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

The dance pavilion being moved in 1897 to a spot near Hornblend and Morrell streets.
The dance pavilion being moved in 1897 from its original ocean front location in Pacific Beach to a spot near Hornblend and Morrell streets.
(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.”

125 years ago

April 1897

The old Hotel del Pacific and adjoining dance pavilion were moved from their home near the foot of Thomas Avenue to their new home on the block bordered by Lamont Street, Hornblend Street, Morrell Street and Balboa Avenue.

The hotel eventually became the Folsom Brothers real estate office, which burned to the ground in 1931. The dance pavilion became a lemon packing plant and, ironically, a Methodist church.

100 years ago

April 1922

Pacific Beach was abuzz with the news that a “community radio” was going to be installed “in the Reading Club House, where there will be ample accommodation for Pacific Beach residents who desire to hear the nightly concerts broadcasted by The Tribune and Union.”

The Chamber of Commerce assured the community that it would be purchasing the finest equipment possible.

75 years ago

April 1947

The organization of the Pacific Beach Methodist Church, with 102 charter members, was completed at Easter Sunday morning services, reported Pastor Alfred F. Hughes.

The location was Emerald and Haines streets, which today is part of Pacific Beach Middle School, I think. The church moved to Ingraham Street and Thomas Avenue some years later.

50 years ago

April 1972

About 900 people attended a meeting of the Pacific Beach Plan Implementation Group at Martha Farnum Elementary School, weighing in on five proposals to downzone 715 acres in Pacific Beach. The result: 431 voted to keep the existing zoning, a recommendation that was to be taken to a City Planning workshop on April 6.

25 years ago

April 1997

Papa John’s Pizza opened at 1550 Garnet Ave., in the spot vacated by Spiro’s Coffee Shop.

Papa John’s is gone, but Powerhaus Wholesome Pizza & Eats is now in that location.