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

The Mission Bay Bridge connected Ocean Beach with South Mission Beach.
(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 — January 1898

Noting “very low tides” Jan. 3 through Jan. 9, the San Diego, Pacific Beach and La Jolla Railway put on a special 9:10 a.m. train to La Jolla “enabling you to explore the caves and rocky shores where shells and lovely sea horses abound.” Passengers could return in time for lunch in Pacific Beach and leave for San Diego at 4 p.m.

100 years ago — January 1923

The City Council voted to accept a proposal to pave Mission Boulevard from Ocean Beach to Pacific Beach. (There used to be a bridge connecting South Mission Beach and Ocean Beach). The city agreed to foot 40 percent of the cost, which penciled out at $25,000.

75 years ago — January 1948

The long-delayed Crown Point Elementary School finally opened Jan. 5. The Evening Tribune announced that the $200,000 structure was “already too small for the community needs,” and would need an additional five classrooms and a kindergarten.

The were 525 students who entered the new facility, which held 12 classrooms and a kindergarten. Because of the crowding, two classes would continue to be held at Pacific Beach Elementary School.

50 years ago — January 1973

Superior Court Judge Louis M. Welsh declared Proposition D, the coastal-zone height-limit initiative, unconstitutional. Approved by 63 percent of voters on Nov. 7, the initiative called for a 30-foot coastal height limit. City Attorney John Witt said the District Court of Appeal would be asked to review Welsh’s decision.

Meanwhile, Pacific Towers, a 12-story condominium complex on Cass Street and Wilbur Avenue announced that its models were open to visit. The 118-unit complex was scheduled to open in March.

25 years ago — January 1998

The Beach and Bay Press announced, in its Jan. 8 issue that the long-overdue completion of the Ocean Boulevard pedestrian walkway, from Grand to Thomas avenues, was finally underway. I suspect that announcement was premature.