using a lighter to burn the chimes off their strings, placing them in her backpack.

Officer Valari Summers found a suspect walking a block away. Already on probation for burglary, the woman was taken into custody for investigation of petty theft.