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

The Hotel del Pacific at the foot of Thomas Avenue.
The “dance pavilion” can be seen peeking around the corner of the Hotel del Pacific at the foot of Thomas Avenue. Both structures would be moved to the block bordered by Lamont, Hornblend and Balboa. The hotel became the Folsom Brothers’ real estate office and burned to the ground in 1931.
(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.”

125 years ago

December 1896

The Pacific Beach Company gave up on the Hotel del Pacific and nearby dance pavilion at the foot of Thomas Street and sold them to Sterling Honeycutt for $2,000. Honeycutt agreed to move the buildings to “the north half of block 239 within six months or the agreement would be void.”

The hotel ended up at the southeast corner of Hornblend and Lamont, while the pavilion ended up at the east end of the block where it became a lemon packing house and, ironically, a Methodist church.

100 years ago

December 1921

I don’t think they’re good eating, so I’m not sure why Anton Fenolio shot six Meadow Larks “near Pacific Beach.”

Fenolio was arrested by Deputy Fish and Game Warden Webb Toms and was fined $10 in Justice Court No. 2. The law forbidding the killing of meadow larks and other non-game birds provided no minimum fines, but allowed a penalty as high as $500. Toms said he felt the $10 fine appropriate, but stated the “next offender would not be let off so easily.”

75 years ago

December 1946

Muehling’s Young California Shop, “just around the corner from John’s Market” at 4514 Fanuel announced it would have its grand opening on Dec. 20. It would later move to the southwest corner of Fanuel and Garnet and eventually to Garnet and Mission, where it became Miller’s West.

The 13-to-2 touch football victory of the 5th Period ninth graders over the 6th Period ninth graders at Pacific Beach Junior High merited a snippet in The San Diego Union. The article noted that “a blocked kick and a pass” was the key to victory for the winners.

50 years ago

December 1971

Pacific Beach resident Kimball Moore replaced retiring San Diego City Manager Walter Hahn in an announcement made by Mayor Pete Wilson on Dec. 14. Moore joined the city staff in January 1955 as a senior administrative analyst under then-City Manager O. W. Campbell. Moore and his wife, Mary, lived at 978 Van Nuys St. (They printed that stuff in those days).

The William Smith home at 4774 Academy Place won first place in the Christmas Home Decorating Contest sponsored by the San Diego Junior Chamber of Commerce. Smith; his wife, Betty; and teenage daughters Pamela, Chris and Bonnie Anne began work on the front yard display three months earlier.

25 years ago

December 1996

The San Diego City Council, on Dec. 10, approved a measure to establish a Business Improvement District in Pacific Beach. Not all of the local businesses supported the plan, which would assess an annual fee ranging from $60 to $360, depending on the size of the business. There was no opposition in Little Italy for a business improvement district, which was heard at the same time. Pacific Beach and Little Italy brought the total number of San Diego BIDs to 16.


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