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

Maynard’s Bar, left of Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.
(Jack Minteer photo courtesy of the 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

October 1897

A fine mare belonging to Phil Rutherford escaped from the corral the other day. After tiring out several horses and giving a two days’ chase, she seemed to be in a position from which she could not escape, the ocean being on one side, False Bay on the other and her pursuers in front. In this extremity she calmly jumped into the bay and swam across to Point Loma. Late Saturday she was still at large.

From Pacific Beach Notes, Oct. 18, 1897.

100 years ago

October 1922

A proposal to finance a “pleasure pier” at the foot of Garnet Avenue by declaring an improvement district covering all of Pacific Beach was met with protests.

“The pier, a huge wooden affair, extending 1,200 feet into the ocean, would cost $50,000,” reported the San Diego Union. “The improvement district to be assessed would include practically all of Pacific Beach.”

75 years ago

October 1947

Caswell’s Shell Station at 3779 Ingraham St. and, next door, Frank Cooper’s Crest Liquor Store were touted by the Sentinel newspaper as “the largest construction completed in Pacific Beach since the new post office.” The post office at 1464 Garnet Ave. opened on July 14.

50 years ago

October 1972

Neil Morgan, in the Evening Tribune, reported that Maynard’s Bar, next to Crystal Pier, would soon give way to a 72-unit condominium complex.

“The marvel of Maynard’s,” wrote Morgan, “is its 40-cent hot plate (spaghetti and salad on Wednesdays, a Mexican plate on Friday nights and the Spanish omelette on Sunday mornings).”

Maynard’s was opened in 1959 by a school teacher and named for a lovable 6-foot-6 lifeguard named Maynard Heatherly, was its first manager and who died in 1963 of a brain tumor.

25 years ago

October 1997

A relief meter-reader for San Diego Gas & Electric ignored the sign on the gate at a home on Olney Street, near Garnet Avenue, and was bitten by Carlito, the resident’s pot-bellied pig.

“The worker made two mistakes,” said a neighbor. “The pig didn’t know him, and he didn’t bring food.”

Snowe Childress, Carlito’s 9-year old owner burst into tears when it was announced that Carlito would be moving to a new home in the country.