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

The intersection of Mission Boulevard and Santa Clara Place in Pacific Beach, circa 1950, before stop signs were put in.
(Courtesy of John Fry)

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 — April 1898

The delivery wagon of the Bartlett Music House was kept on the jump all day yesterday, delivering several fine pianos purchased at its great introduction sale that was in progress at 1025 Fifth Street.

One of the most expensive fair exhibition styles of the new scale Kimball pianos in beautifully dappled walnut case was delivered to the home of Mr. F. B. Gridley in Pacific Beach.

100 years ago — April 1923

Two stills and a large quantity of liquor was seized in a raid made on the home of John Jarino on Honeycutt Street by federal and city prohibition officers. The raid was conducted by Charles Cass, a federal prohibition agent, and Sergeants Newsome and Rochfort of the local police department.

Eighteen gallons of alleged “white mule” were found hidden in a cave under the house, reached by a trap door through one of the bedroom floors. Jarino was booked at the jail on a charge of violating the Volstead Act and his bail was set at $2,000.

75 years ago — April 1948

Construction of 21 portable classrooms to accommodate overflow enrollments in nine city schools was authorized by the City Board of Education. The cost was $155,000.

The classrooms are to be erected over summer for use beginning in September. Seven will go to Pacific Beach Junior High School.

Stan Picard of 4015 Haines St. reported that, while he was towing a trailer Tuesday on Garnet Avenue, a wheel came off the trailer and rolled down the street. While the wheel was still rolling, a man in a maroon sedan stopped his car, loaded the wheel in the rear seat and hurriedly drove off, he said. The wheel owner said he was unable to catch the man.

50 years ago — April 1973

Four-way stop signs were installed at Santa Clara Place and Mission Boulevard on April 11, 1973. Many motorists failed to stop and a crowd gathered to watch police give tickets.

Mission Bay Hospital at 3030 Bunker Hill St. was to be dedicated on Friday, April 27, 1973 although it received its first patients earlier.

25 years ago — April 1998

April was a bad month for criminals.

A wrong-way bicyclist led police on a chase through streets and alleys before officers, with the help of a police helicopter crew, cornered the biker in an apartment complex two miles from where they had tried to stop him. The 27-year-old man was wanted for violating the terms of his parole and for a narcotics violation.

An intruder jumped from a second-floor apartment building on Riviera Drive when the owner confronted him. Despite breaking both ankles, he crawled to trash bins and tried to hide.

A 41-year-old man was taken into custody an hour after a robbery at the Bank of America. Officers found a discarded electronic tag in a trash can nearby. The tag often is placed in bank loot. It creates an electronic signal that police can use to track robbers.