Tijuana River Valley

Imperial Beach Mayor Brian Bilbray radios police to remove demonstrators trying to stop Tijuana river dikes. Environmentalists (from left) Serge Dedina, Ben Holt and Jack Burns
protest city officials' actions. Sewage from Mexico flowing through the Tijuana Valley has been one of the most persistent problems of the region. (Imperial Beach Star-News June 22, 1980)

The Tijuana River Valley was formed millions of years ago when the high waters of the Oligocene era retreated and the coastal plain was uplifted by the movement of the Pacific tectonic plate. Water draining from the mountains carved valleys and canyons in the low mesas of the coastal plain. After the Ice Age the ocean levels rose from 9000 to 3500 years ago and filled the valley with sea water forming the coastal estuary that exists today.

The first to inhabit the valley 11,000 years ago were the San Dieguito people, who hunted and fished along the shore and river. By 7000 years ago, The Yuman speaking ancestors of Kumeyaay inhabited several villages in the valley, practiced agriculture and traded with distant cultures. Archeologists have documented the location of the large village known as Melijo which was identified as "Sanctu Spiritu" in the diaries of Father Crespi in 1769. Two prehistoric camp sites in the Tijuana Slough were found buried by sands, but flooding partially eroded the sands and re-exposed the cultural deposits. Several villages inhabited the mesas along the border with Mexico, including Monument Mesa, Lichty Mesa and Spooner Mesa. ( Robbins-Wade, 1990, and San Diego Archaeology Center Buried Deposits, online )

1833 - Rancho Melijo included most of the Otay and Tijuana valleys, some 30 square miles, also known as Rancho La Punta was sought by a petition in 1833 from Santiago E. Arguello, son of Santiago Arguello, grandson of Jose Dario Arguello, former governor of Baja California. The mother of Santiago E. Arguello was Pilar Ortega. He married Guadalupe Estudillo, grantee of Rancho Janal. Gov. Figueroa decreed: "Don Santiago E. Arguello is declared owner in fee of the land known by the name milijo, bounded by the Rancho Nacional of San Diego, the Rancho of Tijuana, the hill range of San Antonio and the road leading to Lower California, subject to that which may be stipulated and besides, that the stock of the Nation be allowed to graze there in case of necessity." The Gov. officially confirmed the grant on June 26, 1834, after it was approved by the Committee on Colonization and Vacant Lands. ( Menzel, 1942, pp. 25-31 )

Border Monument 1885
1849 - The U.S.-Mexican International Boundary Commission, whose job it was to survey the new international border, arrived at San Diego in June 1849. Andrew B. Gray was assigned the task of surveying San Diego Bay. Major Emory was to fix the location of the initial point on the Pacific Coast and Brevet Captain Edmund L. Hardcastle was given the job of marking the line from the initial point to the junction of the two rivers. As part of his work, Andrew B. Gray produced what is probably the earliest detailed map of the area. It showed the south end of San Diego Bay and the west end of the Otay and Tia Juana River drainages. The Arguello home was identified as "old ranch" and shown on the bluffs north of the Otay River, which was called a "fresh water creek." The Tia Juana River was called "Arroyo de Tia Juana." The Tijuana Estuary was shown in detail and identified as a "Tide Water Lagoon." The southern extension of this lagoon ended in a "Salt Flat" at the base of the bluffs that now make up the southern edge of Border Field State Park. One "Marine League" south of the southernmost point of San Diego Bay was measured off on the map to establish the "Initial Point" of the boundary between the United States and Mexico on the beach just below the bluff now known as Monument Mesa. According to the map, Gray's party camped on the south bank of the Tia Juana River just to the east of the mouth of Goat Canyon in September 1849, while conducting field survey work. Major Emory established his headquarters at Rancho La Punta, naming it Camp Riley, after General Bennett Riley, the acting military governor of California. Emory soon established, on the ground, the initial point south of San Diego Bay from which the border would continue eastward. By 1851 the line had been established and marked and Brevet Captain Hardcastle erected a "splendid white marble monument at the initial point" (San Diego Herald). Although described as the "initial point," or "initial monument," this marker was not on the actual spot on the beach were Gray had mapped it in 1849, but a few hundred yards to the east on a small table land at the southern edge of border field know known as Monument Mesa. The monument of fine Italian marble became an extremely popular tourist location for residents of San Diego County, as well as visitors to the region. In 1862 Jesus Maria Estudillo, age 18, on a visit to the Arguello Family at La Punta recorded a trip to the monument and the surrounding beaches and terrain that would later become Border Field State Park: "Sunday, August 17, 1862 At the house [La Punta] till eleven or twelve when Tula, Refugia, and Lola, with Jose Antonio and myself went to visit another monument at the point of boundary between the U.S. and Mexico. .. After visiting the sea shore and enjoyed a short time viewing the waves. I saw four antelope and deer, we came home soon after. It was very warm when we left the beach." ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1852 - On February 19, 1852, Boundary Commissioner John Russell Bartlett visited San Diego and took the opportunity to visit the boundary line and see the new monument. He noted that the "monument stands directly opposite the Coronado Islands, and is seen from a great distance on land as well as by vessels at sea. On the table-land around and south of it, grows a large number of the beautiful agave." During his brief stay Bartlett made a pencil drawing of the landmark, which is the oldest known image of the monument that is available today. Except for a brief two-week period in 1894 when the damaged monument was taken to San Diego to be resurfaced and reinscribed, this monument has stood on the line for 156 years identifying the beginning of the 1,952 mile line separating Mexico and the United States. (Hughes, 2007)

George Davidson was a coast pilot for the U. S. Coast Survey in 1869 when he drew this image of the boundary monument between the United States and Mexico just south of San Diego. It gives a good seaward view of Tijuana Slough, now part of the the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

1869 - In the late 1860s settlers began to establish farmsteads on the grant, especially in the Otay and Tia Juana river valleys and by 1870 some 50 settlers had preemption claims within the boundaries of the former rancho. In 1870, Santiago E. Arguello's widow, Guadalupe Arguello, attempted to reclaim the grant under an 1865 act of Congress that allowed claimants of Mexican grants rejected by the Land Commission to purchase portions of the grants that they had occupied. A major obstacle at this time was that large sections of the disputed land were now occupied by pioneer farmers. This last effort by the Arguellos to reclaim their rancho was rejected by the courts In October 1873. The family was left with a small homestead around their original adobe house. The Tia Juana Valley was, from that point forward, unequivocally government owned land opened to settlement. ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1869 - Beginning in the late 1860s, the Tia Juana Valley became the location of an agricultural community known as Monument. As population increased other communities and villages were formed, including Tia Juana, Oneonta, South San Diego, and San Yisidro. Settlement of the valley during this period reflected a general trend throughout southern California and the western United States as settlers moved west and took up government land to establish farming communities and town sites. There was a time in San Diego County, and throughout the western United States, when a substantial portion of the population lived on farms. Following the Civil War, acquisition of 160 acres of farmland became the goal of thousands of young men and women in the United States and numerous European immigrants. They wanted to establish a home and earn a living, or benefit from rising land values that could be anticipated with increased settlement. Pioneer farmers intended to establish agricultural communities patterned after those they had left in the east. These consisted of small towns and villages that provided basic services for surrounding farmsteads, which averaged from five to eight per square mile. Rural communities constituted the major type of settlement pattern and social network developed by farm families during the 19th century. They were made up of people who lived within well defined geographic boundaries, shared common bonds, and cooperated to solve common problems. They did not live in small towns or villages, but on farmsteads tied together through a common school district, post office, and country store. This was the most common type of community in San Diego County from 1870 through the mid-1930s. At their peak between 1900 and 1910 approximately 112 rural farmstead communities existed within the county's present day boundaries.( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1869 - During the late 1860s pioneer farmers settled in the Tia Juana Valley. Settlement continued through the 1880s resulting in the establishment of large and small farmsteads in the valley bottomland. In 1869 the region became known as Monument City. Topographic maps completed that year showed several homes already established in the river valley and surrounding area. A "small" house was located near the north end of the estuary at the extreme western boundary of Section 30, Township 18 South, Range 2 West. The configuration of the slough was generally the same as it had been when mapped by Andrew Gray 20 years earlier. A cultjvated field was located near the mouth of Goat Canyon and the flat area within what is now Border Field State Park was described as "swamp and overflowed land." The catalyst for the community at Monument City appears to have been the store and hotel of S.S. Nichols, located about a mile northeast of the estuary "at the head of the bay." The location is now within the city of Imperial Beach in the general vicinity of 13th Street north, of Palm Avenue near the south edge of San Diego Bay. His advertisements in the San Diego Union during 1869 and 1870 stated "St. Nicholas Hotel Monument City. Head of the Bay. Provision Store. A share of patronage solicited S.S. Nichols." In August 1869 settlers in the Tia Juana and Otay Valleys met at Nichols' home to organize against the attempt of Guadalupe Arguello to regain control of Rancho La Punta or Milejo. "A resolution was unanimously passed declaring in favor of standing together as a league in defense of the titles to the lands settled upon" (San Diego Weekly Union 8-17-1869). In the same month Tia Juana Valley settlers organized the Monument School District and built a school house. Miss Storms was hired as the teacher. Monument School was known as the "south western most institution of learning in the United States" (San Diego Weekly Union 8-18-1869 3:1). The original location of Monument School is also now within the boundaries of present day Imperial Beach, in the area north of Palm Avenue and east of 13th Street. The school was about a quarter mile southeast of S.S. Nichols Hotel. In 1889 a new school house was built in Monument District. This building was constructed on the south side of the Tia Juana River, against the high bluffs that form the southern edge of the valley, approximately one mile east of Border Field State Park. The building still exists at the intersection of Hollister Street (formerly National Avenue) and Monument Road, and is used as a private residence. The small one-room Monument School kept the distinction as the southwestern most school house in the United States until it closed in 1941. At that time it was considered to be the longest operating school in San Diego County. ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

San Diego Union, Aug. 11, 1869
1869 - The Tia Juana Valley remained popular with tourists who traveled to see the marble monument at the border. Nichols attempted to exploit this trade, calling his hotel the "Bay View House." A neighboring entrepreneur, Mr. Gould, erected a bath house and "pleasure gardens," known as the Gould Recreation and Bathing Grounds. Tedford and Company's omnibus and stage coach line ran from Old Town San Diego to Monument City three times a week, taking patrons: "... direct to the Bath Houses!!! From the Franklin House, San Diego, every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday morning, through South San Diego, National Ranch, to Monument City. Headquarters at the Bay View House, S.S. Nichols, proprietor, Returning the same day. The proprietors of the Omnibus and Stage Coach Line will accommodate Pic -Nic parties on reasonable terms" (San Diego Union Advertisement 1869). In July 1869 the San Diego Union announced that "The wide awake citizens of Monument City will celebrate the coming fourth of July by giving a grand Pic-Nic at Gould Recreation and Bathing Grounds. . . . Sailboats and stages will run for the accommodation of the public. In account of the fourth falling on Sunday, the celebration will be held on Monday" (San Diego Weekly Union 1869). The following week the paper praised the success of the event: "At Monument City extensive preparations were made for the celebration on the 5th instead of the 4th. Mr. Gould erected at his pleasure gardens, a large arbor with first rate planked floor, for the purpose of furnishing a suitable place for the ceremonies of the day and festivities of the evening. It was all that could be wished for by the most exacting. The scenery from the point where the arbor was located was truly magnificent. Being within a few yards of the beach, where the surf rolled with a tremendous roar, and situated at the head of the beautiful San Diego Bay, and directly opposite the great mountain forming the boundary between Mexico and the United States, a more sightly spot could not be found. The people came from all quarters in all sorts of ways ..." (San Diego Weekly Union 7 -7-1869). ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1870/08 - Although the tourist trade promoted by Nichols and Gould brought many people to the Tia Juana River Valley and the area of present Border Field State Park, the majority of the households residing in the valley were engaged in agriculture. In August 1870 the newspaper commented "Charley Mansir of Tia Juana has our thanks for some of the finest specimens of tomatoes we have yet seen in this section. Mr. Mansir's place is one of the best in the valley, and his crops this season show what cultivation will accomplish aided by fair rainfall. The farmers of the Tia Juana and Otay Valleys will do still better next season" (San Diego Weekly Union 8-16-1871 3:7). ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1870/08/18 - Mr. Felipe Pazza, "an Italian of experience in silk culture," achieved remarkable success raising silk worms in the Tia Juana Valley. Mr. Russell's farm near Monument provided the Mulberry leaves. His trees had been grown from slips set out in November 1869. Mr. Pazza purchased the silkworm eggs from Mr. Combe of the Sweetwater Valley and by August of 1870 had 1,000 worms raised "in his dwelling house on the ranch, without any extra care." Pazza and Mr. Combe were considered to be "the pioneers in sericulture in San Diego county" (San Diego Weekly Union 8-18-1870 3:1). ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1872/01/13 - Old Road Survey No. 1 by M. G. Wheeler, County Surveyor. "From a point where the road from San Antonio, Lower California, crosses the Mexican Boundary Line to the Southern Line of Rancho de la Nacion." ( Old Road Surveys, Cartographic Office, San Diego County Department of Public Works, 5201 Ruffin Road, San Diego CA. )

1872/02/17 - George Stone developed artesian wells in the Tia Juana Valley ( The San Diego Union )

1872/03/09 - Mr. Bowman is superintendent of Tia Juana Artesian Well Company ( The San Diego Union )

1875 - The Monument District was re-established in 1873 and a school built in 1875 south of the Tia Juana River at the end of Monument Road. The school closed in 1941. (Chula Vista Star, June 20, 1941.)

The Monument School was photographed in 1939. (from County History Center)

1876 - Charlotte Kover, 92 nurse, well-versed in San Diego history. As early as age 12, Charlotte Johnson Kover drove a horse-drawn milk wagon from her family's Palm City dairy farm to customers in San Ysidro and Tijuana. It was her way of carrying on the legacy of her paternal grandparents, who abandoned their Midwestern roots to farm 240 acres of South Bay soil in 1876. In 1916, when a storm unleashed up to 30 inches of rain in San Diego County over six days, causing widespread flooding, the vegetable crops on the family farm were destroyed.... ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Nov. 9, 2000. )

1880 - During the late 1870s the name Monument City fell out of favor and by 1880 the term Tia Juana Valley came back into common use for the area. (The name Monument continued in use in the Tia Juana Valley as the name for Monument School and Monument Road, a portion of which was first surveyed in 1885 (Old Road Survey No. 25 1885). The designation of this route as Monument Road was in common use by 1900 (Road Survey No. 179 1900). The name also continued in use as a designation for the voting precinct south of the National Ranch which now includes National City and Chula Vista. ) This change came as merchants began to establish businesses along the main road south from San Diego where it crossed the international border. In 1865 George Washington Barber kept a general store on the "left bank" of the Tia Juana River. A year or so later William Lane, a native of Wales, purchased 160 acres at the border crossing and also entered into a general merchandise business. On May 10,1876, the Tia Juana Post Office was established at this location in the store of N.G.A. Dranga. In 1879, an adobe Customs House was built on the Mexican side of the crossing, which spurred development of the small community of Mexican Tia Juana. ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1880 - Early settlers gave their name to the mesas along the border. Spooner's Mesa was named for Christopher and Olive Spooner, who ranched on top of the mesa. Part of their homestead and a concrete cistern with their names etched in the side remain atop the mesa.

1884 - Fred W. Wadham came to the Tia Juana valley with his father James F. Wadham and there engaged in farming for a number of years, gradually broadening his activities to include almost every phase of the life of the section. He had charge of the stage station on the Mexican border and also established in San Diego the first planing and grist mill run by steam in the county. For a number of years he was engaged in the livery business and conducted at the same time the old Arizona feed yard. From time to time he invested extensively in land and became one of the largest landowners in the Tia Juana valley. Since the beginning of his active career he has been interested in the breeding and raising of fine trotting horses and has done more than any one to promote a better breed, his animals having been considered for many years the best in this part of the state. His prize stallion, Del Coronado, has a record of 2:08 and is still unbeaten in the show ring. He is the owner of Johanna Treat, whose sire, Thomas Rysdyk, was brought to California from Kentucky about 1888. Johanna Treat is one of the best known brood mares in California. She is the dam of the champion trotters Del Coronado, Zulu Belle, My Irene's, Treatway, Johano and Bonnie Treat. In addition to his work as a breeder of high-grade trotters, Mr. Wadham is also discharging the duties of deputy customs house inspector and collector, to which office he was appointed on the 2d of April, 1894, and in which he has since served. He has proven himself invaluable as a government official, able, conscientious and progressive in the discharge of his duties and loyal in all respects to the interests of the country. He has charge of eighteen miles of the Mexican border line and there established the first custom office and floated the first United States custom flag. He had charge of this district during the battle of Tia Juana and proved himself equal to this demand upon his resourcefulness and energy. His success in the discharge of his official duties is the best evidence of his capabilities. When he assumed management, the collections through the port of entry were less than five hundred dollars a year, but under his keen supervision and careful management this sum has been increased to twenty-eight thousand dollars per year. His records show that in the fiscal year from June, 1911, to June, 1912, fifty thousand people passed over the auto road from Mexico to the United States. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 359-360.)

1884/02 - Second greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 50,000 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1884/03/28 - Messrs. Wetmore and McCool with their wives, started to visit the Monument yesterday, but got no farther than the Tia Juana river, which was too high to ford. They had to content themselves by gazing from the north side of the river at the granite column which marks the imaginary line between the two Republics. ( San Diego Union)

1884/05/03 - Kimball noted that he got stuck in Tia Juana River going to the Monument ( Mizony, 1956)

1885 - James Luther came to to the valley in 1885. He was born in Cincinnati, 1846, and served in the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, he went to work for the railroad in Kansas and married Mary J. Roe in 1868. He lost a leg in a railroad accident so the family decided to leave the snowy winters of Kansas and go west. They traveled by train with their seven children, their personal possesions, and their livestock, to the Tia Juana River Valley area, which included Nestor and Oneonta. The San Diego City Directory of 1885, for the town of Oneonta, lists both James Luther and his son James Patrick along with the names of new friends and neighbors. These included Wm. H. Holderness, J. A. McCann H. M. Peavy, J. T. Schultz, and C. E. Smith. A new Oneonta school built in 1886 was attended by several of the children. James Luther became a rancher. His oldest son Charles died shortly after he fell under a railroad car which severed his legs almost to the hip. The death of her oldest was too much for Mary J. She died from grief three months later, April 22, 1888, at the age of 38. Both are buried at La Vista Cemetery. Lottie, the oldest daughter, assumed the duties of the household. She married Charles Couts in 1897. Years passed, and the children moved to other places in the Los Angeles area. James Luther is remembered for his story telling and the songs he sang when visiting with his grandchildren. One was about "The Rooster Feather on Your Hat." James Luther went to live in Los Angeles County near Long Beach at the Sawtelle Soldiers Home. He died November 24, 1925. ( Chula Vista Historical Society. Family, Friends, and Homes. San Diego CA: Tecolote Publications, 1991. )

1885/01 - Old Road Survey No. 82 Proposed County Road from Tia Juana Valley to The Mesa (sec 27 to 30) Survey by O. N. Sanford Jan. 1885 ( Old Road Surveys, Cartographic Office, San Diego County Department of Public Works, 5201 Ruffin Road, San Diego CA. )

1886/04/17 - Old Road Survey No. 51 by M. G. Wheeler of Road in Tia Juana Road District, in conformity to petition of Samuel Yenawine et al., Superior Court No. 915 ( Old Road Surveys, Cartographic Office, San Diego County Department of Public Works, 5201 Ruffin Road, San Diego CA. )

1886 - Luther Johnson came to San Diego from Macomb, Illinois, where established a chain of dry-goods stores. In 1886 he was among the first settlers in Nestor, where he purchased a 200-acre ranch. This was a tract of raw land covered with brush which Mr. Johnson cleared, after which he began the work of development and improvement, carrying it forward along modern and progressive lines. He spent the later years of his life in his comfortable home in San Diego and there his death occurred on January 30, 1911. Mr. Johnson married Miss Sarah J. Tatham, who still resides on the old homestead in Nestor. Seven children were born to this union, all of whom survive, namely: George A.; C. Ray; Mrs. C. W. Hiatt, Frank I., Luther L., Mrs. Anna A. Church, and Dr. R. H. Johnson. The home ranch is in charge of George A. Johnson. In the early days 20 acres were planted in lemons and oranges but these trees were taken up at the time of the drouth and in 1893 a large dairy was substituted, in which were kept 87 high-grade cows. At present the tract is planted in grain and alfalfa, of which Mr. Johnson harvests valuable crops every year. Everything about the place is kept in excellent condition and it is in all things worthy of the man who broke its soil for the first time 26 years ago. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 303-304.)

1886 - William H. Holderness, an early settler in the Tia Juana valley and since 1886, one of the dominating forces in its development and upbuilding, is today one of the substantial and progressive farmers of this locality. He is part owner of one hundred and four acres of fine farming land. He and his wife Leona are the parents of six children, Edward P. G., Stella E., Skiffington, Mary, Paul, and Josephine. Mr. Holderness came as a pioneer into the Tia Juana valley and can relate some interesting experiences concerning early times. Twenty-five years ago the total population was fifty people and only three hundred acres of the fertile and productive land was under cultivation. The water supply was small, coming as it did from surface wells, and the work of development which has now been effected was then barely begun. Today [1913] more than four thousand acres are under the plow and are producing almost priceless harvests. Two thousand inches of water have been developed, modern machinery has been installed and the region developed and reclaimed. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 291-292)

1887 - W. G. Evans and his wife came to Palm City 1887 from Mass.; worked for Coronado Lumber Co., then for NC&O railroad, became large rancher at time of the gold excitement of Alamo and was interested in Tia Juana. Son W. B. Evans is deputy collector and inspector of customs at Tijuana. Younger son R. D. Evans has a large ranch in Tijuana River Valley. At their 50th anniversary celebration in Moore Hall, those who spoke incl Mrs. Kretsinger, Weldon Evans, Mr. Holderness, C. C. Park, Leroy Cross ( San Diego Union, May 29, 1913 )

1887 - By 1887 ten subdivisions had been laid out around the south end of San Diego Bay that included Otay, Tia Juana City, South San Diego, South Coronado, Coronado Heights, Pacific Park, Oneonta, International City, and Head of the Bay. As with most of these paper towns, nothing developed here and after the collapse of the boom in 1888, International City and most of the other boom subdivisions remained undeveloped. Three, however did become established in and around the valley; Oneonta, South San Diego, and Tia Juana City. Oneonta consisted of 450 acres of land located in the northwest corner of the river valley in the area now occupied by Ream Field and the north and east edges of the Tia Juana Estuary. During this period the estuary became known as Oneonta Bay, Oneonta Slough or the Inlet. Articles of Incorporation for the Oneonta Land, Town, and Water Company were filed in December 1887. Promoters saw their future metropolis as an international center of border commerce and a beach resort. They emphasized that the tract lie "immediately between and directly opposite the two passes into Lower California, through which transportation must pass, and from its high position it commands a view of the Tia Juana valley for miles" (San Diego Union 8-16-1887). The two passes referred to appear to be Goat Canyon and Smuggler's Gulch, which, of course, were not the only nor the most easily traveled routes into Lower California, as attested to by the development of the community of Tijuana Mexico during this period. On February 9, 1888 a large advertisement in the San Diego Sun proclaimed: " ONEONTA BY THE SEA THE PASADENA OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY AND TERMINUS OF THE NATIONAL CITY AND OTAY RAILWAY NOW HAS WATER ABUNDANT, PURE, AND GOOD PIPED THROUGH ITS STREETS AND READY FOR USE. A $20,000 hotel in process of erection A telephone line now building from San Diego A lovely bay, with boats for boating The best fishing and hunting on all the coast The two best passes into Lower California Immense business possibilities. A number of houses are now building and under contract to build.... Only $150 per lot, one third cash, balance six and twelve months. Trains for Oneonta leave foot of Sixth Street at 6:20 and 8:30 A.M. and 1:50 and 5:00 PM. of each day. We predict for Oneonta 1,000 inhabitants within a year Oneonta Land, Town & Water Company" The estuary was seen as a major feature for promotion. " Oneonta lies below the mesa and stretches for some distance into the valley. A strip of ocean breaks into it, which is about 200 feet across at the widest part. It is literally alive with fish of several kinds and often a long line of the lovers of the sport can be seen, rod in hand, whiling away the hours. There are now a number of boats along the bay and it is the intention of the company to have a good fleet of pleasure boats in addition. A long drive 100 feet wide will run along its shore, and a park covering fifteen acres is now being laid out. A horse car line will be established to make connections with the beach from the town." (San Diego Union 8-16-1887). The advertisements continued claiming: ". . . The National City and Otay Railroad will pass through the town and for the present make its terminus there. A large and commodious hotel will be erected close to the motor depot and park, and, in fact everything is being done to make a beautiful suburban residence town and resort to San Diego. Teams will be provided to convey visitors to the monument and other points of interest. The blocks are now being laid off 300 by 350 feet, with 20 foot alleyway. The lots will be 25 by 140 feet. Two streets will be made 100 feet wide and the remainder 80 feet wide. One of the most important of the improvements to be made is the carrying of water from the Tia Juana River to Oneonta for irrigating purposes, it is proposed by means of an engine, to throw up water into a large reservoir at an elevation of 250 feet. Pipes will be laid to the town site, and water can be used when required..." (San Diego Union 8-16-1887). And finally no "saloons, fists, or bullfights" would be allowed but every effort would be made to encourage churches, schools, morality, and decency (San Diego Union 1-27-1888). Unlike so many subdivisions of the '80s boom that completely disappeared, a small village grew up at Oneonta and survived into the early 20th century when it was finally absorbed by the community of Imperial Beach. One reason for this was that the promoters actually did develop the tract, establishing a rail connection to San Diego, telephone and daily mail service, a pressurized water system, a school, and a hotel, which later became a sanitarium. The area's location had always been a popular tourist destination since S.S. Nichols had established his Bay View Hotel just to the north of this location in 1869. A stage met passengers arriving at Oneonta on the National City and Otay Railroad to take them to the Border Monument. An article in the San Diego Union described Oneonta village in August 1892, four years after the land boom had collapsed: "The principal building is the Oneonta Sanitarium, conducted by Dr. Stocking. This institution is at present the home of a number of hunters and health seekers. There are about 30 rooms well lighted and warmed, and a roof observatory, glass enclosed for sun baths. Competent nurses are in attendance, and the new institution is earning an enviable reputation. The post office is kept by Mr. Smith, who has a general store in connection. Mrs. J. Jackson also carries a stock of general merchandise. There is no hotel as the sanitarium cares for boarders. There is a good school house. The mail arrives but once daily, at 6 pm., and leaves at 6 in the morning. Among the noticeable fine farms in the immediate vicinity are those of Mr. Barton, Mr. Wiley, and Mr. Eisenmeyer." ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

Oneonta advertisement 1887

1887 - A small number of Italian immigrants settled in the Otay Valley in the mid-1870s. Emanuel Daneri and his wife Rosa came to the valley in 1874. Simon Lavargi and Rosa Mosto and her brother Joseph lived with the Daneris. Anton and Mary Guatelli owned 160 acres to the east, John Semenza owned land to the north, Joseph and Rosa Poggi owned the dairy ranch to the west near the creek that would bear their name. Joseph Poggi recalled "There was quite an Italian colony there" with the Daneris, Semenzas, and Franzas. Emanuel Daneri took advantage of the Timber Act of 1873 and planted 35,000 trees to claim additional land, gradually increasing his properties to 900 acres. The Italian farmers planted a wide variety of crops, including tomatoes and pumpkins and peaches, but mostly potatoes that could be grown all year and sold for 3 cents per pound. Emanuel Daneri in 1889 was taking 3 wagons of potatoes per week to San Diego. However, his wine became his most famous product. He had 100 acres growing as a vineyard by 1890 and built a winery that produced 17,000 gallons per year. Some of these Italian families expanded their farming operations to the Tijuana Valley after Oneonta was founded. Lorenzo Semenza owned 60 acres on the south edge of Oneonta, on what would become Sunset Road, and sent his kids to the Oneonta School. Joseph Poggi owned 60 acres across the street from Semenza along 15th Street.

1887/08/25 - Special Announcement! ONEONTA GRAND Opening Sale WILL OCCUR Tuesday, the 30th day of August, AT 9A.M. This charming locality is located upon aa elevated mesa close by the sea, at the foot of the Tia Juaua Valley. An arm of the sea putting in at this point, defined by clearcut banks, affords the finest fishing to be found anywhere within reach of San Diego. The ocean beach and the surf close by is as good as the best. The picture of the Tia Juana Valley presented from this point is one strikingly beautiful. It is only a short distance from the Monument which defines the boundary line between the United States and Lower California, unquestionably the last town that can be located in the Southwest corner of the United States. Its attractions can hardly be summed up in a few words, but consist largely in its unique location. The rich broad valley of the Tia Juana will necessarily be the home of a large number of successful fruit-growers and other small farmers. The city of San Diego, like all great cities, must overflow. Charming places for homes are always in tbe suburbs of great cities, and not in the cities themselves. ONEONTA will be in close connection with San Diego via THE NATIONAL CITY AND OTAY RAILROAD, the contract for which has been let, to be completcd NOVEMBER 1st next. It is unquestionably a fact that the standard guage road, soon to be built by the Coronado Beach people, will pass through the town of ONEONTA, and when a steam railroad is built through to Ensenada, it will very naturally make a junction with the Coronado railroad at ONEONTA, passing through one of two possible routes immediately south therefrom. Develop Water Under Pressure! The projectors of the town of ONEONTA are gentlemen whose honest intentions will never be doubted, and who have pledged themselves to put the streets in excellent condition, erect buildings, and make such other public improvements as wili warrant the development of this new candidate into a fully ledged town of no mean proportions in a very brief period. In order that every one may make money, the lots have been priced at $100 each for inside lots and $150 for corners. Streets and avenues are unusally wide, and no one can visit this attractive spot without being impressed with the natural advantages it possesses. A convevance will be provided at the end of the motor line, near Otay City, which will carry passengers free to and from the townsite. Lithographic maps will ibe distributed on Saturday, and the opening sale will occur on Tuesday, August 30th, at the office of the San Diego Development Company, 824 FIFTH ST., W. H . HOLABIRD, Mgr. ( The San Diego Union, )

1887/12/30 - construction begun on Oneonta Hotel ( The San Diego Union, )

1888 - George M. Kimball was born in Maine and came with his father to National City in November, 1887, both as railroad carpenters, and in 1888 entered business at Nestor. Here he has been engaged in general contracting and building throughout Tia Juana valley since that time. While the elder Mr. Kimball was still living the firm built many of the first houses in this portion of the state and after his father's death Mr. Kimball of this review continued the business, erecting in National City a beautiful home for Dr. Fly, the Granger business block and the acid factory. In Chula Vista he planned and erected the Perry Brothers packing house, the San Diego Land & Fruit Company's and the Randolph Fruit Company's packing houses, an addition to the schoolhouse, residences for Mrs. Ash and Mr. Robinson, as well as many fine homes in the Villa tract in Chula Vista. He has also done some fine residence work in San Diego, and in addition built the trestle, three thousand feet in length, for the San Diego Mountain Water Company, extending from the Otay dam to Sweetwater. Mr. Kimball did most of the contract work in the early days of the building of National City, Chula Vista and Otay and of late years also has been engaged in extensive operations in those communities. During most of his period of residence in Tia Juana valley he has made his home in Nestor but for three years he engaged in building in La Jolla. In 1893, however, he bought a five-acre ranch in Nestor and definitely established himself here. He has three acres of this land planted in lemons. In 1897 he purchased additional sixteen and one-half acres in Tia Juana valley, putting in a well and pumping plant in order to develop an independent water supply, devoting this land to alfalfa and garden truck. Mr. Kimball continues to make his home in Nestor, but gives active supervision to his extensive business interests throughout the county. He understands the theory of construction and never allows his work to suffer by reason of inferior material. In addition his buildings are artistic in design and pleasing in appearance, combining the qualities of utility and attractiveness. Mr. Kimball has for many years been one of the greatest individual factors in the expansion and development of this section of Tia Juana valley, where he has come to be regarded as an enterprising business man, who has won that success which always follows earnest, persistent and well directed labor. In 1893 Mr. Kimball married Miss Rose Johnston, a native of Iowa, and they have two sons, Ernest, born in 1895, and Qinton, born in 1900. Both Mr. and Mrs. Kimball are well known and widely popular in social circles of the city and have an extensive acquaintance and many friends. Mr. Kimball has lived in Tia Juana valley for almost twenty-five years and during that time has won the respect and esteem of all with whom he has come in contact. He well merits the success which has come to him, for it has been gained through straightforward dealing and business methods which neither seek nor require disguise. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 361-362.)

1888 - George Loustalet was born 1870 in France, came to U.S. and San Diego 1888, had farms and a dairy business in the Tijuana and Otay valleys until retirement in 1925. His wife Alphonsine Longpre was born 1876 in Quebec, Canada, and she came to San Diego in 1889, and they were married in St. Joseph's Catholic Church in 1893. George died in El Cajon in 1959 at age 88. ( San Diego Union Feb. 1, 1959 )

Henry Schnell 1913
1888 - August M. Schnell was born in Germany, came to Minnesota in 1859, and moved to the Tijuana River Valley where he started a dairy in 1888, selling milk to the Hotel del Coronado. His son, Henry Schnell, organized Schnell's Sanitary Dairy in 1899 and was the first local dairyman to sell milk in bottles rather than cans. The Schnell dairy grew into the largest dairy south of Los Angeles, and in 1913 merged with other producers to create the Producers Mutual Dairy Association. It was known as the PM Dairy and was one of the early milk cooperatives in San Diego county. Schnell sold the PM Dairy to Arden Farms in 1928, and then sold Arden Farms to Harold Grey in 1933. Schnell continued to improve and expand his family's Schnell Model Dairy Farm on San Ysidro Boulevard from Nestor to San Ysidro, advertising its "Protected Milk" that he produced in his new creamery plant. In 1937, Schnell and Harold Grey formed Dairy Mart Farms that was established on the Schnell farm, producing milk with the modern machinery that Henry Schnell had installed. Grey changed the name of Arden Way to Dairy Mart Road and won contracts to deliver milk to the Navy during the war. A new emphasis of Dairy Mart Farms was distribution, including a fleet of trucks and drive-in stores throughout San Diego county. Henry Schnell died 1957 and his wife Phyllis Schnell took over the management of Dairy Farms. At that time the cooperative employed 90, processed 10,000 gallons of milk daily from 11 South Bay farms and sold through 75 distributors. Members of the Dairy Mart cooperative included some of the largest dairy farmers in the South Bay, including Walter Burch, Robert Egger, Julius Hofer, Robert Reider, Otto Rollin, Henry Schaffner, George Schurig, Leo and Manuel Zumstein. (The National Cyclopedia Of American Biography. New York: James T. White & Company, 1962)

1888 - ONEONTA BY THE SEA! The Pasadena of San Diego County, the Terminus of the National City and Otay Railway, and for Healthfulness and Beauty of Location Without a Rival. Now has four round-trip passenger trains dally to San Diego; good water; a $20,000 hotel; a telephone line to San Diego; a lovely bay; the best fishing and hunting on this coast; a rich soil; a climate unsurpassed; a combination of ocean, mountain and valley scenery unequaled; a beautiful park site almost surrounded by water; a combination of beauties and advantages that must be seen to be appreciated, and is conceded by all to be the lovliest place for a home, and the most desirable as an Investment in this county. It also has a post-office, with dally malls; grocery store, meat market, water under pressure, bath house, and one of the finest beaches and surfs on this coast; also church services morning and evening every Sunday; Sabbath school, and a musical and literary society. Its new and commodius hotel is now open to the public, and being run in first-class style by the gentlemanly and efficient proprietor, A. A. Thomas, who, with his family, will spare neither effort nor pains to make it the most attractive hotel for tourists and others in Southern California, with rates most reasonable; per day $2.00, per week $7.00. Special inducements to families and permanent guests. Thousands of acres of the finest agricultural land in Southern California, including a large portion of the famous Tia Juana Valley, surround and are tributary to the town of Oneonta; also, the trade of a vast section of Lower California. ( Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, March 1986 )

1888/01/30 - Monument Hotel at International City. (photo) ad with picture of proposed hotel.

1888/01/31 - hotel ad: The Monument Hotel. ( The San Diego Union )

1888/02/02 NC&O Motor road began running to the Oneonta hotel Sunday morning [Feb. 5] . "Carlson & Higgins have a gang of Chinamen grading on the extension to the monument" The hotel roof is about finished, is 2 and one half stories, with 27 rooms. Mr. Holden's residence is nearly complete. Mr. C. E. Smith to build house 2 blocks east of the hotel. Mr. Sniff has bought 20 acres on the Monument road south of town and will improve it at once. (National City Record, Feb. 2, 1888.) The NC&O turned south to the village of Oneonta. Grading had been started and a contract reportedly had been let for an extension of the motor road to the south, crossing the river and curving west to "International City", a subdivision laid out by the visionary William H. (Billy) Carlson and his partner, Higgins, near the initial monument marking the boundary between California, U.S.A. and Baja California, Mexico. Border Field is now located there. Like most all of Billy's projects, it fizzled. (Bice, Hiram. "Let's Ride the Dam Train" National City Record, May 5, 1892.)

1888/03/08 Oneonta was settled by residents of Oneonta, New York. The name, taken from the Iroquois Indians means, "Place of Rest." The little town was incorporated by the Oneonta Land & Town Company On March 8, 1888. At that tIme its geographical location was given as Sect. 32, T. 18 S. Range 2 West from the San Bernardino Meridian. Now It would lie along the southwestern part of Ream Field. ( Phillips, San Diego Land & Town Company, 1880-1927, p. 62. )

1888/07/04 The Oneonta Hotel opened July 4 and guests arrived by railroad. They could take a daily stage to see the monument at the border. The hotel was destroyed by 1891 flood.

1889 - "The hills and arroyos on the south edge of the valley, especially Smuggler's Gulch and Goat Canyon, undoubtedly provided cover for 19th century illegal aliens as they tried to enter the United States. The illicit passing of merchandise and livestock across the border was also a common activity for which several Tia Juana merchants were charged. In April 1890 the old and established store keepers Joseph Messenger and William Lane were arrested for smuggling. 'Mr. Lane was discharged and Mr. Messenger was released under bonds to await the action of the Grand Jury.' (San Diego Union 4-29-1890). The following July butchers Otto and Wolf were arrested on a charge of smuggling cattle across the line and taken to Los Angeles to await trial (Otay Press 7-18-1889). Other incidents occurred as a result of the rowdy individuals and criminals attracted to the town. In May 1889 a 'bold forgery was brought to the light ... at Tia Juana.... The scheme was to secure a loan of $10,000 on San Diego town lots by forging the name of the owner, and setting forth the urgent demand for the money for mining purposes.' (Olay Press 5-30-1889). In August of the same year a major brawl broke out. During the rumpus chairs and billiard balls and cues were used and pistols displayed, but the only one seriously hurt was William Rivers, who was taken to the county hospital with a broken arm. The trouble is said to have originated from an alleged case of smuggling.' (Otay Press 8-8-1889). In October authorities indicted several saloon keepers for selling liquor without license (San Diego Union 10-24-1889). Entrepreneurs also soon realized that Mexican Tia Juana provided an opportunity to avoid some of the legal restrictions of the United States and quick marriage businesses, as well as gambling establishments, located there. ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1889 - Local papers made periodic references to the farmers in the area. Sugar beets, grains, and vegetables remained popular crops: "H.C. Tibbetts of the Tia Juana has sent the first sample of sugar beets for a test. The sample consisted of three large beets weighing from eight to ten pounds and was grown from seed received from the agricultural department (Olay Press 6-30-1889). Messrs Schnell and Edmonson are both shipping large quantities of milk to San Diego via the N.C. & 0 from their ranches in the Tia Juana Valley (Olay Press 6-13-1889). The corn crop in the valley is looking well and green corn is on the market (Olay Press 6-27-1889). Watermelons, muskmelons, figs, tomatoes and vegetables are now being shipped from Otay and Tia Juana Valleys (Olay Press 7-25-1889). Mr. Schnell is crushing barley at his mill in Tia Juana this week (Otay Press 9-12-1889). One of the Tia Juana honey-fisted farmers was rewarded by a return of 125 sacks of potatoes from one planted (Olay Press 9-19-1889). The Oneonta Horticultural Society sent a sugar beat to the District Fair at Los Angeles, that weighed 125 pounds. Capt. Folks sent cabbages, cucumbers; Frizzell, sweet potatoes, squash, popcorn; Ware, Muscat Grapes; Flemming Tokay Grapes; Drew, corn; Tibbets, corn, apples, tomatoes, quince, pears, cabbage; Forbish, pumpkins, weight 165 pounds (Otay Press 9-26-1889). The Monument district took the premium for the best sugar beet at the Los Angeles fair (Otay Press 10-10-1889). George M. Kimball's big squash, grown on his ranch at Tia Juana, weighing 157 pounds, is ahead as far as is heard from. It may be seen at the produce store J. E. Mulvey & Sons. Cor. 6th & H Sts. San Diego (Olay Press 11-25-1889). The surplus cabbage and other vegetables that can be so readily grown the year round in Sweetwater, Otay, and Tia Juana valleys has at last found an outlet. The producers Union has shipped a carload of cabbage to Omaha ... Our farmers will not have to let their cabbage rot in the field for want of a market as was the case in Tia Juana last winter (Olay Press 2-13-1890). There are numerous windmills throughout the Tia Juana Valley, where most of these farms are situated, and the land is well watered. This Tia Juana Country, by the way, is green all the year. No irrigation is necessary, and the soil is generally moist. One or two gasoline engines are in use for irrigating nursery stock. There are not many citrus trees here abouts but the crop of peaches and apricots is very large. Several tons of dried fruit will be shipped this fall. The principal crop is alfalfa hay, wheat, hay, and live stock. One field of twenty acres has already yielded this season three crops of alfalfa hay, and from which two more crops are expected to be harvested. Another man in this locality had two acres of 5 year old apricots (San Diego Union 8-28-1892). C. S. Brown, foreman of the H. Perry ranch, Tijuana valley, last year raised 20 acres of sugar beets, this year 25 acres, next year expects to increase by several hundred acres. (San Diego Union 12-7-1917). ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1889 - The South San Diego school was built at 10th and Elm. (The San Diego Union, Apr. 9, 1889)

1889 - The Oneonta school was built in 1889 and was used for more than 30 years. ( Otay Press, 1889/05/23 ) The Oneonta School District combined with the Highland School District and the South San Diego School District to form the South Bay Union School District in the 1920's. The Oneonta school was a two story building with an auditorium and stage upstairs. In 1922 a contract with William T. Wykes called for the transporting of the students enrolled in the Highland and the Oneonta schools from designated stations to the South Bay Union School (formerly South San Diego School). In 1976, the name Oneonta lives on in Imperial Beach. Oneonta Avenue, running west to east between Holly Avenue and Iris Avenue, crosses the old village terrain. A large modern brick grammar school named Oneonta, faces on 10th Street between Grove Avenue and Beverly Avenue, near the old village. No one mentions Oneonta Lagoon or the old Brewster Sanitarium at Oneonta. For half a century, they have been only memories. (Elliot, 1976, p. 173)

1889/03/01 - The U.S. and Mexico established the International Boundary Commission (IBC) on March 1, 1889 as another temporary body to apply the rules that were adopted by the Convention of 1884. The IBC was extended indefinitely in 1900 and is considered the direct predecessor to the modern day International Boundary and Water Commission. The 1884 Convention was modified by the Banco Convention of March 20, 1905 to retain the Rio Grande and the Colorado River as the boundary. ( International Boundary and Water Commission, http://www.ibwc.state.gov/About_Us/history.html )

1889/12 - Ninth greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 20,000 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1890 - The first school district to be organized in any part of the present South Bay Union School District was the Monument School District which was organized in 1869. In 1871, Monument District became part of the National School District, but in 1873, the Monument District was re-established and a school built in 1875 south of the Tia Juana River at the end of Monument Road. By 1889 three other districts had been formed in the area which now comprises the South Bay Union School District. They were Highland, Oneonta and South San Diego and each had built a school. About 1890, a new schoolhouse was built in Palm City at Banana and National Avenue. These individual schools and districts were consolidated into the South Bay Union School District in 1922. (Elliot, 1976, p. 171) 1890 - J. Mapson, who named Palm City when he had citrus groves near Nestor in 1890, was honored Saturday on his 86th birthday at his home, 4569 Cleveland avenue. His two daughters, Mrs. E. P. Draper and Mrs. Adele M. Foster, both of San Diego, planned a birthday surprise and carried out the event successfully. More than 100 persons were present to congratulate the honored guest. A majority of the guests were San Diego pioneers. Born in England, Mr. Mapson came to America when he was 12 years old and settled in Minnesota. When he moved to California in 1890, he built a home near Nestor and established what was the largest orange and lemon packing plant In southern California. Retiring 24 years ago, Mr. Mapson moved to San Diego. ( San Diego Union, Nov. 24, 1930) The 1900 census for Otay township listed Jehu Mapson, 55, born 1844 in England, married spouse Katie S. Mapson in 1887, son Robert L. Mapson born in 1878.

1890 - Two other small communities commercial centers became established in the northeast portion of the valley: Nestor, where a post office was established in June 1890, and nearby Palm City, where postal service opened in January 1914. Located on the main highway and railroad line between San Diego and the border crossing, Nestor would become the main center of business for the region. The Tia Juana Post Office closed in February 1904 and its service was also moved to Nestor. The post office at Oneonta suffered the same fate. The Monument and Oneonta School Districts still served residents of the valley's east end. The number of students at Monument School ranged from a low of 24 to a high of 26 between 1893 and 1910. Families living in Section 5 which had children attending Monument School included the households of G. Yorba in 1901, N. Mejillas in 1899, and J.A. Mansir in 1901. Households living in Section 32 with children attending Oneonta School between 1897 and 1901 included F. J. Davies, J. R. Duncan, J. W. Dury, R. Harpham, W. H. Holderness, R. Harpham, G. N. Huey, F. C. Ingersoll, E. J. Kerns, L. Lazzaretto, J. R. Lynch, J. A. Mc Cann, C. J. Miller, E. C. Olmstead, J. P. Patterson, J. Semenza, C. E. Smith, R. B. Smith, C. A. Utterberg, and W. H. Ward. ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1890 - David L. Kretsinger and his wife Susan came to the South Bay in 1889 from Winfield, Kansas, where David was a successful newspaper publisher and Susan owned a millinery store. They were following Capt. John H. Folks, a fellow Kansas newspaperman and Civil War veteran, who came to the South Bay in 1884 and bought hundreds of acres on the high ground south of the Otay River. This land became valuable after 1887 when the National City & Otay Railroad came through and built Palm Station at the crossing of Highway 101 and the road west around the bay to Coronado, later called Palm Avenue. At this station, one branch of the NC&O curved east to Tijuana and another branch curved west to Oneonta. Nestor Young's farm was just south of this station and later became the town of Nestor. In 1888 Capt. Folks established a school south of Nestor that he called Highland District School that today is the site of Southwest Middle School. In 1889 Capt. Folks sold 10 acres to the Kretsingers in what was being called the Highland District, rising 100 feet above the Otay valley. It was here that David and Susan planted lemon trees and built their Queen Anne styled home, notable for its central tower with a widow's walk, full-width front porch, gabled dormers and hipped roof with intersecting gables. David became one of the leaders of the district, superintendant of orchard fumigation, and president of the Grand Army Of The Republic's Heintzelman Post. Soon after Capt. Folks was elected sheriff of the district, Kretsinger was appointed deputy sheriff.

The Kretsinger house at 2539 Palm Ave. was built in 1890 by David Kretsinger and is San Diego Historical Landmark #1046.

1891/02 - Oneonta and International City are long gone, according to Irene Phillips, 82, now at Fredericka. Some early towns including Highland and the "first" Tijuana were in the Tia Juana River flood plain. The Russ House was an inn popular with visitors who came for the bull and prize fights or the hot springs, but all wiped out by Feb. 1891 flood ( Chula Vista Star-News, Dec. 5, 1971. )

1891/02/19 - For its brief duration, scarcely more than a week, the storm that struck Southern California and Arizona in February of 1891 was probably the worst on record. On February 19 heavy rain was welcomed as a guaranty of good crops. Four days later the city was isolated from the world. Every telephone and telegraph line was out, railroad connections were severed and a heavy storm at sea with gale winds interrupted shipping. Virtually everything that had been built in the riverbeds or on the alluvial plains between the great watersheds and the sea was gone or reduced to wreckage. In that day the town of Tia Juana straddled the border and consisted of thirty or forty residences and business houses. The storm washed away perhaps twenty-five of them, as well as the trees which shaded the town. Those who rebuilt moved to higher ground, and laid the foundations for the present cities of Tijuana and San Ysidro. (Pourade v. 4, 1964)

1891/09/21 Southwest of Imperial Beach, a narrow body of water extended 1.5 miles inland from the ocean where the force of the waves was spent and only the rise and fall of the tide IndIcated Its proximity to the sea. Here a little town was platted, with broad streets and a Bay Boulevard. Wells to the east of town provided an abundance of water for domestIc use, and for the orchards that were being planted. An excursion to Oneonta with brass band and picnic celebrated the opening of the Hotel. By September 21, 1891, it was advertIsed throughout the country, "Beautiful Oneonta, by the sea. The hotel of 27 rooms, with a fireplace in each room is set in a beautiful garden and lures the tourist to prolong his stay in the mild, winter-warm climate. There is swimming in the bay, also surf bathing nearby, Sailboats are ready, without charge, for all who enjoy sailing in our quiet Bay. There are clam bakes and clamming parties, fishing, hunting and future fruit orchards. A special stage takes the tourist to the International Monument." There were the usual town stores, a post office established on March 24, 1888, a church and many houses. The Warren Kimball Planing Mill furnished, and dressed the lumber for these buildings as well as for the schoolhouse. The Oneonta Dramatic Club rendered many dramas, such as the three act, "Above the Clouds" which was great success. It was a complete little town. Backers of the project had wonderful plans for the future. Here was a town on an ideal Bay with a back country as prosperous as a man could wish. Was it not possible to ship all produce from the Otay Mesa and the Tia Juana valley direct from Oneonta instead of the long haul to National City or San Diego? Hopes were high for future development but the ocean along the beach was relentless. It does queer things. The unpredictable waves brought sand into the Bay and the sail boats tilted precariously in the shoal water. The little town struggled on. The hotel was purchased by Mrs. Brewster and an Eastern Syndicate and became known as the "Brewster Medical Company." Mrs. Brewster converted it to a Sanitarium for Consumptives. The Hotel-Sanitarium burned on Sept. 16, 1897. The NC&O raIlroad gave up running their trains to 0neonta in 1891 after the big flood in the Tia Juana RIver Valley and the trains went only as far as Fruitland. ( Phillips, San Diego Land & Town Company, 1959, p. 63. )

1894/07/10 - Head of the Bay Notes: Dr. P. A. Wood of San Diego spent Sunday at his ranch. The apricot, blackberry and peach crops in this vicinity are turning out well. 0. E. Smith and family of Oneonta are off for a three weeks' vacation at Valley Center. The Methodists have had the room in which they worship in the school house frescoed by artist J. B. Duncan. It is a thing of beauty and therefore "a joy forever." They have also added a new pulpit to their church furniture. Mr. Eisenmeyer has returned from a three months' visit east. His walnut ranch is looking finely. He thinks, as an article of commerce, that nothing will compare with the product of a walnut ranch. Almost every inch of the Tia Juana valley is adapted to walnuts. ( San Diego Union )

Newell's daughter (possibly Pansy), her brother Hollis, child unkown, and Newell Jacob Peavey, at Nestor home ca. 1940. (Elwell Family Tree, Ancestry.com)

1895 - Newell Jacob Peavey was born in 1878 in Maine and as a child moved to Iowa with his family. His father Hollis Monroe Peavy moved to the South Bay area of San Diego County in 1893, where he was among the first settlers of the Tia Juana Valley in 1895. Newell Peavey operated a dairy farm in the valley and became a director of the old PM Dairy, one of the first diary associations in San Diego. The farm was wiped out by the flood of 1916 and Peavey leased and later bought the Rose Canyon Ranch, now the site of Clairemont. He first operated a dairy farm there and then began raising beef cattle, lima beans also were grown extensively on the ranch. He sold his interest in the ranch in 1952 and retired, but his sons continued its operations until the area was subdivided, The family also conducted ranching operations at Penasquitas Ranch, near Miramar, and is active in ranching in San Diego and Imperial counties, Nevada and Idaho. Peavey, who died in 1965 at the age of 87, was a resident of this area for 72 years. He was a member of the San Diego County Cattleman's Association and one of the founders of the Old-Timers Club of San Diego County. He is survived by seven sons, including Hollis Peavey of Nestor, George and Alvin Peavey of Potrero and Russell Peavey of Miramar; four daughters, including Mrs. Mary Finnegan of Lemon Grove and Mrs. Nancy Holsapple of San Diego; 27 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. ( The San Diego Union, Aug. 15, 1965. )

Newell Peavey 1913
1895 - Newell Jacob Peavey has one hundred and five acres of the finest alfalfa land in this section of the state. This indeed forms his principal crop and he has the distinction of being the first man to raise alfalfa on an extensive scale. He has been very successful in its cultivation, cutting seven crops a year, averaging ten tons to the acre and curing nine hundred tons yearly. Mr. Peavey is likewise extensively interested in raising fancy stock, keeping fine horses and cattle. He is the owner of the black Percheron stallion Ursus, weighing two thousand pounds at five years of age. Mr. Peavey has raised some fine blooded colts and now has animals from two to three years of age which weigh from eleven hundred to thirteen hundred and fifty pounds. He also buys and sells cows and heifers, keeping always from thirty to forty head of young stock on hand. In addition to this he has fourteen horses in his stables, which are necessary in order to conduct the farm. This has already become one of the finest and most scientifically operated ranches in this section of the state and upon it are found all the features of a model farm property of the twentieth century. Mr. Peavey was the first man to develop water on a large scale in the Tia Juana valley and now has the best water plant in San Diego county, consisting of five wells ninety feet deep, with one hundred and seventy-five miners inches of water. He has installed a fine system of irrigating ditches, put in at a cost of from fifty to seventy-five dollars per acre. Everything about the place is in excellent condition, indicating the owner's care, skill and practical methods. Mr. Peavey began as a small landowner, operating on a small scale, but success soon rewarded his well directed work and his activities have constantly broadened. From time to time he bought more land, brought it to a high state of development and improvement and is today as the result of his own energy and efforts one of the successful and prosperous farmers of this community. He has rented out twelve acres of his land to a truck farmer, receiving forty dollars per acre a year. On this small tract his tenant has raised potatoes averaging one hundred and seventy-five sacks to the acre, a remarkable instance of the fertility and productiveness of California soil. Mr. Peavey has been twice married. The children by his first marriage are Alvin H., Hollis M. and George T. His second union occurred in 1912, in which year he wedded Miss Opal Russell and there is one son by this marriage, Webster Russell, born October 15, 1912. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 404-407.)

1895 - Hollis Newell Peavy was born in 1902 and actually lived in Oneonta for several years as a child with his brothers Alvin and George and sister Pansy. They lived with their mother in a house owned by his grandfather Hollis Monroe Peavy, who first came to the area in 1895 and owned land between Oneonta and the Mexican Border. Later, the house they had lived in was sold to the Sniff family who lived there for many years. The Peavy home in Oneonta was a two story house with living room, kitchen, bedroom and a lean-to on the ground floor and two bedrooms upstairs. There was a dug well with a windmill to pump the water. All toilet facilities were outside. Water for laundry was boiled in a large, black iron pot in the back yard. Clothes were rubbed on a rub board, boiled in the black pot then rinsed in large galvanized tubs. These same tubs were used for Saturday night baths. The children attended the Oneonta school for a few years then moved back to their father's ranch in the Tia Juana Valley. Peavy recalls that when he was a child, the sanitarium was still there as well as several homes and a vacant house or two. There was Davis house, Holderness house and Kern house, among others. Hollis Peavy lives with his wife Pansy, in a modern home a few blocks from the old town. He still owns 80 acres in the Tie Juana Valley where he has some cattle. The water has become too salty for many crops. The Peavys have children, grand-children and great grandchildren who have attended schools in the South Bay Union School District. Peavy tells of a subdivision called Banta which was situated west of Oneonta. The water company built a four inch pipe from Coronado Avenue, Imperial Beach to Banta subdivision to furnish it with water. Only one house has ever been built there. Many people came after WWI inquiring about the town and looking for the lots they had bought in the subdivision. Newell J. Peavy, father of H. H. Peavy, is said to have hauled cement and lumber for the first house built in 1903 at the end of First Street, Imperial Beach, by subdivider and builder Frank J. Cullen. Peavy was always interested in mechanical things. He built a Wave Motor Machine about 1910 and frequently would go to watch the Edwards Wave Motor Machine that was installed on the old Imperial Beach pier. The Edwards machine was supposed to produce enough power for lighting all Imperial Beach but it was not successful. H. J. Peavy owned a 115-acre ranch in the valley and in addition, he leased several hundred acres on which he raised alfalfa hay, com, sugar beets, barley, oats and cattle. With the assistance of his boys, the produce was hauled by mule drawn wagons to markets in Old Town, San Diego. Later on, trucks were used for this. The road through Palm City into town was not paved until after 1930. A sideline of the Peavy family was a government contract for patroling the MexicanAfrican Border fence, to make sure that it had not been cut. H. N. Peavy tells that he would take turns with his brother at checking the fence. He would ride horseback along the fence from the ocean to the Otay mountain. This had to be done at least once each month, the contract paid five dollars a month. Mt. Olivet cemetery established 1899, is situated a short distance from Oneonta. Hollis Monroe Peavy, along with several others, paid for lots at ten dollars each land got together $400 to purchase two acres of land for the cemetery. H. M. Peavy took care of the cemetery until his death then his son, M. J. Peavy was in charge until he died. Now, Hollis N. Peavy is trying to get the cemetery cared for when he is no longer able to care for it. The cemetery has been fenced to prevent vandalism; some persons had been picnicing there and leaving behind their trash. (Elliot, 1976, pp. 50-52)

1895/01 - Third greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 38,000 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1895/01/23 - D. L. Kretsinger, who owns a ranch at Nestor, visited the Tia Juana valley yesterday. "It is a most desolate sight," he said upon his return. "The whole face of the valley, for almost the entire two miles across, is covered with black sediment from three to six inches thick, and as one passes from ranch to ranch the sight is discouraging in. the extreme. Yet in spite of that, the flood victims are cheerful, and are preparing to move back upon their land and make the best of the disaster. The Tia Juana river has acted during this flood in the most unaccountable manner, branching suddenly at places into three or four new channels, and sometimes leaving the old one altogether. The bridge across the river near Mrs. Hetherington's ranch is now almost high and dry, and the river has cut a new channel forty rods south, between her place and the Kerns ranch. On some ranches there is not enough mother soil left to put a hat on. The ground is either out into great ditches or is piled full of sand heaps." ( The San Diego Union, Jan. 23, 1895 )

1897/09/14 - The Oneonta sanitarium burned to the ground Monday morning, the only things saved being a few small articles of furniture. The cause of the fire is unknown, but it is thought to be the work of an incendiary. The structure was built in 1887 and cost $19,000. The property was owned by Mrs. Elizabeth B. Brewster, but was mortgaged to a Mr. Tryon for $4,000 and insured for $5,000 in the Caledonian Insurance Company. The furniture was valued at $1,500 but was not insured. ( The San Diego Union, )

1899/05/21 - Newell J. Peavy, age 21, native of maine and resident of Oneonta, married Rita L. Rios, age 26, native of California and resident of Jamul. Also, Frank Peralta age 23 married C. R. Machado age 19, both residents of Oneonta. ( The San Diego Union )

1900 - David Smallcomb was born 1863 in Illinois. He came with his father, John Smallcomb, to the Tijuana Valley in the 1890s and is listed in the Census of 1900.

1900 - James A. English is well and favorably known in Nestor as a contractor and builder and his efforts have been valuable factors in the general business development of the town. He came to Nestor in 1899 and constructed a fine home for himself on Palm avenue beside residences for the Tracy, Moore and Semenza families, the Palm Avenue schoolhouse, the Moore store and the Peavey and Wall pumping plants, his buildings being all substantial in construction and attractive in design. Mr. English is a man of enterprise and marked force of character and throughout his business life has made good use of the opportunities which his ability has commanded, being numbered today among the successful and prominent business men of his locality. In 1898 he married Miss Ada Cook, a native of England, and they became the parents of seven children: Ruth, Frank, Rose, John, Clark, Emily and Ada, all born in San Diego county. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 313-314.)

1902 - Lincoln Moore, founder of the section of the town of Nestor known as Palm Avenue and since 1902 one of the leading factors in its business development, was born in Wisconsin and came to San Diego in 1886 working for the Santa Fe Railroad. In 1902 he came to Nestor, having previously purchased five acres of land fronting on National avenue. This he divided into twenty-eight lots, fifty by one hundred and forty feet, and developed and improved the property, selling it to investors. From this beginning has grown the thriving section of Palm avenue, which stands as a monument to Mr. Moore's resourceful business ability, his recognition of favorable opportunity, his energy and his business enterprise. He opened the first store in the subdivision and conducted it successfully for eight years, during which time other business enterprises sprang up and prospered. Stores and houses have been erected upon the lots, Mr. Moore continuing his active interest in the welfare of the section, which is today one of the most attractive and flourishing parts of Nestor. Mr. Moore has recently completed a new two-story business block upon a busy corner and has other important projects under contemplation. He is a member of the Palm Avenue Commercial Club and this affords him a valuable field for his development work. His wife Alice Francisco is a native of California and a daughter of C. F. Francisco, a pioneer of San Diego county. They have two children, Charlotte and Mabel. Mr. Moore is well known in Nestor and throughout this part of San Diego county, where his enterprising and progressive spirit has gained him the widespread respect of many friends. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 296-297.)

1902 - William Ober moved to his present ranch of 175 acres in the Tia Juana valley and has since given his entire time to its scientific development and improvement. He provided it with a fine water system, having installed two electric pumps, one of which gives 60,000 gallons of water per hour and the other 30,000. He cleared the land of the overgrowing brush and has planted 30 acres in alfalfa, harvesting many fine crops yearly. Mr. Ober is likewise extensively interested in dairying and conducts one of the finest and most sanitary dairy enterprises in this part of the state, keeping an excellent herd of forty milch cows. He has installed all of the most modern dairy equipment and has erected a fine milk house, where the milk is handled in a clean and sanitary manner, being absolutely pure when it reaches the consumer. He and his wife Cora have nine children, Glen, Guy, Cora, Lida, Gertrude, Clyde, Wilbur, Howard and Gladys. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 301-302.)

1903 - One of the most successful and prominent men engaged in lemon growing in Nestor is J. M. Wills, who since 1903 has owned a fine ranch of five acres on Palm avenue. He was born in Ottawa, Illinois, April 27, 1854, and in his childhood worked upon a farm. When he came to Nestor in 1903, he purchased a 5-acre lemon orchard on Palm avenue, whereon he has since resided and has made this one of the most productive fruit ranches in this vicinity. Some idea of the extent of his operations in the cultivation of lemons may be gained from the fact that for 80,000 pounds of his fruit he received $1600 in 1912 and from January 1 to September 1 of the same year he gathered 51,000 pounds of lemons of fine quality. He also has a large family orchard, which yields abundant crops every year. Mr. Wills uses the latest and most improved machinery to facilitate his work, the methods which he follows being practical and at the same time in keeping with ideas of progressive fruit growing. In 1876 Mr. Wills married Miss Sarah Brown, a native of Michigan, and they became the parents of seven children. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 314-315.)

1906 - Oscar Lehner moved to the Tia Juana valley, where he purchased two ranches which he still owns, one comprising 43 acres on National avenue, while the other of 40 acres is near the county line on the Mexican border. The 43-acre property is splendidly developed, its improvements including a $1600 pumping plant with three-quarters of a mile of 10-inch water pipe and a quarter of a mile of cement ditch carrying eighty inches of water. He raises alfalfa on this property which will run $100 to the acre annually, and in 1912 he realized $1100 from fields which he cultivated without irrigation. He also operates three fumigating outfits for fumigating fruit trees, thus caring for over one hundred thousand trees each year. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 293-294)

1906/02/23 - Mrs. Ruth Peavy selling a store building for $100 in Oneonta. ( The San Diego Union )

San Diego Union, July 3, 1906
1906/07/03 - South Bay ad for South San Diego Company included map that showed proposed Imperial Beach pier, the Point of Rocks in the ocean at the border, the NC&O railroad from National City through Chula Vista and Otay and Nestor to Tijuana, and the route of the ferry boat from San Diego to the channel dredged at the southern end of the bay to connect with South San Diego. ( San Diego Union, July 3, 1906)

1908 - The building next to the Smokehouse is gone too, where once John D. Weatherbie, father of Pansy Weatherbie Peavy, worked as wagonmaster and blacksmith. John D. and Annabell Weatherbie came by covered wagon from Prince Edward Island, Canada to southern California in 1908. The old Weatherbie home was torn down several years ago to make room for the new Southwest High School which was built in 1971. (Elliot, 1976, pp. 58)

1909 - Rudolph J. Jaeger came to California in 1909 and settled in Nestor, where he lives the greater part of the time, enjoying the most equable climatic conditions in the country, and therefore in the world. His home is the old Keuck ranch, constituting a part of what was known as Helena Park. Mr. Keuck set out the trees twenty years ago and since his ownership Mr. Jaeger has made substantial improvements in building and equipment and has greatly increased the productiveness of the property. An electrical pumping plant has been installed and twenty-five inches of water developed. Thus his system of irrigation is perfect and is to a large extent responsible for the quality and abundance of his harvests. In 1912 his orchard produced four hundred and fifty thousand pounds of lemons. He ships his fruit through the Chula Vista Lemon Growers Association to the eastern market, where it commands a high price and ready sale. In 1910 Mr. Jaeger and his wife Edith have one son, Francis Bernard. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 360-361.)

1910 - The Census of 1910 list the following residents of the Tijuana Valley: Mary Schnell, 62, and son Harry, dairy ranch owners; John Schussler, 50, wife Ella and 4 daughters; Elbert Oberholtzer, 26; Albert Semenza, 25; Joseph Poggi, 20, and wife Rosie, and sons William and Joseph; Frank Mansir, 29, and wife Angarella, and son Roy; Harry Mansir, 33, and wife Rosario, and sons Alfred and Charles; Louis Parma, 28, and wife Anna, cattle stockman; Fred Wadham, 47, customs officer; Ober William, 62, and wife Cora, dairy owner.

1910 - The border would remain unfenced until 1910 when a barb wire fence with steel posts was installed from the coast to Otay Mountain. In 1871, the first officers were assigned to patrol the U.S. side of the border in San Ysdiro. Two years later in 1873, the first border customs building (no longer extant) in San Ysidro was built on the Mexican side of the border. ( San Ysidro Historic Context Statement Final, October 11, 2010)

1910 - August Lindgren, a native of Sweden, emigrated to America in 1868. His mechanical and inventive ability soon made itself evident and he concentrated his energies upon improvements in agricultural implements and upon new inventions along this line. He has taken out forty patents and has received many honors, gaining a gold medal at the St. Louis World's Fair and a diploma at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. For over 39 years Mr. Lindgren was connected with the Moline Plow Company of Moline, Illinois, to the benefit of both parties concerned. He is the inventor of the famous Moline plow which has been exploited and sold by the company since 1871 and he has a life contract by which he receives a liberal sum each month in exchange for the exclusive selling rights to his invention. For a number of years he acted as inspector of the vast plant operated by the company at Moline, passing upon all goods made in the factory, but he has since resigned this position, although he still holds a large amount of stock in the enterprise. Mr. Lindgren has lived in San Diego county since 1910, when he purchased a 10-acre lemon ranch in Nestor. In the midst of his fine grounds stands his beautiful home, in which he is spending a more or less retired life, giving his attention to raising lemons. In 1876 Mr. Lindgren was united in marriage to Miss Victoria Stromesth, a native of Sweden, and to them nine children have been born: Alex, who is head of the mechanical department and who also acts as inspector of the Moline Plow Company; Florence, the wife of Ernst Blomquest; Hugo, who is traveling expert for the Moline Plow Company; George, a representative of the same concern in the Argentine Republic; Erne, the wife of Arthur Deneen; Orton, who travels through Indiana in the interests of the Moline Plow Company; and Willard, Leona and Claude, at home. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 316-317.)

1910/09/12 - Walnuts and pecans are being harvested in the Tia Juana valley. Mr. Yeomans of San Ysidro has imported Chilean melons and plans to start a tomato and vegetable canning factory. ( The San Diego Union )

1911 - Walter Stewart, 96, Tijuana Valley rancher and dairy farmer, came to South Bay 1911, held 500 acres until began selling 1948; died 1978 at age 96 ( Chula Vista Star-News, July 27, 1978. )

1912 - Edward Quincy Dyer has lived in Nestor since May, 1912, upon a beautiful 15-acre fruit ranch, where he is residing in comparative retirement, resting after a long, active and honorable career. For a number of years he was a dominating figure in state politics of Massachusetts, and well known in business circles of Boston. He was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in October, 1841, and engaged in the clothing business in Boston for twenty years and afterward was for eighteen years in the hardware business. From 1898 to 1902 he was a member of the board of selectmen of Hyde Park, Massachusetts, and then turned his attention to state politics. He was elected to the Massachusetts legislature in 1902 and in the two terms during which he held office was a member of the mercantile committee, serving as its chairman in 1903. It was during his period of activity in this position that the subway bill was passed, under the provisions of which a subway beneath the city of Boston was constructed. He left the state in 1912 and settled in Nestor where he purchased the Hall lemon ranch of 15 acres, on Palm avenue. However, Mr. Dyer does not specialize in raising lemons, having a number of acres planted in oranges, apricots, peaches, plums, tangerines, loquats, figs and apples. He has been very successful in the cultivation of the latter fruit and recently picked from a small tree one apple which weighed one and one-half pounds. Mr. Dyer has been twice married. His first union was with Miss Mary S. Marshall, a native of Plattsburg, New York, who passed away leaving two children. He then married Miss Laura Marshall and they have become the parents of two sons, Edwin L. and Louis Quincy. He served in the American Navy during the Civil war. At the outbreak of hostilities, in 1861, he offered his services and was mustered on board the frigate Colorado. He was later transferred to the sloop of war Pensicola and was in the thick of the battle at New Orleans. He was mustered out with honorable discharge on the 30th of June, 1862, after fourteen months of active service. Mr. Dyer keeps in touch with his comrades of fifty years ago through his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic. (Smythe, San Diego And Imperial Counties, 1913, pp. 323-324.)

1916/01/14-28 - The two weeks of rain produced the greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 75,000 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1916/01/31 - The rain total for the month was 7.56 inches, a record amount until surpassed in 1993. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan. 18, 1993. )

1916/03/09 - The U.S. military presence at the border was increased when Mexico erupted into revolution. After General Francisco "Pancho" Villa conducted a cross-border raid on Columbus , New Mexico, on March 9, 1916, the Army established a camp in San Diego County, near Monument No. 1. The Army expanded its uses of the camp named "Border Field," but it was the Navy, after World War I, that began buying up the entire southwest corner of the United States. The Navy added an additional 245 acres in 1941 and constructed several buildings and bunkers. ( Carter, 2011. )

1916/07/11 - Camp Hearn was established by the Army, July 11, 1916, at the junction of Silver Strand Boulevard and Palm Avenue on leased land at Imperial Beach, and occupied by the 3d Oregon Infantry. The camp was established by the start of Mexican Revolutionary troubles in 1916 that continued into 1920. The camp was named in honor of Major Lawrence J. Hearn 21st Infantry. In August 1918 by a detachment from the 25th Infantry Battalion was stationed at Camp Hearn until February 1919. From that date, besides being the headquarters of the Southern California Border District, a detachment from the 11th Cavalry was stationed there. On August 7, 1920 Camp Hearn was closed. The Army also established the Palm City Border Camp during the Mexican Revolutionary period 1916-1920. (Hinds, "San Diego's Military Sites," 1986.)

1916/11/05 - Hollis M. Peavy died yesterday, native of Maine, age 86 father of Mrs. Emma L. Christoher of San Diego, Mrs. Florence E. Hall of Oregon, Webster J Peavy of Iowa, and Newel J. Peavy of Nestor. ( The San Diego Union, Nov. 5, 1916 )

1916/11/05 - Before 1916, Newell Jacob Peavy owned and farmed many acres of the land that Ream Field now covers. The 1916 flood washed out Peavy's crops in the low land but the family continued to farm a part of the land until WWII. Hoilis Newell Peavy, age 73 in 1976, remembers ploughing there as a young man. He has watched Ream Field grow then decrease several times. Peavy reports that large packing crate type hangers with canvas curtains for doors were used at Ream Field to shelter planes during WWI. Several long one story barracks and administration buildings were erected during the war and some of these still in existence today. (Elliot, 1976, pp. 209)

1917 - "I was born on September 1, 1917, and attended one of the four two-story schools built in the southern part of San Diego County before 1900. It was the South Bay Union School. I attended in 1923 and then to Southwest Junior High in 1929. An interesting note about Southwest Junior High is that it was built on the site of the Highland Elementary School. My grandfather, Wyman Downs, came from Madison, South Dakota, to settle in Otay, and with him came his father, Judge Natham Hulsey Downs, in 1893. My grandparents Wyman and Cora Downs had four children: George, Wedworth, Rolin, and Gladys. My mother and father, George Downs and Lola Killingworth, first met at the Otay Baptist Church. In those years before the 1916 flood, the Baptist Church was located on the southwest corner from where it is located today. Dad was a school teacher at the Oneonta School for a short while, but turned to farming to make a living at what he liked best. He farmed at Otay, the Tia Juana Valley, Nestor, and at one time at Seely, which was located in the Imperial Valley. He was very successful in growing celery. Some of the best celery grown in the United States was in the Nestor area." (by Florence Downs, Family, Friends, and Homes, 1991, p. 168. )

1917/12/21 - Panama King, a 715-pound hog, the property of N. J. Peavy of Otay, brought his owner $114.40 yesterday when sold to Charles H. Hardy. This hog is registered and is a remarkably fine specimen, which Hardy's will put in the Christmas show window. Mr. Peavy says that at the time of the flood in 1916 the hog swam three miles in the Tia Juana river and came out at Imperial Beach. The animal has been fed on the waste from the household kitchen and corn. ( The San Diego Union )

Mansir Passport photo
1918 - Harry Mansir 1874-1971 Harry Henry E Mansir Birth 29 Sep 1874 in San Diego, San Diego, California, USA Death 3 Apr 1971 in Santee, San Diego, California, United States of America Father: Charles Granville Mansir 1832 ­ 1881 b. in Boston Mother: Mary Ann Rebecca BAKER 1843 ­ 1927 Marriage to Rosa S Mansir 1894 San Diego, CA - Passport application: 15 Jul 1918 Residence: Nestor, was born in Nestor Father deceased wants to visit Mexico, has extensive farming operations in Lower California last passport was 1917 includes photo - 1921 city directory Charles W. Mansir and wife Eula, rancher Charles, Jr., rancher Harry E., rancher John, rancher - 1929 city directory, Palm City Charles G. Mansir was dairyman Ralph Mansir was engineer William G. Mansir was blrmkr Voter registration: Harry E. Mansir 1901-06 Frank W. Mansir Charles W. Mansir 1918, 1922, 1924 ( Sadie Poyorena Garcia Martinez family tree, ancestry.com )

1919/07/27 - Under the name "Southern Syndicate" the following well-known men in San Diego have associated themselves together for the purpose of financing local enterprises, participating in outside syndicates‹and offering to the community sound Investments: JULIUS WANGENHEIM, President John S. HAWLEY, JR., Vice President D. F. GARRETSOff, President First National Bank Gk A. DAVIDSON, President Soutncm Trust & Commerce Bank F. J. BELCHER, JR., Vice President First National Bank J. W. SEFTON, JR., Vice President San Diego Sayings Bank DUNCAN MACKINNON, President XT. S. National Bank L I. IRWIN, President Citizens Savings Bank W. S. DORLAND, President Security Commercial & Savings Bank H. E. ANTHONY, Asst. Cashier Merchants National Bank E. W. SCRIPPS, TJnitexi. Press Associations GEO. W. MARSTON, "President The Marston Company MELVILLE KLAUBER, PresidentKiauoer 'Wangenjhcim Company B. W. McKENZIE, President Western Metal Supply Company LEROY A. WEIGHT, Attorney. San Diego GEOEGE STURGES, Coronado PERCIVAL THOMPSON, Coronado WILMOT GRIFFISS, San Diego M. A. GRAHAM, San Diego F. S. JENNINGS, San Diego E. F. CHASE, San Diego T. E. BARKER, San Diego R. E. JENNEY, Attorney, San Diego GEORGE M. HAWLEY, San Diego L BOUVET, San Diego ( The San Diego Union, )

USGS map of 1919 based on survey of 1902, elevations are in color

1920 - As Tijuana became a tourist Mecca, the popularity of horseracing grew in the area. Breeders and owners kept horses at stables in the Tijuana River Valley. ( Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve History )

1920 - U. S. Census of 1920 for the Nestor Precinct includes the follwing residents: McBurney, 60, born in Canada, citrus rancher, wife Grace, on Palm Ave; George Kimball, 52, farmer, wife Rose, on National Ave; Wm Hunt, 58, woodworker carriage shop, wife Ida, on National Ave; Wm Wickens, 59, wife Louie, sons John and James, farmer, on National Ave; L. H. Turbiville, 43, wife Minnie, alfalfa farmer, on National Ave; J. E. Watson, 75, wife Tina, citrus farmer, on National Ave; Wm Wolfe, 45, wife Caroline, son Lewis and Lloyd, farmer, on Coronado Ave; P. M. Badillo, 51, wife Solina, hay farmer in Mexico; R. J. Jaeger, 37, wife Edith, citrus farmer, Lorenzo Semenza, 32, wife Hattie; George Zimmerman, 43, wife Lily, farmer; Dale Evans, 44, wife Anna, sons Harry and Ralph, daughter Ruth, farmer; H. E. Milburn, 44, wife Edith; Oscar Schnell, 49, wife Bertha; D. H. Oberholtzer, 75, wife Esther, son Elbert; Newell Peavey, 41, wife Opal, 6 sons, 2 daughters; George Loustalet, 49, born France, wife Alphonsine, 3 sons, 3 daughters; Nickolas Liatos, 31, Greece, wife Telma; Sophie Wolfe, 52, head, born Canada, sons Herman and Martin and Ernie, 3 daughters; Lyons Beamon, 39, wife Rose, farm manager, 9 boarders; Rudolph Semenberg, 76, Germany, wife Hester; P. A. Reynolds, 50, wife Evita; P. M. Burge, 52, wife Lulu; David Smallcomb, 56; Frank Thomas, 83, wife Martha; S. T. Holcomb, 55, wife Louise; Charles Mansir, 57, wife Eula sons Charles and William and Ralph; W. R. Coones, 57, wife Milie, sons Jared and William, bee keeper apiary; John Skoglund, 65, wife Anna, immig from Sweden 1872, farmer, living with partner E. Simonson, immig 1917 from Sweden; Herman Trobisch, 66 ;Payne Browne, 73, and wife L. D.; P. D. McCra, 54, immig 1883 from Canada, sister Annie; A. J. Russell, 63, wife Martha; John Subel, 63, immig 1892 from Austria; Cleveland Russell, 33, wife Marie; Quay Chong, 55, immig 1884 from China; James McCarthy, 40, wife Alice; S. D. Harris, 69, wife Sarah, farm manager; Eldon Link, 43, wife Blanche; M. K. Jones, 46, mother Roxanna; J. S. Tinley, 25, wife Anna; M. J. Tinkham, 67, wife Izerio; Iwaguchi Iguchi, 52, wife Mine; H. A. George, 46; Fred Wadham, 56; Florence Schultz, 68; Domincindo Yorba, 77; Egit Arakelian, 58, immig 1888 from Armenia, wife Madeleine; James Waller, 60. ( U. S. Census of 1920, California, San Diego County, San Diego Township, Nestor Precinct, District 236 )

1920 - Pedro Badillo listed living near Roe Carroll, William Conner, C. P. Paularena, Ruiah Bennerr, John Cattron, Emil Erickson, R. J. Jaeger, Herman Boensch, T. J. Scrivner, Emma Tracy, Albert Arnold. ( U. S. Census of 1920)

1921 - Before Suzies Farm was owned by the Eggers, it belonged to Percival Thompson, brother of Big Bill Thompson, former mayor of Chicago. The Thompson house in Coronado at 1156 Isabella Avenue at F Street is an historic landmark, designed by Irving Gill in 1911 for Percival and Mary Thompson. Percival Thompson, 68. retired Chicago stock broker, died in Coronado in 1943. (California Water & Telephone Company map 1936, and Coronado Water Company No. 1 well map, 1921.)

1924/01/21 - PM Dairy maintains two herds in Tia Juana Valley. ( The San Diego Union )

1924/09/25 - Jerome A. Bassity, of San Diego and San Francisco, today secured concessions to erect across the border from San Diego a resort to compete with Tijuana. Plans for a part of the concessions insure the opening of a race track there on July 4, 1925. for 100 days of racing. The terms specify a high class resort, replete with a million-dollar hotel, golf. polo. etc.. the year's development to cost a total of $3,000,000. There will be no gambling. The development will be known as Aztec City and will consist of more than 5000 acres fronting on the border and on the Pacific ocean with a five-mile beach. The program is considered here as the first real capable attempt to develop border territory on a high-class basis. Negotiations will be opened for the Dempsey-Wills fight on July 4. Construction is to begin within 10 days. ( The San Diego Union, Sept. 25, 1924 )

1925 - Paul Smith came to this area in 1925 when the area population totalled 300 residents. He would become active in the oil business for the next 44 yearsw. The area from West View School to Ream Field was used as herding ground by the Fioesch Dairy, with Joe Whitt serving as the herder. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, Feb. 1, 1962 )

1925/06/03 - Pending settlement of litigation over the ownership of Aztec City, so-called $5,000,000 amusement center site at Monument, two miles west of Tijuana, a contingent of soldiers arid police officers from the border town occupied the amusement site yesterday under orders from Mexico City to remain there until the questions, at issue are settled. Pedro Badillo who claims ownership of land under the assumption that possession is nine-tenths of the law. and who appealed recently to the Mexican government to recognize his right to the amusement site, was ousted when the soldiers marched in yesterday, although he is said to have declared in his appeal that he is an American citizen and will take recourse to American authorities, if his ownership is not allowed. Several groups are now contending in Mexico City for title to the land in dispute. Among these are four San Diego women. Mrs. Clara Sanchez, Mrs. H. Jauregui, Mrs. Maria S. Contreras and Mrs. Douglas Anderson. Jerome Bassity of San Francisco is not only contesting for title to the land, but he is trying, it was said yesterday, to regain concession rights at Aztec City which he lost several years ago to Pedro Irigoyen when he failed to obtain needed financial backing for the project. Irigoyen, who had proceeded to form a company for the exploitation of the amusement center, was killed about four months ago in an automobile accident at National City and Bassity has resumed negotiations for the return of the concession to himself. It now appears, according to those who have been watching developments in the case, that the Mexican government has decided upon a "hands off" policy for all claimants to the land until the matters in court nave been adjusted. Bassity, whose headquarters are in San Francisco, was expected in San Diego last evening, but up to a late hour had not arrived. ( The San Diego Union, June 3, 1925 )

1925/06/13 - According to a dispatch this morning from Mexico City, Luis Leon, secretary of agricullture, has ordered federal troops to Aztec City to enforce property rights of four San Francisco promoters, judged by the Mexican government to he owners of the concession. The action of Senor Leon ends long litigation over a so-called $5,000,000 enterprise to build a resort and race track just across the Mexican-United States boundary line and five miles distant from Tijuana, on the ocean front. Leon Kuttner, George Bowles, Leon Morris and Matt O'Brien are the San Franciscans financing the project, according to an announcement by F. Monteverde said to be in charge of arrangements with the Mexican government. ( The San Diego Evening Tribune, June 13, 1925. )

1925/08/02 - Preliminary construction is announced as under way in the development of Aztec City, which its promoters hope will become a second Monte Carlo. The picture at the top shows the guest house of the development corporation, soon to be completed. Center, left‹The hew American immigration office and the Mexican Immigration office. Inset‹ Jerome A. Bassity, promoter of the enterprise. Center, right‹International guest house. Lower, left‹Point of rocks on property. Lower, right Typical coast scene. Details of Aztec City Plans Announced by Jerome Bassity; To Build Race Track. Preliminary construction and development of water and electric systems have already been started for the new development project. Aztec city to be located just across the border and about 11 miles down the strand from Coronado. according to announcement made by the promoters yesterday. Details of the city, designed by its founders to become a second Monte Carlo, were explained by Jerome Bassity, director general of the corporation developing the property. The location is said to be Ideal for the big plans made for it. The property is situated in the extreme northwestern part of Mexico and is closer to San Diego than Tijuana. First actual construction work is on a series of roadways leading from the American side through the international gate, past the two recently-erected customs houses, one on the American side and one on the Mexican side, and up the winding roadway to the northern edge of the great mesa. Here a mission style guest house nears completion. It really is the first building to be erected in the planned city. The Cia de Luz Electrica y Fuerza Motriz, the same company that supplies Tijuana, is constructing the transmission lines carrying electric power from the American side, to Aztec City. This service will be established within the week. it is stated. A temporary water system already has been developed. A modern hotel of 500 rooms, a feature of which will be hot and cold sea water piped to each room, will be constructed at once, it is announced. A horse racing plant, which, it is promised, will be the finest on the continent, with a grand stand to seat 5000 persons, will also be started immediately. The race track will be the central unit of the development from which all other buildings and features will radiate. The plans call for completion of the race track and grandstands together with the hotel, to be ready for a 100-day meet beginning early in 1926, the promoters say. An associate of Jerome A. Bassity, promoter of the big development plan declared: "The success of Aztec City seems assured. All credit for this, all important development is due to the great genius of its promoter, Jerome A. Bassity." Aztec City is of vital interest to the entire bay district, for with the completion of the race track, grandstand and hotel, there will come into being a great Mexican watering place that will attract thousands of people from all over the world. And with the ultimate development of the entire tract of 5060 acres there will rise a beautiful city of homes, hotels, amusement places and business institutions. Aztec City is the city that Bassity dreamed and the dream is coming true." ( The San Diego Union, Aug. 2, 1925 )

The San Diego Union, Sept. 5, 1925

1925/09/05 - Aztec City. A new and novel trip for the motorists is featured this week with one of the mighty Lincolns from the Powell Motor company, which was loaned to Nelson Roberts of The Tribune-Union auto department by Charles Powell. This is the border trail leaving San Diego and proceeding through Nestor, the highway makes a turn just below Nestor by an oil station. The motorist must leave the pavement at this point and take a good dirt road, and in a short tone the border trip is in progress. This road leads the tourist along the Mexican and American border for many miles and soon reaches the ocean, where Mexico and America join hands at the sea. The layout, taken by Roberts, shows some of the interesting scenes along the route. Top, Ieft is a building at Aztec City, about three miles from the ocean front. Top, right‹Two customs houses; the left one Is the American customs and the right one belongs to the Mexican government. Center, left‹The beach, with the wire fence dividing the two countries. Fishing is said to be very good at this point. Center, right‹The monument on the line. Erected by America and Mexico, this is about a quarter of a mile from the beach on a small hill. The iron fence surrounding the shaft was put up two years ago to keep people from carving initials and other marks on the shaft. Bottom picture is the mighty Lincoln from the Powell company which made the trip. This is an interesting journey. ( The San Diego Union, Sept. 5, 1925 )

1927/02 - Sixth greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 25,000 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1927/05/05 - A horse ranch was established on Monument Road, later the site of Southwest Feed & Grain at 2671 Monument Road. ( Report To The Hearing Officer, Conditional Use Permit No. 778487 And Coastal Development Permit No. 1241831 Southwest Feed & Grain Project No. 210874, February 19, 2014 )

1928 - The first and second graders in the area, attended school in the old schoolhouse in Palm City beginning in 1927 because the South Bay School was already becoming crowded. In 1928, people of the district were asked to vote for bonds in the amount of $32,000 to purchase a 10-acre tract located on the northwest corner of 19th Street and Coronado Avenue, and to build and equip a school. In May 1930 the new school was dedicated. It was electrically wired for heating also. The school was named Emory in honor of Brig. Gen. William Hemsley Emory who had used the site as his headquarters many years before. The little Palm City Schoolhouse was sold in 1930 for $1150. including the land. The South Bay Union School building, minus the bell, furnishings and equipment which could be used at Emory, was sold also. (Elliot, 1976, pp. 177)

1929 - Southwest Junior High School was built. The enrollment during its first year was 109 in grades 7-10. It was the only four-year junior high school in San Diego County. (Chula Vista Star, August 15, 1941)

1929 - Louis Shelton and family moved to Chula Vista in 1929, was a retail distributor and milk producer in the local dairy industry. His Bayview Dairy, and later, Arden Milk trucks were a familiar sight in Chula Vista. The Sheltons owned dairies in Nestor and Tijuana valley. Daughter Louise Shelton married Henry P. Piper of Otay Mesa and she worked as bookkeeper for the Chula Vista Vegetable Exchange. Son Thomas married Donna McCade and ran the Shelton ranch in Tijuana Valley until moving to Ramona. Sheldon ( Family, Friends, and Homes, 1991. )

1929 - The U.S. Eleventh Naval District acquired land near the border, calling it Border Field. It was used as a machine-gun range and airborne gunnery range.

The Lobster Inn, The San Diego Union, July 28, 1929

1929/07/28 - "Lobster Inn" Auction Saturday, August 3, between Nestor and Palm City on the Main Highway to Tijuana. Restaurant and all Equipment to Go "As Is" One-Acre Lot ‹ Five-Room Home. One of the greatest business opportunities of the year. George Beech, owner of the famous "George's Place" on the Coast Highway just south of Cardiff, is the owner, also, of "Lobster Inn." He will sell the "Inn" to devote his entire time to "George's Place." The Restaurant Seats 68 in comfortable chairs; tables near windows which afford views of Mexico's mountains. Borders highway to Tijuana; 200-foot frontage. One acre of rich soil. Ideal place for auto camp for visitors to Imperial Beach, Coronado Beach and Tijuana. Dining room 45x17 feet; concrete floor throughout; Baker Ice Plant and 10-foot celling, heavily Insulated on an sides and top: Ingle oil burner range; Johnson dish-washer; stock of cigars, Two ladles' rest rooms, and one gentlemen's and cigarettes; big electric sign out front; Five-room bungalow, in rear of restaurant, for proprietor or help to live in; bath; kitchen; decorated woodwork; double garage on lot; flowers; shrubs; fruit trees; plenty of garden space. Five minutes to grammar school. Free bus service to high school. You Should Know That the Tijuana Boulevard is one of the heaviest traveled roads in the state. More money and more luxurious automobiles pass the "Lobster Inn" on their way to Tijuana than any other highway west of Chicago. An auto camp here would be only 20 minutes, or less, from the south beaches and San Diego, and 10 minutes from Tijuana. This part of the county is prospering, and has a great future in store. The new railroad station at Palm City, fruit packing houses, gentlemen's estates nearby and the Richfield aviation field are evidences of prosperity. Buy now, and reap the harvest of riches. DIRECTIONS‹Take the main Tijuana highway to Palm City; property just south of Richfield aviation beacon. ( San Diego Union )

1929/10/22 - The international water commission, composed of representatives of the Mexican and United States governments, met here today and resumed discussions of water divisions of t h e Rio Grande. Colorado and Tla Juana rivers, which flow on both sides of the international boundary. Today's meeting was taken up entirely with organization work and there was no discussion of problems growing out of reclamation develop' merit on the three rivers in question. The commission will continue discussions, begun In Mexico City, Aug. 20. The commission members were welcomed in the name of President Hoover by Joseph P . Cotton, undersecretary of state, who said that friendliness at former meetings Mexico City augured well for success of the meeting here. Fortunato Dozal, chairman of the Mexican commission, said his country's representatives would take advantage of the amicable situation-to work for a future equitable settlement of the waters under dispute. It Is understood all meetings held here during the next several weeks will be executive. The commission is meeting forthe purpose of recommending a basis for a treaty which will distribute waters of these rivers between the two countries. It also is understood that the commissioners virtually have completed a survey and will present their findings at this meeting. ( San Diego Union )

San Diego Union, Dec. 25, 1925
1929/12/25 - Aztec City Gate No 2. ad by the Tijuana National Chamber of Commerce. Best Way to Tijuana Now Through Gate No. 2 How to get there‹After passing National City and Palm City, go to Nestor over the paved road and there, instead of turning to the left, go straight, leaving the pavement and follow the dirt road entering Tijnana through new Gate No. 2. For passenger cars only; no merchandise allowed. Good Road‹No traffic jam Old Gate No.1 Still Open As Usual ( San Diego Union )

1930 - Census of 1930 lists the following residents of the Tijuana River Valley: John Hull, 49, wife Pearl, son John, brotherinlaw Ralph Adams who was a photographer, on Monument Road; Thomas Croxall, 31, wife Susie, on Monument Road; Fred Coones, 44, wife Una, 23, 3 daughters, was a bee man with apiary, on Monument Road; Dave Smallcomb, 68, on Monument Road; William Coones, 68, wife Millie, son Wm Jr, on Monument Road; Charles Hotchkiss, 53, deputy county assessor, wife Angelica, son Albert, operator gas station, on the County Road; Maynae Huff, 52, female, on County Road; Jesus Ramiriz, 23, wife Rebecca, on County Road; Ray Cloud, 49, wife Jessie, son Roy Jr, on County Road; Harold Morrison, 20, on County Road; Samuel Brown, 64, wife Lillian, 51, on County Road; Harry Grocutt, 53, wife Mary, on County Road; Lola Bendett, 37, owner horse stables, on County Road; James Lee, 50, owner horse stables, on County Road; Record D. Evans, 55, wife Anna, daughter Ruth, sons Harry D. and Ralph W., mother Amanda R., 87, on County Road; Charles King, 31, wife Gracie, on County Road; John Wilbur, 72, wife Sadie, on County Road; Oscar Schnell, 59, wife Bertha, home worth $3600; Hugh Rose, 43, wife Helen, son Baldwin, daughter Helen, home worth $12,000, stocks and bonds salesman, on County road; Lingy Cody, 50, superintendent gravel pit, wife Nettie, on National Ave.; John Ford, 46, proprietor restaurant, wife Ethelyn, home worth $1500, on National Ave.; George Downs, 42, wife lola, daughters Florence and Georgia, on F St off National Ave.; Hifmi Hondo, 46, Japanese, wife Hicayo, on County Rd.; John Brannon, 58, wife Dollie, son John Jr, horse stables, home worth $2000, on National Ave.; Charles Bowman, 53, wife Josephone, 68, home worth $7000, auto painter, on National Ave.; Irving Hanchett, 56, wife Elizabeth, farmer, on National Ave.; Hans Peterson, 53, wife Clara, home worth $3200, from Denmark, stockman, on Peterson road; Harold Golze, 39, wife Besse, home worth $2400, hotel Jockey Club auditor, on Peterson road; Victor Jacquot, 56, wife Birdie, caretaker, on Peterson Rd.; Marvin Rogers, 49, wife Ora, dairy farmer, on County Road; William Lawler, 63, wife Mary, horseman racing stables, on County Road; Vincent Payne, 50, home worth $5000, operator slot machines, on National Ave.; James Lather, 28, wife Pauline, 2 sons, father Francis M. Lathers, home worth $3500, dairy, on Harris Ave.; Isuke Iguchi, 55, wife Asano, son Mitsurie and son Isen, on Harris Ave.; Robert Egger, 29, on Harris Ave.; Ejiro Inouye, 56, wife Ume, on County Road; William Baumgart, 34, wife Verla, on County road; Albert Floersch, 61, wife Ida, dairy farm, on Leon Ave.; John Lee, 28, wife Orpha, operator dairy farm, on Leon Ave.; Daisy George, 52, female, 3 daughters and son, on National Ave.; Hubert George, 57, on National Ave.; Mike Ozaki, 30, on County Road; Yonetaro Yamaguchi, 37, wife Takino, on County Road; Wally Hall, 22, wife Norma, son Walter, hog farm, on County Road; Lorenzo Semenza, 42, and wife Harriet, sons Norman and Lorenzo jr, farmer, on County Road; Mike Iguchi, 33, wife Mitsuko, on County Road; Roy Guinn, 53, home worth $6500, gas and electric ground man, on Leon Ave.; Charles Mielke, 44, home worth $5900, stockroom checker, on Leon Ave.; Glenn Gilbert, 27, mushroom farm, on Leon Ave.; Oliver G. Otto, 41, wife Pearl, grocery store, on F St.; Mark Cattron, 43, farmer, on Leon Ave.; Butler Bronson, 25, dairyman, on National Ave.; Jimper Imaizumi, 46, and wife Fusa, on Monument Road; Eula Mansir, 50, and son Ralph, on Monument Road; Albert Semenza, 45, house worth $3000, on Monument Road; Rosalio Mendoza, 40, wife Hortensia, 4 sons, 2 daughters, 2 brothers, on Monument Road; Ramon Morena, 30, wife Julia, on Monument Road; Fred Dyer, 61, wife Amanda, poultryman, on Monument Road; George Foelschow, 36, wife Eva, veterinarian city health dept, on Monument Road; Harold Parks, 27, wife Olive, dog hospital, on Monument Road; William La Fond, 44, wife Bessie, poultryman, on Monument Road; Mortimer Bigelow, 38, wife Elizabeth, owner horse stables, on Monument Road; Skillington Holderness, 41, wife Ruby, on Leon Ave.; Floyd Sniff, 50, powderman at gravel pit, wife Minnie, son Butler runs steam shovel, on Leon Ave.; George Ahlborn, 41, house worth $15,000, born in Hawaii; Harry Bickford, 60, poultryman, on County road; William Ellis, 71, poultryman, on Coronado Ave.; Joe A. Jackson, 21, wife Willamay, sons Willard and Joseph jr, farm laborer, on Country road; Ives Magoffin, 39, wife Della, farmer, on Country road. (U. S. Census of 1930)

1930/05/04 - Emory school dedicated at 1915 Coronado Ave. The new Emory school of the South Bay Union school district, dedicated Friday night, is likely to become a new civic center for the entire south bay community, it became known today when trustees for the district announced that the large auditorium, in the new building will be used frequently for public gatherings in the interest of neighborhood development. The new school is on a 10-acre sits that years ago was headquarters for Brig. Gen. William Hemsley Emory, who is responsible for the school district, and a large part of San Diego county, being within the boundaries of the United States. When an international dispute arose between Mexico and the United States as to whether the boundary line should be where it now is or along a line touching the coast in the vicinity of Del Mar. General Emory played the leading part in a conflict that resulted in the selection of the present international line. Details of the historic story were told by Dr. Lewis Lesley at dedication of the school. One of the features of the program was presentation of a radio to the school by S. S. Tralnor, who had deeded the school property to the district. Mrs. Goldie MacGregor. former president of the South Bay Parent-Teacher association, presented a fireplace, a memorial for Mrs. Gertrude Tracy, who had been an active leader in the organization and a former president. Miss Ada York, county superintendent of schools, presided at the dedication, and among the speakers were Charles A. Shaver, principal of the school: Mrs. Minnie B. Sniff, clerk of the district, who accepted presentation of trees and shrubs from the Parent-Teacher association and from George A. Downs, a member of the school board. (The San Diego Union)

1930/12/05 - The Lobster Inn at Nestor, one of the best known eating places in the South Bay district, reopened for business Wednesday evening of last week. The place is owned by Geo. Beech of Cardiff, and managed hy Mr. and Mrs. N. M. Silversteln. The Sllverstelns have had a great deal of experience In running cafes of the better class and the Lobster Inn will continue its reputation under their management as one of the best eating places on the Tia Juana boulevard. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

USGS map of 1930

1931/01/23 - The property owners at Gate No. 2 are determined in their efforts to have the San Ysidro Port of Entry moved to that place was again demonstrated Wednesday, when a group of representative citizens went into conference with W. H. Ellison and other U. S. officers at the line. San Ysidro was not represented at the meeting. What actually took place has not been made known, but it is understood that immediate efforts will be made to have Gate No. 2 declared the official port. It is also reported that John P. Mills, subdivider and real estate promoter, is planning a new townsite near Gate No. 2. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1931/01/30 - Mr. and Mrs. N. M. Silberstein, formerly manager of the Lobster Inn at Nestor, have purchased the neighboring establishment. Ford's Wayside Inn, and intend to re-open it for business under the name of Sara Ann's Log Cabin. The Log Cabin will make a specialty of real Southern cooking. There will be no cover charge and dancing at all times . Another specialty of the Log Cabin will be real New Orleans barbecued ham sandwiches. The Sihersteins have had wido experience in managing cafes, and expect to make thier future home on the property of their new inn. The already attractive grounds are to be further beautified by the addition of a thousand rose hushes from the neghhorhood nursery. which is to be a part of the property. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1931/10/09 - Nestor News: Mr. and Mrs. Lorenza Semenza of Nestor entertained at their home recently with a birthday party, honoring the tenth birthday anniversary of their son, Norman. The home was decorated in pink and green. Games were enjoyed during the evening, after which refreshments were served to the following invited guests: Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Wolfe and F. A. Wolfe of East San Diego; Mr. and Mr. Herman Wolfe and son, Gordon Mr. and Mrs. Harry Walbric and daughter, Jane; Mr. and Mrs. Bert Warren and daughter, Rena and son, Vernon, all of National City; Mr. and Mrs. William Poggl and Mrs. Rose Poggl of Chuia Vista, the host and hostess and the honoree. Many lovely gifts were presented to Norman. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1932/03/23 - Collector of Customs William H. Ellison announced today that effective next Monday the No.2 gate at the international border, San Ysldro, will be closed permanently. Authorization for Ellison to close the gate has been received from Seymour Lowman, assistant secretary, United States Treasury. A new 100-foot highway, just completed, is wide enough to accomodate traffic to and from Mexico, and with Its completion the No. 2 gate will no longer be needed. Ellison said that the gate would be closed Sunday night at the termination of the day's border crossing activities. ( The San Diego Evening Tribune, Mar. 23, 1932 )

1932/12/01 - Nestor News: Boy Scout Troop No. 49 held a Court of Honor in the Nestor church November 19. Bskild Heidekker was the chairman of the court. Frank Carroll, Gilbert Frayo and Bob Hopkins received second-class badges for dairying; Emlyn Owens received a merit badge for civics. Scoutmaster Powers of Troop No. 1. San Diego, and several of his Scouts presented the troop with an American Flag. After the Court of Honor was overa business meeting was held, at which Scoutmaster Powers explained how Troop 1 admits new Scouts. Edgar Carroll and Miss Edith Harinenlng of Tascon, Arizona, spent last week end with Edgar's parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Carroll in Nestor. Mrs. Carroll returned to Tuscon with them for a week's visit. The ten acres north of George Down's ranch in Nestor, have been sold. The new owner plans to drill a well and build a five-room house. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1932/12/01 - Nestor News: Mrs. George Downs has received word that her brother, Earl Killingworth, formerly of Palm City, has been instantly killed in an automobile accident in Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hotchkiss and son Albert of Monument have been visited by Mr. Hotchkiss' mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Hotchkiss, his sister Mrs. Clara Zuck, and his niece Ruth Zuck, all of Riverside. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1932/12/08 - Otay Notes: Luckie S. Waller, local orchardist has been busy the past few weeks, in having his property, west of the highway, graded and piped in preparation for the future planting of young lemon trees this winter. Part of this section is already in oranges. Fred Norton of Brawley spent Monday and Tuesday visiting his son, Phillip Norton, who is staying with Mr. and Mrs. A. Bowman, at Fairfield Acres. Mr. Norton was operated on several months ago at Mayo Bros. hospital, for a dislocated hip, and Is now convalescing at Brawley. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1932/12/22 - Imperial Beach News: An attempt was made to rob the Three Red's Restaurant in Imperial Beach. The would-be burglar escaped. Walter Smith is staying with Mr. and Mrs. John S. Hull in Monument. He is much better after his stay of almost a year in Paradise Sanitarium. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/01/05 - Otay Notes: Mr. and Mrs. Albert Johnson of Sunnyslope ranch entertained during the holidays Mr. and Mrs. Will Petersen,Walter Johnston of Eucanto, Mrs. Ellen Copeland, Everett Copeland and John McClure of Escondido, Cannelita and Dorothy Johnson of Otay. Mr. McClure Sr., is 91 years old and is very spry and Jolly and enjoys the visits to his nephew, Albert Johnston, about twice a year. The Otay PTA provided twelve large boxes of food to deserving families in this district. The organization had expected to fill only the basketshut through the generosity of Mr. Fenton. owner of the Western Salt Works and the Otay gravel plant who provided the roasts, beans and several other articles for each box made it possible to extend the Christmas treat to many other families. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/01/05 - Oscar F. Schnell Dies at San Ysidro Home. The Rev. Charles L. Barnes San Diego officiated at the funeral services of Oscar P. Schnell. 62, resident of San Diego county for more than 37 years, on Wednesday. Schnell died Monday at his ranch home near San Ysidro. He was the brother of H. F. Schnell. vice-president of the Greenwood Cemetery Association. He came to San Diego with his parents in 1888. The family lived there until 1900 and then moved, remaining elsewhere until 1907. In that year Schnell returned and settled on the San Ysidro ranch, where he had lived since. Besides his brother, he is survived by his wife, Mrs. Bertha E. Schnell. his mother. Mrs. Mary Schnell. and a sister, Mrs. P. A. Stevens, all of San Diego. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/01/12 - Imperial Beach News: Oil men were in Imperial Beach again this week from Los Angeles looking the field over with the intention of starting drilling operations in the near future. It is generally believed that oil in paying quantity will some day be fouud in the Imperial Beach district. This is the third group of oil men who have visited this town in the past two months. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/01/26 - Place Number on Your Houses and All Stores For your own convenience and those of your friends and the public in general you should number your residence at once. Information as to numbering can be obtained from the local San Ysidro Irrigation District. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/01/26 - An important real estate deal was closed Tuesday when Mrs. Blanche Beyer Cooper sold her beautiful home and three lots to Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Palmer, well-known race-horse owners. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer will take possession of their property, and Mrs. Cooper will move to Sun Diego to make her future home. She is one of the pioneer residents of San Ysidro and has a large circle of friends who sincerely regret her departure but wish her much happiness in her future plans. Through the generosity of Mrs. Cooper and her former husband, Mr. Frank B. Beyer, San Ysidro acquired the Public Library and the Civic Center. These two public buildings cost more than $50,000, and stand out as monuments of good citizenship of Mrs. Cooper. This was not the only good deed that Mrs. Cooper aud her former husband did for San Ysidro. They also offered to donate a valuable 5-acre tract In tbe heart of the town for a Junior High School. But a small group of local "politlcians" preferred to see the school located in the sticks near Nestor. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/02/02 - Nestor News: Due to the recent hard rains, the Tijunna river rose a little over its banks last week. Several residents of the valley moved out for a few days. Mr. and Mrs. John S. Hull of Monument spent last week in San Diego with friends. Lt. Dolf C. Allen, a former resident of here, visited in Nestor last week. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/02/02 - Imperial Beach News: Walter Smith of Monument spent Sunday at the Paradise Valley Sanitarium calling on friends. Emil Bruhlmeier of Monument reports that five of his avocado trees were blown down during the recent storm. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/02/09 - Word of the sudden death of Marvin Allen, long famous as an expert horseman in this pert of the world, was received here Monday by Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Cloud. The death of Marvin Alien robs the Mexican border of one more of its colorful characters. Allen failed to rally after an emergency operation performed Saturday in Los Angeles for an abdominal ailment. His passing makes the original "Big Three" of the border just a memory. The combination consisted of Marvin Allen, Frank B. ("Booze") Beyer and Carl Whittington. They combined in Mexicali in 1914 and started the Owl saloon and gambling house. It was a famous spot on the border. It closed in 1919 and in its place the A-B-W Club came into existence. It is still in operation. In addition to this, Allen poured thousands of dollars into horses and the raising of thoroughbreds. He was the owner of the San Ysidro Farm, a model breeding establishment. His love for horses is said to have cost him nearly half a million dollars. Roy Cloud has been training for Mr. Allen for the past five years and only last week Mr. Allen signed with Mr. Cloud to race his horses for the year of 1933. Mr. Cloud attended the funeral in Los Angeles Wednesday. Allen was 51 years old and a native of Tennessee. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary Allen, a sister, Mrs. Hattie Korfage and two brothers. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/02/09 - In the passing of Miss Stella Messenger last week, San Ysidro lost one of its pioneer settlers. Miss Messenger's father was one of the first merchants of San Ysidro and conducted a grocery store at the border. It was washed out by the flood of 1895. Miss Messenger was one of the first white girls in this part of the country and attended school in this section, the only school house, being on the highway between what is now Nestor and Monument. Many here regret her passing and offer condolence to her family. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/03/09 - Imperial Beach News: J. P. McGinn, 60, Agua Caliente horseman, died on Sunday afternoon as he was being taken to Elwyn Sanitarium, National City. Mrs. Lucille P. McGinn, wife of the dead man, said her husband was taken suddenly ill at their Imperial Beach home. With two friends she started with him for Elwyn sanitarium, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival there. Coroner Ginn said an autopsy would be performed to determine if death was from natural causes. Shortage of ready cash had made it difficult for local business men to make, change for tourists aud beach visitors. Since the warm weather came, many people have visited here and camped along the strand. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/03/09 - The latest report from oil promoters in Los Angeles state that all plans for drilling for oil at Imperial Beach have been suspended, at least for the time being. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/03/16 - Nestor News: Albert Hotchkiss of Monument made a business trip to Los Anseles last week. He returned home on Monday. Boy Scoot Troop 49 is re-registering this month. The troop committee tot the next year will be John M. Anderson, Plen Mathews, Owen Owens, Verne Sanders and Charles W. Stream. Mark and Walter Kennick are new boys joining for the first time. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/03/23 - Palm City News: Mrs. Mary Chesbro received, word from Mrs. Charles Wright, formerly of this district, saying that neither she nor any of her family had been Injured in the earthquake. Mr. and Mrs. Bolce of Long Beach are visiting Mrs. Boice's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Samdhal. They are fortunate that they were not in Long Beach at the time of the earthquake. Mr. and Mrs. Finney and family of Idaho have moved on the Hull ranch in Monument. They have leased six acres of land and Intend to farm it. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/03/23 - Otay Notes: Two graders and tractors are working to improve the Mesa roads which everyone appreciates. The asphalt plant located in Otay and formerly owned by the Spreckels Commercial Company, has been sold to a San Francisco concern. The plant which was built during the end of the paving boom, was operated only for a short time and since then it has been closed down. The San Francisco company expects to dismantle the plant and move it to a location near Los Angeles, where they have more demand for the patented pavement material. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/03/30 - Imperial Beach News: Mrs. Blanche Cooper is now occupying her beautiful home here. The Cooper home is one of the largest homes here and the grounds surrounding the place are beautiful. Local service stations report business good. A heavy traffic daily from Coronado to Tijuana keeps the gasoline salesmen busy. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/04/13 - Nestor News: Mrs. Ruby Holderness and Mrs. Grace Horan were re-elected to the Emory school board by a large majority. All residents of the Emory district who plan to enter exhibits in the flower show to be held at San Ysidro on May 2nd, should co-operate with the Emory PTA in order that the district may be well represented in the exhbits. Mrs. Frank Gottwall and daughter, Lorraine, and Mr. Green, all of National City, spent Saturday afternoon with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hotchkiss in Monument. The visitors, together with other friends, spent last summer camping at Monument Beach and intend to do so again this coming summer. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/04/20 - Otay Notes: Edward B. French, United States mounted inspector has started a large cattle ranch on the Otay Mesa. Mr. French keeps only pedigreed stock. He also has a fine string of pedigreed horses. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/04/20 - Mrs. M. Mclntyre opened The Manvel Cafe Monday and Is now serving excellent meals at reasonable prices to the public. The place was formerly known as Jeanette's Kitchen. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/04/27 - Nestor News: Walter Smith is going to live with Emil Bruhlmeier in his Monument home. Mr. Smith has been staying with Mr. and Mrs. John S. Hull for several months. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/05/04 - Otay Notes: Rumors of oil well drilling will start soon on the on the Will Wolfe ranch. A red pennant denoted the new location. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/05/18 - Nestor News: Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ballard and family of Monument recently gave a party for the young folks of Monument and several of their friends from San Diego. Isao Iamizumi of Monument represented Sweetwater High School la the 100-yard dash in the preliminaries of the Southern California track meet held at State College. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1933/06/08 - Nestor News: The Emory Grammar School held Its closing exercises Friday morning. The present teaching staff will be retained next year with the exception of Mrs. Albright. Her place will be taken by Miss Gladys Hayden of San Diego. Butler Sniff came to Nestor from Mountain Springs on Sunday to spend the day with his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Sniff. The well on the Caltec ranch caved In. On the same day the well on the Gilman place also caved In. The two ranches will be without water until the wells can be cleaned out and new curbing put In. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1934 - As long ago as 1934 the two governments met to conduct a survey of "the Tijuana river sewage problem." One solution, a tunnel to the sea, was deemed too expensive at $60,000. ("A Partition of Paradise," 1991)

1934 - the International Boundary Commission (IBC) was instructed by the United States and Mexican governments to cooperate in the preparation of a report on the Tijuana sewage problem.

1934/01/26 - Oil, Black Gold, Magic words, words that conjure dreams of wealth and independence, are fastening their grip upon the heart of this border territory. It in not words alone that is kindling hope in a people fighting to hold a bit of the property of the freedom of Tijuana and prohibition. Action is there, oil activity, and the determination to live on and prosper, and the hope that days even palmier than the hectic prosperity of the recent past are just around the corner. Three miles west of San Ysidro, derrick has been erected for San Diego Gas and Petroleum corporation's No. 1, and machinery is on the ground and being installed. The San Diego Gas and Potroleum has worked quietly, getting into the field first with leases on approximately 1,100 acres. The Saratoga Oil company is seeking leases on 158 acres adjoining. The Texas company is reported to have a leasehold on Otay Mesa, as is also the Standard. Reports come from Mexico City that both Standard and Dutch Shell companies are seeking leases in the Tijuana river bottom south of the International line where the Carlos Alicorn organisation already has a lease holding of thousands of acres. San Diego Gas and Petroleum expects to spud In its No. 1 well not later than February 15. This activity, coupled with the necessity for something to bolster the business of San Ysidro because of the Tijuana free trade zone, San Ysidro men, led by Edd Terrill, J. S. Hayes, Alonzo Judd, Dr. O. W. Huff and Patrick J. Young, geologist, hope to unite and offer their combined holdings to an oil company. Meeting with heads of every organization in San Ysidro and immediate vicinity Thursday, the San Ysidro Oil Leasing association was organised with Young as president; Ed Baker, rancher, vice president; Judd, secretary, and H. Sidney Welr, hardware merchant and president of the San Ysidro Business Men's club; Joseph Payson, printer and president of the Border Improvement association; Ed Cahill, realtor and rancher, and Dr. Huff as members of the board of directors. A mass meeting is planned for next week, when this committee will lay its plan before the citizens. Roughly, the land to he offered will follow the boundaries of the Irrigation district which, according to Young, embraces a half spots beneath which oil is almost a certainty, "The location of oil is never a certainty," he explains. But there are several spots where tests indicate oil. The San Diego Gas and Petroleum has one of them, but there are locations I would say are better, and those locations lie within the irrigation district, almost all of them." Hayes says it is to the advantage of every property owner to get together and be ready. The property owner has nothing to lose. All will share alike under the plan the commlttee will propose. I. I. Malone, who will superintend the drilling and hopes to bring in the discovery well, is from the Kettleman Hills field. He and his crew have started assembling and installing the machinery, which is all new. It includes 150-horsepower boilers and rotary. The derrick is a 138-foot structure. "We know there is oil there; and we know, too, that it is deep," says Dr. J. Francia White, president of the San Diego Gas and Petroleum corporation, "and we are ready to go 6,500 feet. We are told and have reason to believe we will be in oil at around 5,200 feet, but we ham have to go deeper. We feel our geological and geophysical indications are excellent in addition to showings of oil seepages in the entire South Bay district." Besides Dr. White, directors at the company are J. E. Pettijohn, Charles P. Robinson, Kan. Gen. Joseph E. Kuhn, Nathan F. Baranov, Col. Douglas Settle, Wirt Francis, Robert R. Hamilton, Frank O. Wells, R. L. Morrison and Carl W. Switters. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

The Holderness oil well in 1934
1934/03/09 - Minna Gombell, motion picture actress, is to break the bottle of champagne with which the bit of San Diego Gas and Petroleum Well go. 1, which is to be spudded in Sunday is to be christened. Confirmation of the appointment was received last night by George Wilson general manager of the company. "Her acceptance, of course, is contingent upon studio call, but if she can come she will be accompanied by other motion picture celebrities, among whom we hope will be Thelma Todd. Wirt Francis is to be master of ceremonies. Capt. Otto Langer of the state highway patrol is preparing to handle a crowd of perhaps 5,000 persons. He and his men will direct traffic and auto parking." Rain on Sunday is now the only thing that can stop the spudding in at 2 o'clock of San Diego Gas and Petroleum company's No. 1 well in the Tijuana river bottoms three miles west of San Ysidro. Unless of course it rains continually from now on. Declaration and qualification are from George Wilson, general manager of the company, and L. L. Malone field superintendent. And then, only the bottom of the hole, which will be more than a mile deep, will reveal whether the South Bay district is to become another Kettleman Hills or Signal Hill field, or whether all the tests known to geology and the oil trade are wrong. The spudding in, is to be accompanied by an elaborate ceremony to which every man, woman and child is invited. It was set for last Sunday but several factors combined to cause the delay, neither of which alone, would have necessitated the postponement according to Wilson. There were four days of rain during which the men could not work. In an effort to make up for this loss of time the crew was doubled and a night shift put on. But the two 776-barrel tanks did not arrive. Nor did the power company get its power line built to the well. "There isn't but one chance now, the weather, that we won't spud in Sunday at 2 o'clock," Wilson said Wednesday. Steam was turned into the pipes yesterday and the entire rig was tested, the mammoth rig is ready for its mile deep quest for the black gold which is expected to turn the entire South Bay region into a boom area. The conductor box is set and ready to receive the first stroke of the bit which will ream a 24-inch hole out of the top surface of the earth. While the drill hole will be a 22-inch hole, the other two inches at the top are necessary to provide play for adjustments, it is explained. The cables are strung and the drum sits like a huge hound under leash straining to be loosed for the chase. The boilers have been adjusted and lie in waiting for that first head of steam which will go rolling into power to drive that bit ever downward. How long will it take to drill? No one knows. With no trouble, that is to say, no caves, no salt water fills, no loss of tools in the hole, no "fishing," the hole should be spouting oil in from 90 to 120 days. There are too many ifs to make a prediction. While the plans for the ceremony are not complete, the program will include addresses by men prominent in the community and leaders in the movement to develop the bottoms into an oil field. Until 2 o'clock, when the christening ceremony will begin all visitors, and the company and workers are preparing for a tremendous crowd, will be invited to inspect the derrick, view the bits, cables and conductor box, the boilers and tenks. During the ceremony, however, none will be permitted on the derrick floor. The christening ceremony will be the breaking of a quart bottle of San Diego county champagne over the conductor box. That will be the signal for the huge bit to start its mile-deep search for black gold, oil, wealth, boom for San Diego county's South Bay district. Who will break the bottle, however, has not been decided. Speeches are scheduled by Charles W. Stream, state assemblyman whose home is in the South Bay district; John Forward, mayor of San Diego, and T. LeRoy Richards, county supervisor, from the South Bay district, and officials of the company. To reach the well, follow the National avenue route toward Tijuana, but instead of making the turn to the left just beyond Nestor, continue on south on the road to the old No. 2 gate across the International line. A sign will tell where to turn to the right. However, the sign isn't necessary for at almost any point along that road beyond the first tall clump of trees the derrick is plainly visible. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

The Holderness oil well near Sunset and Hollister in 1934

1934/03/23 - With more than 400 feet of hole at San Diego Gas and Petroleum well, No. 1, in the Tijuana river bottoms three miles west of San Ysidro, the crew this week-end is laying 300 feet of surface line. Spudded in March 11, the first 90 feet of hole went in in a very few hours. Then the bit hit boulder formation, a cluster of flint rocks more than 40 feet deep, through which it required more than a week to drill. The rocks were not bedded tightly so the bit could eat its way through. They were loose and shifted with every stroke of the rotary. The first casing, 300 feet of it, went in early this week and was set. This means the actual beginning of the well as an oil well instead of a hole in the ground. It means preparation for the tremendous depth to which the crew, working 24 hours a day, must drill to reach the oil pool tests show lies below 4,800 feet. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1934/10/05 - Nestor Well Is Down 5,592 Feet; Deepest Ever Drilled In S. D. County. The formation being taken from the well which San Diego Gas & Petroleum corporation is drilling on Holderness ranch, Tijuana valley, is the oldest ever penetrated in drilling any California well and has no geologic classification, J. E. Pettijohn, executive vice president of the company, said yesterday. George H. Doane, paleontologist, has classified it as "Tijuana formation," Pettijohn said. "Doane definitely has classified the formation as of the pre-Chico age, or the top of the lower cretaceous, which was reached at a depth of 6,260 feet," Pettijohn said. Thursday morning the depth of the well was 5,692 feet. Drilling was in a black shale with the same showing of gas and oil. According to Pettijohn, the prospects for a producing well are very encouraging to all. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1934/12/14 - Fred Dyer, 64, who had suffered heart trouble for the last 3 years and who had been confined to his bed during the last weeks died at his home in Imperial Beach, Sunday. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Amanda Dyer. Mr. and Mrs, Dyer have made their home in the South Bay district for many years and are well known by many. Their home in Monument was washed out in the 1916 flood. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1934/12/14 - Core drilling prepatory to drilling an oil well on the George Downs ranch will be started this week according to J. J. Stephens, general superintendent. "We have 500 acres between San Ysidro and Nestor leased. We fell sure that we will find oil here." ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1934/12/21 - Formerly of Nestor, Wilbur L. Stanfield, well-known race horse owner of the old school died in San Diego, Saturday, December 15. Prior to 1934 he resided in Nestor on the ranch now commonly referred to as the Stanfleld place. Surviving him is his widow. Mrs. Katherine Stanfield also of San Diego. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1935 - The Rancho Del Yano is the vegetable crate label of Tokihira Yano, better known as "Toki." The Yano family are among the pioneering Nikkei farm families in San Diego County. Initially farming in Mission Valley, the family moved to the Tijuana River Valley in the 1930s. After the World War II removal and detention the family began to farm in Imperial Beach, California where this label was brought into use. The specialty of the Yano family was pole tomatoes. ( Historical Lug Labels, http://jahssd.org/category/uncategorized/ Posted on September 27, 2009 )

1935 - Prior to World War II, the Itami family farmed in the Tijuana River Valley and throughout the South Bay. The label was used by Sam and Mary Otsuka Itami between 1948 and 1976 on their ranch located on Palm Avenue near the intersection of Beyer Boulevard. The Itamis farmed specialty crops including celery, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash which were sold directly to the Los Angeles produce markets. ( Historical Lug Labels, http://jahssd.org/category/uncategorized/ Posted on September 27, 2009 )

1935/02/01 - On the Beyer's estate, north of the Arden dairy, a third core hole will be started in a few days by J. J. Stephens and his associates, Stephens reported yesterday. At a meeting in Los Angeles with the company's geologists last Wednesday, he showed coretests from the test well being drilled on the George Downs ranch in Nestor. They reported the cores to be interesting and encouraging. Stephens brought down with him from Los Angeles a larger engine with which he arrived Thursday morning at 2 o'clock. The crew installed the engine and continued drilling that day. "We will continue for a short while in this hole; the information is almost complete and very satisfactory," he said. "We are in gray shale, now. The next hole should .give us the necessary information." Real oil well equipment will be brought in for drilling after the lo cation is determined, the superin S tondent says. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1935/02/08 - South Bay Rains Cause Damage In River Valleys. Approximately 80 million gallons is the net run-off from this storm into Sweetwater reservoir, company officials reported Thursday. This was almost entirely of a local nature from rain failing on surrounding hills and surface of the lake. A total of 3.59 inches of rain was recorded at the lake for the storm. The river had not yet reached the lake at noon today it was said. This was due to the fact that almost 2,000,000,000 gallons of water were necessary to fill river sands above the dam before the water could appear on the surface. The storm brought the river flow to within a few miles of the lake and company officials expressed the hope that an appreciable run-off would be received. Heavy rains in the hills brought streams of water into the Otay and Tijuana rivers which caused both to run before Wednesday morning. The rising waters in the Tijuana river forced several families to leave their homes Wednesday. Others were prepared to leave if the rain continued. Several roads in the South Bay district were either impassable or unsafe. The old highway below Schnell's dairy in San Ysidro was under over a foot of water for a distance of approximately 100 feet and was closed after Wednesday noon. A bridge in Otay near the school was undermined. Water was running over the road across Otay valley to Otay mesa and a stream of water more than a foot deep was running across the main road on Otay mesa Wednesday and Thursday. A street drain in San Ysidro became clogged during the night Wednesday causing the water to run on the sidewalks and into some of the buildings on the level of the walk. To prevent the water in the Tijuana river from backing up, a crew of SERA and county road men Thursday made an opening at the mouth of the river of about eight feet deep and eight or ten feet wide. The tide washes sand into the mouth of the river, known as the Tijuana slough, and prevents drainage. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1935/03/15 - Mrs. Luella Ash, former owner and resident of the Walter Poehler ranch in Otay died Suddenly at her home in San Diego last week. Services held Thursday, March 7 were attended bv Mrs. J. W. Wood, Mrs. C. F. Brown, Mrs. A. M. Banks and Mr. and Mrs. Poehler of Otay. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1935/04/12 - Funeral Service For Palm City Resident Walter R. Smith. A goodly company of friends and neighbors paid their last tribute to a gallant, unselfish and loyal friend, Saturday afternoon when Walter R. Smith of Palm City was laid to rest in Glen Abbey Memorial park. Mr. Smith made friends wherever he came in contact with those who accept friendship and cherish it. He won men from all stations of life with his generous and cheerful manner, always eager to help and cheer someone, else along the way. He was seriously injured in an automobile accident being hit by a speeding car on the highway three and one-half years ago and at that time spent more than a year at the Paradise Valley sanitarium, where he endeared himself to young and old alike by his appreciative attitude. Mr. Smith was born 68 years ago in Indiana and at the age of 17 came to California on account of ill health. He spent many months in the mountains, camping in the open and eventually regained his health. For the past ten years he has lived near the Mexican border in the vicinity of the Monument school. His love for flowers and children was shown daily as he visited about on errands of mercy. A little poem found among his treasues revealed his life more clearly than anything a friend might say of him: "O pluck from thorny paths a need or two, by some friendlv deed that we may do; or to point above the clouds to heaven's shining blue, we can do it if we try, you and I." Elder J. A. Burden officiated at the funeral service. Miss Kathryn Johnson, president of the graduating class of 1935, P. V. S., sang three hymns. Nurses who attended him at the P. V. S. during his illness were his pall bearers; Arthur Olson, Lee Purnham, Evert and Arnold Tinker, Paul Taylor and Dunbar Smith. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1935/04/25 - "The land owners have not cooperated with us. We have only one more week to obtain 400 acres of leases," J. J. Stephens, manager test well drilled on the Downs property east of recently said when asked concerning continuing drilling operations with heavier machinery. In a letter received from offir fof the company for which he is working he was told to spend only one more week here. If he could not get the leases in that time, he informed to give up the effort in this locality. "We appreciate exceedingly the cooperation some of the people have given us," Stephens said. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1935/05/10 - San Ysidro Ex-Service Men's Club meeting; Grundmeir told of the excellence of the spring water on his ranch west of the Monument school. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1935/08/09 - Maud Thayer Frary taught school in 1884-5 at what is now Nestor, though the town itself had not yet come into existence. The school stood opposite the Drew house at the edge of the river. Monument school, it was called. "There was no San Ysidro," says Mrs. Frary, "and no Nestor then. I had 37 pupils in that very tiny school house. While I was teaching an addition was built to it. We gave entertainments to pay for the lumber and the people in the neighborhood did the work. I remember the names of some of the families there; the Franklin Sherwins had five children. There was the Porter family, who lived where San Ysidro now is; the John Farley family, who lived above the the flood line on the right bank of the river; the Tibbetts family who had Olive, Jessie and Arthur in the school, and an uncle Cyrus, who also attended; three children from the Rauch family, and Fernando and Guadalupe Velarde; the Mansir family, Leon and Olin Young, Walter Titus and children from ttie Donovan family. Frank Choate lived nearby and sent children to school, as did William Kern, a former senator from Kansas, whose son is proprietor of the Kern trunk store in the Grant Hotel building. When I went to school from the house where I boarded I walked right through the very place where the town of Nestor now stands. It was open country. The year I taught out there school was closed from Jan. 4 to April 4 because of the flooding river. Most of the children lived on farms on the south bank, and they were unable to come to school all that time. Nestor A. Young never lived at Nestor, I believe." ( San Diego Tribune, Aug. 9, 1935)

The ruins of the Cal Water treatment plant can be seen in the Bird and Butterfly Garden of the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park.

1936 - A water treatment plant was built on north bank of Tijuana river and west of Monument road, where 3 wells been drilled, 2 large 45-foot tanks, serves Palm City, IB, Coronado, North Island, some going to Highland reservoir on south side of Otay for storage. "Built in 1936, the plant was designed by Clayton B. Neil, an engineer of the California Water and Telephone company, and was erected under his direct supervision on a tract of land owned by this company and on which three wells each with a million gallons per day capacity had been drilled. The water raised from these wells with turbine pumps is run into a tank, diameter 18 feet and depth 15 feet, into which hydrated lime is put by a feeding machine with a maximum capacity of 400 pounds per hour. The lime comes by truck from Death Valley and has the property of uniting with the lime in the water to such an extent that for every ton of lime put into the water twice as many are removed. In the summer months when water consumption is at its height, as much as 5 tons are sometimes removed in one day. The water is further clarified with ferric chloride and then passing into a tank, 45 feet in diameter and 11 feet deep, the lime is removed by gravity flow to the drying beds. The water then flows to a sediment tank and finally to filters, where it passes through gravel and white sand, the latter of unusual quality, being obtained at Oceanside. In all there are two 45-foot tanks and four smaller ones, the latter containing mixing devices which are operated by turbo-mixers with fitted blades." The chief operator is Henry C. Myers. His assistant is John Rossum. Both have been certified by the American Water Works Association. "Mr. Myers states the visitors to the plant are always welcome. The cost of the plant was $100,000 and the big steel tanks with their aluminum paint, the latest type machinery, the well-kept grounds and the pleasing view from the top of the main building form an attraction in themselves." ( Chula Vista Star, Jan. 27, 1939. )

Lime from the old Cal Water treatment plant can be seen seeping up around the new fence holes in the Bird and Butterfly Garden of the Tijuana RiverValley Regional Park.

1936/03/13 - R. T. Guinn, prominent rancher of the Tijuana River Valley announced mass meeting at Emory school to organize water users of the valley, protesting the pumping of 3 million gallons per day from the river by the California Water and Telephone Company. W. E. Stewart, large property owner in the Tijuana River Valley, said the company should not be allowed to pump water out of the valley. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1936/03/27 - Tijuana valley ranchers met last night at Emory school to organize the Tijuana valley water users protective association. W. E. Stewart was elected president, and H. O. Brown, secretary. The board of directors are as follows: John S. Hull, Arthur Reuther, O. G. Buehrer, R. T. Guinn and Henry George. It was agreed that the board of directors should charge for membership according to the number of acres owned by the applicant and in this manner funds could be raised quickly for legal aid in prohibiting the Coronado water company from pumping from the Tijuana river. Those present voted the board of directors the right to draw up by-laws for their new organisation to be submitted for approval this Friday evening, March 27 a t 8 o'clock at the Emory school. A letter was read from Harold Conklin, deputy of water resources in Sacramento, which verified permits No. 15303 and 8804 to the water company which allocates them 3,200 acre feet per annum. Former Mayor Clark of San Diego was then introduced to the crowd. He gave a very interesting talk on the water situation of San Diego county. He said that he was opposed to draining the agricultural district of water for the city of San Diego. He also stated that when he was mayor of the city that the purchase of 60 or 65 acres of land in the river bottom was consummated to protect the ranchers from losing their water supply and saving it for the district. Mr. Clark advised the ranchers to take their case to court as had been done once before and he said, "you know folks, the Rio Grande river, the Colorado and the Tijuana rivers are all under the international water commission supervision and they should be cousulted," Clark announced that he would be a candidate for superior court judge and expressed himself as in favor of the All-American canal for San Diego, stating that either we all prosper or none do. If San Diego city takes the water from the rural district for her populace, the ranchers will have to quit and them how will San Diego business prosper without the help of the outside districts. Mr. Clarke concluded his talk with a promise of helping where he could. Fred Jones of Palm City stated he understood water lines and valves were being changed and it was for the purpose of pumping Tijuana water to Coronado. A number of San Ysidro people were present Including committees from the chamber of commerce of San Ysidro, the Ex Service Men's club of the South Bay and the Imperial Beach improvement club. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1936/10/02 - At the Palm City chamber of commerce meeting last night with Charlie Stream presiding, business men and ranchers from the Tijuana river valley adopted a plan for flood control ot the Tijuana river. The chamber voted to adopt the Emil Bruhlmeier plan for their protection. All were agreed to ask the government to parallel the river with a dyke, scoop out the channel to the ocean from the International boundary, then every half mile check dams would be built to cause the flood waters to deposit silt. All dykes and check drains were to be fenced with Mississippi flood wire to confine the river to the new channel. W. E. Evans described the floods of 1889, 1916 and 1927 and the destruction to the valley, also the fine farms that were ruined by inadequate flood protection. The Palm City chamber of commerce was notified that a display booth at the County Fair was available to the Sooth Bay district and San Ysidro and Imperial Beach would be asked to aid in arranging a suitable display for the fair. Stream announced that it was the 8th birthday of the chamber of commerce and that throughout the eight years they had never failed to hold their regular monthly meeting. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1937/02/07 - Eleventh greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 17,700 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

The derrick of the Holderness oil well is visible west of the Tijuana river on Sunset in 1937. (Photo courtesty of Sweetwater Authority)

1938/03/04 - Unusual Weather Has Unusual Effects. In addition to postponing the Kiddies Night sponsored by the Palm City chamber of commerce as told elsewhere on this page the storm of the last few days has raised the devil locally. It washed away the truck bridge across the Tijuana river. On the Otay road to Chula Vista it cut tremendous hunks of concrete out of the paving, making it impossible for two cars to pass at the same time. The wind tore pieces out of the roof of the Manville Cafe and several other places along San Ysidro boulevard. It blew down a couple of silos that had been erected recently on one of the local dairies. Over around Palm City the slick surface of the roads has kept J. W. Whitt's tow car busy constantly and here in San Ysidro both Sevel's and Sosa's garages have received several calls to pull people out of the mud or to fix faulty ignition systems. Someone in a good looking Ford coupe drove off the road on the way from Nestor to the Emory school, and the car is still there about four feet below the surface of the road, right side up and hub deep in the mire. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/03/04 - It is reliably reported that during the past two weeks there has been considerable activity in the leasing of oil rights in and around Nestor. A gentleman by the name of C. I. Marten is said to be the person who is attempting to sign up the oil leases. It is said that special attempts have been made to secure drilling rights on the lands belonging to the Coogans, Byers, Parsons, Stevens and Downs to name only a few. One contract form seen by a representative of the Border Press contained a clause stipulating that drilling operations begin within 9 months of the date of the contract. So that it rather looks as if the lessors mean business. Marten has stated that he is not free to divulge the names of the people for whom he is acting, but is said that they are so well financed that it will be unnecessary for them to sell any stock in order to finance drilling operations. This, it should be noted, is a condition most unusual in the oil business. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/03/04 - A brilliant example of the great work that the state department of equalization is doing to protect the morals of Palm City is shown in the closing of the Bluebird Cafe on last Saturday night. According to Anna Stewart who is one of the proprietors of the erstwhile Bluebird Cafe the complaint levied against her consisted principally of the accusation of selling a bottie of beer to a man who was already under the influence of liquor. In addition to this unusual and especially heinous fraction of the law she goes on to state that she was accused of selling beer in an unsanitary manner, that the counter was actually dusty. If the latter was true the Border Press wishes to point out the obvious, that she could not have been selling much beer. The last statement, however, we have every reason to feel is false. The proprietors of the Bluebird were prompt in paying their bills, and no business does that unless it is operating at a profit. A representative of this paper called the San Diego office of the board of equalization to check on the nature of the complaint filed in this case. He was politely informed, however, that it could not he given even to the press except in the most general terms. The terms were as follows: that alcoholic beverages had been sold to a person while in an intoxicated condition, and that the cafe in question had been conducted in a manner not fitting to the public good. After getting this helpful piece of information an attorney was called to find out what could be done for obtaining a review of the case by a jury in a court of law. The following information was received: In order for the proprietors of the Bluebird Cafe to have a trial before a jury it would be necessary for them, in addition to engaging counsel, to pay each day of the trial the sum of three dollars for each juror. In other words for the, proprietors in this case to have the privilege of trial by jury, a privilege generally believed to be accorded to everyone in this country, it would be first necessary for them to put up the sum of $36 a day throughout the extent of the trial. In the attorney's opinion such a trial would last for probably eight or nine days, thus necessitating an amount in cash of over $300 for this ONE item. In fairness to the law it should be pointed out that if the ease were won by the persons bringing suit this money would be refunded. For the information of those who would be interested Anna Stewart and E. H. Bailey state that they expect to open a restaurant of the most modern kind in the course of the next few months. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/03/11 - The Monument district was isolated last Thursday and Friday during the wash-out of the bridge. A temporary bridge was put across the damaged section of the road as the water receded. Among the families who were unable to reach their homes during the flood were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Phinney. Some excellent pictures of the washout which marooned several families were taken by Miss Sigma Joyner and sent to one of the San Diego daily papers and published on the front page. A professional photographer could not have done better. On Wednesday some employees of the water company were taking soundings from the bridge to determine the rate of flow of the Tijuana River as it swept past Monument on the way to the sea, The previous week tt had been flowing at the rate of 7000 cubic feet per second and in the intervening sewn days had slowed down by only about 2000. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/03/11 - Monument Notes: Cicero Evans, teacher of Monument school, and Mrs. Evans celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on March 7th. Joe Portiilo, who has 20 acres of vegetables at Monument, said that 7 percent of his celery and half of his cauliflower crop was destroyed by the flood last week. Al Hooper of Chula Vista visited with his brother-in-law, Joe Michener of Nestor Service Station Wednesday afternoon. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Jackson of Nestor are the proud parents of of a baby boy, born last week at a local hospital. Lynne and Lenore Hall were visitors in Monument last Wednesday from Encinitas, where they have been living for the past five years. The Hall twins have many friends in this section and lived in Tijuana valley with their family. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/03/25 - WPA Job Supervisor Richards was in Monument last week inspecting the repair work being done by 80 WPA workmen. The section of road washed out by the recent flood waters has bean filled in with boulders, 1100 feet of woven wire, 5 feet wide, was laid in the newly dug trench and oiled with several tons of rocks to insure against further washing by high water from the river All this, however, has been done on only one side of the river. It is just as necessary that it be done on the other side if a similar washout is to be avoided in the ensuing year. Had this work been done years ago much of the land that has been washed out to aea would still be in use. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/03/25 - Palm City News: Mr. and Mrs. Louis Nebendahl who spent the winter at the Holcomb ranch in Monument left March 16 for their home in Iowa. The George Wallaces of Nestor had their house moved to another section of land last week. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/03/25 - San Ysidro Notes: Mr. and Mrs. Roy Cloud of the San Ysidro stock farm have purchased the property of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hanna of Smythe avenue in San Ysidro. The Hanna family moved to San Pedro several years ago when Mr. Hanna was transferred from the customs service to the northern district. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/04/15 - C. I. Marten, who was attempting to sign up oil teases in Palm City and Nestor as reported in the Border Press for March 4, has been calling during the past week on several San Ysidrons in on attempt to sign them up for oil leases. He is accompanied by by Warren Thomas of the Sweetwater valley, who, according to one of their prospects, is the one who does the selling. The leases they are now attempting to have signed involve the payment of no money to the lessee except for a royalty of 8 percent when as and if oil is brought in. Furthermore the leases are the kind that run for twenty years, although Marten has said that he can come down to five, and do not stipulate that drilling must begin within nine months as was reported earlier. Some of them seem to state that drilling must begin in ten years which is a mighty long time for one to have his land tied up. Since it is said that these men are not trying to sell any stock, and yet are anxious to sign up oil rights on a when, as and if basis for most of the land around here, it may be reasonably inferred that some people with money to spend o feel strongly that there is oil here. If this is so the logical thing to do y |is not to lease land, for when, if at all, oil is brought in, any landowner in this section can get a price vastly better for his oil rights then than he could possibly get now. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/04/22 - Dick Pettijohn is in charge of the San Diego Gas and Petroleum company well in Tijuana Valley when drilling operations were stopped Jan. 3, 1938, after going to a depth of 6333 ft. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/04/22 - Palm City News: Mrs. Ted Schlitz of Culver City was a visitor at her ranch last Monday. She will be remembered as the former Marion Spooner. Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hartley and four sons of San Diego are spending the week at the Holcomb place. Mr. and Mrs. John Hull and son Oris left Monday morning for a motor trip to Death Valley, and vicinity. Mrs. Robert Jacquot arid her sons were busy last week cutting willows in Tijuana valley. With the willows, they are planning to build a rustic arbor at their restaurant, El Monterey, south of Harborside, to be used for outdoor service for their patrons during the summer. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Reuther last week purchased 60 acres of land from Ignatz Rottman. The 60 acres adjoins the south section of Reuther's place. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/04/22 - ad for the El Monterey restaurant, on Tijuana Highway at Coronado cutoff, sandwichs and beer, Josephine Jacquot, prop. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/04/22 - Palm City Personals: Mrs. Emil Bruhlmeier of Monument and her two little daughters Leonora and Emily, are leaving by train Saturday for Wisconsin. Mr. Shefflin is building a home for his family on the property that his father R. T. Shefflin is leasing from H. S. Johnson. It was 82 degrees in the shade at Nestor Monday. Mr. and Mrs. John Hull and son Oris of Monument returned last Thursday from a 1,200 mile drive to Death Valley and Boulder dam. They averaged 18 miles to a gallon of gasoline wtih their recently purchased Lincoln Zephyr. The Brannon well drilling equipment completed a well for Tud Phinney last week on the ground he is leasing from M. Williams. Water was reached when the well was drilled to the depth of 85 feet. Arthur Reuther and Lester Jackson have been busy this week putting a new fence around the 60 acres of land Reuther purchased two weeks ago from I. Rottman of Harborside. Mrs. C. A. Hotchkiss and son Albert, moved into their newly completed home in lmperial Beach Gardens last week. Mr. and Mrs. Paul Ballard and son Steven moved from Sail Ysidro to Palm City last Friday. They are residing in George Tracy's house. Mrs. Charles Cook of Coronado Avenue, Nestor, is the new post mistress at the Palm City office. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/04/29 - Palm City News: Mr. and Mrs. J. Morgan have moved in back of the Lobster Inn, and Miss Katherine Haydep has moved in with them. The Portillo brothers, Joe, Carlos, and Jim, are setting out ten acres of tomato plants this week on the ground they have under lease in Tijuana valley. They purchased the plants at Carlsbad. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/08/12 - Fire at the San Ysidro Stock Farm, Roy Cloud is forman ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/08/19 - On Saturday the Palm City feed store is to open next door to the former Bluebird cafe, and on the following Monday the Bluebird cafe will re-open as a restaurant. Both businesses are under the ownership of R. G. Ricks who for the past two years has been working as an engineer for the San Diego Ice and Cold Storage company. Ricks came to San Diego county two years ago from New York and promptly settled in Palm City with his wife and two children. In conjunction with the feed, store and restaurant the Shell Oil station is to be re-opened under the management of Roy Martin. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1938/08/26 - Nestor Cafe of Mrs. Katherine Cramps to be enlarged from 8 people to 20 with new glassed-in porch. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1939 - On November 22, President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke out in favor of a second entrance for San Diego Bay. The proposed cut through the Strand was to be for the benefit of the US Navy. ( Reupsch, 1970)

1939/01/07 - Depression Town, a collection of shacks at mouth of Tijuana river below IB, were washed away in the storm ( The San Diego Union )

1939/01/27 - Water treatment plant built west of Monument road in 1936, on north bank of Tijuana river, where 3 wells been drilled, 2 large 45-foot tanks, serves Palm City, IB, Coronado, North Island, some going to Highland reservoir on south side of Otay for storage. ( Chula Vista Star, Jan. 27, 1939. )

1939/12/01 - Support urged for Second Channel through Strand into South Bay, telegrams sent to FDR, would be of great value from a defense standpoint if navy needed to make an emergency exit from the bay. Mayor Arthur Done sent message to FDR and Secretary of Navy Charles B. Edison. ( Chula Vista Star, Dec. 1, 1939. )

1940 - Bunker Hill: The bombing of Pearl Harbor and fear of Japanese invasion led to development of defensive fortifications along the California coastline. Between 1940 and 1942, the U.S. Navy leased 245 acres along the border and in the Tijuana River estuary, much of it from the Crofton Investment Company. Here, it established Border Field Auxiliary Landing Field, an operation that included thirty-five buildings, one barracks, a galley and a machine-gun range. The Navy used Border Field for gunnery training on five moving-target machine gun ranges. As part of the region's coastal defense system, the Army created a fire control station and bunkers on Bunker Hill east of Monument Mesa. It erected a 50-foot tall radar tower on Monument Mesa. Near the northeast corner of the estuary was a dirt landing strip that the U.S. Army and private pilots had used. By 1942, the Navy had acquired this field too and named it after Major W. R. Ream, an Army medical officer who was killed in a plane crash in 1918. On July 17, 1943, Ream Field was commissioned as a U.S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station; a year later it became another unit of the Eleventh Naval District. During the war, it grew from the original 140 acres to 623. ( TRNERR History Chapter, 2010 )

The bunkers east of Monument Mesa were part of the coastal defense military bases of WWII.

1940 - Ream Field: Situated on a floodplain and largely uninhabitable by humans, the border region seemed like an ideal site for training combat pilots. Pilots flying from either Ream or Border Fields flew low and practiced dive-bombing and air-to-air gunnery, shooting at drones above the estuary. They shot at steam-driven targets that moved along the sand dunes on rails called "rabbit tracks." Mariners offshore had to be alert and stay clear of firing areas. Birds were often unknowing victims. ( TRNERR History Chapter, 2010)

1940 - The Fish and Wildlife Service is created by combining the Bureaus of Biological Survey and Fisheries.

1940 - The Census of 1940 includes the following residents of the Tijuana River Valley: Hollis and Pansy Peavy; Isuke and Asano Iguchi on San Ysidro highway; Kiyataro and Cliyo Iguchi on Sunset Lane; James Sheldon, 87, on Gate No. 2 Road; Don Abbott, 42, on Gate No. 2 Road; Virgil Kesling, 36, on Gate No. 2 Road; Irving Hanchett, 66, on Gate No. 2 Road; Julian Triboulet, 69, on Gate No. 2; Road William Wright, 48, on Gate No. 2 Road; Colleen Hughes,24, stepdaughter of Wm Wright, fish cannery worker; Moto Oto, 42, on Gate No. 2 Road; Hubert George, 67, on Gate No. 2 Road; Miochi Kido, 60, on Gate No. 2 Road; Fred Walton, 48, on Oneonta Road; Kichiyiro Itami, 60, on Gate No. 2 Road; Mardiros Arakelian, 65, from Armenia, on Gate No. 2 Road; Henry Myers, 36, sanitary engineer, water softening plant, wife Ruth and son Donald, on Gate No. 2 Road [ Henry C. Myers, Birth 17 Nov. 1903 in Lubec, Washington, Maine and 1930 city directory was meterman in downtown San Diego and 1935 city directory was damkeeper at Sweetwater Reservoir and 1948 was foreman CW&T Co in Palm City and 1969 city directory was retired, living at 189 Montebello Street in Chula Vista; Egit Arakelian, 80, and wife Madaleine, on Gate No. 2 Road; Concepcion Murillo, 40, on Gate No. 2 Road; Alfred Joyner, 67, and Anna, on Gate No. 2 Road; Ballard, Fay, 40, male, laborer WPA, and mother Agnes, on Monument Road; Millie Coones, 77, and son William, 44, on Monument Road; Francis Davis, 48, on Monument Road; Emil Bruhlmeier, 53, from Swizerland, and wife Clara, daughters Leonora and Emily, and sisterinlaw Minerva Goth, operator avocado ranch, in Smugglers Gulch; KiKuichi Marumoto, 36, and wife Mary, and daughter Jeanne, and brotherinlaw Frank Wada, on Monument Road; Robert Andrade, 24, wife Emma, on Monument Road; Phil McAndrews, 46, and wife Harriet, on Monument Road; Francis Mansir, 69, female, on Monument Road; John Mendez, 38, and wife Soledad, 6 sons, 2 daughters, foreman of water softening plant, on Monument Road at Goat Canyon; Jesus Portillo, 39, mother Maria, 55, and 3 brothers, on Monument Road at Goat Canyon; Kazazi Segawa, 51, wife Misuye, 6 sons, 4 daughters, incl Ben, 9, on Sunset Lane; Jimpei Imaizumi, 55, son Isao, boarder Takesachi Sakurai, 19, on Sunset Lane; John Hull, 59, wife Pearl, son John, on Monument Road; Edwin Spahn, 25, wife Francis, hog ranch, on Banana Ave; Tokihira Yano, 22, father Sakuhichi, 52, 3 sisters, 2 borthers, on Banana Ave ext; Tokugoro Furuta, 62, wife Tugi, 2 sons, 2 daughters, on Banana Ave ext; Tbumeiki Hirata, 59, wife Majono, on Banana Ave ext; Martha Russell, 82, sons Jesse and Thomas, operators alfalfa farm, on Banana Ave ext; Reese Shutlin, 55, wife Lucille, foreman WPA, on Bay View Blvd.; John Kastlunger, 35, wife Francis, son john, daughter Verena, foreman dairy farm, on Leon Blvd; Robert Egger, 39, wife Emma, sons Robert, Walter, daughter Mary, boarders, on Leon Blvd; Charles Kinsman, wife Leavonne, on Leon Blvd; William O' Donnell, 26, wife Cathleen, hog ranch, on Leon Blvd; Richard Fisher, 39, wife Catherine, operator dairy farm, on Leon Blvd; Edison Thomson, 22, wife Dorothy, 2 daughters, operator dairy farm, on Leon Blvd; Louis Hillegas, 40, wife Ruby, on Leon Blvd; Charles Lewis, 53, wife Ruth, operator dairy farm, on Leon Blvd; James Patterson, 69, wife Mary, on Gate No. 2 Road; Porley Hinkley, 29, wife Josephine, stepsons Lester and Clarence Good, motherinlaw Ann Hooper, operator dairy farm, on Gate No. 2 Road; Joseph Michener, 36, wife Florence, operator filling station, on National Ave.; Merritt Lord, 34, wife Ethel, on National Ave.; Daise Running, 62, son Eugene, 2 daughters, on National Ave.; Carl Brown, 43, wife Inese, son austin, daughter Dorothy, on National Ave.; Harry Armstrong, 37, wife Mabel, on National Ave.; Ernest Thacker, 26, wife Earnestine, on National Ave.; Leo Weikel, 27, wife Lucella, on National Ave.; Arthur Arris, 71, wife Catherine, on National Ave.; Liuden Mooore, 57, wife Elizabeth, on National Ave.; Mary Gilstrap, 63, on National Ave.; postmaster John Kindu, 30, on National Ave.; teacher Katherine Cramp, 48, on National Ave.; proprietor restaurant Deane Goud, 33, wife Ellen, on National Ave. ( U. S. Census of 1940, California, San Diego County, National Township, District 37-64 )

1940 - Angelo Cappos, 52, born in Greece, oldest son Nick age 21, cousin Gus Stamos, 51 was born 1888, died 1966, wife Martha ( U. S. Census of 1940, California, San Diego County, National Township, District 37-64 )

1941 - The U.S. Navy leased 245 acres along the border and established Border Field Auxiliary Landing Field ‹ an operation that included thirty-five buildings, one barracks, a galley and a machine-gun range. ( Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve)

1941/03/07 - "City Drenched by 2.81 Inches of Rain During Past Week" , was one of the wettest weeks on record, raising season total to 15.88 inches. Dam is at 87.7 feet, or 93% full. In 1937 and 1939 the top was reached and water had to be released over the spillways. The Rodriguez dam released water Tuesday causing some flooding in the Tijuana valley." (Chula Vista Star, Mar. 7, 1941.)

1943 - Ream Field: Initially the Navy lease at Ream Field consisted of 160 acres which it leased in the early 1920s as an outlying practice field. During World War 2 Ream Field was used for practice carrier landings but the field was not considered as advantageous for expansion as Brown Field on Otay Mesa. In 1943 runways were built and on August 10, 1944, Ream Field was designated as an auxiliary air station. During 1944 construction of buildings started and by the end of the war the airfield had been expanded to 631 acres of government owned land. Following World War 2 Ream Field was decommissioned and placed under the control of Naval Air Station, North Island. In July 1951 it was recommissioned as an auxiliary air station. Then on January 1, 1968 it was afforded the status of a full Naval air station, Then in August 1974 it was again designated as an auxiliary landing field. Around 1976 it was redesignated Naval Outlying Field, Imperial Beach, its current designation. At one time Ream Field was known as the "Helicopter Capitol Of The World". ( Hinds, James W. "San Diego's Military Sites," 1986. )

1943/01/15 - Death claimed Percival Thompson, 68, retired stock broker, of Coronado, Wednesday after a several year struggle against declining health. Private funeral services will be conducted tomorrow at 2 pjm. in Ryan Mortuary Chapel. Mr. Thompson, a native of Chicago, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Hale Thompson, pioneer Chicagoans. who played a large part in real estate developments in the city's early days. His brother. William Hale Thompson, mayor of Chicago for 12 years, was a nationally known figure. 'Mr. Thompson was graduated from Yale university in 1896 and entered the stock brokerage busi ness. Retiring in 1909. he made his home in Coronado and became known as a sportsman, hunter and golfer . During World War I he was active in Red Cross work In San Diego. He was widely known as a philanthropist. He leaves his wife. Mrs. Mary Kavanagh Thompson, three daughters, Mrs. Kathleen Buchanan, of Dahlgren. Va.; Mrs. Marion Darling and Mrs. Lenore North, of Coronado; his sister. Mrs. William N. Pelouze. of Chicago and his brothers, William Hale Thompson and Gale Thompson, of Chicago. ( The San Diego Union, )

1943/01/22 - Reversing an earlier and tentative ruling. Federal Judge Paul J. McCormick yesterday decided that the Crofton Investment Co. may present testimony to show whether the remainder of its 500-acre tract near Imperial Beach was damaged by seizure of 158 acres by the government in the summer and fall of 1941. Because the government announced itself unable to proceed at this time if the question of severance damage is injected. Judge McCormick continued the trial, which started Wednesday, to Feb. 16. The Crofton company argued that it was entitled not only to the fair market value of the seized lands, but also to an unspecified amount because of the damage suffered by reason of the severance of the 158 acres from the tract. ( San Diego Union )

1943/02/20 - A federal court jury yesterday fixed a valuation of $22,950 on 158 acres of land near Imperial Beach, seized by the government some time go from the Crofton Investment Co., headed by James Crofton. prominent sportsman. Of the jury's valuation. $5500 was for damages suffered by other portions of the Crofton property by removal from it of the land seized by the government. ( San Diego Union )

1943/07/28 - The state has agreed to federal jurisdiction of 416.8 acres acquired Apr. 10 to expand Ream field.

1944/02/03 - The IBC was also instrumental in developing the second water distribution treaty between the United States and Mexico in 1944, which addressed utilization of the waters of the Colorado River and Rio Grande from Fort Quitman, Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. The Water Treaty of February 3, 1944 expanded the duties and responsibilities of the IBC and renamed it the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC). The 1944 Treaty charged the IBWC with the application of the treaty and the exercise of the rights and obligations which the U.S. and Mexican Governments assumed thereunder and with the settlement of all disputes that were to arise under the treaty. ( International Boundary and Water Commission, http://www.ibwc.state.gov/About_Us/history.html )

1944/02/03 - Mexico has been taking steps to improve the Tijuana disposal system. under the procedures in Commission Minute No. 261, concluded under the 1944 Water Treaty in which the two Governments agree to give preferencial attention to the solution of the border sanitation problems. In the 1930's through the 1960s, an international collector and septic tank system with a shoreline discharge provided a solution. In the 1960s Mexico constructed two pump stations and two pressure line systems along with an open channel along the western slopes near the coast, to provide an ocean discharge of Tijuana's sewage without treatment at a point some 5.6 miles directly south of the international boundary. ( South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant, http://www.ibwc.state.gov/mission_operations/sbiwtp.html )

1944/02/03 - From a flooding perspective, the site supports the Tijuana River Flood Control Project (TRFCP) of the International Boundary & Water Commission of the United States and Mexico, formed by a 1944 treaty of the two countries. The project funded a concrete lined flood control channel in Tijuana which transitions into a flared section on the U.S. side to slow water before it enters the estuary. "The Secretary of State, acting through the United States Commissioner, International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, is hereby authorized to conclude with the appropriate official or officials of the Government of Mexico an agreement for the joint construction, operation, and maintenance by the United States and Mexico, in accordance with the provisions of the treaty of February 3, 1944, with Mexico, of an international flood control project for the Tijuana River, which shall be located and have substantially the characteristics described in "Report on an International Flood Control Project, Tijuana River Basin", prepared by the United States Section, International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico." ( 22 U.S. Code § 277d­32 - Tijuana River flood control project; agreement with Mexico for joint construction, operation and maintenance )

1945/02/01 - Honor court for Boy Scouts of the Sweetwater, district will be held Monday evening, Feb. 12 in a joint honor court Scout Hut dedication ceremony. Troops of San Ysidro, Palm City, Nestor and Chula Vista will take part in the honor court, with the Hilltop Housing organization as host troop. The ceremony will be held in the Community Center Building, Hilltop circle, with Walter Garey, district advancement chairman, in charge. Individual scouts will be awarded merit badge cards and pins for advancement in rank, and troops win be presented with new charters. Taking part will be troop 391, sponsored by the San Ysidro fire department, Jean Cordeau, scoutmaster; troop 349, sponsored by the Community church. Imperial Beach, Glenn McFarland, scoutmaster; troop 122, the only Spanish troop in the San Diego area council, sponsored by a group of citizens in Otay. Mr. Arrabella, scoutmaster; troop 394, sponsored by Rohr Aircraft corporation, Bob Baines, scoutmaster; troop 393, sponsored by Rohr Aircraft, Mike Mullins, scoutmaster; troop 392, sponsored fey the Catholic church in Chula Vista, Ted Starke, scoutmaster; troop 390, sponsored by the Jean Frederic Loba post No. 434, American Legion, Elmo Paris, scoutmaster; troop 337, sponsored by the Methodist church, Fred Sparling, scoutmaster. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1945/03/29 - Stock-raisers in the South Bay area who have in recent weeks been troubled by coyotes may find the county's recently voted $3 per hide bounty a help in stamping out the menace. Sheriff Bert Strand will be the official hide inspector. To collect the bounty, hunters must convince him the animals were killed or trapped In San Diego county and must bring in the whole skin, including the ears, for indentification and marking according to preliminary provisions. H. M. Trembly of Monument road near Nestor reported to Strand that several of his young heifers had been killed by coyotes in past week. Sheriff's Capt. A. Blake Mason pointed out however that if coyotes were responsible for the death of the heifers it would indicate they unusual coyotes. Mason said he never had heard of a coyote killing an animal as big as a 6-months-old heifer. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

San Ysidro Border Press, June 14, 1945
1945/06/14 - Newspaper photo: "Roy Rogers, king of the cowboys, and his trick horse, Trigger, who will appear in person at the fifth annual horse show and barbecue at Mission Rancho, Lemon Grove, next Sunday, all day." According to the The Palomino Horse Association and Stud Book Registry, Trigger was a golden palomino, born July 4, 1934, owned by Roy F. Cloud, Jr., registry issued to the San Ysidro Stock Farm under original name Golden Cloud. The horse was sold to the Hudkins Brothers Stable in Los Angeles and Roy Rogers began using Trigger in 1938. According to Joel Dortch, "Over a period of almost 20 years, the original Trigger appeared in each of Roy's 81 starring films at Republic and all 100 of Roy's television episodes. This is a remarkable record unmatched by any other motion picture animal." The San Ysidro Stock Farm was founded by Marvin Allen, one of the "Border Barons" who built casinos and the racetrack in Tijuana. After Allen died in 1933, the farm was owned by "Overcoat Jack" Atkin. Jack P. Atkin was raised in England and never lost his English accent. He came to San Diego May 9, 1913, and formed A. B. W. partnership with Marvin Allen and Frank Beyer. Atkin was associate of James W. Coffroth at the old racetrack Jan. 1, 1916 where Agua Caliente later was built. After Atkin died in 1938, the stock ranch was purchased by Charles S. Howard and became known as the Howard Ranch. It was at this ranch that Howard boarded his champion horse Seabiscuit.

1945/08/09 - Julian Nunez Parra, 17, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ramon Parra of Nestor, has enlisted in San Diego as an Apprentice Seaman in the Naval Reserve, the Eleventh Naval District announced today. A graduate of Sweetwater High School, Enlistee Parra follows two brothers into Navy uniform. One brother, Emilio Parra, is a Coxswain, and the other, John Parra, holds the rating of Seaman Second Class. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1945/08/16 - Plans for the Montgomery Memorial Tower and park to be placed at Otay, on the site of one of the pioneer glider flights made in 1883 by John J . Montgomery, progressed this week by the announcement by the county board of supervisors that land will be purchased for the park. The land is being bought from J. M. and Mary Culbertson for $1500. The motion by the supervisors stated their intention as follows: "Whereas, it appears to this board that the late John J. Montgomery made one of the first, if not the first, successful glider flight in the United States near Otay in the county of San, Diego, it is proposed to erect near the site of said glider flight a Memorial Tower to commemorate said successful flight, and it is the opinion of this board that the county of San Diego should furnish a site for such a memorial and that such site should also be used as a public park and recreation ground in the Otay area. Therefore, be it resolved that it is the intention of this board to purchase from J. M. and Mary Culbertson for the sum of $1500 the following described and situated in the county of San Diego, State of California, for a public park and recreation ground and as a site for a memorial Tower to commemorate said successful glider flight. This location is ideal for a park, affording an unparalleled view of the ocean as well as overlooking the back-country. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

The Montgomery Memorial Wing was dedicated in 1950.

1945/10/18 - Mr. and Mrs. Milton Bean have opened their new restaurant, the Bean's Barbeque. at the corner of San Ysidro boulevard and the Coronado Strand road at Nestor. The new restaurant covers 1875 square feet of space and is fitted with leather-covered booths and 25 leather covered counter seats. All home cooking Is featured and Mrs. Bean is herself in charge of the kitchen. The Beans have been in southern California since 1920. During the war Mr. Bean was employed as a aircraft carbuerator technician for the navy and la an ex-navy man. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1945/11/01 - Sale of the Borderland airport, located on Highway 101 near Third Avenue. San Ysidro, by its former owners Lon Kalapp and H. J. Page, was announced this week and becomes effective on November 6. The new owners are Robert E. Foster, Alice Foster, and Tauge Diver, all of 353 L avenue, Chula Vista. The sale includes all fixtures, equipment and good will of the airport, which is also known as "Sky Haven". ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1945/11/01 - Only a few of the 200 frozen food lockers are still available at the A. C. Powers plant at Nestor, according to Mrs. Powers who revealed this week that the plant should be in operation by Friday or Saturday. Powers, himself is just recovering from bronchiaI pneumonia but is getting around pretty well and hopes to be back on the job real soon The new pIant is equipped to prepare and package the meats which will then be frozen under the latest methods and stored in the indivdual lockers at the temperature required for preservation. Many of those who have contracted for lockers have calves ready for slaughter and sportsmen of the area plan to have game and birds frozen for later consumption. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1945/12/27 - Mrs. Llllle Estelle White of Otay died at a local hospital on December 21 following a brief illness and was buried Monday in Mt. Hope cemetery following funeral services in the chapel of the Berge-Roberts Mortuary. Mrs. White was born to Memaha county, Kansas, but had lived in the Otay vicinity for the past 34 years. With her husband who preceded her in death, she owned several farms near Otay. She is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Neva Harsh of Cassody Kansas, and a son, V ernon Houser, also of Cassody and a brother, James Fluent of Bern, Kansas. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1945 - George Yamamoto purchased a farm from Paul Oyama, east of Smugglers Gulch at border; son of Naburo Yamamoto. ( )

1945 - The Mike Yamagata farm was east of Goat Canyon near border (brother of Harold).

1946 - Navy officers and Coronado residents may have known Albert "Bert" Forsyth as the longtime owner of the Mexican Village restaurant, but older hockey fans might recognize the name from his days as a player, coach or team owner. A native of Canada, Mr. Forsyth found success in hockey and business after spending time herding cattle from Edmonton to Montreal to pay for a ticket to Glasgow, Scotland, where he lived with his Scottish grandparents and played hockey. After years of playing and coaching hockey throughout the world, he and his brother, Jim, owned and coached the San Diego Skyhawks hockey club from 1946 to 1948 (The team was called the Skyhawks because the players worked in San Diego aircraft plants in World War II). Mr. Forsyth, his wife, Mary Kay, and his brother later bought a tiny bar and taco stand in Coronado that would grow to became a popular hangout for Navy officers. Mr. Forsyth died of heart failure Dec. 14 at his home in Coronado. He was 97. The Forsyths started with a modest bar that had a takeout Mexican menu, but by the time they sold it in 1974, the expanded Mexican Village was a landmark restaurant and nightclub that seated more than 800 and offered banquet and catering service. Mr. Forsyth was the idea man in the group, while his brother was the affable host who sang and played piano. Mary Kay Forsyth was the manager who kept everything running smoothly, former employee Eva Adkisson said. Mr. Forsyth also came up with the Mexican pizza, one of the restaurant's signature dishes. "It was huge. It was really popular," Adkisson said. He and his wife also developed a popular salad dressing that rivaled the Caesar dressing, Adkisson said. Liz Forsyth Lovell said her parents and uncle started the business using unemployed hockey players as bartenders and bouncers. The business eventually attracted Navy pilots and officers. Celebrities, including Dan Blocker, Walt Disney and Liberace, also were customers over the years. Albert John Chisholm Forsyth was born Nov. 9, 1911, in Wainwright, Alberta, to Ada Helene Kitchen and John Chisholm Forsyth. In a 1988 interview with The San Diego Union, Mr. Forsyth said he got his first job in Mountain Peak, Alberta, as a blacksmith's helper. "I loved it. For at night I played hockey," he said. He and his brother grew up playing hockey in Alberta, and their love of the sport would later allow them to travel the world. Mr. Forsyth played for a London team before he was hired to coach a Belgium team. The team played in the 1936 Olympic Winter Games. He later coached in Germany and Switzerland before playing more European hockey. Mr. Forsyth played hockey for Seattle in the Western Hockey League and opened two nightclub bars there with his brother and wife in the 1940s. The San Diego Skyhawks brought them to San Diego, where they also bought Glacier Garden, a downtown hockey venue. The Forsyths sold their interest in the arena and the team after two seasons in 1948. They bought the Mexican Village in 1949. Mr. Forsyth is survived by his wife of 69 years, Mary Kay of Coronado; three daughters, Kathy Ashworth of San Diego, Liz Lovell of Coronado and Gabriele of Washington, D.C.; son, Ronald of La Mesa; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother in 2001 and by a son, James, in 1959. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 30, 2008 )

1946/01 - The Tia Juana Valley County Water District was created by an act of the State Legislature in January 1946 and currently lies entirely within the boundaries of the City of San Diego. The District follows the westward flow of Tijuana River (the Spanish name of the river flowing westward through the District) from its entry into the United States at San Ysidro into the river estuary to the Pacific Ocean. The district comprises an area of approximately 5.1 square miles within the City of San Diego. A five-member board of directors manages the District. A general manager conducts daily operations. The residents of the District elect the members of the board of directors for a four-year term. Two members are elected in one even numbered year and three members are elected two years later. The District raises funds by an annual assessment of $50 per parcel of real property lying in the District. Additional monies have been received from various grants. In 1995 two wells were drilled on the north side of the Tijuana River to determine if there was any usable water in the aquifers. No usable water, in commercially adequate amounts, was found. During the passing of the years, the District functions have been absorbed by the City of San Diego. The City of San Diego now provides water and sanitation services for the District residents and property owners. The 1999-2000 Grand Jury found the District to be insolvent; that is, liabilities exceed assets. The District was dissolved in 2004. (San Diego County Grand Jury 2002-2003 Final Report, June 27, 2003, online )

1946/09/26 - Lazy A Guest Ranch of San Ysidro is a new "recently opened" guest ranch in Tijuana Valley (The San Diego Union, 9-26-1946; Page: 14;) dinner of the Southwest Riding Club at the Lazy A Guest Ranch (The San Diego Union, 10-08-1946; Page: 10) Lazy A Guest Ranch last mentioned in The San Diego Union, Aug. 9, 1951.

1951 - The San Diego Historical Society received special permission to hold a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the placement of the initial boundary marker. Ten years later, the Navy deactivated Border Field as an operational base. ( Carter, "Border Field State Park and Its Monument," 2011. )

1952 - Mar Vista High School opened in Imperial Beach, the third high school in the South Bay following Sweetwater in 1922 and Chula Vista in 1947.

1952/09/04 - Litchfield says future bayfront keep the early development of Chula Vista's bayfront is cutting of a second entrance to San Diego Harbor through the Strand. This was the statement of Everett Lichfield, newly named member of Chula Vista Harbor commission on Tuesday night. Mr. Litchfield who owns a wholesale auto parts business in Chula Vista and is a former member of NC, called attention to the fact that opening up a second entrance would reduce travel time for boat posts by nearly 25 miles in getting land from open seea. The commission voted approval of the appointment city administrator Bryant, Walter Davis, Col. Ned Dillon Chula Vista's representatives of the newly formed San Diego Harbor Council. Chairman Dillon stated today that by the October meeting, the first Tuesday at 7:30 pm, he would try to have an official map indicating the mean high tide line, the bulk head line and the pier head line as authorized by the recent survey by the Army engineers Richard Turymon was named as expense secretary and Don Stocker with Everett Lichfield sworn into office by city clerk Kenneth Campbell. ( Chula Vista Star, Sept. 4, 1952. )

USGS map of 1953 shows location of the Howard Ranch as a "Racetrack" across the street from Southwest JHS. The other "racetracks" were some of the other ranches that bred horses for racing at Agua Caliente.

1953/01/15 - Duane Hawkins, whose extensive Clark & Hawkins poultry ranch in Otay has been a landmark of this area for more than 30 years, gets County Fair post. Clark & Hawkins Ranch took on its present title more than 18 year ago. Today it contains more than 10,000 White Leghorns. Hawkins is a a director of the San Diego Cooperative Poultry Association. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1953/06/18 - Richard Cole is the new scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 211, Palm City. The group meets in Jenkins' Barn. Scouts who joyed a recent overnight trip are : Freddie Jenkins, Delbert King, Freddie Bracksdale, Raymond Perez, and Richard King. ( San Ysidro Border Press, )

1955 - The area just north of the estuary began operating as a helicopter landing field Ream Field], and the home base for all helicopter squadrons of the Pacific Fleet. ( Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve History)

1957/03/11 - names of 23 residents of Nestor and Palm City and San Ysidro seeking annexation to San Diego. Louise Andrews of 2501 Monument Road leads the petitioners. Includes George G. Downs of 2802 Palm Ave., Frank DeLisi of 1610 Palm Ave., and Jesse Poor of 2461 Palm Ave., and M. Yamagati who lives at 405 Naples St but owns extensive land holdings in the area. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Mar. 11, 1957. )

1959/02/01 - TV series Border Patrol being filmed in South Bay, by Navy Log producer Sam Gallu. "Preliminary early research has shown that our settings are spots where aliens actually crossed the border, and the bridge and hacienda that Ream Field now uses for a picnic area are the ruins of a former sanctuary of the real Border patrolman problem that we are filming." The series stars Dick Webb. ( Chula Vista Star, Feb. 1, 1959 )

1959/08/01 - Five 5 teenagers were arrested at the unmanned, seldom used border gate at end of Dairy Mart Road; ( The San Diego Union )

1960 - Sewer System: 1960 Water pollution in San Diego caused by sewage worst ever seen. San Diego Bay is under a continuous quarantine and Mission Bay is heavily polluted. San Diego moves forward with approval and construction of a new, regional "Metro" system. -- 1962 Pt Loma treatment plant under construction. -- 1963 After three years of construction, Metro system is put into operation in August. The new system has 27.5 miles of interceptors, 2 main pump stations and one primary treatment plant at Point Loma with a capacity of 88 MGD. Treated wastewater is now discharged 3 miles offshore into the Pacific Ocean. Nine participating agencies connect into the Metro System for treatment of sewage (Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, National City, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, El Cajon, Montgomery, Spring Valley and the US Navy). ( http://www.sewagehistory.com/sandiego.html )

1961 The Navy deactivated Border Field and transferred 377 acres to the Navy Electronics Laboratory for classified experimental work in fleet electronics. ( Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve History )

1961 - The Tia Juana river channel was opened by bulldozers, allowing tidal water from the ocean to clean out the Oneonta Lagoon. The mouth of the river had been blocked for several months. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, Jan. 4, 1962 )

1962/01/04 - Local residents were happy to hear a San Diego port official state that the South Bay channel may become an actuality in five to 10 years. The $100 million channel would open up 6,000 acres of industrial land worth $200 million. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, Jan. 4, 1962 )

1962/01/04 - Dr. T. G. Lambron told a group of South Bay Kiwanis members that his plans for the development of a multimillion dollar marina at Oneonta Lagoon was dependent on the Metropolitan Sewer and the world picture. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, Jan. 4, 1962 )

1962/03/15 - Residents, living on National avenue and who receive their mail by local delivery have new mailing addresses. The City of San Diego has changed the name of National avenue to Hollister street. The correct mailing address is Hollister street, Imperial Beach, Calif. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1963/03/21 - The Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce wants the 55-foot Tijuana River Channel rather than a second entrance cut through Strand ( Chula Vista Star-News, March 21, 1963. )

1963/05/20 - Extension of the proposed South Bay ship channel to Tijuana, and thence to the Pacific Ocean is "seemingly economically feasible," a port official said yesterday. The extension had been proposed by a Border Cities Conference recently. Port Director John Bate, head of the new Unified Port District, said extending the ship channel entrance to Tijuana and combining it with a Tijuana flood control project is: "Not only possible, but is seemingly economically feasible." The border conference had suggested that the port district appraise the feasibility of combining the two projects. Bate made his comment in a letter to Jose Manuel Gonzalez. BCC president. Bate predicted the $100 million channel would take three years to complete. When finished, it would resemble an inverted T. It would extend 5 and 1/2 miles from the Pacific to Tijuana and 4 and 1/2 miles from the Tia Juana River north to the bay. The river's flood channel would be combined with the navigation channel. Much of the land dredged "can be used to raise the general level of the surrounding lard above any possible flood stage." Bate said. It could be used to create a peninsula on the south side of the channel entrance. This could be used not only as a jetty, but also "as an area for the unloading, handling or storage of restricted cargoes." he said. The man-made peninsula would shield the entrance from storms from the southwest and prevent drifts from blocking the channel mouth, he said. Bate predicted that "construction of the Tia Juana River ship channel will make possible industrial development of the surrounding land. The deep-water berths will provide inducement to those industries requiring low cost bulk shipment of raw commodities such as crude petroleum and ores." Furthermore, said Bate, there are 13,000 small boats registered in San Diego County and many of these vessels would use the new entrance to Imperial Beach and cruise up the ship channel to Tijuana. With the dredging of the combined ship and flood-control channel, the development of a commercial fishing fleet in Tijuana "could become a distinct possibility." said Bate. "This could encourage enterprise new to Tijuana such as fish canning and allied industries." Bate's letter was read to the BCC members at a meeting Friday night. After heated debate, the BCC voted to ask the International Boundary Commission and the Army Corps of Engineers to study the channel proposal. An opponent of the plan was Miguel Nassif, a member of the BCC board of directors from Ensenada. He claimed the channel would encourage cotton growers in the Mexicali and Imperial valleys to ship their cotton through Tijuana instead of Ensenada. ( The San Diego Union )

1963/06/20 - Army Corps of Engineers report is favorable for a second channel, but through the Strand, not the Tijuana river. ( Chula Vista Star-News, June 20, 1963. )

1963/10/13 - Mexico opposed the Tijuana 2nd channel, will be the final doom of the project. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Oct. 13, 1963. )

1964 - Congress passed the Wilderness Act that represented a fundamental shift in the environmental movement away from conservation back to a version of preservation that became known as "environmentalism." The movement gained wide acceptance with the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962.

1964 - California voters approved funds in 1964 to acquire Border Field as a state park. Meanwhile, real estate speculators who had bought up nearby farmland were pushing a different agenda and mounting an intense federal lobbying effort. The development scheme called for encapsulating the Tijuana River into a concrete flood control channel. Once the flood-prone river was constrained, an upmarket marina would be planned, along with commercial and housing development. Opponents of the concrete channel sought to preserve the ecologically important Tijuana River estuary and discourage development in this unique border and beach space. ( Carter, Nancy Carol, "Border Field State Park and Its Monument," Eden: Journal of the California Garden & Landscape History Society, Fall 2011. )

1964/12/03 - newspaper editorial: "It is an ambitious plan of Imperial Beach and 60-person citizens committee to turn the swampland of Oneonta Lagoon into a vast marina of waterways, 2000 waterfront homes, 1100 apartments, and a Shelter Island-like boating and recreational facilities, if the federal government will loan $20 million to buy land." The IB fishing pier has been great success, 123,000 came in August, and IB has built a new civic center. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Dec. 3, 1964. )

1965 - At one point in the 1960s, the Navy became involved in a controversy over where to route a proposed river channel; they claimed its construction would disrupt their research on Polaris submarine navigation, which they intended to conduct on a parcel of land in the channel's path. If Polaris subs aren't incongruous enough in the Tijuana River Valley, how about a nuclear generating plant? San Diego Gas and Electric had set aside a 200-acre site in 1965 as a possible location for such a facility. Nothing came of this plan, but there were and are other pressures on the open space. Sand mining has had a deleterious impact in several places over the years; a proposed mining development on Spooner's Mesa would completely alter the nature of the entire valley. Other intrusive activities include illegal grading and dumping of everything from concrete blocks to rusted car bodies, and the ground traffic of thousands of illegal immigrants. ("A Partition of Paradise," 1991) 1965 - In 1965 the United States and Mexico concluded IBWC Minute No. 222 which authorized the construction of an emergency connecting pipeline between the main collector line in the City of Tijuana, Baja California and a branch collector line of the San Diego Metropolitan Sewage System. This connection provided, at times of breakdown in the Tijuana pumping plants or facilities, the safe disposal of Tijuana sewage in the San Diego system to avoid a serious unsanitary condition as might be caused by an overflow of waste water onto lands in the City of San Diego and in the streets in the City of Tijuana. The connection, constructed under authorization in the Act of August 19, 1935, was completed in 1966. The connection consists of a valved turnout pipe in Mexico, extending northward 300 feet (91.4 m) to the international boundary, thence a pipeline continuing northward in the United States a distance of 4,277 feet (1,304 m) partially under the Tijuana River floodplain to the San Ysidro branch collector line in the United States. The installation includes a metering station in the United States. Each Government paid the costs of the works it its territory. Mexico made use of the connection intermittently through 1975 and extensive use of the connection until 1998, with the construction of the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant (SBIWTP). ( South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant, http://www.ibwc.state.gov/mission_operations/sbiwtp.html )

1965/03/04 - newspaper editorial: Army Corps of Engineers has rejected second bay channel thru Silver Strand; the Tia Juana River route is much better; Port director John Bate wants to get federal money to dredge deep water channel all the way to Chula Vista. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Mar. 4, 1965. )

1965/12/02 - B. J. Gautereaux. Thirty five years of community service will be acknowledged with a weekend testimonial dinner for a 70-year-old National City employe who remembers most fondly the tough depression years and most proudly the $3.9 million real estate businass he talked the city into. He is supervisor ot parks and director of public housing. B. J. Gautereaux of 2010 Highland Ave. B. J. is the father of Mayor Dick Gautareaux and three other sons whom he pressed into emergency service during lean years when the city couldn't afford to pay for the help it needed to keep parks grounds green. Born in Otay, the only child of a rancher-father who turned building mechanic during dry years, B. J. attended the Monument School, a little one-roomer, in the Tia Juana River bottom. He flopped to classes daily on the back of a little Jenny mule. "Later," B. J. remembered, "I took to breaking burros to sell to miners on their way to Mexico. It was the way I made my shoes and pants to go to school in." But by the time the little, "delinquent" had graduated from the old Russ High School in San Diego, grown to man's estate, taken a wife and started a family, he had adopted a neighboring community as his hometown, National City. Mayor Dick was a year old when then-Supervisor Dave Bird and then-Councilman William Cordingly went with a problem to B. J. who was in the building construction game. . "The city wanted to start a recreation department and build a swimming pool and new tennis courts," B. J. recalled. "The depression had arrived." he said. "Shortly after that, in 1980, I came to work for the city as director of park and recreation. There was then a population of 7,000." B. J.'s "office" was a 4-by4 shed with what he described as two "slender-legged" stools in it‹period. "Soon, we built the first municipal pool in San Diego County," B. J. said. "We didn't go to bond. We built it with our own labor." ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1966 - The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act formally established the National Wildlife Refuge System. Congress passed the Endangered Species Act.

1966/01/06 - Mrs. Emma Coones, 51, of 2111 and 1/2 Monument Bd., lmperial Beach, lived only three hours after a car struck her while she was crossing the intersection of L Street and Jefferson avenue In Chula Vista at 2:25 am Jan. 1. She died in Community Hospital of Chula Vista. Police said the driver, Benjamine Fensterstock, 1136 Emory St., Imperial Beach, was cited for driving without a valid driver's license. A coroner's autopsy reported death was due to a fractured skull, contusions, hemorrhages of the subarachnoic (brain), and fractures of the pelvis and neck. Rev. Joseph Stadler officiated at recitation of the Rosary last night in Humphrey Mortuary Chapel and Requiem Mass will be sung in St. Charles Catholic Church at 10 am today. Internment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery. Born in New Mexico, Mrs. Coones lived in the county 30 years. She is survived by her husband William Ray Coones, 2 daughters including Sandra at home, 2 sons including Clyde at home, a brother Luis Quesada, and 2 sisters Mrs. Amelia Aguilera and Mrs. Josie Mariscal, all of Linda Vista. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1966/05/19 - James Mills (D-San Diego) requests speedy construction of second entrance to San Diego Harbor. Appropriation to begin feasibility study on proposed second entrance to the bay is expected to come to a vote before the House of Representatives. Compromise measure sent to Senate. When to begin study to be decided next month. Second entrance could be reality in 6-7 years, according to Brig. Gen. John Dillard, Army Corps of Engineers. ( Chula Vista Star News, May 19, 1966 )

1966/07/23 - Imperial Beach awaits marina, and what exactly will this marina, to be called Cabrillo Bay Marina, do for Imperial Beach? "The marina will give l. B. some status," City Mgr. Thomas Parks said. "We're now a medium to low income community with medium to low income houses for the most part. This will bring high value residential housing. It has an advantage over the Coronado Cays development because they are in the bay and our marina will be on the ocean. "It also will bring high income people to the city. Many of our residents are too busy making ends meet to get involved in city government. We expect the marina to bring people from the professions, from technical fields, who can afford to take an active interest in the city." The marina dwellers, population estimates vary from 6,000 to 1,00, also will increase the city's tax base, Parks said. Mayor Blank went even further. 'We're now the poorest city per capita in the county," he said. "In five to seven years with the marina we'll be the wealthiest in the county, per capita." Building jetties will be the first visible step toward the marina. Then dredging. Blank predicts the dredging will result, in a magnificent white sand beach 100 yards wide. Now the beach, which is 3 and 1/2 miles long, is narrow, never more than 30 to 40 feet wide. Single family homes in the north part of the marina development will be built first. "But the beach, the entire beach, will remain public," Blank said. "The City Council is adamant about that." ( The San Diego Union )

1966/07/23 - Long before Imperial Beach became a city it was believed that when a second entrance was created to San Diego Bay it would be dredged east up the Tia Juana River north to join the bay and circle. This idea persisted during the formation of the Unified Port District and Imperial Beach, without any tidelands on the bay, became a member of the district because of it. The idea of a bay-to-ocean canal up the river channel was onerous to a lot of Imperial Beach and South Bay people. They believed it would turn their community from a pleasant place to live into an industrial area. The Corps of Engineers of the United States Army has decided against the Tia Juana River channel in favor of one through the Silver Strand north of Imperial Beach. The decision did not leave the city bereft of ideas. It applied for federal funds to begin to develop 600 acres of land at the mouth of the Ti Juana River into a small craft harbor and marina. The passage of Proposition 14 by the state electorate in 1964 killed, temporarily, any chance for a beginning. Federal funds were withheld. (The San Diego Union, July 23, 1966)

1967/05/18 - IB Marina gets under way by Helix-Imperial Harbor Development Co. of Ted Lambron ( Chula Vista Star News, May 18, 1967. )

1967/06/19 - Tijuana River Flood Control Project proposed by the International Boundary & Water Commission. Under the terms of the 1944 Treaty relating to the Tijuana River, the IBWC in 1967 (IBWC Minute 225 of June 19, 1967) recommended to the two Governments and they approved a joint project for the control of floods on the Tijuana River in the United States and Mexico for protection of developments near the boundary in the City of San Diego, California and in the City of Tijuana, Baja California.  A joint project was essential because coordinated flood control works were required in each country to protect developments in the other country.  That project provided for 2.7 miles of a concrete-lined channel south of the boundary in Tijuana, veering westerwardly to then continue for 6 miles to the Pacific Ocean.  The part of the project in the United States was modified in 1977 to the present stilling basin configuration (IBWC Minute 258) to conform to a change in land use planning in San Diego. The project consists of concrete-lined channel for the Tijuana River in Mexico extending from the boundary upstream 2.7 miles, and of a concrete and rock-lined channel in the United States extending from the boundary downstream 0.9 miles. ( International Boundary & Water Commission, Mission Operations)

1967/07/06 - Statement by the President on the Agreement with Mexico for an International Flood Control Project on the Tijuana River, July 6, 1967. Agreement was reached through the IBWC, U.S. and Mexico, which will now proceed to supervise joint design and dconstruction of the project. The estimated U.S. portion cost is $15.4m, of which local beneficiaries will pay $4.5m. ( Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967 )

1967/09/09 - Second harbor entrance seen by 1972. Engineers in Vicksburg, Miss. working on feasibility of second entrance to Bay. ( Chula Vista Star News, Sept. 9 and 24, 1967. )

1968/01/15 - San Diego Mayor Curran said that more than a year ago he proposed a study of an airport on the seaward side of the Strand in the South Bay area, pointing out that the shallow waters there are favorable to a landfill. A second entrance to the bay and dredging operations involved would produce enormous quantities of soil to create a man-made peninsula to accommodate an international airport with the unobstructed Pacific for approach and takeoff. ( The San Diego Union, clipping in Curran Scrapbook 1967-1969 )

1968/04/28 - Apparently it will be longer than previously estimated before a second entrance into San Diego Bay could benefit planned South Bay port facilities. The cost of the proposed entrance has also jumped by 50% to an estimated $60 million. Tests of a model of San Diego Bay demonstrate that flushing action would be improved by second entrance thru Silver Strand. ( Chula Vista Star News, Apr. 28 and Aug. 8, 1968 . )

1968/05/02 - Funds were also requested for a feasibility study of a second entrance to the bay and for the Sweetwater flood control project. ( Chula Vista Star-News, May 2, 1968. )

1968/07/21 - Cozza Farms owned 60 acres at Dairy Mart Road and Tijuana Street, expanded to 100 acres by 1974. ( The San Diego Union, )

1968/12/22 - Imperial Beach had a dream. It dreamed of a fabulous marina that would attract people and dollars. It was a small place south of big San Diego and sometimes it felt poor and neglected. Sometimes it was daydreaming. No big developers showed up with the money to convert its Tia Juana River slough into that marina. Sometimes it had nightmares. They included a broken international sewer outfall dumping raw contamination to cause beach quarantine. City Mgr. Robert L. Wynn went to Tijuana and asked pesos for chlorination help and the Mexicans decided to develop their own disposal while San Ysidro used ponds. Nightmares included a silt-choked river mouth that made the slough a pond for Imperial Beach sewage. Navy SeaBees had to unplug it at state request so marine life would not die. Then Imperial Beach voted bonds and got federal aid to join the San Diego Metropolitan Sewer System, later including San Ysidro. Dreams of a marina were revived. Nightmares included being limited on water because Imperial Beach had no guarantee, such as was given to neighbor Coronado by an old agreement with the Spreckels land interests that San Diego would add water as needed to the Coronado system lines. But the California (American) Water Co. made a deal with San Diego on serving the South Bay annexed area east of Imperial Beach and water was assured and marina hopes grew again. Finally, the city fathers quit daydreaming and sought federal aid, first of its kind in the nation, for a harbor and marina. But Dr. Theodore G. Lambron, head of Helix Land Companies which acquired the slough lands, said private enterprise could do the job, and so they said he could try. They sold him 126 acres of city land in good faith. He put together the Imperial Harbour Development Co. with capital aid from U. S. Plywood-Champion Paper interests and said they would develop a half-billion-dollar marina with 15,000 residents. It was to be the salvation of Imperial Beach. Then there were more nightmares. The Navy said it needed a chunk, possibly 250 of the developers' 600 city acres, plus some more in San Diego where the marina would extend, for a buffer zone for 634-acre Ream Field. The Navy changed the name of the auxiliary air station to Imperial Beach Naval Air Station to make sure the city was wide-awake to its plans. Congress approved a plan, giving the Navy $2 million of the $3.5 million it asked for field improvements, and telling the Navy to trade part of its unused Border Field for buffer zone The city and developer were agreeable. Dawn for the marina to be the city's salvation came Oct.1. But there were still more nightmares. San Diego objected that the land trade would cut into its plans for an 850-acre international border park. Land owners south of the station objected it would affect their plans, even though the marina could be carried east to give them equal opportunities. Officials of the State suddenly came to life with the claim they wanted Border Field for a state park if it were surplus,. County officials said the trade violated the county general plan. "We never offered any land for any park, or declared any land to be surplus,'' said the Navy. "We are making the trade at request of Congress to save $1.6 million or more in tax dollars." "No one asked if the park would hurt our marina or fit our general plan," said Brent Birtcher, acting city manager. "Our harbor zoning would insure public use of all the beaches," said Councilman Bill D. Blank. And so the lifeblood of the 12-year-old 12-square-mile city with no expandable borders awaited a transfusion. If it comes, Imperial Beach can become one of the finest resorts in Southern California. And that is why land values have almost doubled and building is quickening in the lonesome little neglected southwestern corner of the continental United States. ( Imperial Beach: Dreams Coming True For Area," by Neil Ball, The San Diego Union, Dec. 22, 19678 )

1969/04/30 - In Imperial Beach, the city is purchasing 40 acres southwest of Ream Field for a public marina to be built in conjunction with a multimilliondollar residential marina planned there. The public marina, in the southern part of the city, will have 316 yacht slips and a small-boat launching ramp , said City Atty. Max Wiza. Fifteen acres of the Coronado Cays residential marina being built on the Silver Strand will be developed for public use. The public area probably will be used for a small-boat launching ramp and a park, said the port spokesman. The Coronado and Imperial Beach residential marinas will have luxury homes with private docks. Coronado Cays is scheduled to open in midsummer, but construction has been delayed on the Imperial Beach project because of negotiations over land. Further in the future is a second entrance proposed for the south end of San Diego Bay. Studies are being made to determine how tides and currents will function in the bay if the second opening is made. ( San Diego Union, Apr. 30, 1969 )

1970 - The owner of Southwest Feed is also a historical figure in an area, the Tijuana River Valley, whose story has yet to be told. Born in Minnesota, Bill came to California in 1966 when dairies throughout Southern California were plentiful. At the age of 18 we worked on dairy farms in Artesia and Los Angeles. He moved to Oxnard and ran a dairy there for about six years. Then he came down to the Tijuana River Valley for better job opportunities. In 1976 he became a herdsman for the cattle at Dairy Mart Farms. He was in charge of about 16-18 employees and ran the dairy for Phyllis Schnell who was the owner after her husband died. Phyllis, however, sold all the cattle and got completely out of farming. Bill had saved enough money to buy 240 cows, plus the shipping rights. Bill then leased the property owned by the Hofers along the U.S.-Mexican boundary line and tended to his herd of cows there. The Hofers originally owned land around Saturn Avenue along with well-known dairy farmers such as the Zumsteins and the Eggers. The Hofers closed their property, however, and bought land closer to the border. That was around 1970. Bill worked on this property from 1970 to 1981. But by the 1980's, Carnation and all the other shippers were pulling out and going to Los Angeles. Eggers got bought off by the government. The Hofers didn't, but Bill sold his cattle too because they closed the local plants and it was going to cost too much to ship his milk to LA. Bill would either have had to move up to the San Joaquin Valley or to a better shipping area. Instead, he sold off all the cattle to a dairy to Rosewell, New Mexico. He recalled that the last day he milked the cows, they had 28 trucks and trailers ready to haul the cattle away. After that, Bill went into the feed business. The owner stayed right along the border selling his feed for many years. He still leased the Hofer property of about twenty acres. Then the federal government began negotiating with him because they wanted it for the wastewater treatment plant. He was given six months to get off the property. He found this abandoned horse ranch along Monument Road and signed a long term lease agreement in 1999. Southwest Feed has been there ever since, manufacturing alfalfa, molasses and three different horse feeds. He sells to ranches all over San Diego County, including to twenty different feed stores. ( South Bay Compass, January 21, 2015 )

1970/07/30 - Homeowners protest asphalt plant on Monument Road near Hollister St and Border Field in Otay Mesa, OMHO board president Daniel Murphy, VP of Princess Homes ( Chula Vista Star-News, 1970 Local History Room, Chula Vista Public Library. )

1971 - Southwest High School opened on Hollister Road.

1971 - President Richard Nixon announced that Border Field would be developed for recreational use as part of his "Legacy of Parks" program. Three hundred seventy-two acres became part of Border Field State Park, preserving the southern flank of the estuary. Meanwhile, local biologists Joy Zedler and Paul Jorgensen, along with Dr. Mike McCoy, a wildlife veterinarian, began to organize local environmentalists and Imperial Beach residents to build government and public support for the estuary's preservation. ( Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve History)

1971 - Along with other environmentalists and community residents, Mike and his wife Patricia worked for years to earn protection for the Tijuana Estuary, which became a major issue of conflict in IB for much of the 1970s. A decade prior, the City of Imperial Beach and developers began to work on plans to dredge the area and build a marina. In 1971, in an effort to preserve one of California's last coastal wetlands, veterarinarian Dr. Mike McCoy began to organize with local residents and fellow environmentalists to oppose the plans. As the issue gained more and more attention, according to a city history book, Imperial Beach: A Pictoral History, the couple were repeatedly threatened, and in 1980 someone loosened the lug nuts on their car and they were almost killed while driving on the freeway. In spring 1980, voters ratified Proposition A, approving the marina project. But later that year, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services purchased the land and established the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge. The area would become a National Estuarine Research Reserve a year later. Today, the remains the largest coastal wetland of Southern California and one of its is named after Mike and Patricia McCoy. Debi Carey is SWIA's adiministrative director. McCoy's commitment doesn't end at the estuary, she said, noting that he has played a role in the establishment of Living Coast Discovery Center and Otay Valley Regional Park in Chula Vista, and more recently earning for land near the Tijuana River. "Anything to do to with protecting the environment and educating people about the value of the environment, he's all for it," she said. "It never ends. We say 'The guy just doesn't know how to say no," she said. "He's tireless. Right now he's on vacation in his cabin in Colorado, and you can be sure he's working on something there too." Carey described McCoy as a person with unique attributes: persistant and determined, serious about conservation, but also likes a good joke and talking to people. "Probably his last breath will be spent on some project he's working on to protect the environment for everybody," she said. ( Imperial Beach Patch, September 07, 2012 )

1971/01/22 - Bill to increase funds for flood control in Tijuana River, will raise amount from $12.6 million to $21.5 million. Introduced January 22 by Lionel Van Deerlin. But in Dec. the San Diego City Council withdrew support of proposed Tijuana River Flood Control. ( Chula Vista Star News Jan. 22 and Dec. 26, 1971 )

1971/08 - First Lady Patricia Nixon traveled to San Diego in August 1971 to dedicate the park and deliver a message of binational unity and friendship. She greeted surfers who had been assembled to demonstrate the recreational potential of the new park. Then the small barbed wire border fence separating the United States and Mexico was cut so that Mrs. Nixon could greet the crowd of Mexican citizens who had gathered to see her. "I hate to see a fence anywhere," she said, while signing autographs and admiring babies on the Mexican side of the border, "I hope there won't be a fence here too long.... We're good friends." Mrs. Nixon's comments articulated a vision for Border Field State Park that would place it among the exclusive society of international cross-boundary parks. Exemplars dated back to the 1920s and '30s with parks celebrating peace and friendship on the Canadian border. Mexico took the lead by building a beautifully landscaped park with a wide set of stairs leading up to Monument No. 1 from its side of the border. However, the former Navy training fields on the US side remained undeveloped. ( Carter, Nancy Carol, "Border Field State Park and Its Monument," Eden: Journal of the California Garden & Landscape History Society, Fall 2011. )

1971/10/07 - More Federal funding asked for Tia Juana River flood control project so strict controls can be used to preserve the estuary. Editorial on preserving wildlife in Tia Juana River area. ( Chula Vista Star News, Oct. 7, 1971 )

1972 - The Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of Realty prepared a Reconnaissance Appraisal Report to estimate the cost of acquiring land parcels and establishing a "South San Diego Wildlife Preserve." (not formally established until 1988) (San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 2006)

1972 - Coastal Zone Management Act established the The National Estuarine Research Reserve System. In this pivotal year for the conservation movement, Congress passed the Clean Water Act, Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Ocean Dumping Act, and the Water Pollution Control Act.

1972 The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of 28 areas representing different biogeographic regions of the United States that are protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education and coastal stewardship. Established by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, ( The National Estuarine Research Reserve System History )

1972 - Park improvements were slowed by uncertainties over the exact park boundaries and continuing advocacy for a concrete flood control channel on the Tijuana River. A report from the U.S. Corps of Engineers disappointed real estate developers by making a strong case for preserving the natural course of the river and its richly populated estuary. This home to 170 bird species was called in 1972 "the finest salt water marsh remaining along the California coastline." Only a portion of the estuary was protected within Border Field State Park, but efforts to preserve the entire estuary gained support and eventually succeeded. Today the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve is known as a biodiversity hotspot and operates under a state-federal partnership. It is recognized by the United Nations as a "wetland of international importance." ( Carter, Nancy Carol, "Border Field State Park and Its Monument," Eden: Journal of the California Garden & Landscape History Society, Fall 2011. )

1972/01/06 - Longtime residents recall when the Tia Juana River ran a mile wide, bank to bank, in 1927. San Diego Gas & Electric owns over a hundred acres near the new border park. Rumors persist regarding plans for a nuclear generator in that spot at some time in the future. Three cement companies hold land along Monument Road at the foot of the bluffs. One company, Fenton, has already extracted some material from the hill near Goat Canyon, but has run into brackish water. Conrock has good water, but was unable to get a conditional use permit last year from the San Diego City Council following vigourous protest by local citizens. Nelson and Sloan, another cement company, owns land nearby. The proximity of 400,000 people just across the border in Tijuana, with their own flood control problems, will be felt more and more acutely in the future. Even now, there are times when Ihe wind is not kind, and it brings dust and smoke. Smoke from the foundries, from the open fires, from the burning dump, from the burning rubber tires of the poor. The Helix Imperial Harbor Development Corp. has acquired 776 acres to the north and west of the valley. It says It plans to develop a large nautical community with marina and boat harbors, although recent acquisitions by the Navy make this project seem dubious. At the southeast corner of the valley, the Tia Juana River flows south through the heart of Tijuana. It is only a question of time before residents there will demand an end to the slime-covered streets and seas of mud which follow every rainstorm. The river crosses the international border only a few blocks west of the border crossing at San Ysidro. The river channel flows in a gradual curve northwesterly to empty into the Pacific. The river drains a basin covering about 1.700 square miles. On the U.S. side of the border, the flood plain covers about 5,200 acres which form part of the cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach. The amount of land covered by the water at flood time varies, but according to a report from the International Boundary and Water Commission, this could amount to a flow of as much as 135,000 cubic left per second. With this fact in mind, in 1967 our country entered into a mutual agreement with Mexico for construction of a flood control channel, with our channel to receive the waters from the Mexican flood channel where they flow across the border. For years, the coming flood control channel was anticipated as a future fact. Its benefit was unquestioned. But within the last year, suddenly, a wave of opposition built. And now it looks as though the wide concrete ditch that dances like a sugarplum in developers' heads, and like an abominable white elephant in geologists' minds, may never be built. An ecological study by Ocean Science and Engineering Inc. concluded that the flood control channel would, of itself, have no direct adverse effect on the ecology of the area. But it would lead to commercial development, the report stated, and this could cause ecological damage. Whether commercial development in that spot at this time is necessary and good is really the heart of the discussion. And opinions fly. According to Citizens Coordinate for Century 3, an ecology group known as "C-3," a "flood control channel would benefit only a few property owners and land speculators." Replied Frank Curran. former mayor of San Diego: "The 'Eco-nuts' echo everything they hear on ecology without any basis in fact. But they don't tell us how Imperial Beach is to continue to exist. We set up the Science Advisory Group, looking for true facts. The Comprehensive Planning Organization is being stampeded by people from Vista telling them what to do in the South Bay. They want to call a halt to everything and make yet another study. This is in challenge to the three and a half years of study already done." Rebuttal from C-3: "The entire Tia Juana River valley could be acquired for less than the $30 million it would cost to build the flood channel." Statement from South Bay District Chamber of Commerce: "The acquisition of flood plain acreage would cost close to $100 million, not to mention court and other costs, if you estimate according to fair market values by which property owners are being assessed for property taxes now." Ken Sulver, technical staff member of Comprehensive Planning Organization: "There must be a review of environmental impact. The Army Corps of Engineers is investigating further alternatives to the flood control channel recommended by them. It appears there is a good chance to both honor our agreement with Mexico and to protect what exists there now. This does mean that development would be limited in the future. Malcolm Witt, properly owner: "Half the children in the South Bay schools are from families receiving some type of public assistance. In an area where so much is needed to bolster the economy, can we really afford 5,000 acres of open space when there is such a potential lo create much-needed employment? Some consideration should be given to human values as to the life-cycle of a tern." Dr. John Hobbs, professor of political science, San Diego State College: "If you get a flood control cltannel in there, the marina will follow and you will come out with a biologically sterile area which will house a lot of pleasure craft. This is too high a price for the rest of the state to pay, just to improve the taxbase and the egos of the people of Imperial Beach. The question is one of esthetics. To say a man can improve on nature is an erroneous statement. Some people think one Mission Bay is enough; some think one is too many. People have to decide what they think is beautiful." Bert Stiles, mayor of Imperial Beach: "There are some college professors around who are very capable speakers, but poorly informed. They have never seen a mule deer in this area. The $750,000 shrimp industry they speak of so fondly must have gotten mentally transferred, along with some of the other wildlife, from the south tip of San Diego Bay to our sloughs area. The Tia Juana River drains 1,700 miles. I'd like to know, where do those people live, who are so blithe about what happens down here if there is a flood! They ought to get their facts straight before they play so fast and loose with the future of the people who live and work and pay taxes down here." Report from C-3: "An alternate system of dikes would protect existing development on the five-mile river bed, and control any flood water from the Mexican channel." Randolph West, owner of farm land in the area: "I bought that land in 1949 for farming purposes. In '62 the water got too bad even to grow alfalfa. That land just Isn't farm land any more. I wonder how those people who are yelling 'ecology' would like to live down here when the flood water from the Tijuana streets and gutters and privies flows over their land." Statement from Environmental crisis Bulletin published in La Jolla: "The local farmers do not want the channel. if it is built, a few developers will get rich and we will all lose another green belt and a major agricultural area. Phil Creaser, owner of farm land: "We used to farm there, but the water is so bad from all the salt intrusion, you can't farm. I lease it for grazing only. There is very little future in that area for farming." CPO, from a drainage and flood control background study completed in 1970: "There is more than enough land in the region suitable for development to meet all projected urban requirements without further encroachment on flood plains." Mary Kay Forsythe, property owner: "The environmentalists make snide remarks about 'vested interests.' Whose interest do you think would be served if they make a wildlife preserve out of the area, with fences around and only limited access for the public?" Rev. Ed Burn, head of Border Park Committee: "It's a very versatile area, and the different concepts for its use could be adjusted to exist very well side by side, one helping and complementing the other." On Dec. 22. the San Diego City Council voted to withdraw its support of the proposed concrete flood control channel. Since the City of San Diego had been committed to pay $8 million as its share of the channel's cost, it looks pretty dead. But will it stay dead? In Washington, Congressman Lionel Van Deerlin withdrew his support of a measure to appropriate the Federal portion of channel construction. Another "death-blow?" Those who support the channel, and not all for nefarious reasons, are powerful and persistent. Right now, the sloughs are reprieved, but the battle is far from over. The San Diego City Council has asked the Army Corps of Engineers to hold public hearings to consider alternatives to the proposed channel. And so a classic conflict bubbles. On one hand are the old values of rights to private property, the right to earn one's bread from the land. On the other hand is the hard fact lhat our lands and our air and our oceans are not limitless. The question is: How can we protect these resources and guard them for the future? To quote Malcolm Witt, who lives on the bluffs at the foot of the valley: "Things will be happening in this district in the next six months that could affect the whole area for the next 60 years. And It seems like all anybody cares about is whether there's beer in the refrigerator, and if the TV Is working. People better wake up and find out what's happening, and who is making it happen." ( "Tia Juana River: Green Belt vs. Greenbacks," by Jackie Dewey Welnick, Chula Vista Star News, Jan. 6, 1972 )

1972/02/08 - Officials in Mexico say they will proceed with building their part of the channel. They say it's needed to project Tijuana and promote urbanization there. The Mexican channel will bring more water into the valley during heavy rains. Environmentalists say this additional water could also be handled by dikes. Van Deerlin says the flow from Mexico, could be taken care of by a channel ‹ to bring the water from Mexico into the United States in an efficient manner ‹ plus dikes. Property owners in the valley and Imperial Beach contend that the flood control channel is still "the best answer to handling the South Bay area's needs. Bert Stites, mayor of Imperial Beach, says: "The flood control channel is important for the protection of the city." He emphasized that Imperial Beach is only 27 feet above sea level at its highest point and subject to flooding. He said the beach city needs the high-level protection a channel could provide. Stites said the South Bay will need something to handle the runoff from the channel to be built on the Mexican side. He said a channel on the U.S. side would handle this and any flooding here "very efficiently." (San Diego Evening Tribune Feb. 8, 1972.)

1972/09/28 - Legislation was introduced in Congress this week by Sen. John V. Tunney (D-Calif.) to establish the Tia Juana Estuary as a national wildlife refuge. The bill, which would bring the estuary under the control of the Department of Interior's Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, is designed to maintain the salt marsh which stretches between Imperial Beach and the U.S.-Mexican border as an undeveloped area. In his introductory remarks, Tunney called the slough one of the finest salt water marshes remaining along the California coastline. Tunney's action was an answer to the prayers of conservation groups which urged that the marsh remain undeveloped. Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3) has strongly opposed development in the area and especially fought construction of a flood control channel to the ocean, which they see as a harbinger to development. A Tunney spokesman said the legislation would not prevent construction of a flood channel, but development would be nixed. A large variety of birds, invertebrates and other wildlife make their home in the marsh which opens naturally on the Pacific Ocean. The estuary is home seasonally or on a year-round basis to at least 173 species of water fowl and other birds, 26 species of fish, 42 species of large invertebrates, such as clams, snails, crabs and shrimp. Thirty-one species of marsh plants provide either food or shelter for much of the marsh life. The coastal wetlands and estuarine acreage in Southern California is only 31,700 acres, less than 25 percent of the acreage which existed in 1900. Great portions of the state's estuaries have been bulkheaded or filled for industrial and commercial purposes, resulting in greatly decreased numbers of fish and wildlife, according to Tunney. In San Diego Bay 80 to 85 percent of the tidelands have been filled. Sanford Wilbur, a wildlife biologist at the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, stated in a bureau memorandum: "I doubt there is a better place on the West Coast to use Land and Water Conservation Fund monies for habitat really essential to wildlife.. . . ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1972/10/22 - Mexican officials this weekend urged the City of San Diego to honor its commitments to support and expedite the U.S. portion of the Tijuana River channelization project. Roberto de La Madrid, director of economic development for the state of Baja California, and Hector Lutteroth, Baja congressman, expressed concern at the city's withdrawing its support of man, expressed concern at the the joint project last Dec. 21. "We are to begin the flood control channel on the Mexican side of the border on Aug. 1 and we believe it should be continued to the Pacific Coast by the United States,'' De La Madrid told delegates to a Border Cities Conference meeting in Coronado. The Mexican portion of the channel will cost $48 million, is to be completed by Aug. 31, 1976, and will extend 10 miles south of the international border. There, the sprawling riverbed of the Tijuana River will be harnessed into a 65-foot-wide concrete channel with 20-foot high walls. Lutteroth referred to international treaties and agreements between Mexico and the United States which established the joint channelization project in the mid-1960's. "We assumed the United States would honor its obligations in all levels of government, including the City of San Diego," he said. "But with or without San Diego's support, the Mexican channelization will begin on Aug. 1 as ordered by President Luis Echeverria Alvarez," Lutteroth reported. The San Diego City Council voted Dec. 21 to withdraw its support of a proposed $30 million concrete channel through 5.3 miles of the Tia Juana Slough on the American side of the border south of Imperial Beach. The decision affected 1964 and 1965 city agreements to provide all land, easements, rights of way for construction and operation of the project on the American side of the border and also provide 17.8 per cent of the total cost of the American project, which has been designed by the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers. Pressure from ecologists who wish to protect the salt marsh in the slough from commercial development and desire for further study of the total project were given as the reasons for the council withdrawal. De La Madrid said this weekend, "If we channel our side of the river in Mexico and you do not in San Diego, when it rains as it did in the years of 1916, 1937, 1938 and 1941, the volume and speed of the water will cause greater damage in the United States than ever before." (San Diego Evening Tribune Feb. 8, 1972.)

1972/10/29 - 284 acres of Navy-owned land in the South Bay was dedicated as a wildlife refuge in ceremonles at Naval Air Station in Imperial Beach. (Chula Vista Star News, Oct. 29, 1972)

1972/12/31 - A look at the recent approved 10-year Unified Port District master plan revision will show another reason for the swing away from industrial developments on the tidelands the environmentalists and the growing emphasis on preserving the natural life found in the southern part of the bay. The southern portion of the bay teems with plants, wildlife, small marine animals and water for which makes ecologists rub their hands in glee. Full one-third of the South Bay tidelands are reserved for open space and preservation in the new master plan revision, a move designed to please ecologists and governmental agencies like the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. According to a UPD annual progress report, the South Bay was to be the scene of great industrial development in the latter half of the 1960s and on into the '70s. "The focal point of attention began to swing southward and into the vast, virtually untapped potential of the South Bay," read the 1967 report. A third marine terminal, extensive land fills and that fleeting dream for two generations a second entrance to the bay were all in the original master plan signed in 1963 by commissioners. "The South Bay long has been our coveted 'reserve' for future potential growth," said C.R. Bob Campbell, 1967 commission chairman from Chula Vista. ( Chula Vista Star News, Dec. 31, 1972. )

1973/05/28 - A marina near the mouth of the Tia Juana River may result from negotiations over the future of land north of Border Field State Park. A marina-residential development there has been proposed for some time but has been delayed because of financing problems, uncertainty over the intentions of the state regarding land purchases, the protests of ecology groups and the delay in the Tia Juana River flood control channel project. However a private developer, Theodore G. Lambron, and William Petm Mott, Jr., director of the State Department of Parks and Recreation, both said in interviews last week that the marina could be built using dikes to protect it from future floods. Moreover, Mott said his department would have no objections to a marina, either on state property or on private land, as a possible compromise to the controversy over land in and near the mouth of the Tia Juana River, Mott said several factors are beginning to come together which might make the marina possible. He said the State Department of Navigation and Ocean Development strongly favors a marina in the area and has indicated it might be able to provide funds for development. Mott-said the solution his department favors is for the state to buy all the land currently owned by the Helix Land Co. and Helix 1960, Inc. These holdings comprise 503 acres bounded by Border Field State Park on the south and Navy property on the north and northeast. It includes about two miles of beach. If the land was acquired, Mott said, the state would then allow a marina to be developed on the north end of the property within the city of Imperial Beach and north of the Tia Juana River. Mott said the location of the marina would not threaten the ecological balance in the estuary. "We have absolutely no desire to get into the marina business. We would not develop it but would have the development go through the city of Imperial Beach or perhaps lease the property to a private developer, somewhat the way Mission Bay was developed in the city of San Diego," Mott said. Mott said there are no plans for a marina by the state and no commitments. He said the disposition of the property in the river mouth is in the negotiation stage. "What we want to do is work out a program which is satisfactory to everyone," Mott said. Mott said his position on a marina came out of a meeting last week with Sen. James Mills, D-San Diego, and Lambron, president of the Helix Land Co. and Helix 1960, Inc. The meeting was set up to discuss a bill Mills introduced last month in the Legislature to have the state buy approximately 3,000 acres of land owned by the Helix companies at a cost of $3 million. Imperial Beach objected to Mills' bill on the ground that it would take land from the tax rolls. Imperial Beach City Mgr. Jack Shelver said in an interview: "Fifty-five percent of the land in the city is already in public ownership. These proposed purchases would increase that to about 65% and would be the straw that broke the camel's back. "Why should the state get more land? They don't do much with the land they already have down here." Sheiver said the city is pushing for a marina as a boost to the city's economy and to provide needed recreation facilities in the area. Lambron, who has been trying to develop a marina in the area since 1987, said he would prefer that the state not buy any of the land. He said he still hopes that he can develop a marina but admits that the uncertainly of state plans has created a problem in getting financing. Mills' bill, as currently written, would cover the purchase Oft the beach land owned by Helix complies and leave them with parcels at $he north and southeast end of their property. Lambron and Imperial Beach both have objected to a state purchase which would cut the heart out tne Helix holdings and leave separate parcels which would be difficult to develop. Mills said yesterday he agrees with some of the objections of Imperial Beach and Lambron concerning his bill. Mills said he favors changing the bill to allow the state to purchase the southern portion of Helix land, about 2000 acres adjacent to the present Border Field State Park, leaving the northern part on the tax rolls and its future undecided. Mills said his solution would leave the private land open to public use, as it is now, while if the state bought the land, it might be fenced off and the public would have to pay for access. Everyone interviewed stressed that no decisions have yet been made as to the future of the land. Mott said he had not yet talked with Imperial Beach about his feeling concerning a marina "and they certainly would have to be consulted." Sheiver, when informed of Mott's suggestions about a marina, said he had not heard of it before and would have to talk with Mott before commenting. Mills said he would be revising his bill regarding land purchases in the area but had not worked out the details of the changes. No future meetings between the various parties interested in the land have been scheduled but all said they would continue to negotiate to reach a solution. ("Marina at Tia Juana River Still Possible," by John Kern, The San Diego Evening Tribune, May 28, 1973 )

1973/08/23 - San Diego bonds would mean windfall for South Bay. Money to purchase 1,390 acres of the 5,200-acre Tia Juana River Valley and 690 acres of the Otay River Valley would be made available with no increase in the tax rate if San Diego voters approve Prop B Sept.18. A companion measure, Prop. A, would provide money to develop local parks in San Ysidro and Otay as well as finance major construction efforts at Otay Lakes. The $22.5 million Prop. B would provide approximately $4 million to build four large open space areas, including the Tia Juana and Otay valley lands. No breakdown on the amount of money spent on each of the four areas is available from the bond proponents. The measure would not increase city taxes if passed because the bonds would be repaid by utility franchise fees, already in effect. The money, which will total $900,000 this year and is expected to grow 6 percent yearly must be spent on open space acquisition, a bond proponent spokesman said. If the bond is not passed, the money will be sent for open space purposes each year. The money is now accumulating in city bank accounts. The bond would allow the city to buy up large amounts of open space righ taway and pay for it later, the spokesman said, instead of setting it in small pieces. The bond would also provide approximately $1.5 million to purchase 250 acres in Paradise Valley. That land will require another $650,000 in contributions from revenue sharing or local residents. South Otay Lake would get a new dock, restrooms, fishing floats and picnic area, as well as a reconstructed parking lot and entrance road, if Prop A is passed. Also included in the $25 million proposal is money for work on eight San Ysidro and Otay Mesa Parks. Proposed in ihe park bond are: Montgomery Waller Neighborhood Parks 1 and 3. Park One would be five acres in size and located north of Palm Ave and west of Interstate 805. The bond would provide $80,407 for the purchase of the land and Park 3 would be near Los Altos school. The land would cost $109,407 and the development will be $151,515. San Ysidro Community Park. This would be 13 acres in size and a location for it has not been picked. The bond proposal specifics $272,517 for purchase and $227,030 for development. San Ysidro Community Park. This second park would be one acre in size and purchased from the Water Utilities Dept. It is located north of the library and south of the shufflcboard courts. Howard Lane Neighborhood Park. The bond contains $151,010 for development South Bay Community Park. No location was specified but the bond includes $107,515 for construction of shuftlcboard courts, clubhouse and parking. The Otay Lakes Improvements would cost $266,530. ( The Chula Vista Star-News, )

1973/08/30 - San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson this week said he hopes to see a second border crossing open near Otay Mesa this spring. Wilson made the statement after the San Diego City Council agreed to push for construction of new roads that would serve a proposed border crossing at the end of Otay Mesa Rd. near Brown Field. The city hopes to convince the state to build Highway 73 linking Interstate 805 and Otay Mesa Rd. in early 1974 instead of 1876. Wilson and Councilman Jim Bates, representing South San Diego, will appear before the state Highway Commission to ask it to expedite construction of the roads. The San Diego officials took the action at the request of Tijuana Mayor Dr. Marco Antonio Bolanos Cacho who said Tijuana desperately needs the second crossing tot he east to relieve the congestion at the San Ysidro border checkpoint. He said the eastern gate is needed even more than a proposed crossing west of San Ysidro. However, Bolanos Cacho said opening the old western border crossing at Dairy Mart Rd. might help relieve the pressure of traffic at San Ysidro. But councilmen were not enthusiastic about opening up the Tia Juana River Valley to border traffic. Instead, they asked the staff to try to divert some of the money set aside for a flood control channel to purchase some of the flood plain for parkland. ( Chula Vista Star-News )

1974 - Beginning in the 1970s a series of events began to build that severely affected the quality of life in the Tia Juana Valley and dramatically reduced the amount of agriculture that took place there. The most significant factor was the growth of the city of Tijuana in Mexico. The population of this Mexican border town increased from 21,977 in 1940 to 1,092,468 in 1990. As the city grew in area and population it spread westward along the border to the south of the valley. Barren and paved hillsides and an overtaxed infrastructure caused an environmental disaster as flood waters and sewage overflow swept over the Tia Juana Valley. Additional problems were caused by a human flood of illegal immigrants from Mexico, who nightly, traveled through the valley after they crossed the border into the United States. These calamities have combined with a growth of government ownership that has put the valley under the jurisdiction of a myriad of Federal, State, City, and County agencies that are required to deal with the problems of flood, sewage, and illegal immigration. To the few remaining residents, these agencies often seem to be working against each other, leaving many to feel angry, abandoned and forgotten. A major turning point came in April 1974, when San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson and the city council voted to not construct the flood control channel for the Tia Juana River that had been proposed since 1967. Over the next several years McCoy and his group continued to push for preservation of the estuary, invoking the California Coastal Act, and working with the Coastal Commission. The social environment became hostile. Death threats were made against those who opposed the marina, and Mike McCoy had the lug nuts on his automobile loosened and was even shot at. Finally in December 1980 Helix Development Corporation gave up plans for the marina and sold 505 acres of property in the estuary to the Fish and Wildlife Service for a National Wildlife Refuge. The estuary gained National Estuarine Status on September 30,1981. At that time the Office of Coastal Zone Management granted the Commission $502,344 to acquire land in the sanctuary. ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1974 - Floods have always been a problem in the Tia Juana River Valley. San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson's decision in 1974 not to continue the flood control channel of the Tia Juana River constructed by the Mexican government on the south side of the border resulted in the discharge of millions of gallons of high velocity water into the valley on the north side of the border following heavy rainstorms. Although the Army Corps of Engineers built a dissipater system at the border in 1976 to slow the water velocity, it still did not control the quantity of flow. Flooding conditions were also exacerbated by runoff from Goat Canyon and Smuggler's Gulch, which was greatly increased over previous decades in volume, velocity, and amounts of debris and refuse carried by the water, due to the uncontrolled development that had occurred along these drainages south of the border as Tijuana grew. A large flood in 1982 left farmers on the south side of the valley stranded for 17 weeks. The only way to get needed supplies available was to make a hole in the international border fence and go into Tijuana, Mexico. There was no electrical or telephone service. Valley inhabitants survived with gas powered generators and water pumps, and medical emergencies had to be evacuated by helicopter. The valley suffered another devastating flood in 1992. These two deluges had a severe impact on the valley. Many agricultural fields were inundated and several farmers and horse ranchers moved out of the valley. Contamination of the water table caused the bottling plant in Smuggler's Gulch to close. In addition to water damage, floods still bring large quantities of contaminants, refuse, and silt into the valley. Some of the former farmland adjacent to the border is now covered in 8 feet of sediment. ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1976 - Army Corps of Engineers built a dissipater system at the border in 1976 to slow the water velocity, but it still did not control the quantity of flow. (Van Wormer, 2005)

1976/06/27 - The Army Corps of Engineers received a mandate from the South Bay this week: a second entrance to San Diego Bay is most welcome, but only with a bridge to link the Silver Strand. The most notable opposition came from Coronado Mayor Virginia Bridge, who indicated her city council was opposed to the entire project, most especially if a bridge were not built. Many South Bay residents, particularly in Imperial Beach, work at the North Island Naval Air Station at the north end of Coronado and use the Silver Strand to commute. "I realize it will be the South Bay that will benefit from the cut through the Silver Strand," said Coronado Mayor Bridge. "but it will be our community that will be cut. We are still suffering from the separation of our community from the Coronado Bridge." The Coronado Cays is south of the proposed second entrance and within Coronado city limits.. . . The Navy favors a second entrance to prevent blockage of ships in the event of a harbor disaster. Should the Coronado Bridge and a new bridge both collapse, Navy vessels couId be bottlenecked in the South Bay,the Navy has warned. But the Navy has yet to officially endorse the second entrance project, fearing the monetary obligation that would go along with such a commitment. The Army Corps of Engineers considers the Navy's endorsement essential to beginning the project in the near future. ( Chula Vista Star-News )

Tijuana flood control channel under construction on Mexican side. (Chula Vista Star-News, July 22, 1976)

1976/12/08 - The City Council on October 30, 1973, instructed the Planning Commission to prepare a comprehensive plan for the Tijuana River Valley. The Council desired a plan that provided optimum balance between conservation and development in the Valley. The plan was to provide a socio-economic base for future development of the Valley, and preserve the integrity of two major environmental resources existing in the Valley, the Tijuana River Estuary, and the Valley's agricultural lands. On December 8, 1976, the City Council adopted the Tijuana River Valley Plan (Plan) by Resolution No. 217246. With the approval of this Plan, the Border Area Plan was updated and the Progress Guide and General Plan (General Plan) was also amended. In September 1979, the California State Coastal Commission certified the Tijuana River Valley Plan. The Tijuana River Valley Plan was amended in 1990, to recognize the National Estuarine Sanctuary (Research Reserve) and the county's Tijuana River Regional Park. ( Tijuana River Valley Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan, 2007 )

1976/12/08 - The military land use designation is applied to the 177-acre Imperial Beach Naval Air Station. ( Tijuana River Valley Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan, 2007 )

1977/06/06 - Henry Myers retired as an engineer from the California American Water Co. in 1968. A native of Maine, came to California in 1933 in a Model T. Globe-hopping for Myers began after a retirement. A life of careful saving had given Myers and wife Ruth (who died two years ago) the funds needed for the ambitious journeying. "During your working days," Myers says, "you either don't have the time or the money to travel. You have to leave those things until after you retire. It's almost a shame they come at the wrong end of life." Judging from the man's extremely firm handshake, ruddy complexion and still full, swept-back white hair, the end of life after retirement will be a lengthy one. The first real excursion was a traditional one to Europe. Then came the Middle East and Africa. After the Africa trip, Myers appetite was whetted for serious traveling, and last year saw him take a lost civilization trip: Alexandria, Troy. Lost civilizations set the stage for the recent sojourn, to Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Nepal, and up Mt. Everest. Not only could Myers say he took on the challenge of Everest because it was there, it was one of the few places remaining where he could say he hadn't been. ( The Imperial Beach Star-News, June 6, 1977. )

Henry Myers with mementos of his global trips after retirement from the Cal-American Water Co. where he operated
the treatment plant in the Tijuana River Valley since 1936. (Imperial Beach Star-News, June 6, 1977)

1977/12/29 - Isabel Wallace came to the Nestor area in 1935 with her husband George. They farmed 12 acres of celery and tomatoes around the area where her large, rambling home still stands, including the land which is now Iris Park. "It wasn't so much, but in a good celery year, we could do real well," Wallace said. Her daughter Donna helped coax her mother to tell of some of the more outstanding accomplishments of the memorable career of teaching a n d participating in church activities. Like the year 1958 when she was named teacher of the year in San Diego County. Or that she was the first secretary of the South Bay Union School District, and on the school board before that. That she taught the sixth grade for 25 years at Emory School and for five years taught Bible stories to underprivileged children in the Del Sol area. Mrs. Wallace recalls that when she came to the South Bay, there were only five or six houses between the church and the beach. Now there are hundreds. In 1943, she remembers that there were so few people in the area that there was only one church; now there are 11. Donna Wallace shares her mother's long memories of the changes which have taken place in the South Bay and in the Nestor United Methodist Church. She has been a member there' all her life, has been a secretary in Berry-Elementary school for 25 years ‹ and teaches adult Sunday school at the church. Son Ronald started his engineering career here, spent 15 years with California American Water Co. and is now an engineer in Livermore. From the time when they first came to Nestor from Oregon, in 1935, the Wallace family has had as important impact on the area ‹ and as 1978 rolls in, the impact seems destined to continue. 1971 city directory: living at 2914 Iris Ave. George died at Nestor 1965. George married Isabel C. Condit 1926 in Oregon ( Imperial Beach Star-News )

1978/01/04 - Jim Johnston raises worms, also known as vermiculture. Since early 1976 when he bought two run-down worm farms in north county, Jim has been raising red worms on his leased land in the Tijuana River Valley. His brother had read some articles on worm growing he decided to give it a try. His job is an electrical assembler at Solar until 4 pm, then cares for his 200 beds of worms until dark. Of course thane are times when he ia there much later, like when the pump of this automatic irrigation system stopped working. He had to climb down into the concrete well, filled with water, to get the pump out. After spending a few hours repairing it back at his house, he hauled the pump back to the well at 10 p.m. "Raising worms is not as easy as the glorified articles indicate," Jim said. "They make it sound like you'll be rich, within a few short years ,with just a minimum of effort." When you start from scratch it means hard, continuous work. Then after you've raised them and they're fat and multiplying well, it means finding a market for them. It helps to have a good worm broker to seek out the markets. Harvesting the creatures is still a fairly new process. Jim and his father are working on modifying an existing machine into a digger and harvester to suit his system. Growing up with two brothers and a father who is a mechanic for big cement trucks, Jim remembers when they lived in rural Santee there were aa many as 13 cars for the hoys to take apart and repair under the "master mechanic" Dad. Except for his nine years in the Navy, Jim has lived in San Diego county, born in the same hospital as mother. As a radioman in the Navy he spent time between San Diego and Hawaii, as well as two tours in Viet Nam. During part of that time he found time to work on cars and do some drag; racing. Later it was dune buggies. Jim built one from the ground up. He and his father; who is 62, go riding out in the desert, Jim's house on Elm Avenue is home to Jim, his 10-year-old daughter and his mother and father. A ton of worms can "digest" about a ton of garbage in a day. Given time, worms will eat all trash except glass, plastic, metal and rubber. Currently a number of government-sponsored worm growers are experimenting and researching the feasability of using worms to turn our garbage into rich, marketable soil. Would you believe there are worm cookbooks? Freeze-dried worms are 70 per cent protein. Worms are being used in pet and poultry feed. Jim enjoys relating some of the comments and jokes people make about him and his worm, growing: 'You have worms ? Is it catching?" The most common advice he gets is, "did you know coffee grounds are good for worms?" Jim says, "can you imagine me ordering a dump truck load of coffee grounds for ray 200 beds of worms." One fellow worker has gone so far as to devise a "Worm Weekly" newsletter. The table of contents includes one article entitled, "Big Red‹ A Boy's Quest for the Ultimate Worm." "After I get my 10 years in at Solar, if I'm doing well with the worms, I hope to find some land in east county. I may quit my job and be a full-time worm farmer." In the meantime. Jim will be working hard and long hours and continuing to learn about wormsbut having lots of fun with people. ( Imperial Beach Reminder, )

1978/02 - The bridge was washed out on Dairy Mart Road west of Interstate 5 during severe floods in January and February. ( Imperial Beach Reminder, May 3, 1978 )

1978/05/03 - Flood Control Channel Underway. The United States $6.6 million portion of the Tia Juana River flood control project from the U.S.-Mexico border to the ocean is now well under way. Crews are moving dirt, driving bridge pilings and re-channeling the river, to create a terrain which will slow down flood water to prevent property damage and preserve the natural environment. King Banham, resident engineer with U.S. Corps of Engineers, said a "whole new bridge" is being built to replace the one which washed out on Dairy Mart Road west of Interstate 5 during severe floods earlier this year. He said Dairy Mart Road will be realigned to bend west and join Monument Road about a half mile from where the junction is now. A sedimentation basin is being created and the new road will be elevated above the present terrain. The sedimentation basin will accept water runoff from Mexico, spread it out and slow it down. ( Imperial Beach Reminder, May 3, 1978 )

1978/05/24 - Flood Control Project. A Philadelphia lawyer might be hard pressed to decipher the increasingly muddled courtroom battles surrounding the Tia Juana River Valley flood control project. In separate cases appearing before the appellate courts, the City of Imperial Beach and the Helix Land Company launched complicated actions, against the City of San Diego over the flood control project. ImperialBeachisappealing arecentdecisionby Superior Court Judge William A. Yale that no binding agreement exists between Imperial Beach and San Diego about the fate of the Tia Juana River Valley. The two cities had once discussed the construc- tion of a 5.5 mile concrete channel draining into the Pacific Ocean, but San Diego eventually decided on its own to build something called a "dissipator project" at the border. The San Diego alternative would supposedly avert flash floods by using levees, dikes and a quarter-mile long channel connected to the 1160 million dollar flood channel being built in Mexico. Imperial Beach officials claim the original 5.5 mile channel would have provided better protection against floods and allowed a more effective development of city lands. Besides its objections to the effectiveness of the $14 million dissipator project, Imperial Beach claims that San Diego had already committed itself to the original plan. Both city councils had passed resolutions favoring the original 5.5 mile channel- ‹but Judge Yale's recent decision said that the resolutions were not binding. In the Helix Land Company case, the private developing firm is accusing San Diego of trying to use its zoning and land control powers to depress the value of its property in order to buy it at cheaper prices. San Diego, in turn, accuses the Helix Company of trying to "cash in" on the channel project, and has denied additional charges lodged by the developer that the city has caused property damage to the Helix holdings near the border. Thelandcompanysuitreferstothe"floodingand inundation by sewage and debris from completed flood control works in Mexico upstream of the property." In the legal tangle surrounding the case, the Helix Company alleges that the Mexican project would not be damaging its property If San Diego had carried out its "long-standing obligation" to build the concrete channel. The Helix Land Company orginally owned 1.000 acres in the Tia Juana Va Hey, but some 430 acres of this land are now under condemnation proceedings by the federal government. Both appeals have been taken under submission by the appellate courts with San Diego being granted a five-day period to file legal papers in support of its ease. Rulings on the appeal cases are expected In three months. ( Imperial Beach Reminder, May 24, 1978 )

1978/05/24 - Reunion Trip Planned by Local Pastor. The Rev. Hayden Cates, pastor of the Assembly of God Church, 588 Ninth St., Imperial Beach, is taking a journey back into his youth next month. Cates plans a visit to Channing, Texas, where he will attend the Matador Cowboys Reunion, an annual get- together of men who work or once worked for the sprawling Matador Ranch there. "It will be a wonderful affair," he said. "They'll have a big barbecue; probably feed about 1,500 people, and there'll be an old- fashioned rodeo." Cates, who is now 51, reaches back to the days when he was a young cowboy, to help him interest the youth of his church in healthful outdoor exercise. "We have nine horses that we use with our youth activities at the church," he said. "The horse ranch is part of the Eggers Dairy at 19th and Sunset." ( Imperial Beach Reminder, May 24, 1978 )

1978/05/24 - Hollis Peavey was born in 1901 in one-room farmhouse in middle of his father's alfalfa fields south of IB. "My grand dad went up and down the valley in 1895 with his dowsing stick," found wells, decided to buy land. Grandfather Hollis was from Maine, father Newell, both buried in tiny Mount Olivet cemetery in Nestor. Peavey met his wife. Pansy, at a Nestor Methodist Church social when they were teenagers in the years before the first World War. The Peaveys married to 1922 and, after more than 50 years, are still living in Nestor. Their modern ranch-style home at 19th Street overlooks the river valley where Peavey still operates his 80-acre ranch. "The house where I was born used to stand right here," Peavey recollected, standing in from of a wind-blown field not far from 19th Street and less than a mile from the Tia Juana foothills, "My father moved a much larger house down here in 1905," he recalled, "and the little building in which I was born became a bunkhouse for dad's ranch hands." Newell Peavey planted alfalfa, sugar beets, hay, corn and barley on his pleasant little farm, working hard but enjoying the uncomplicated rural life celebrated In Norman Rockwell paintings. He was among the Tia Juana valley's early farmers, and moral questions ware answered with calm certitude and neighborliness was a code of selfless conduct. Of all the buildings and fixtures that Peavey's grandfather built on the old ranch, there remains only an abandoned watering trough that Hollis Peavey, in one of his puckish moods, has filled with a few sluggish goldfish. "Oh, yes, here's something else that was around before I was horn," he explained, as he pointed out a gnarled pepper tree which he and his brothers, George and Alvln, used to climb in when they were kids. Badly damaged by insects and the increasingly salty topsoil, the ancient tree has somehow escaped the recurrent floods that have plagued valley farmers since the early days, several of these inundations having caused full-fledged catastrophes. Hollis Peavey was a teenager at the Oneonta Village school when he witnessed the decimation of the Tia Juana valley In the legendary 1916 flood, a deluge supposedly brought on by Hatfield the rainmaker when the San Diego City Council hired him to end a long drought. "My father's house was saved by the strangest sort of accident," Peavey explained. "The old Hollister Street bridge was swept away by the flood, but it crashed into our cowbarn and shielded the main house from the rampaging floodwaters." The Peavey house survived until 1922 when another calamitous flood swept it into the river, an event which helped to persuade Hollis and Pansy Peavey to seek high ground closer to Imperial Beach. The special problems of farming the river lands, the annual floods and the worsening soil conditions, prompted the rest of the Peavey family to give up farm life for other pursuits. Hollis' sister Mary moved away, and Is now retired in Riverside. One half-brother, Clarence, lives in El Centro while another, Jessie, is retired in Boise, Idaho. But Hollis Peavey has remained to farm the troubled Tia Juana river flood plain, aided part of the time by two Of his children who live nearby in Nestor. "It's going to take two months of tractoring to flatten out the land this time," Peavey said after the recent flooding which accumulated tons of silt and detritus from the Tiajuana garbage dump on his farm. "We used to have beautiful stands of willow, cottonwood and sycamore all up and down the river ," he explained, "but none of this has been able to survive modern times." The principle victim of modern times seems to be the agricultural lifestyle of the Tia Juana River Vaiiey, a way of life now vanishing amid government condemnations of land for flood control, increased residential zoning and the creation of a border park area, Hollis Peavey used to earn five dollars a day from the U.S. government to patrol the hogwire fence along the frontier, but prowling helicopters and computer-linked patrol wagons now haunt the border lands a growing technological disruption that unsettles livestock and terrorises the coyotes, jack rabbits and ground squirrels which make up the local fauna. What Peavey regrets most is not the disappearance of the ancestral farmlands, nor the disruption of local ecology, but the lack of communal values among the people who have poured into the Imperial Beach area since the early 1950s. "When one neighbor was in some kind of jam," he recalled ''Everybody volunteered to help him out of It, It went without speaking. Can you imagine that happening nowadays?" On the eve of his 77th birthday Hollis Peavey discusses his own life and the history of his pioneer family with noticeable pride. Only once did a trace of nostalgia disrupt his engaging recitation of life In the early days of the valley. "There was a time, when I knew everybody in Imperial Beach, Nestor and Otay," he said, a slight tone of worldwariness and sadness in his voice. "Now I hardly know anyone at all. Strange, isn't it?" ( Imperial Beach Reminder, May 24, 1978 )

Hollis Peavey with the old water trough his father built in early 1900s. (Imperial Beach Reminder, May 24, 1978)

1978/07/12 - Mayor Brian Bilbray has declared war on the federal government. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to be more precise. "It's sort of like David and Goliath," Bilbray says. "And I'm going to use whatever weapons I can lay my hands on." The mayor's concern is 400 acres in the Tia Juana River Estuary and Oneonta Slough that the city has long wanted for a classy marinawaterfront development along the lines of Huntington Harbour, or at least a small boat harbor. However, a series of setbacks over the years had virtually killed hopes for a marina. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers refused to renew a dredging permit, the U.S. Navy took part of the land for a clear zone at the end of what was then Imperial Beach Naval Air Station, voters passed the Coastal Zone Conservation Act and, in 1976, the state filed a condemnation suit to acquire the slough area from the Helix Land Co. and add it to Border Field State Park. Last week, though, there was a new glimmer of hope. City Attorney Cliff Reed told the City Council that the state was dropping its condemnation action. Reed did not say why the suit was being dropped, only that it was not because of money constraints as a result of Proposition 13. Last Friday, Bilbray and city staff members went before the San Diego regional coastal commission and argued successfully to have the marina put back in a local plan being considered for Imperial Beach. If the state was dropping the eminent domain suit, the marina was no longer a dead issue, Bilbray said. Then came the news that the state attorney general's office was dropping the lawsuit at the request of the federal government. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants the land for a preserve where the endangered least tern and tiie light-footed clapper rail can roam. "I don't know whether the rest of the council will support me on this," Bilbray said, "but I intend to see that the people of the South Bay get a little consideration, too. "Ever since this city was formed, we have talked about building some kind of a marina down there." Bilbray said plans to beef up the city's tax base have always included a marina development. When the marina issue appeared dead and the council began pushing redevelopment of the beachfront last year, it led to the recall of thenMayor Bert Stites and Councilman Henry McCarty. Since then Bilbray was elected mayor, and four new persons have been elected to the council. Each campaigned with a promise of some kind of a boat facility for the city, Bilbray said. Bilbray said there is room for both a marina in the slough area, and a wildlife sanctuary. "The feds are coming in here and telling us what we can do with the area," he said. " All they have is a map, and the map says this is an area for endangered species. "They never looked at the area, just the map." Bilbray said one of the sanctuaries the federal agency is trying to protect is a site behind Sports Park where public works has been dumping concrete and debris for 20 years. If Imperial Beach, with the lowest tax base and highest property taxes in the county, cannot develop a marina, then the federal government should accept some of the financial liability, he said. Ironically, the federal government is planning to buy the land because Fish and Wildlife officials felt the uses the state would have permitted were "too intensive" for the area. Larry DeBates, assistant regional director in Portland, Ore., for refuges and wildlife sanctuaries, said public access to the estuary and slough would probably be limited. Tbe area may be closed off during the spring, he said, during the nesting season for the endangered bird species. ( The San Diego Union )

1978/07/26 - Marina hopes thwarted. Imperial Beach's dream of turning the Tia Juana River Slough into residential marina appears unlikely if environmentalists have their say. At a state-sponsored workshop at Scripps Institution In La Jolla last week, scientists, resource specialists and planners called the area south of Imperial Beach a national treasure which should be preserved. Information reviewed showed the slough contains 49 species of marsh plants, including at least one endangered plant and possibly four; 25 species of mollusks, 29 species of fish and 145 species of birds, all within or adjacent to the space of 415 acres inundated by tidal action through an open channel to the ocean. Imperial Beach Mayor Brian Bilbray, in recent appearances before the California Coastal Commission, has argued that there are two distinct and separate areas involved. One, he says, is the Tia Juana River Estuary, which could be preserved while the other , the Oneonta Slough, could be developed as a small marina. A further obstacle In the city's hopes for a marina are intentions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire the most central 400 acres of the estuary and turn it into a wildlife sanctuary. The service may have to initiate eminent domain proceedings to acquire the land, now owned by Helix Land Corp. ( Imperial Beach Reminder, )

1978/07/27 - Walter Stewart, 96, Tijuana Valley rancher and dairy farmer, came to South Bay 1911, held 500 acres until began selling 1948; the last 90 acres were condemned by San Diego for the Tia Juana River flood dissipater system. It was his idea to found the Tia Juana Valley County Water District, and he supported annexation to the city of San Diego; was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church; survived by daughter and 3 sons ( Chula Vista Star-News, July 27, 1978. )

1978/10/26 - The planned construction of a 10-foot tall, six-mile long fence along the border near San Ysidro has provoked the anger of Mexican-AmerIcan groups opposed to the new barrier. Work on the new fence is expected to begin Monday. Several Chicano leaders this week said they consider plans for the concrete and steel wall "ill-timed and insensitive" and they say they will try to block its construction. At a Los Angeles press conference, Vilma Martinez, president of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said the new barriers (here and in EI Paso, TX) are "dramatically and drastically different" from the present border fences. She described the new fences as inappropriate because they come at a time when the United States is trying to gain Mexican government cooperation in controlling illegal immigration. Martinez said the Carter Administration's plans to build the fence is "yet another example of its shortsightedness in addressing the .complex problem of immigration.' , Plans for the new fence were defended, however, by Immigration and Naturalization Commissioner Leon Castillo Castillo said the new sturdy fence should be . . . present fencing with about six miles of new fencing to be added here and another six miles to be added near El Paso. At a Washington, D.C., press conference held the same time as Martinez's, Eduardo Pena, national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, likened the fence to the Berhn Wall. Referring to a speech President Carter made at the Berlin Wall earlier this year, Pena said, It would be strange if (Russian PremIer Leonid) Breshnev made a speech from a platform on the Mexican side of the (planned) fence." Castillo expressed surprise at Chicano opposition to the new fence saying it is an " economical way to begin to control the movement of persons across the border, better than hiring a thousand" agents. According to Castillo, half the illegal aliens captured last year in the United States were caught in San Ysidro or El Paso. (Chula Vista Star-News, Oct. 26, 1978.)

1978/11/15 - Editorial: 10-foot border fence not the right answer. The prospect of building a 10-foot-high fence along seven miles of the border in the San Ysidro area seems as futile as other efforts which have failed to stem the tide of people coming north to find a better way of life. ( Imperial Beach Reminder, )

1978/11/22 - Lucy Killea tackles border problem. She has written a letter to Immigration and Naturalization objecting to the proposed 10-foot fence. ( Imperial Beach Reminder, )

1978/11/29 - Consultant suggests airport north of IB. The most logical place to put the San Diego area's international airport is just north of Imperial Beach, says Jack H. Tripp, a Point Loma aviation systems consultant. "It would be far safer there," Tripp told The Reminder. "And It would disturb 90 percent fewer people." Tripp's idea is to put the airport on a "created" site made useable by building dikes, draining and filling the salt marsh. "If our technicians don't know how to do it," Tripp quipped, "they can hire a Dutch engineer. They have been doing that sort of thing for hundreds of years." Tripp says he has estimated the size of the area available by cutting out a map of Miramar Airfield and fitting it onto a map of the same scale, in the area where the salt evaporation flats are shown. He says there are runways at Miramar that art 14,000 feet long, and these would fit into the area he has In mind. A 14,000 foot runway is considered an "overrun" size for big Jets. "You have a few thousand acres there," he said. "It borders the water like the one recently built in Hawaii.*' The takeoff pattern, Tripp says, would be over Highway 75 and the Navy Communications Facility then out over the ocean. Tripp concedes that the takeoff and landing pattern at an airport located where he recommends would "disturb the fish and fowl and the California Coastal Commission probably would complain about that." He adds, however, that the possible damage to fish and fowl "could be studied for a thousand years and a thousand people could be killed over the next 50 years by takeoff or landing crashes at Lindbergh." He speculated on the possible devastation which could be caused by a crash-after-takeoff over the heavily populated areas nearby. Brown field, Tripp says, is not a good alternative to the Lindbergh Field location because of the approach over mountains and - or over Mexican airspace. Tripp says the idea of building an airport on the salt marsh north of Imperial Beach is one he has "been talking about for two years" and that it was briefly mentioned In a letter to the editor of the San Diego Union a year ago. No public authority has contacted him about the idea, however, he added. He indicates he thinks those authorities are missing a good bet by not looking into his proposal. Tripp, 62, is a retired U.S. Navy captain living in Point Loma. He has been in the San Diego area since 1941. He says the airport noise from Lindbergh does not disturb him at home. "But when I go down to NTC (Naval Training Center) and MCRD (Marine Corps' Recruit Depot),It's really bad," hesaid. Tripp said he asked a graduating Marine once what was the most important thing he had learned‹and his words were drowned out by a jetflying over. Later, he said the Marine finished his statement:"How to read my sergeant's lips when he gave a command while one of those planes was overhead." ( Imperial Beach Reminder, )

1978/12/06 - Plaza Mayor grand opening ad. Exciting New International Shopping Center, A Development of Odmark/Welch Celebrate! It's the grand opening of Plaza Mayor, San Ysidro's newest and finest shopping center. Enjoy three days of opening festivities Dec. 8, 9 and 10 with free music, clowns, puppet shows. Santa Claus, free drawings for rides aboard a hot air balloon, plus other surprises. Save money, tool December 8,9 and 10. Many of our excellent shops will be offering special discounts this weekend. Save this ad for money-saving bargains all through December. To make it easier for you to shop. Plaza Mayor Is open from 9 a.m. to midnight on Mondays through Sundays. Celebrate Plaza Mayor! Now open to serve you on Avenida Camiones. on the west side of Interstate 5, at the last exit before the international border at Tijuana. ( Imperial Beach Reminder, )

1978/12/20 - Birders stalk rare South Bay winged species. Black-seated Green Warbler, Nuttall's Woodpecker in Smugglers Gulch, Palm Warbler in riverbed, Peregrine Falcon ( Imperial Beach Reminder, )

1980/01 - It was the first week In January and already the rain storms had begun. Residents of oceanfront houses, apartments and condominiums found themselves bailing water from their homes, which had been Inundated by unusually high tides and pounding surf. But the worst was yet to come. Rain continued to drench the county, ending a long dry spell that some had thought might end in drought. In late January, amidst rumors that the Rodriguez Dam in Mexico was about to crumble, 40 families were evacuated from their houses In the Tia Juana River Valley. Others refused to go. The floodgates of the dam were opened, sending torrents of water through the valley and residents' homes. Millions of dollars of damage were done to farmland, houses and livestock. And the first piles of assorted debris began accumulating on Imperial Beach's oceanfront. Then in early February, It was discovered that millions of gallons of raw sewage were "bubbling down the (Tia Juana) River" daily, contaminating the river and imperial Bench's coastline. The sewage came from a broken sewer interceptor line, which carried sewage from Tijuana to San Diego's Point Loma treatment facility. The Tia Juana River Valley was declared a disaster area by the county Board of Supervisors. ( Imperial Beach Star-News )

1980/01/06 - The exploits of Ab Taylor, a retired Border Patrolman from Imperial Beach, will be immortalized in a motion picture tentatively titled "Borderline." Several scenes were shot in the South Bay, and about 50 Border Patrol agents including Chula Vista sector chief Don Cameron, were extras in a funeral scene. Taylor has a small part in the film and is serving as technical adviser. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1980/01/30 - Tenth greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 19,500 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1980/01/30 - South San Diego farmer Gloria Marschall flashed back to Jan. 30, 1980. That day, Mexican officials released millions of gallons of water from the dam into the Tijuana River to relieve the pressure from a major storm. Marschall's family lost $2 million worth of crops. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan. 9, 1993. )

1980/02/01 - When floods destroyed hundreds of acres of farmland in 1980, Gloria Marschall joined valley residents in forming a security service. Its objective: to issue residents identification cards in order to screen those entering the area and prevent outsiders from stealing from homes and farms. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Aug. 28, 2001. )

1980/02/21 - Fourth greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 30,000 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1980/02/22 - The number of storms and the short intervals between them during Feb. 13-22, 1980, were unusual for southern California. Few of the storms alone would have caused major flooding; however, the rapic sequence of storms resulted in extreme volumes of flows and inflooding that was unusually high and distructive. (Storms, Floods, and Debris Flows in Southern California and Arizona, 1978 and 1980.)

1980/03/04 - Imperial Beach Asks Aid To Avert Health Perils Left By Storm. The city, facing a major health crisis, is appealing to county and federal agencies for help in cleaning up the shore and stopping the flow of raw sewage in the area. In addition to the sewage flowing down the Tia Juana River to the ocean, dead animals strewn along the beach are causing a health hazard as well as a stench. The City Council voted last night to ask the county health department to clean up the carcasses of dead cows, horses, dogs and other animals lying on the shore just outside the city limits. According to councilman Tom Stark, the shore just outside the city limits. rats are starting to feed on the carcasses. Mayor Brian Bilbray demanded that the International Boundary and Water Commission, which is responsible for enforcement of an international water agreement with Mexico, stop the flow of sewage and clean up the pollution. In a telegram to the commission, he said the 43,000 gallons of raw sewage per hour crossing over the border has created the possibility of a hepatitis epidemic in the South Bay. The sewage is known to be spouting from a shattered main in Tijuana, but repairs have been hampered by the still-swollen river. The shore between Palm Avenue and the international border has been quarantined by the county. Health officials have been taking bacteriological samples of the outflow. A health department spokesman said it might take up to 30 days to gauge the danger of an outbreak of hepatitis, because the incubation period for the disease is between 15 and 50 days, with the average running about a month. Joseph F. Friedkin, U.S. commissioner to the international body, told Rep. Lionel V an Deerlin, D-Chula Vista, that he hopes to conclude an agreement by the end of the year with his Mexican counterpart on permanent sewage controls for the river. He said if the two countries agree on a joint treatment plant to clean up the sewage flow, congressional authorization and funding will be sought for the U.S. share. Van Deerlin has also joined the search for aid. In a letter to Col. Gwynn A. Teague, chief of the Los Angeles office of the Army Corps of Engineers, he requested a report on whether existing levees could be extended toward the sea to help prevent flooding. The congressman said the Corps has standing authority to pursue projects in flood-prone areas that cost no more than S3 million. The reduced dissipater dike system now in place, he said, "has proven inadequate . . . .to controlling a heavy runoff from Mexico." Damage to Imperial Beach from the recent storms has been estimated to be close to $1 million. The most damage, about $656,000, occurred to the pier, acting city manager Larry Gridley said. Huge waves ripped two sections away from the structure and strewed the remaining fragments all along the beach to the north. Street damage was estimated at around $120,000. Damage to private property is still being assessed. ( The San Diego Union )

1980/05/04 - Tia Juana River Valley farmer Matt Marschall of Sea Breeze Farms has filed a federal lawsuit to stop sewage from Tijuana from being treated in San Diego's facilities. His attorney, Robert Klitgaard, called the sewer line a "public nuisance" saying it had been carelessly placed and constructed. "There was flooding In the Tia Juana River Valley. The Interceptor line broke; crops were condemned," Klltgaard said. "I think its a public nuisance, and the federal courts should change it," A broken sewer pipe in the Tia Juana River, which brings swage from Tijuana to treatment facilities in San Diego, damaged thousands of acres of Tia Juana River Valley farmland when the rain-swollen river flooded in February. State health officials condemned about 500 acres of Marschall's farmland after polluted river waters flooded his land, causing an estimated $400,000 In damages. The suit does not ask for reimbursement of loses suffered, only that the sewer line be closed off from Tijuana, Just last week, the pipe was repaired by city crews, but only after millions of gallons of raw sewage had poured Into the river, polluting farmland to the area. Marschall could not be reached for comment. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, May 4, 1980 )

1980/06/22 - "Come seven days, if I don't see them doing anything, I'm going to go right back out and do It again," a frustrated Imperial Beach Mayor Brian Bilbray said this week after aborted attempt at diking the mouth of the Tia Juana River. Bilbray and three council members, Tom Stark, J.B. Bennett and Lorraine Faverty, donned old clothes and steered three skip loaders Thursday as curious and somewhat amused community members looked on. But their goal, to build three sand dikes or "berms" at the river mouth In an effort to halt the flow of sewage from Tijuana to Imperial Beach's shoreline ‹ never came about. City officials agreed to a seven-day truce on any further diking actions after a hastily-called meeting with federal wildlife officials. The federal officials "pledged t o make a thorough investigation of every facet (of the problem) and come back within one week with a concrete plan to resolve the problem/' City Manager Larry Gridley said. The meeting, which city officials say they have been seeking for months, came only after a heated confrontation between community members. Before council members could finish the first dike, three local residents ‹ who were not amused ‹ jumped atop the uncompleted dike in an effort to stop the city officials' actions. Imperial Beach residents Serge Dedina, Ben Holt and Jack Burns charged that council members were backing up the polluted water to kill the estuary wildlife s o they could eventually build a marina. Calling the council's actions "comic book politics," Dedina claimed the council members were acting illegally and irresponsibly in trying to resolve the sewage problem with "simple solutions." City officials claimed that a n emergency permit t o build the dikes was on its way from the Army Corps of Engineers, based on an earlier phone conversation. It later was learned that the permit had been denied and a letter confirming the denial is on its way instead. Bilbray responded angrily that the protesters could sit there all night, but that he would be back to complete the job. As Bilbray drove off for another scoopfuI of dirt and rocks, angry words were exchanged between the onlookers and the protesters, whose numbers had increased. Bilbray returned with a determined look in his eyes, and almost attempted to plow the protesters off their dirt mound into the water as some community members shouted their approval. Instead, he dumped the dirt a couple of yards from the protesters' feet, then backed his machine away from the scene. At that point, tempers flared and a fist fight ensued, but was quickly stopped. The confrontation did not end there, however. Bilbray soon returned with a scoopful of polluted water and dumped it on the group. "You wanted polluted water? You got polluted water," Bilbray yelled. The group remained where it was, soaked and shivering in the morning haze. With no solution in sight, Imperial Beach resident Clinton Earles hopped aboard a skip loader and steered it toward the group. Earles then dumped a pile of dirt and rocks just inches from the protesters, after holding the scoop close to their heads. The protesters angrily left their mound, and police asked that everything stop until they could determine what to do. It was at that point that Bilbray was told a federal inspector had arrived on the scene. He told Wally Callan, of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Department, that his "priority is to the life and children in the community." "Where has Fish and Game been when the pollution has been going on for the last six months?" Bilbray yelled. Local residents who had gathered around the mayor and Callan applauded and shouted their approval again. The discussion continued, while in the background, kazoo tunes were played by members of the Whale and Sunset Watchers Kazoo Band. "I am asking you to stop until we can take a look at the whole situation," Callan said. He cited a section of the Fish and Game code, which says that any changes made in a river, stream or estuary where endangered species are located can be done only with approval of Fish and Game. Callan told the mayor he had the authority to order him to stop and to arrest him if he refused. It did not come to that. He asked for a private meeting to determine if the public's safety was indeed in jeopardy as Bilbray had asserted. "I'd like to be satisfied there is an emergency," Callan said. "And I'm not satisfied right now that there is.". . . Not everyone was pleased with all the attention. A spokesman for South San Diego City Councilwoman Lucy Killea said the councilwoman was "distressed" at the action taken by Imperial Beach's mayor and City Council. Wilkens said San Diego officials met just last week with Baja Gov. Roberto de la Madrid to discuss the sewage problems in the South Bay. Wilkens said his office had tried to contact Bilbray several times about the upcoming meeting, but for some reason, contact was never made. He added that San Diego officials have made an "unprecedented effort" to react to the sewage problem. Tijuana officials reportedly are designing temporary pumps to be placed in a manhole from which sewage has been flowing to the river for months. If those pumps are feasible, most, but not all of the sewage, will be contained. The Mexican government reportedly still is working on reconstruction of its entire sewage treatment plant, a process that could take another three to four months, according to San Diego officials. Imperial Beach officials have scoffed at those plans, saying they do not think it will solve the problem. But they are still hopeful something will come out of their attempts. "Right now, we've got the federal government's attention," Bilbray said. "I'm gonna give them seven days. But (over the weekend) I'm dreading a phone call from a parent who says his kid's got hepatitis." ("River dams postponed," by Lori Shein, Imperial Beach Star-News, June 22, 1980)

1980/06/26 - The end of the seven-day truce is here and Imperial Beach officials will meet this morning with state and federal officials to discuss possible solutions to the contamination problems on the oceanfront. The meeting was called after the City Council's unsuccessful attempts to dam the Tia Juana River mouth last week. Council members agreed to hold off on further action for seven days while federal and state fish and wildlife officials looked into the problem. Though the list of Invited guests is long, city officials do not appear overly optimistic. At best, they are maintaining a wait-and-see attitude. Representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the International Boundary and Water Commission, the county health department, the federal Fish and Wildlife department and the state Fish and Game department are expected to attend. Wally Callan, an inspector with U.S. Fish and Wildlife, said biologists have been gathering information on the effects of the pollution on estuary wildlife. So far, he said he is not aware of any "substantial adverse effects" to the numerous endangered species in the area. The sewage problem, which has plagued Imperial Beach for months, appears to be taking a new turn. Mexican engineers reportedly have constructed an emergency line to divert sewage from the Tia Juana River to a point 1 and 1/2 miles south of the border. The raw sewage is being dumped directly into the ocean through that line at Playas de Tijuana. However, sewage reportedly still is flowing into the Tia Juana River from a broken pipe at the south end of the concrete flood control channel. Mayor Brian Bilbray went to Tijuana this week to confirm those reports. "If they're polluting out of the ocean, I can't do anything," Bilbray said. "But if it's the river, I don't know yet." After last week's aborted attempt to dam the river mouth, Bilbray had said he would "go right back out and do it again" if nothing had bean done in seven days. However, any attempts by Bilbray, or anyone else, will not have the support of the city manager this time around. As was expected, the city received notice this week from the Army Corps of Engineers that the city's request for an emergency permit to build three dikes at tike river mouth has been denied. "Any future action would be clearly illegal," Gridley said. "I could not sanction the use of city vehicles (for that purpose)." However, Bilbray said damming the river "is still a possibility." "They have refused to recognize that there is a health hazard in the area," Bilbray said. "Can they just ignore it?" He added that if he decides to build the dikes, equipment will not be a problem. Local residents have offered the use of their own equipment if the need arises, Bilbray said. ( Imperial Beach Star-News )

1980/06/29 - Sewage containment promised. An end may be to sight to Imperial Beach's contaminated oceanfront. Joseph Friedkin, a commissioner with the International Boundary and Water Commission, said this week that most of Tijuana's sewage will be contained within the next two weeks by an emergency interceptor line to the Point Loma treatment facility. A temporary line, which is now dumping raw sewage 1 and 1/2 miles south of the border, will be discontinued at that time, he added. Within three to four months, Friedkin said all sewage from Tijuana will once again be filtered through a Mexican facility, which will dump the sewage five miles south of the border and the Point Loma line will be stopped. Imperial Beach Mayor Brian Bilbray, Councilwoman Lorraine Faverty and Councilman J.B. Bennett all attended the meeting with Friedkin in San Diego. None of them appeared highly optimistic about the promises that were made. The San Diego meeting, held early Thursday morning with county health officials, the Environmental Protection Agency and county Water Utilities overshadowed a meeting held the same morning in Imperial Beach. The Imperial Beach meeting was scheduled after a seven-day truce called by city officials and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after the City Conncil had attempted to dike the mouth of the Tia Juana River a week ago. Representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Fish and Game pledged their support in seeking to solve the long-range potential hazards that exist while the United States accepts sewage from across the border. City manager Larry Gridley pointed out that while sewage is flowing through the emergency interceptor line to Point Loma, danger of a break still exists. Gridley said the line is not adequately protected on this side of the border. If there is another flood, "we'll be back at square one." Although the line will be kept open for emergencies once it is no longer needed by the Mexicans, Friedkin said there are no immediate plans tor improving it. "Except against an unusual flood, or unless there is an extraordinary storm," he said he does not anticipate any problems. Gridley also pointed out that Tijuana's population is growing rapidly and that unless plans are made for handling an increased capacity of sewage. Imperial Beach and San Diego will once again be overflowing with sewage. Friedkin said that problem is under consideration. "We recognise the bigger facility is a more permanent solution." He added that several alternatives are under discussion, but would not elaborate. ( Imperial Beach Star-News )

1980/12/28 - Imperial Beach's hopes for a marina in the Tia Juana Estuary were shattered this week when it learned that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has purchased 500 acres of the estuary for a wildlife preserve. Two parcels ‹ consisting of 6,000 feet of ocean frontage and reaching to Imperial Beach Blvd. ‹ were sold for $7.6 million, said Theodore Lambron of Helix Land and Security Title Insurance Companies. The federal government has attempted for the past nine years to acquire the land, Lambron said. Two-thirds of it lies in Imperial Beach. The rest is within San Diego. The two parcels are part of what is commonly known as the Oneonta Slough. Lambron placed the value of the ocean frontage alone at $36 million and called Helix Company's shareholders the "unsung heroes" for "literally donating the land to the government." "The value is there," Lambron said, "but you have to have the will to fight for 10 or 15 more years." His shareholders, he said, did not. Nine years ago, the U.S. Navy condemned a 263-acre parcel of the estuary owned by Helix Land Co. to use as a buffer zone for helicopter training at Ream Field. Lambron won an appeal this year, in which he was awarded $8.5 million for the land. In 1978, he said, the state parks department condemned the property sold this week, but later withdrew from the condemnation proceedings. A spokesman for the state parks department said there were plans to purchase the land then, but that U.S. Fish and Wildlife had received funds for the purchase of wetlands, so the state parks department spent its money elsewhere. Lambron said he has received numerous letters since then from the U.S. Department of Interior, saying it hoped to negotiate to purchase the land, but that if negotiations failed, it would be acquired by condemnation. Members of the city's General Plan Review Committee reportedly were told late last year by a spokesman from U.S. Fish and Wildlife that condemnation would not be recommended for the land, which it hoped to purchase. Some Imperial Beach officials were caught by surprise when told of the land purchase this week. The city had hopes of building a marina in the slough someday, a prospect that now appears to have been eliminated. "After sewage, fire and floods, I thought 'what could happen?' " Mayor Brian Bilbray said. "Well, it happened." Although he said he was aware there was discussion of buying the land, he said he felt slighted because Lambron did not let him know of the impending agreement. He also said that his main concern now is the appropriation of enough funds to maintain the estuary land. "I have all the doubts in the world that the federal government is going to maintain it," Bilbray said. "The Department of Interior is buying more land before it takes care of what it already has. What are they going to do to clean it up? We're the ones who are gonna be hurting." Councilwoman Hazel Bailey and Jackie Palmer were only mildly surprised by news of the purchase. "I didn't know it was going to happen for sure, but I suspected it would happen, and it did." Bailey said. She said she hoped the city could work out an agreement with the federal government for some type of biological center in the estuary to generate money for Imperial Beach. Palmer said she had mixed emotions about the sale and that perhaps the city could now negotiate with the federal government. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, Dec. 28, 1980 )

1980/12 - Tijuana Slough is a 1,072-acre wetland located where the Tijuana River meets the sea. The refuge was established in 1980 and is part of the 2,800 acre Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (TRNERR), one of only 28 such reserves in the United States. This Refuge is also designated as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Wetlands Convention. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administers the reserve system and supports research and education activities along with our partners at California State Parks and the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association (SWIA). The slough's habitats include open water, tidal salt marsh, beach dune, riparian, vernal pool and upland coastal sage scrub habitats. Over 370 species of birds have been recorded on the refuge and in the adjacent Tijuana River Valley. The visitor center and native plant gardens offer interactive exhibits, guided bird and nature walks on four miles of available trails, as well as a Junior Ranger program. Hundreds of school children from kindergarten through high school participate in environmental education programs. Volunteers assist staff with projects such as native plant restoration. ( Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge History )

1980/12 - Residents of Imperial Beach voted in favor of the marina project. Nevertheless, that same year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the northern 500 acres of the estuary from the Helix land company and established the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge. ( Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve History )

1981/04/09 - Sewage plant site freed for houses. South Bay land earmarked for a wastewater treatment plant was freed for housing develop- ment this week by the San Diego City Council. A building moratorium was lifted from the 156-acre site at Interstate 5 and Dairy Mart Rd. in anticipation of a five-year waiver the council believes will be granted by the federal government. The waiver would exempt San Diego from complying with the Clean Water Act of 1972, which requires sewage dumped into the ocean to be 90% pure. Without the waiver, the clty would be required to build a secondary sewage treatment plant to remove a greater amount of suspended solids from the water. City officials have said the proposed $500 million project was unnecessary because the present Point Plant was not polluting the ocean. City staff recommended this week, however, that the city buy the proposed South Bay property from Robinhood Homes, Inc., for $7.55 million to ensure the land would be available in case the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled that the treatment plant was necessary. Council members unanimously rejected the purchase. "We believe the waiver is forthcoming," said Councilwoman Lucy Killea, who represents the South Bay. "The required secondary treatment plant was based on the old rules. I don't believe the new Reagan administration will require that money be spent on a secondary treatment plant when the primary plant is adequate." Even if the waiver does not come through, Killea said, the proposed South Bay site is dead. "A treatment plant will not be built on that site," she said. If a plant eventually is required, she said, the city would seek another site, preferably in the Tia Juana River Valley, away from residential construction. Meanwhile, the city will work on upgrading the Point Loma plant to ensure the EPA regulations are met, Killea said. In freeing the South Bay land, the council also urged the state Coastal Commission to rescind its building moratorium on the site so the owners could proceed with housing development. City officials expect the commission to'follow their lead in ending the restriction. However, Paul Robinson, attorney for Robinhood Homes, was not as optimistic. He told the council he was "not at all certain" the commission would lift its moratorium. Even if it does, he said, the California State Water Resources Control Board, which believes the cfty should protect a South Bay site for a treatment plant, could prevent housing construction. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1981/04/16 - Ball teams to get new field. A year ago, Southwest Little League found itself without a home. Its playing field of 30 years was destroyed by floodwaters and mud that washed over the entire Tia Juana River Valley. Since then, the league has been playing at Mar Vista Junior High and practicing on nearby school fields. But this weekend, league parents, managers, coaches and friends will begin work on a new home, just northwest of where the old playing field once stood near 19th St. and Sunset Ave. at the north end of the valley. But the job is a big one, and they can use all the help they can get, said Shanna Berry, a Little League parent and board member. She estimated It would cost "a good $20,000 to build a new field." That cost includes fencing, piping for backstops, wood for bleachers, cement, screen and gravel for the dirt road leading to the new field‹ none of which the league has In good supply. The League has been given a discount on fencing, and some cement nas been donated, but materials still fall far short of their needs. The league also is looking for more helping hands ‹ "anybody we can get down there," Barry said. Southwest's goal is to have the field in playing condition by its May 9 opening day ceremony, which had to be postponed from the scheduled April 25 date. The League's first game of the season te Monday, and It will be played at a nearby field. "We're not going to worry about the conveniences, like bleachers,"Berry said. "We just want the dugouts and field, and we'll be happy." Later on, they"II get to the bleachers and all the rest. Since last November, Little League officials have been scrambling to find a place for their new playing field, Berry said. The old field was on Navy land and could not be reused because of its condition after the storms last year. A land swap between the Navy and Imperial Beach resident Walter Egger, who leases Navy land in the river valley, was agreed to this week, Berry said. That swap enabled the league to build its new field on about 20 acres of Navy land not far from the old location. Southwest Little League, which this year has 400 Nestor, Palm City and South San Diego youngsters on 32 teams, will use the land for at least five years without a fee. Playing equipment and uniforms, which were lost to floods and vandals, have been replaced. The league managed to raise enough funds to pay for them last year. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1981/05/24 - Will horse and hiking trails be allowed in the undeveloped rural areas of the county, including the Tia Juana River Valley? The county Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the county code that woud affect riding and hiking trails requirements for major and minor subdivisions within community plan areas. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1981/07/02 - A San Diego attorney this week filed an appeal with the state Coastal Commission in connection with a 198-unit housing project in the Tia Juana River Valley that gained approval from the San Diego Regional Coastal Commission. Attorney Robert Burnt, representing the Housing Coalition of Greater San Diego, is asking the state commission to overrule a regional commission decision that would allow the project to be built without a portion being set aside for persons with low or moderate incomes. Burns further asserts in his appeal that no effort has been made by the developer, Robinhood Homes, to "minimize energy consumption." H a Juana River Valley farmers have spoken against the project in the past. They fear that grading undertaken during construction could Increase flooding downstream to the rainy season. Last year the regional commission granted Robinhood Homes permission to begin a grading project to the east valley area. The developer since has excavated thousands of square yards of sand to form a pad for the houses. The project received approval from San Diego In April 1977 and gained approval of the regional commission just over a week ago. The site had been earmarked for a sewage plant, but San Diego granted approval of the housing project, even though it is awaiting a decision from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on whether the plant will have to be built there. 1 In approving the housing project, the regional commission rejected its staff recommendation that the project not be built until the EPA rules on the sewage plant. The commission further rejected its staff recommendation last year and allowed grading to begin on the site. The regional commission also waived the usual requirement to provide low to moderate-income housing for a portion of the project after Coastal Commissioner and Imperial Beach Mayor Brian Bilbray called it "garbage." In his appeal, Burns contends that 25% of the 198-unit project should be set aside for low to moderate income housing based on a simitar appeal upheld by the state commission. Further, the appeal contends that because no "local coastal plan has yet been established for the Tia Juana River Valley," the state commission interim guidelines would take precedence over regional decisions. According to the appeal, the state commission guidelines require that a certain portion of the housing in any new project falling within the coastal zone include a requirement for low- income housing. Burns asserts that the California Coastal Act "clearly mandates" the minimization of energy consumption in new developments and that California law requires that passive solar heating and cooling be installed where feasible in larger subdivisions. Burns has asked the state commission to rule that the "project be redesigned, as necessary, to comply with the Coastal Act." Burns asked the state commission to take a strong stand on such projects to set the pattern for future development along the coast. In concluding his appeal, Burns states: "Since the days of the California Coastal Plan we have understood the link between energy consumption and oil drilling, refinery expansion, construction of new power plants and the like, "Unless the commission desires the coastal tone to evolve into a mass of ticky-tacky tract homes surrounded by radioactive oil slicks and artificial air, affordable only to the wealthy, but desirable only to the numb, it should act on massive developments of the type here in order to set the direction of smaller and future developments." ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1981/07/05 - Because the federal government purchased land In the Tia Juana Estuary last year that fell within Imperial Beach's city limits, the city could receive up to $55,000 in federal funds annually. In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased 500 acres in the estuary from Helix Land Corp, for $7.6 million. Under the Federal Refuge Sharing Act, If a portion of federal land Ilea within the boundaries of a city or county, that jurisdiction is eligible to receive 75% of the total purchase price of the land each year. In this case it would a mount to about $55,000. The funds are returned to the local jurisdiction to make up for taxes the city could have collected if the land were privately owned. The payment each year ia automatic, according to Larry Coe, senlor staff realty officer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department. But, he said, the local jurisdictions won't necessarily get the hill 75% each year. "The money comes from a pool of revenue collected from other wildlife refuges," he said. "If, at the end of each federal fiscal year, there is not enough money in the pool. Congress may appropriate the difference." may bring Coe added that congress may decide not to make up the difference, resulting In the local jurisdictions' receiving only the money in the refuge pool. "There was a total payment last yoar, but this year there Is kind of an austerity atmosphere In Washington," Coe said. Imperial Beach may not be eligible to receive the full 75% payment, said U.S. Fish and Wildlife representative Larry Dean, because a small portion of the land purchase falls within the boundaries of San Diego County. ' "Because of that, I think the county Is entitled to some of the money/* ha said. "The money will be apportioned out to those agencies who would have normally received taxes collected by the county, which in this case should be pretty welt limited to Imperial Beach, Dean said Imperial Beach is the only city ever to receive funds under Che Federal Refuge Sharing Act. Under the conditions of the act, the hinds may only be used for public schools and roads. The act Is not clear on whether funds for area schools would be paid directly by the county. Dean said a letter would be issued to the city and county whoa the funds were ready for distribution* probably sometime in December or January. "The chock will come directly to me, and I will hand carry it to the county Board of Supervisors," Dean said. "Normally, It is made payable to the tax collectors office or the county treasurer." Imperial Beach Planning Director Bob Fleishman said he was aware of the payment and had contacted county offices to inform them of the city's eligibility, "Once I deliver the check, it is probably going to be pretty much up to the city or the county to deal with the funds, because our responsibility ends there," Dean said. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1981/07/19 - Border area coast plan ok expected. After three years of struggle, it appears likely that the Border Highlands land use segment of San Diego's local coastal plan (LCP) will be approved by the California Coastal Commission Thursday. The Border Highlands area encompasses a 911-acre strip along the Tijuana/U.S. border: Its northern and eastern boundaries run along Monument Rd. hi the Tia Juana River Valley. It is bounded on the south by Border Field State Park. The Highlands region is considered an important sand and gravel resource area for the South County. Extraction is under way there by two of three sand and gravel companies who together own 522 of the total 911 acres. If granted approval by the state commission Thursday, the Border Highlands segment of San Diego's LCP will be the seventh out of a total of eleven segments approved. All 11 segments have been approved by the now defunct San Diego Regional Coastal Commission. If approved, the Border Highlands region will be set aside for three specific uses, said Charles Damm, the San Diego coast district's chief planner. The three uses recommended by the coastal staff include agricultural, low-intensity recreation and the continuation of the sand and gravel operation. Strict environmental controls have been placed on the sand extraction companies, however, Damm said. In reviewing and certifying the Tia Juana River Valley land use plan segment of San Diego's LCP in 1979, the San Diego Regional Commission recommended further planning before certification of the Border Highlands sub-area. A study was carried out by San Diego to determine how best to allow sand and gravel extraction there without adversely affecting the environment. The new plan, submitted to the regional commission in June, was rejected. The commission said, however, that if certain policy language revisions were incorporated into the plan, it would likely be certified. The suggestions included an affordable housing provision consistent with a previously approved Tia Juana valley plan. ( Imperial Beach Star-News )

1981/07/26 - Majority Back TJ Sanctuary. About 24 persons residing in the South Bay spoke for the project. Another 12 or so who registered support lived In other parts of San Diego county. Among the more notable supporters of the proposition who spoke were: Matt Marschall, president of the Citizens of the U.S. Tia Juana River Valley Assn. and a member of the local sanctuary; Mike McCoy, also a member of the local advisory committee; James Neal of the California District of the U.S. Parks and Recreation Department; Al Hughs of the Imperial Beach Planning Commission; Jan Lawson, a wildlife biologist with the Navy; Ruben Bingham of the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Organization; Earl Luppe of the state Fish and Game Dept.; Dr. State Joy Zedler of San Diego University; Jackie Dewey, a local writer, and representatives from SDG&E, and the University of San Diego. Speakers against the proposal included Tommie Schuette, a local realtor; Emond, representing the city; Bucky Harris of La Jolla, representing a deceased land owner in the Tia Juana River Valley; Faverty, Randy West, a Tia Juana River Valley farmer, and two other unidentified valley farmers. ( Imperial Beach Star-News )

1981/09/06 - This summer's business at Imperial bench's oceanfront motels is much better than last summer. Last year's occupancy rates of 40% to 60% was due to pollution of the beach from the flow of raw sewage from the Tia Juana River after an overflow from the Point Loma treatment plant. Audrey Koppel, owner of the Pacific Sands Motel on the oceanfront, said there has been "no problem" filling up the motel this summer with vacationing tourists. She also said there has been no loss of business because the pier has been closed. "This is still the cheapest place to stay" in the San Diego area, she said. "They can still get a room on the beach for less" In Imperial Beach. Koppel also felt the relatively uncrowded beach was a good draw for her regular customers. Mary Corral, desk clerk for the Surfside Motel on Seacost Dr., said some customers have asked about the condition of the beach, but the weather is what brought people to the area this slimmer . Some customers from the 36-room Surfside Motel have been disappointed because the pier has been, closed and they've had to go sportfishing elsewhere, she said, but the disappointment hasn't caused a loss of revenues. Vice Mayor Jackie Palmer, owner of the Sea Motel and Apartments along with her husband Dick, said this summer is "1000% improved" over last summer. And Palmer doesn't just mean the non-polluted beach. She said the Imperial Beach police department has made the beach much safer. "This is the quietest and best beach summer we've had," she said. Palmer said there has been less noise and pedestrians haven't been bothered. Palmer also attributed the change in the beach atmosphere to the sandcastle contest because it brought more families to the beach. Palmer and city councilman Tom Stark spearheaded the first U. S. Open Sandcastle Contest that drew 60 teams and from 35,000 to 60,000 estimated spectators. Although Correl and Koppel didn't feel the first contest had much of an effect on their business, they did feel it could have a positive effect in the future. Both Koppel and Palmer said the real boost for their businesses would come with the development of a large hotel or restaurant. "The primary force for growth (in Imperial Beach) would be a large hotel or restaurant," Koppel said. ( Imperial Beach Star-News )

1982 - In spite of heated opposition from developers, the estuary (both State Park and National Wildlife Refuge land) became part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Estuarine Sanctuary Program, and designated a National Estuarine Research Reserve. ( Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve History )

1982/01/24 - The Tia Juana River Valley farmers, some of whom hope to harvest a crop for the first time in two years, kept their fingers crossed this week as heavy rainfall served as a reminder of the disastrous flood of 1980. Nearly an inch and a half of rate fell on the valley over a 24-hour period this week, a rate that was welcomed, with reservations. Most of the farmers felt the rain was needed, but cautioned that it would take onIy three or four inches more "all at once" to cause flooding. The rates this week caused the previously dormant Tia Juana River to begin flowing again. Water washed over a low roadway and through culverts beneath it, south of the Hollister St. bridge and near fields planted by farmer Nick Cappos. Cappos suffered a $2 million loss when his cabbage crop and a portion of his home washed away the the early months of 1980. The valley flood was considered the worst In several decades. Cappos' daughter, Sandra Downs, said her father has only replanted six of 55 acres, since the devastating floods. "He has to bring in all new soil to replant the remainder," she said. As for the threat of future floods, she said, "Everybody la keeping their fingers crossed right now." Of all the valley farmers. Cappos may be the most prone to floods. His property lies squarely in the middle of the Tia Juana River's natural path. Moderate rates last winter flooded a portion of the valley just east of his property and occasionally washed over a roadway onto his fields. Larry Hall, a sod contractor, figures he's a bit luckier than Cappos, Hail, during the 1980 flood, suffered tosses totaling $360,000. He has been able to recover by relocating has fields to higher ground at the southern end of 19th St. "I'm in good shape right now," he said, "I was lucky, the rain didn't hurt me and I didn't experience any flooding" Hali said the chances of his property flooding now were slim unless heavy rain continued for several days. "I don't know of anyone that really got hurt from what I saw," he said. "It wouldn't take much more than what we got the other day to flood out some people there though. Right now we are happy wtth the rain. Let's hope it stays that way." Matt Marschall, the outspoken unofficial voice of many valley farmers, who owns Sea Breeze Farms, once the valley's largest producer of agricultural cash crops, said it wouldn't lake much to bring on flood waters again. "If we get excessive rains like last year and the watershed above Rodriguez Dam (in Tijuana) gets saturated, we could be in trouble," Marschall said. "If we get another three or four inches of rain in a couple of days, we could definitely get some flood damage." Marschall's farm suffered $2 million in losses during the 1980 flood, when raging flood waters washed away 200 of the farm's 500 acres. Marschall has been able to partially replant his land with the help of a $1 million loan from the Farmers Home Administration. The remaining land, however, is devoid of topsoil, leaving only sand. Marschall believes flooding in the valley "could be eliminated almost entirely if a small pilot channel were constructed rerouting the river back to its original path, under the Hollister St. bridge. San Diego gave a tentative go ahead to that project a year ago, with the provision that 100% of the valley farmers sign a petition agreeing to the project. Because one resident whose land is directly adjacent to the Hollister St. bridge held out, the plan was scrapped. A dissipator system, constructed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1977 ostensibly to direct flood waters from farmers' lands, was blamed by the farmers for the flooding in 1980. The dissipator, consisting of channels and levees which attempted to slow flood waters coming from Mexico, diverted floodwaters closer to their land, the farmers said. Based on that premise, 14 valley farmers last year filed lawsuits totaling $7.5 million against the city of San Diego, contending that the dissipator system caused flooding and sewage contamination of their land A settlement conference in Superior Court is set for May. However, court battles resulting from the suits can be expected to take several years. ( Imperial Beach Star-News, )

1983 - Joint U.S.-Mexico wastewater treatment plant proposed. ( The South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant Timeline, online )

1983/03/03 - Seventh greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 24,500 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1984/01/22 - Ground broken for sewage pond. Construction began yesterday in the face of opposition from local agencies on a federally financed emergency project aimed at keeping Tijuana's raw sewage off South Bay beaches, and out of canyon areas in the Tijuana River Valley. Bulldozers began breaking ground for a 13-acre holding pond in an area along the border called Stewart's Drain. The plan is to pump sewage from the pond into San Diego's sewage system during off-peak hours to stop the daily flow of about 3 million gallons. ( San Diego Union, )

1984/01/23 - Area farmers reap only frustration. Nick Cappos can only shake his head when he thinks about the polluted 60-acre plot behind his house that was once a fertile cabbage farm. Only six acres are productive today. The rest is contaminated, unfit to use to grow food for humans. "The ground is all black. You can smell it," he says. "It's a losing proposition." The farm once produced four crops a year in its sandy soil, soil that was perfect for growing cabbages. His attorney estimates Cappos grossed $100,000 a year.( San Diego Evening Tribune, )

1984/11/06 - A second San Diego Harbor entrance off Coronado would not be cost-effective, an Army Corps of Engineers official said yesterday. Chula Vista Mayor Greg Cox and other proponents of a second bay entrance hope to keep the plan alive. According to Cox, the idea has been bandied about since the 1940s, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt "was spending one night at the Hotel del Coronado and made the observation that a second harbor entrance could be a very positive military necessity for the city of San Diego and the Port of San Diego." In the late 1950s, the Corps began to look at the idea. One proposal called for a wide canal through Imperial Beach along the Tijuana River valley. That was later dropped in favor of a Coronado entrance.  If a second entrance were built, it would probably be north of the Coronado Cays, near Crown Cove. Proposals range from an entrance with a width of 400 feet to 1,000 feet. Some require a bridge, underground traffic tunnel or slicing off State 75. ( "2nd harbor entrance feasibility doubted," San Diego Union, November 6, 1984. )

1985 - Mexico's Stage I Facilities The Government of Mexico under the terms of Commission Minute No. 270 constructed between 1985 and 1990 a new sewage conveyance system generally following the alignment of the 1965 system and a new treatment plant at a point directly 4.0 miles south of the international boundary. The system consisted of a new Pumping Plant No. 1 near the border in Tijuana with a design pumping capacity of 64 mgd, and an average daily operational pumping capacity of 48 mgd. The pumping plant was followed by a 42 inch diameter concrete asbestos lined steel pressure line near the boundary extending westwards approximately two miles. The pressure line discharges to a 60 inch gravity line and then to a concrete lined conveyance channel. The collection system also receives sewage flows from developments in the canyon areas known in Mexico as Canon de los Mataderos and the Canon de los Laureles (Smuggler's Gulch and Goat Canyon in the United States), from a pumping station in the Playas de Tijuana part of the Mexican city, and from Maquiladoras in the western part of Tijuana. Estimated sewage contributions to the collection system, other than Pumping Plant No. 1, are from 5 to 7 mgd. The gravity pipe and open canal system contain five siphons before the Tijuana treatment plant, and there are four siphons after the treatment facility. The treatment plant, know as the San Antonio de los Buenos Wastewater Treatment Plant, provides treatment of 25 mgd of Tijuana sewage before discharging to the surf zone. An additional 17 mgd second module was canceled, in favor of joining the United States in the construction, operation and maintenance of the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant (SBIWTP) under the terms of IBWC Minute No. 283. ( South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant, online)

1987/04/26 - Mike McCoy's original plan was to combine his interests in wild animals, ecology and veterinary medicine to maintain wild stock in African plains for the World Health Organization. But when the San Diego Zoo offered him a two-year internship fresh out of veterinary school in Colorado, he jumped. He soon soured on zoo work, however, and decided to try to make a living working on domestic pets. He settled in Imperial Beach for its surroundings-San Diego Bay, the Pacific Ocean and a natural estuary and wetland. Now, the 45-year-old environmental activist works for clean, quiet air, endangered species and peace. He worked on and off for 16 years to protect the Tijuana River Valley and won a victory when the western end of the wetland was chosen the 10th National Estuarine Sanctuary. It is now a research reserve. He rails against the ecological irresponsibility he sees among not only land developers, but everyday consumers, and has running battles with politicians. But the good-natured outdoorsman raised in the Rocky Mountains. He says he just wants people "to respect life-and the complex system that supports it." Times staff writer Nancy Reed interviewed him and Times photographer John Fung photographed him in his office. "I just hate to see somebody destroy a natural area, anywhere, but if it's in my backyard, I am going to fight harder than ordinary. I did the same thing in Colorado in a wilderness area there. It is just part of my life. I feel almost like we are a threatened species, like we're going down with the ship and people don't even recognize it. I'm scared, to be honest with you. Some of the things we do, I think we threaten our own generation, let alone our next. I just think that life is beautiful, that living things are incredible. I don't care if it's an ant crawling down the sidewalk or an elephant running across the jungles of Africa, a slime mold growing on a string, a redwood in the Avenue of the Giants or a human being. To threaten that incredible evolution is more than I can conceive. I don't understand how any thinking individual would possibly not want to preserve life. You have a close analogy to draw: what we do to the Earth and what cancer does to the body. Cancer is going to eventually catch up to the host and kill it. What we do to the Earth is also going to catch up. I like veterinarian medicine, but if I had an ultimate goal, the message would be that people should take actions that will preserve and protect this planet. The way you treat the Earth, the way you treat other creatures, and other people, is ultimately the way you treat yourself. For every action there are equal mountains of reaction. I was brought up to respect life. My dad and my mother put that into the core of my being. They always had animals, and you respected everything. My family home is at the edge of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area in Colorado. And here there is a national sanctuary, so I like to live near very complex natural systems rather than just communities. But the way the community interfaces with that environment is extremely important. I have had people despise me. They want to kill me because of my interference with their profit. I have had it happen that they change their minds. I think people are subject to change their minds when the truth is exposed. When people begin to think in terms of more than themselves-more than just their community, more than just humanity-and begin to think about all species, soil, air, water, the Earth itself and beyond, the level of awareness and comprehension changes. They begin to move from self-orientation to life-support orientation. My wife gets pretty tight with me, I spend half my life in veterinary medicine and the other half in ecological issues and problems. It is my third marriage; the others probably collapsed because of this rigorous commitment. It's worth it, I will guarantee it's worth it. I think so. I hope so. We will find out in the next chapter, I guess. If it isn't a black hole." ( Los Angeles Times, Apr. 26, 1987 )

1987/06/26 - Raw sewage continues to foul Tijuana River. Despite the opening six months ago of a major treatment plant in Tijuana, 100,000 gallons of raw sewage continues to flow down Smuggler's Gulch nearly every day, fouling the Tijuana River Estuary and forcing a permanent quarantine of the beach along the border with Mexico. The flow in Smuggler's Gulch, one of the two westernmost canyons at the border, is caused by breakdowns in small pumping stations and pipes meant to carry the sewage to Tijuana's main treatment system. ( San Diego Union, )

1987/09/08 - Nestor is one of fhe few places in the city of San Diego where riding horses may be rented for pleasure. The beach itself, at Border Field State Park, is a popular trail. Others board their own horses in stables here. Seventy-five are boarded at Jay Jackson's ranch, land that was truck-farmed by his father, Jim Jackson, in the 1940s. The land grew too saline for vegetables, and the Jacksons turned to horses. "Business is fine," said Jay Jackson. But not all is fine in this river valley. There is a smell here, and there is a fear. The smell comes from the Tijuana River, flowing across the southwestern corner of the city from Mexico to the sea. Sewage from Mexico flows in the river. "We nave learned to close our windows and close our doors when it gets too bad," Marge Kimzey said. The fear comes from the river too, fear that heavy rains will come and cause it to flood, as it has many times. The rains of 1979 and 1980 were especially bad. "We sat here and watched houses and barns and good land just m a t away and go down the river," Walter Kimzey said. You've got to keep the stream open." Marge and Walter Kinzey moved here 11 years ago from Santee, and they complain about the trees growing along the river near the Hollister Street bridge. "Those trees should be cleared out of there,"Walter Kimzey said, "or they will tear out the bridge if the river rises. Alice Smart has another concern. She and her husband, Herman, a retired machinist, have lived 10 years in what is the last house in the southwestern corner of the United States. Their nearest neighbor is 1.5 miles away, and the international border is just up the hill from their house. "We have had our house broken into many, many times by people coming across the border," she said. "One of us always has to be here." The Smarts are moving to Ramona. But first they will take their first vacation together in 10 years. "Same old story," Alice Smart said. "We felt someone always had to be here, so we never got away together." ( Nestor Vertical File, San Diego Public Library )

1987/10/29 - Not so long ago, it was easy to rent a horse by the hour in San Diego County, but many stables have closed their doors in the past few years because of rising insurance costs or the inability to even obtain a policy. About 20 stables used to exist in the county where riders could enjoy a one or two-hour jaunt on back-country trails in areas such as Ramona, Julian, Poway, rural San Diego and Palomar Mountain. Now, a mere handful survive. Liz Hammond, co-owner of Holidays on Horseback in Descanso, said insurance companies became alarmed at the number of problems caused by single-hour rentals, including a lack of experienced guidance given to riders. "Owners found in the short rides that people would race out and race back, and the horses would get nutty and psychotic," Hammond said. "The insurance companies looked at the claims and saw that the problems were with hourly rides." As a result, insurance companies raised their rates or simply wouldn't insure at all, said Anna Glover, Hammond's insurance broker in Mammoth Lakes. This strategy doesn't sit well with Ron Mullis, who considers insurance companies' pricing "a gigantic rip-off." Mullis, owner of Sandi's Stables, in the Tijuana River Valley in San Diego, said he looked into getting insurance for his 40-horse operation when he opened two years ago. He said he was quoted a rate of $15,600 a year for 10 or fewer horses and $4,800 up front to provide hourly rentals. He said he opted to go without insurance. Renting a horse at Sandi's costs $8 the first hour, $15 for two hours and $5 for each additional hour. Mullis is not the only Tijuana River Valley stable owner who has eschewed insurance on his rent-by-the-hour rides. Two others, D-Bar-D Stables and Hilltop Stables, have also decided to do without. These two stables charge customers $10 an hour-or $20 for three hours-to ride. Glover says insurance for stables that provide hourly rentals are about two-and-a-half times higher than for outfits providing guided pack tours; the highest premium she knows of is $20,000 a year. Overnight pack trips are a safer risk, she said, because the horse is not being worked as much. Such pack trips might be safer, but they also put more of a strain on typically small stables. "It's more of an effort for longer rides and overnights," Hammond said. "It's like moving an army with lots of equipment and things." Hammond's Holidays on Horseback offers guided trips from a day to a week, ranging from $60 to $100 per person per day. Holidays on Horseback also claims to be the only outfitter offering overnight guided trail rides in Southern California. ( Los Angeles Times, Oct. 29, 1987 )

1988 - The Tijuana River Valley, immediately to the west of San Ysidro, is also the site of undesignated open areas, including the floodplain, extending west of the Tijuana River Levee, Border Field State Park and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Located between the cities of Tijuana and San Diego, the river valley provides an open, natural area in an otherwise urban atmosphere. Although not within the San Ysidro Community Plan boundaries, the river valley has a dramatic visual impact on that community and serves as its major natural resource. The potential visual, open space, vehicular and pedestrian link between San Ysidro and the river valley, however, has not been realized, limiting public access and use. The existing Border Field State Park and Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve contains 680 acres and extends from the border north along the coast for approximately 2.5 miles. An International Border monument is located on a ten-acre plateau which overlooks the coast and floodplain. This passive recreation area consists of a park used for picnicking and sightseeing and a beach area used for swimming, surfing and fishing. Access to the ocean, however, is often closed due to sewage spills and flooding. The remainder of the area within the existing park consists mainly of wetland habitats, a saltwater marsh, mud flats and a maritime transition zone. It is a primary objective of the State Park and Recreation Commission to preserve the ecological system in as natural a condition as possible and to restrict active recreation to the sandy beach and upland area. ( San Ysidro Community Plan, City of San Diego Planning Department, 1989. )

1988 - The Second Harbor Entrance Plan, or SHEP, rose again to recommend a 500 foot wide, 35 foot deep channel, through the Silver Strand at Emory Cove. While that was being discussed, the Council was involved in a meeting to decide whether to accept a donation of white Christmas tree lights from the Chamber of Commerce, replacing the colored lights historically draped on Orange Avenue. ( Carlin, Coronado: the Enchanted Island, 1998, p. 292. )

1988/01/23 - Border-crossing plan gets lost in the shuffle. Plans to open a new pedestrian crossing at the border in time for the Super Bowl have been canceled. The crossing would have provided a shorter route into Mexico for San Diego Trolley riders and others who now walk more than a quarter-mile along an elevated span from San Ysidro through the Mexican customs station into Tijuana. Rep. Bill Lowery, R-San Diego, blamed "bureaucratic ineptitude" for the problem. Tijuana officials cited economic reasons for not liking the plan.( San Diego Evening Tribune, )

1988/03/15 - City's sludge is sought for sod cultivation. That patch of new grass where you spread your next picnic blanket or swing a golf club may owe its emerald lushness to the sewers of San Diego, thanks to a new use being cultivated here. But not to worry. City officials say you would never guess by smelling it that your new lawn sprouted from night soil. Since late last September, processed sewage from the city system has been trucked to the Tijuana River Valley, where folks at American Sod Farms say it makes their commercial sod. ( San Diego Union, )

1989/05/09 - Tijuana River Valley and Proposition 70. There are a million people to the south, 2 million to the north and almost nobody in between. But the empty expanse of land known as the Tijuana River Valley might someday be a 1,000-acre regional park-a gigantic nature preserve open to the public-if county officials get their way. No one knows precisely where the park will be or exactly what it will include, because the land has not been bought and completion of the project is at least 20 years away. But one thing is certain: $10 million was earmarked for the Tijuana River Valley in Proposition 70, the state parks bond issue approved by California voters last June. County officials, including County Supervisor Brian Bilbray, whose district includes the valley, are now figuring out how to spend it. The money will be used to buy land, primarily in an area bordered by the following San Diego streets: Monument Road on the south, 19th Street on the west and Sunset Avenue, Servando Avenue and Calle Primera on the north. The east end of the park will probably stop just short of Sycamore Road and the San Ysidro Sports Field, said Jim Massey, a planner with the county Department of Parks and Recreation. County officials have met with property owners in the area and say they will pay market value for the land, then lease it back to the owners. People such as Floyd Wirthlin, president of American Sod Farms, will be able to continue their businesses, as long as they are compatible with the "passive recreational use" the city of San Diego has deemed appropriate for the valley. "We're not interested in putting in big ball fields," Massey said. "We're interested in low-key, very passive recreation activities like bird-watching areas, horseback riding and hiking trails." Wirthlin, whose 300-acre sod farm provides a habitat for birds and other wildlife, said there are about 70 property owners in the area, and "basically they would like to keep things the way they are." Most residents welcome the idea of a park, he said, and would probably sell their property if appraisers hired by the county came up with "acceptable" market value prices for their land. The park is meant to preserve the valley's rural atmosphere and to protect vegetation along the Tijuana River. Endangered species, including the light-footed clapper rail, the California least tern and the California brown pelican, live nearby. "(Our) highest priority is preserving the biological habitat and the agricultural character of the valley," Massey said. "Hopefully, we'll have (the public) on the property in less than five years." Bilbray, who grew up in Imperial Beach and played in the Tijuana River Valley when he was young, said his motive for wanting to preserve the area is to improve public access to parkland and not necessarily to deter development. "The issue of building there is moot because the city abandoned about 15 years ago the construction of a flood control channel . . . so the ability to build there is very restricted," he said. "Our point is there is a place for public access in the valley and we want to guarantee it. We don't want the public barred with the excuse that it's good for the birds. We think we can do both." Directly to the west of the proposed park boundary lies the Tijuana River National Estuarine Sanctuary, a 2,300-acre nature preserve, most of which is owned and operated by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Parks and Recreation. "It's dedicated to the preservation of coastal salt marsh habitat, sand dune habitat and . . . the trees along the river," said Martin Kenney, a biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service. State and federal wildlife officials hope to eventually build trails for hikers there. Bilbray said he hopes the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park will not only extend the estuarine sanctuary's preservation eastward, but also provide more recreational use than the federal parkland provides. Among the ideas under consideration, he said, are turning the Dairy Mart ponds into fishing lakes and adding campsites and a golf course. Bilbray has spearheaded the drive to create a park out of a patchwork quilt of more than 50 parcels of land now owned by the city of San Diego, the federal government, various companies, including General Telephone, H. G. Fenton Materials, Title Insurance and American Sod, as well as more than a dozen individuals. Several property owners have already contacted the county with offers to sell their land. "We would hope to begin acquiring parcels out there within the next several months. . . . Some people have certainly expressed an interest, but we haven't done any appraisals yet," Massey said. Lane McClelland, who makes furniture out of willow trees in an abandoned dairy barn off Monument Road, wanted to buy the land he lives on, but his landlord wasn't interested. "I'm concerned. I'd like to know that this land is preserved even after I'm gone," McClelland said. "I think it's a good idea to have a park in this area. . . . We need a way of protecting the wildlife." In addition to bobcats and coyotes, McClelland said, "we have probably one of the greatest concentrations of birds of prey in the country, everything from hawks and golden eagles to burrowing owls." Jack Jones, a retired Navy commander who owns property off Monument Road, thinks the park is "a nice idea. Better a park than concrete and steel." But he is concerned about the sewage in the river. Indeed, there are formidable problems to address before the park can be made completely accessible to the public, such as the raw sewage that flows into the river from Tijuana, the disease-spreading mosquitoes that breed in the stagnant sewage and the undocumented workers who cross through the area illegally. Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) and other federal officials called last month for a $192-million sewage treatment plant that would carry Tijuana's waste out to sea, but whether or not it is built depends on the availability of funds both in Washington and Mexico City. "The border situation is a major stumbling block," Bilbray said. "It's an area that is severely impacted by the immigration and drug-smuggling issues," for which, he pointed out, the federal government has responsibility. Complete public access cannot occur "until there's a secure border situation," he said, but he expects the sewage and immigration problems to be addressed within five years so people can begin using the park. "In the long run, government will have to open up the boundaries, which will mean no one sneaking through the park, or else they will have to secure the border so that immigration is done legally and not through our wildlife preserves," he said. Meanwhile, a master plan for the park is not expected for several years. The project was approved by the Board of Supervisors in November. County officials met once with property owners in March and are planning more meetings this summer, said Nancy Nieto, administrative services manager for the county parks department. "We have contracted for an appraisal, and we'll be getting back the results probably between 90 to 120 days," she said. The county will then contact owners and offer to buy their land. But, before any purchases are made, officials said, public hearings will be held. The Board of Supervisors must approve any purchase. "How things will proceed will depend on the dynamics of each acquisition. . . . We would deal with each owner separately," Nieto said. Proposition 70 funds will not pay for all of the acquisition. And no money has been set aside for development of the park. According to the county parks department, more money could be applied for from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and other sources managed by the Coastal Conservancy and the state parks department. Bilbray compares the project favorably to the proposed San Dieguito River Valley Regional Park, a 43-mile-long strip of green that will stretch from Del Mar to Julian. "We'll be able to do it a little faster because we don't have a bunch of rich people fighting among themselves," he said. "You can buy a lot more land with $10 in the Tijuana River Valley than (you can) in the San Dieguito River Valley. We have a lot more problems, but we have more cooperation. It's the greatest challenge. "This is the working man's version of the San Dieguito park. You're talking about people living on 4-acre housing estates there. People here are living in . . . housing tract projects that have gang problems. You won't recognize the valley 10 years from now." ( Los Angeles Times, May 9, 1989. )

1988/06/07 - Officials frustrated in bid to rid valley of illegal dikes. Like corrugations on cardboard, illegal dikes of concrete, asphalt and steel furrow the flat farmlands and marshy expanse of the Tijuana River Valley. Blanketed with blooming flowers or disguised by a layer of dirt, the seemingly innocuous berms protect the valley's farms from floods but threaten the fragile ecosystem there. Simply put, the innumerable illegal dikes are both the salvation of private property and the bane of the flood plain. ( San Diego Evening Tribune, )

1988/06/08 - On June 8, 1988, California voters endorsed the passage of Proposition 70 (Wildlife, Coastal and Parkland Conservation Bond Act). The act allocated ten million dollars specifically for the acquisition of park and wildlife lands within the Tijuana River Valley. Utilizing those funds, the San Diego County Park and Recreation Department is developing a regional park in the Tijuana River Valley that will preserve, enhance and restore sensitive habitat in the Tijuana River Valley as a regional park. ( Tijuana River Valley Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan, 2007 )

1989 - The County Parks and Recreation Department, with the cooperation of nearly 30 agencies and organizations, has embarked on an ambitious endeavor to set aside about 1000 acres of open space to the east of the estuary. This regional park project was created through the initiative process when voters approved Proposition 70 in 1988. Ten million dollars of funding were allocated for the purchase of land in the valley. Those funds, combined with a $1.5 million donation from the Tla Juana Valley County Water District in 1989, enabled the department to begin Phase I land acquisitions for the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park. Short-term plans involve the preservation of the heart of the park ‹ the river course and the several endangered species it supports ‹ as well as the continued presence of agriculture. (("A Partition of Paradise," 1991))

1989/07/06 - Tijuana: Mexico's city of the century Few could have known, 100 years ago, vast plains would become megalopolis. The 54-year-old Indian walked briskly at dawn along the path through the hills and valleys leading to the San Diego de Alcala Mission, where later that day he would be baptized with the Christian name Antonio Maltas. It was 1809. The region, which then belonged to Spain, was inhabited by several thousand Indians and 200 to 250 colonizers. At the time, it was a wondrous, empty expanse of hills and valleys. From the shores of San Diego Bay, newcomers could see miles of grassy plain. ( San Diego Evening Tribune, )

1989/11/07 - Candidates hope to pump new life into water district. Matt Marschall is a candidate today for election to a board that may not exist a few months from now. South Bay's tiny Tia Juana Valley County Water District has announced plans to disband. But that hasn't stopped Marschall and two others from forcing the first-ever elections in the 50-year existence of the district. Marschall and father-son team Floyd Worthlin Sr. and Floyd Worthlin Jr. are challenging incumbents Robert Bonner and James Jackson for three open seats on the board. ( San Diego Union, )

1989/11/09 - Trio swept into office hope to save a tiny South Bay water district. A slate of three candidates running for the board of the Tia Juana Valley County Water District was swept into office Tuesday, unseating two incumbents and forging a majority that could reverse plans to disband the district. Matt Marschall, Floyd Wirthlin Sr. and his son, Floyd Wirthlin Jr., captured a majority of the 342 ballots cast for the three seats open on the board of the tiny South Bay water district. Marschall finished with 241 votes, Wirthlin Sr. with 222. ( San Diego Union, )

1989/11/14 - Tijuana sewage is flowing faster, killing estuary. An increasing amount of raw sewage flowing across the border from Mexico is killing marine life and threatening birds in the Tijuana River estuary, according to a newly completed study of the huge saltwater marsh. The increase is the result of the continued growth of Tijuana, where many neighborhoods are not hooked up to sewers. The sewage flow in the river now averages nearly 10 million gallons a day, up from about 7 million gallons a day two years ago. ( San Diego Evening Tribune, )

1990 - The United States and Mexico approve Minute No. 283, agreeing to construct an international wastewater treatment plant in San Diego. ( The South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant Timeline, online)

1990 - In many cases government actions have seemed counter productive to their stated goals. Most of the strawberry farm owned by Jim Martin was taken through condemnation by the City of San Diego in the early 1990s to establish flood control corridors and open space preserves to protect wildlife habitat for endangered species. Martin was left with only 4.85 acres of his 19.85 acre tract located at the mouth of Smuggler's Gulch. He received $10,000 an acre, and current prices for comparable land in the valley have risen to a half million dollars an acre. Following their acquisition the city then used the acreage as a toxic waste dump. Contaminated soil from Sorrento Valley, which the County dumps would not accept, was piled on the former strawberry fields and aerated, exposing Martin's home and the surrounding area to clouds of toxic dust. More recently, attempts by local residents to clear debris from Smuggler's Gulch to avoid flooding were unsuccessful. Inquiries to the Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the City and County of San Diego were unsuccessful. The only solution provided was to issue emergency permits that allowed for the removal of only 5,000 cubic yards of material. This band aid solution was not successful and during the record rainstorms of the winter of 2004 to 2005 Smuggler's Gulch overflowed, causing extensive damage and loss of livestock to nearby properties which the owners have had to pay to repair. Rancher Dick Tynan lost over 400 chickens during the floods of January 2005. Finally, many residents feel that the move to establish and preserve wildlife sanctuaries in the valley is simply the adoption of an artificial value system by government agencies at the cost of the valley's agricultural heritage. Expensive efforts at revegetation, exotic plant control, predator control, and pollution and silt clean up and control have been required to reclaim and maintain these preserves. Due to these intense efforts to establish a perceived "natural" environment, it seems too many that the private cultivation of crops and live stock has been replaced by government farming of native plants, and the ranching of endangered species. ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1990/04/12 - Construction of the largest sewage pipe in the city, which initially will not connect to anything but is designed to help dispose of the raw Mexican wastewater that fouls the Tijuana River Valley, could begin as early as this summer, officials say. Big enough to drive a bus through, the 12-foot-diameter pipe will cross shrubland and willow woodland in the Tijuana River Valley in San Diego's southernmost point, just north of the Mexican border. It will span the area from Monument Road at Goat Canyon east almost to Dairy Mart Road. About 12 million gallons of mosquito-breeding wastes from the drains and toilets of Tijuana flow daily across the border, downhill into the low-lying river valley in the United States. The raw sewage is ravaging the Tijuana River Valley's national estuary, where endangered birds, such as the least Bell's vireo, the light-footed clapper rail and the California least tern, make their home. Worse yet, the pathogen-bearing sewage is a health risk, capable of passing on malaria or encephalitis. A trickle of Mexican sewage spilling into San Diego was first noticed in the early 1930s. Over the past half-century, there have been stopgap measures taken to try to curb the flow and there have been several aborted attempts at a permanent solution. But the flow of raw sewage has only gotten worse as Tijuana's population has increased and new homes have sprung up on the east side of the city. ( San Diego Tribune, Apr. 12, 1990 )

1990/06/13 - In a major breakthrough on one of San Diego's most persistent problems, final agreement was announced yesterday on construction of a border treatment plant to stop Tijuana sewage from washing up on county beaches. The product of years of painstaking talks, the agreement between the U.S. and Mexican governments was completed at a meeting on border water pollution held Monday in San Antonio, Texas. It was announced yesterday in Washington by members of the San Diego County congressional delegation and Republican Sen. Pete Wilson. As envisioned, the "joint international" plant could treat 25 million gallons a day of raw Mexican sewage, more than twice the flow now spilling into San Diego County. Construction of the facility in south San Diego near Dairy Mart Road is expected to start in 1993 and is slated for completion in 1995. About 12 million gallons of raw sewage flows each day from the hills of Tijuana, across the border and into San Diego's low-lying river valley, where endangered birds such as the least Bell's vireo and light-footed clapper rail make their home. The sewage wreaks environmental havoc on an estuary and farms that lie within the Tijuana River Valley. Bush took a major step toward breaking the impasse in January when he included $15.7 million in the fiscal 1991 budget to pay the United States' share of the first phase of the project, the construction of an ocean outfall connection. "It's been over 60 years that we've been trying to deal with the problem," said Susan Hamilton, a deputy director of the city Water Utilities Department. "This is the closest we've gotten to actually solving it." ( San Diego Tribune, )

1990/06/13 - Accord reached on plant to treat border sewage. In a major breakthrough on one of San Diego's most persistent problems, final agreement was announced yesterday on construction of a border treatment plant to stop Tijuana sewage from washing up on county beaches. The product of years of painstaking talks, the agreement between the U.S. and Mexican governments was completed at a meeting on border water pollution held Monday in San Antonio, Texas. ( San Diego Evening Tribune, )

1990/07/08 - The South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant (SBIWTP) was designed to deal with the growing demand for the treatment of wastewater resulting in the contamination of the Tijuana River in the United States. It has been an ongoing concern since 1934 when the International Boundary Commission (IBC) was instructed by the United States and Mexican governments to cooperate in the preparation of a report on the Tijuana sewage problem. The SBIWTP is capable of providing secondary treatment for 25 million gallons per day (mgd) average daily flows of sewage in excess of the Tijuana sewage system capacity, but has expansion capability of up to 100 mgd. The SBIWTP was built on a 75-acre site near the international boundary in the U.S. immediately north of Tijuana's main wastewater pumping station. Resulting from the establishment of a binational interagency "Clean Water Partnership," the United States and Mexico approved IBWC Minute No. 283 dated July 8, 1990. This Minute authorized the construction of the SBIWTP. The Government of Mexico contributed $16.8 million toward construction of the SBIWTP and currently contributes $1.1 million toward the annual operation and maintenance costs. Funding for the U.S. share of construction costs was appropriated through the Environmental Protection Agency in the amount of $239.4 million. Of that amount, $225.5 million had been obligated as of 2002, of which $89.2 million was given to the City of San Diego and the Corps of Engineers to construct the South Bay Ocean Outfall; $8 million was given to the Corps of Engineers for environmental work; and $127.4 million was given to the USIBWC for the costs associated with the construction of the SBIWTP and related infrastructure. Mexico's share is that amount that Mexico would have had to pay to construct and maintain a plant at the Rio Alamar. At the same time, Mexico is expanding its sewage collection system, and constructing additional works necessary to collect and convey Tijuana's sewage. These facilities will be operated and maintained at Mexico's expense. Both countries share in the operation and maintenance of the SBIWTP. ( South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant, online)

1990/09/10 - San Ysidro businessman Joseph Garcia looks at the 40 acres he leases in the Tijuana River Valley and sees a litter-strewn, sewage-swamped breeding ground for mosquitoes. Ecologists and government officials cast their gaze over the same landscape and see an environmentally sensitive area battling for its life, a place that some call the richest riparian habitat in the southwestern United States. Lately, those officials have told Garcia they want him to see things their way-or else. A coalition of county, state and federal agencies have targeted Garcia and his landlord, Nelson & Sloan sand mining company, because their activities are believed to threaten two obscure man-made ponds that are nesting sites for an endangered bird, the least Bell's vireo. These officials, some who eventually hope to transform the ponds and the surrounding land into a 2,900-acre regional park, say Garcia has shown blatant disregard for the wetland area by illegally grading and building a parking lot about a mile from the ponds. And they are threatening to take legal action to keep him and his landlord, who is mining in the area, from grading in the future. But Garcia, who runs an international trade center on his landlord's property in San Ysidro, says he is being singled out unfairly. In contrast to the many people who use the estuary as a dump, he says he has tried to improve his parcel-despite the confusing, and sometimes conflicting, advice he has received from competing bureaucracies. "I was told by the city (San Diego) to clean up my property and proceeded to do that. Then the state Fish and Game Department came by and stopped me from picking up the trash," he said. "Have they seen the ponds and the area around them lately? People dump oil and other trash in them . . . . There are dirt roads leading to the ponds that are heavily traveled by people who aren't suppose(d) to be there. Nobody bothers to stop them." Regulatory officials admit there is some confusion over who is responsible for the ponds. Owned by the state but managed by the county, the ponds have attracted a tangle of advocates from various bureaucracies, from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to the state Fish and Game Department to the County Parks and Recreation Department. They also admit that Garcia's allegedly illegal grading and leveling is just one of many problems that plague the area. Rene Langis, a researcher with the Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory, which studies the Tijuana River Valley, said that sewage contamination and mounds of trash are threatening the delicate balance of what he calls one of the most ecologically sensitive salt marsh areas in California. "The main problem is the sewage inflow, which is diluting the salinity of the marsh," said Langis, noting that raw sewage from Tijuana flows directly into the Tijuana River, which follows a course just north of the U.S.-Mexican border and empties into the Pacific Ocean below Imperial Beach. And then there's the garbage. "There's stuff coming in with the tide and a lot of trash that's dropped there by people. There's a lot of people walking across the valley and their trash is having a damaging effect," Langis said. But officials see Garcia and his landlords as a significant threat to the environment in the area. And they intend to do something about it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing a cease-and-desist order against Nelson & Sloan, said Corps spokeswoman Mary O'Keefe, that would halt the grading and filling of the wetlands, which the company is allegedly doing without a permit. According to O'Keefe and Ann Rast, chief of special operations for the County Parks and Recreation Department, Nelson & Sloan has been violating the federal Clean Water Act by destroying the habitat in and around the ponds. The order does not mention Garcia, since he is a tenant on the land. Sandra Gabler, a state Fish & Game Department warden, said that the company is also suspected of dumping fill dirt in the surrounding wetlands, but both Gabler and Rast said their agencies are still investigating those alleged actions. Nelson & Sloan officials declined several requests for interviews and did not return phone calls. But last month, company general manager Ken Monson told the San Diego Tribune that the only grading done by his company was in sand pits and areas where the city had issued orders to clean up the property. That explanation echoes Garcia's concerns and part of the problem seems to be that the company, Garcia and city and county officials all seem to mean different things when they refer to "cleaning up" the property. When Garcia was reprimanded by the Fish and Game Department last month, for example, he told them he was only following orders. "I'm being given different instructions by the state and the city," Garcia complained. "They (state) told me to stop the cleaning, but I have an order from the fire marshal and the city to clean up the place." According to Garcia, he has already spent $100,000 to clean up the property and an additional $20,000 to fence part of it to keep out dirt-bike riders. He denied leveling the property but admitted covering six acres with eight inches of compacted dirt. "I talked to the city before I covered it with dirt. I told them what I wanted to do and they told me I didn't need a permit. I've got the paperwork in my office if anybody wants to see it," Garcia said. Gabler, the state warden, acknowledged that Garcia has been ordered by several city agencies to clean up debris littered over the 40 acres he leases. However, Gabler charged that Garcia has gone beyond just tidying up the area and has illegally bulldozed and graded the property without the necessary permits. "When you pick up debris, level the area and put on top soil for a parking lot, it's a different thing as far as we're concerned," said Gabler. "We've told him that we don't mind if he cleans up the property, we just don't want him illegally dozing and grading. This poses a great danger to our ponds." Part of the problem with the pond-saving effort is that much of the area involved simply doesn't look worth saving, making it doubly difficult to persuade people who use it to be careful. Home to migratory birds such as ducks and egrets, it is an invaluable environmental resource, Rast said-but Garcia says it looks like a dump. "I can understand the Fish and Game Department's position and concern for the wildlife," Garcia said. "But the ponds are about a mile away from us. There is wildlife out there, but most of the wildlife is mosquitoes." Gabler acknowledged that the poorly maintained and patrolled area "is not the prettiest picture in the world." In addition to being heavily traversed by illegal aliens on their trek northward and pursuing Border Patrol vehicles, the river valley is also littered with every imaginable piece of garbage-from abandoned cars to rusting refrigerators. Gabler blamed the "shortage of personnel at every level" for the failure to detect the alleged violations earlier. And until recently, communication between city and county agencies has been anything but clear, said Rast. "That's changing," she said. "We're attempting to develop a better communication with the city to see how we can handle violations and see what we can do. But we can only prosecute people who dump on or destroy county land." If the dream of a regional park is ever to become real, Rast said, "we have to take a leap of faith that in the future we can . . . be able to restore the land." Currently, the county only owns about one-fifth of the land proposed for the park, she said. While it may not seem fair to Garcia that the crackdown begins with him, officials say they have to start somewhere. "I'd like to be there and cite people every time they dump stuff in the ponds, but I can't," Gabler said. "But we've begun an aggressive enforcement program and we are going to save those ponds from further destruction." "It's going to take a long time to iron out this mess," she said. "(But) it's got to be done for species like the least Bell's vireo. You just can't take a species and place it somewhere else." ( Los Angeles Times, Sept. 10, 1990. )

1991 - The Tijuana River Valley is one of the most famous locations for watching birds in California ‹ indeed anywhere in the United States. Since the 1960s at least a dozen first state records have been tallied in the valley. Eight of the threatened or endangered bird species in the county depend on the valley and its wetlands for food and shelter. It's especially critical for migrating and wintering shorebirds and waterfowl, although more than 340 species of birds have been recorded altogether ‹ more than two-thirds of the birds that occur countywide. But in the valley, many of the trees in which those dozen first state records were found have been cut down. ("A Partition of Paradise," 1991)

1991/02 - Eighth greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 20,000 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1991/03/28 - Sod farmer reeling from the weather. Drought, rain put landscape industry under heavy cloud. Floyd Wirthlin Jr. shifted restlessly in his chair, vexed as he was by the ironies crowding his life these past few weeks. From his office window yesterday he could see another mass of mashed-potato clouds moving inland, bruised charcoal on the bottom with the telltale sign that they carried more water. Dropping his eyes from the clouds to the ground of his Am-Sod farm off Hollister Street in San Ysidro, Wirthlin gazed across an estimated $500,000 worth of flood damage. ( San Diego Union, )

1991/04/12 - Sod farm suffers under water-cut fears. S. San Diego landscaper blames drought for painful layoffs. The drought has taken its toll on a South San Diego landscape company, which laid off 11 workers last week and nine more this week. In all, the work force at the Am-Sod farm on Hollister Street has been reduced from 83 to 57 since last year, said Floyd Wirthlin Jr., vice president of the family-owned business. "In order to keep the farm going, we have to make some radical changes," Wirthlin said. Wirthlin blames the company's troubles on the drought, not the economy. ( San Diego Evening Tribune, )

1992/06/02 - Imperial Beach ‹ The coastline here will no longer be known as the place where the sewage meets the sea ‹ at least for the summer. For the first time in 12 years, county Environmental Health Services yesterday opened a 1 and 1/2 mile section of beach at the south end of the city. The sandy stretch has been off limits to swimmers and surfers for more than a decade because of the raw sewage that flows into the ocean from Tijuana. A year of diverting the sewage from the Tijuana River, which eventually flows into the ocean, has apparently made a tremendous difference, county officials said. The federal government allowed this water to be contaminated," said county Supervisor Brian Bilbray, who, along with Imperial Beach Mayor Mike Bixler, wielded bolt cutters yesterday to help take down the signs that prohibited swimming in tie area near the end of Seacoast Drive. "We just needed to get the government to find answers instead of finding blame," Bilbray said. The answer came last year when Mexico and San Diego struck an agreement that allows Tijuana to pump 15 million gallons of sewage a day to Point Loma to be treated, Bilbray said. Weekly water samples taken from the waves of Imperial Beach have tested clean since April, said Gary Stephany, director of county Environmental Health Services. In addition, county officials also walked the dry bed of the Tijuana River last Friday to verify an unofficial end to the rainy season. "We've been discussing opening the beach for a month," Stephany said, "but we were waiting for the rainy season to be over. We figured it would take a hurricane-type flow to force the closure of the beach." Even a breakdown last week in a dirt berm on the Tijuana side that channels sewage into the San Diego system did not prevent the opening of the beach. "(The breakdown) did not have an effect. As a matter of fact, it reconfirmed our decision," Stephany said. ( "Imperial Beach Opens Decade-tainted Shore," by Lillian Salazar Leopold, The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 2, 1992)

1993 - The signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993 sparked a boom of cross-border initiatives in all levels of government that were aimed at mitigating environmental degradation. Some works have extensively documented the evolution of these efforts and their impacts as examples of how to approach problems in the border region. One such work deals with governmental initiatives between the U.S. and Mexico. The passage of NAFTA was accompanied by the creation of two agencies, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) and the North American Development Bank (NADBank). Together, they created the platform for a totally new institutional context in which environmental management would proceed ( A Binational Planning Approach for the Development of the Tijuana River Watershed: Policy Options from Rhetoric to Action, July 8, 2005 )

1993 - Throughout most of the 1980s, Southern California experienced extremely dry winters. But in 1993, the combination of heavy winter storms, overgrown vegetation, illegally constructed berms and piles of fill dirt caused winter floodwaters to shift the river's course, destroy a bridge, and flood neighborhoods to the north for the first time. Today, few obvious signs of the floods of 1993 remain in the valley. The waters have receded, and a temporary Bailey bridge has replaced the one destroyed by the high waters. Its single lane now carries cars into the valley, crossing the river along Hollister Street. At night, the sounds of flowing water, frog calls and buzzing insects fill the air; owls fly silently overhead. Planning for San Diego's latest flood control project began in 1993, after heavy rains and flooding caused an estimated $25 million in damages throughout the valley. Mayor Susan Golding, County Supervisor Brian Bilbray, and U.S. Congressman Bob Filner convened the Tijuana River Valley Task Force. Members included representatives from public resource agencies such as California Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife; city, county and state elected officials; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and conservation and environmental organizations such as the National Audubon Society. City engineer Frank Belock was appointed chairman of the Task Force. Belock currently is the city's Assistant Director of Engineering Design. During the winter of 1993 the city organized and conducted immediate clean-up efforts, and later that year hired BSI Consultants, an environmental design firm, to come up with several possible long-term flood control plans. In January 1994, after months of analysis and study, BSI Consultants presented the Task Force with ten sets of plans, ranging in cost from $0 (the "Do nothing at all" alternative) to $160 million (the "100 year earthen channel" alternative meaning it could control a huge flood that might occur every 100 years). Three of these plans are now under final evaluation. Another alternative, designed by WEST Consultants of Carlsbad at the request of the Tia Juana Valley County Water District, has also been accepted for further review. This project has an estimated cost of $31 million and would construct an earthen channel sufficient to control a 25-year flood. Task Force member Carolyn Powers wants to keep the valley available for the outdoor recreational businesses and users who have lived and played there for decades. She represents Citizens Against Recreational Evictions (C.A.R.E) and worries that environmental considerations may be used to force some people out of the valley. Powers believes many recreational activities, such as horseback riding and mountain biking, are completely compatible with the river and its endangered species. As an example, she claims that "The least Bell's vireo grew up around the horse trails as their habitat grew up around the horse trails" over the last twenty to thirty years, when many agricultural businesses ceased operations and native riparian vegetation moved back into vacant fields. (Lori Saldaña, "Tijuana River: a controversy runs through it," San Diego Earth Times, June 1994)

1993/01/06 - The flood in San Diego and Tijuana began 1/6/93 and ended 1/20/1993 ( Global Register of Extreme Flood Events)

1993/01/09 - High Water: There's More to Come. Torrent revives a flood of memories South Bay has seen inundations before. When rumors spread that Rodriguez Dam might have to be opened to release rainwater from this week's storm, South San Diego farmer Gloria Marschall flashed back to Jan. 30, 1980. That day, Mexican officials released millions of gallons of water from the dam into the Tijuana River to relieve the pressure from a major storm. Marschall's family lost $2 million worth of crops. To her relief, the dam now is well below capacity and the family crop has been harvested. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan. 9, 1993. )

1993/01/16 - Fifth greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 26,000 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1993/01/18 - Storm series sets a record. January '93 is wettest ever. 5 die in torrent. San Diego today recorded its wettest January ever, as the storm onslaught continued to pelt the area with rain, hail and snow, leaving damage and death in its wake. The rain total for the month reached 7.97 inches this morning, topping the January 1916 total of 7.56 inches. "It's never rained any harder than this since we started keeping records in 1850," said Wilbur Shigehara, chief meteorologist for the National Weather Service's San Diego office. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan. 18, 1993. )

1993/02/07 - After The Flood: Tijuana River Basin Troubled land caught in tug of war With many agencies in charge, little done, residents say. From a distance, the Tijuana River Valley looks placid, calm -- a little piece of countryside in the city. But looks can be deceiving. One month after the beginning of rains that again flooded the valley, the farmers, ranchers, businesses and residents who live here are still digging out. The storm that swelled the Tijuana River, which usually meanders through the valley from south San Ysidro to the sea, crumpled sections of roads, serrated fields full of crops, washed away. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1993/02/09 - Residents take flood protests to city. A group of residents from the Tijuana River Valley, angry over the city of San Diego's perceived lack of interest in correcting flooding problems in its community, flocked to City Hall yesterday, demanding attention from the City Council. About 400 residents organized by a group called Citizens Revolting Against Pollution had hoped to meet with Mayor Susan Golding last Friday night, but Golding, who had been called to Washington, D.C., on city business, abruptly canceled. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1993/02/17 - Little League copes after loss of its flooded fields, dreams. Karl Zwierski had to raise his voice to be heard over the clatter of three helicopters hovering overhead. He stood in mostly solidified mud, looking over what was left of the Southwest Little League baseball fields in the Tijuana River Valley. "It's like, every five years, something bad happens to us," said Zwierski, a league volunteer, as he picked his way across the uneven, mucky terrain. Ten years ago, the league was flooded out of another field in the valley. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1993/02/20 - Twefth greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 17,500 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1993/02/25 - Tijuana River Valley trashed. Flood waters dump tons of mud, debris on floor. Whenever the rain finally stops and the flood waters recede, they will start taking out the trash in the Tijuana River Valley. It should be quite a sight. Consider: "We're looking, from a trash standpoint, at preparing to haul out 40,000 cubic yards," said San Diego County Parks Director Bob Copper. "And then we'll have to see how much of a dent that makes." And that's on just 1,200 acres of valley land the county owns. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1993/03/06 - Tijuana River Valley flooded with signs of ire. You see the first one just as you finish negotiating the rutted, rebuilt section of Dairy Mart Road that winds its way into the Tijuana River Valley. Off to the left, a sign -- red and black letters on a white board -- thanks the National Guard for repairing the road, washed out twice by the Tijuana River during recent rounds of heavy storms. But drive down Monument Road, and the signs -- the same black and red letters on a white background -- become more pointed. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1993/07/12 - To most people, the Tijuana River Valley might seem strange place to play. But for Candace Ricks and the members of her association, it's perfect. That's because they spend much of their leisure time frolicing through the valley on horseback, riding sandy trails through acres of shady trees with the Pacific Ocean as a cool backdrop. Never mind that untreated sewage runs through the valley and that trash is strewn all over. The members of the Tijuana River Valley Equestrian Association (TRVEA) are absolutely smiles with the area. "It's just a neat place to be," said Ricks, president of the club."It gives you a chance to get away from the real world and get in tune with nature." Since restructuring three years ago, the club may have done more for the little valley by the border than any government agency. Members fought to establish a network of marked horse trails, and helped rebuild the valley after the devastating winter floods. They also dispense plenty of tender loving care, holding fund-raisers for flood victims and even cleaning trash from the valley floor. "This is our home and our back yard," said Candace Ricks, who moved to the region in 1968. "This is what we really care about." Although there are several horse associations in the county, TRIVEA says it is one of the biggest, with more than 100 members from as far away as Point Loma and Lakeside. But many of the group's members live on the outskirts of the valley in Imperial Beach and South San Diego. Like Ricks, they came to the valley because of its affordable housing, its proximity to the beach and its riding trails. Carolyn Powers and her husband came from Arizona one summer to fix up a motor yacht they had acquired. That was five years ago. "When it came time to move back to hot, sticky Arizona, I just said no," said Powers, who had grown up around horses and became instantly enamored with the region. The valley remains cool in the summer and relatively warm in the winter. In addition, it is one of the last areas in the state where horses can access the beach year-round. ( The San Diego Union, July 12, 1980)

1993/07/26 - Signs of recovery appear in flood-battered valley. Life has been a little hectic for Michelle Wohl so far this year. First, there were the rains in January and February, the rains that swelled the Tijuana River and led to flooding through a large portion of the Tijuana River Valley. The flood wiped out the Effie May organic farming operation on Hollister Street where Wohl worked as the farm's accountant and controller. Nowadays, Wohl spends her days finding temporary jobs and selling ceramics out of her garage. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1993/12/06 - Flood's survivors wait nervously for winter and rains. Don and Dolly Opel remember January's floods as if they happened yesterday -- how they had to walk their horses to safety one-by-one through swirling, waist-high waters. They remember how their 4-acre ranch was virtually destroyed by surging waters that leveled buildings and washed out roads. The flooding eventually caused an estimated $25 million worth of damage to public and private property in the 5,000-acre Tijuana River Valley. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1994 - Political pressure on the federal government for stricter border control led to Operation Gatekeeper in 1994, a policy aimed at halting illegal entry into the United States. This controversial strategy targeted the San Diego portion of the border and exerted intense pressures on Border Field State Park. Among other changes, Monument No. 1 was flanked by a tall and inhospitable metal fence. ( Carter, Nancy Carol, "Border Field State Park and Its Monument," Eden: Journal of the California Garden & Landscape History Society, Fall 2011. )

1994/01/02 - The Tijuana Floods: One Year Later. Risk of disaster diminishes Lives back to normal drainage improved, hillsides reinforced. When the heaviest rainfall in decades pounded this city nearly a year ago, the Humbert-Zuniga family escaped with their lives in the middle of the night as a torrent of water washed through their house. A month later, Yolanda Zuniga and her husband, Hiram Humbert, returned and found their home of 11 years still standing but damaged beyond belief. Furniture and appliances were lost, a valuable propane tank had been taken by the raging waters, and a 3-foot-high layer of mud and debris covered the ground. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1994/02/18 - Channel to control flooding is pushed. A small water district, tired of waiting for some government agency to stop the devastating floods in the Tijuana River Valley, is fighting an upstream battle to push through its own plan. "What we've had in this valley for the past 30 years is a bunch of nonworkable solutions that were called solutions," said Art Letter, general manager of the Tia Juana River Valley County Water District. "This district doesn't want to see this happen again." For the past month, district... ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1994/03 - The effluent conveyance system for discharging effluent from the SBIWTP to the Pacific Ocean consists of the South Bay Land Outfall (SBLO) and the South Bay Ocean Outfall (SBOO). Construction of the SBLO, a 2.5 mile Section of 12-foot diameter pipeline from Dairy Mart Road to Goat Canyon, was completed in March 1994. The SBLO was designed by Boyle Engineering in 1989. The remaining portions of the conveyance system were designed by Parsons Engineering Science, Inc. through a contract administered by the USIBWC. The City of San Diego Metropolitan Wastewater Department is overseeing the construction management of the projects and issues a detailed periodic status report. Listed below are the highlights of the effluent conveyance system. ( South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant Status Report, Part 1, April, 1998 )

1994/04/01 - On April 1, final comments on a massive International Wastewater Treatment Plant and Ocean Outfall plan were due in the Los Angeles office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Despite questions about this plant's ability to remove toxics, the lack of an ocean outfall for the first three years of operation, and its enormous construction, operation and maintenance costs, the plan was approved on May 6. According to the project's Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), the proposed plant and outfall will take three years to construct and cost $266 million, with expected annual operational and maintenance costs between $8 and $10 million. Congress has allocated only $239 million for the project, but it is expected that the city of San Diego will contribute funds for the outfall (which they retain rights to use) and the government of Mexico will contribute $16 million originally budgeted for a treatment plant in Tijuana. The state of California will contribute $10 million. The plant scheduled to begin operations in 1995 will collect wastewater overflows from Mexico, and initially treat 25 million gallons of sewage per day, reaching advanced primary treatment levels by using "activated sludge" and mechanical treatment methods. By 1998, it will treat wastes to secondary levels as required by the Clean Water Act before releasing the effluent (treated wastewater) back into the Pacific Ocean via an ocean outfall pipe tunneled under the estuary. The remaining solids, called "sludge," will be loaded into trucks and returned to Mexico for disposal. The ocean outfall has been designed to carry 258 million gallons of effluent out to sea each day, with the city of San Diego eventually using the bulk of this capacity. The "lead agencies," sharing responsibility for the project, are the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC). (Lori Saldaña, "Tijuana River: a controversy runs through it," San Diego Earth Times, June 1994)

1994/04/23 - Officials yesterday urged area residents to vote for Proposition 180, which would provide $10 million for the Otay Valley Regional Park. The California Parks and Wildlife initiative would make nearly $2 billion available for conservation projects throughout the state if approved by voters in June. The initiative also would provide $10 million for the proposed Tijuana River Valley Park and $5 million for the Sweetwater River Valley Park. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Apr. 23, 1994 )

1994/07/15 - Groundbreaking ceremony with Vice President Al Gore as featured speaker. ( The South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant Timeline, http://www.ibwc.state.gov/Files/south_bay.pdf )

1994/11/24 - Residents have 2 flood control options. South San Diego residents once hoped that the Tijuana River Valley would become "Mission Bay South," a water wonderland replete with aquatic parks, inland harbors and a direct link to San Diego Bay. Almost 30 years later, the valley remains an undeveloped marsh, awash in Mexican sewage and scores of unfulfilled promises. Wedged between two teeming metropolises, the 17,500-acre valley is home to dozens of farms, an estuary where endangered plants and animals live. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1995 - Sewage Expansion of Tijuana, Mexico to the hills and mesas south of the Tia Juana Valley caused additional problems besides seasonal flooding. One of the most serious was the spilling of raw sewage. From the late 1930s through the 1960s an international collector and septic tank system with a shoreline discharge in the ocean off the mouth of the Tia Juana River dealt with Tijuana Mexico's sewage problems along the border (Miscellaneous Survey NO.74 1937; IBWC 2005). In the '60s Mexico constructed two pump stations and two pressure line systems along the south side of the border that provided ocean discharge of untreated sewage 5.6 miles south of the international boundary. The city's infrastructure could not cope with the rate of growth and the new system soon became overtaxed. In 1966 an emergency collector line between the main sewage line of Tia Juana and San Diego City's treatment facility on Point Loma was completed to provide backup service for periods when the Tijuana system was not functioning (IBWC 2005). In spite of these efforts, Tijuana's sewage collection facilities continued to fail and by the 1980s 12 to 20 million gallons of raw sewage a day were pouring into the Tia Juana Valley through Goat Canyon and Smuggler's Gulch as a result of broken or plugged up lines, or simple overcapacity. Some relief has come over the years as a result of a 16 million dollar bi-national project to construct cross border sewage collection and treatment stations along with a parallel conveyance system. This basically produced a back up line so if one broke the waste could be transferred to the other (Powers 2005; IBWC 2005). Between 1995 and 1997 the United States section of the International Boundary and Water Commission constructed the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant (SBIWTP), at the east end of the Tia Juana Valley, south of Dairy Mart Road. This 25 million gallon per day advanced primary plant treats sewage from Tijuana, Mexico and discharges it to the Pacific Ocean through the South Bay Ocean Outfall, a four and one-half mile long 11-foot diameter pipe completed in January 1999. Completed at a cost of $42,000,000, the project was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (IBWC 2005). In spite of these efforts sewage contamination from south of the border remains a problem in the Tia Juana River Valley. Although millions of gallons may no longer flow daily, seasonal rains still cause the systems in Mexico to fail and spillage into the valley during these periods is substantial. ( Van Wormer, Stephen R. "A Land Use History of the Tia Juana River Valley," California State Parks, Southern Service Center, June 2005. )

1995/01/21 - Rehabilition of organic farm has its critics. Buried under tons of sediment by the 1993 floods, Effie May Farms will soon rise from the alluvial waste as contractors rebuild the Tijuana River Valley farm that once was the county's largest producer of organic vegetables. The rehabilitation project is the biggest to be attempted in the state in 60 years and one that its sponsors hope will become a model of public-private cooperation in a river valley often torn by conflicting governmental ordinances. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1995/03/12 - Thirteenth greatest peak flood in the history of the Tijuana River Valley, with an estimated water volume of 16,500 cubic feet per second. ( Tijuana River Valley Existing Conditions Report, April 14, 2014.)

1995/07/29 - Problems mire plan to restore farmland County in the middle of South Bay muddle. An ambitious effort to revitalize a Tijuana River Valley organic farm has stalled and may be doomed, mired in mismanagement, secret cash payments and petty bickering between the farmer and those she hired to clean up her befouled fields. Instead of cultivated rows of corn, the fields are now scarred with water-filled pits. And up to $200,000 in potential profits that were to pay for the reclamation project have been diverted and may be lost. The rehabilitation project at the Effie May farm is in danger. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1996 - Still another binational initiative was the implementation of the Border XXI/Frontera XXI Plan developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) in 1996, following the La Paz Agreement and the implementation of the Integrated Border Environmental Plan. The main feature of Border XXI/Frontera XXI is its focus on important local issues through the establishment of nine binational working groups: natural resources, information resources, environmental health, water, air, hazardous and solid waste, enforcement, pollution prevention and emergency response (Brown, 2003). Through this environmental institutional landscape, local participants as well U.S. and Mexican federal government representatives were able to begin working jointly on binational environmental problems. While there has been criticism concerning the reactive rather than proactive nature of these initiatives, and although they have limited funding, they have provided much-needed visibility to binational environmental problems ( A Binational Planning Approach for the Development of the Tijuana River Watershed: Policy Options from Rhetoric to Action, July 8, 2005. )

USGS map of 1996

1997 - The South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant (SBIWTP) is located on a 75-acre site near the international border and provides for advanced primary treatment of 25 mgd of Tijuana sewage. The SBIWTP construction was completed in April, 1997; the South Bay Ocean Outfall was completed in January, 1999, at which time the SBIWTP became fully operational. The Government of Mexico contributed $16.8 million toward construction of the SBIWTP and currently contributes $1.1 million toward the annual operation and maintenance costs. Funding for the U.S. share of construction costs was appropriated through the Environmental Protection Agency in the amount of $239.4 million. Of that amount, $225.5 million had been obligated as of 2002, of which $89.2 million was given to the City of San Diego and the Corps of Engineers to construct the South Bay Ocean Outfall; $8 million was given to the Corps of Engineers for environmental work; and $127.4 million was given to the USIBWC for the costs associated with the construction of the SBIWTP and related infrastructure. Mexico's share of the construction cost was that amount that Mexico would have had to pay to construct and maintain a plant at the Rio Alamar, and the construction of a 144 inch diameter land and ocean discharge outfall with canyon collectors. Both countries share in the operation and maintenance of the SBIWTP. Mexico is expanding its sewage collection system, and constructing additional works necessary to collect and convey Tijuana's sewage. These future facilities will be operated and maintained at Mexico's expense. ( South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant, http://www.ibwc.state.gov/mission_operations/sbiwtp.html )

1997 - Minute No. 296, relating to distribution of construction, operation, and maintenance costs for the plant, is agreed to by the U.S. and Mexico. ( The South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant Timeline, http://www.ibwc.state.gov/Files/south_bay.pdf )

1997 - Advanced primary plant opens with discharge through an emergency connection to the City of San Diego Point Lorna treatment facility. ( The South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant Timeline, http://www.ibwc.state.gov/Files/south_bay.pdf )

1997/02/14 - Ball teams finally gain home-field advantage Southwest Little League to realize dream of 5 new diamonds. The sun was out, the sky was clear and shining, and a stiff breeze blew across the broad expanse of the Tijuana River Valley yesterday, fine weather for a day when a dream comes true. On a 15-acre wedge of land just off Sunset Avenue, just after 4:30 p.m., eight shovels held by men in suits and children in baseball caps slid into the soft dirt. And it was at that moment, officially, that the long, difficult odyssey of the Southwest Little League came near an end with the formal groundbreaking of the new fields. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1997/07/20 - Border-planting plan earns stinging rebuke. The U.S. government has planted more than 5,000 stinging nettles in the middle of horse trails here in the name of helping nature. Poison oak was next on the planting list, but horse riders may have cut that plan off at the pass. Carolyn Powers, who discovered the nettles a few weeks ago when her horse brushed against one of the prickly spikes, says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's choice of plants is "stark-raving mad." She's joined in her criticism by other... ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

1998 - Salt Works became a 1,400 acre national wildlife refuge developed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, dedicated June 17, 1999.

1999 - Plant begins discharging through the South Bay Ocean Outfall. ( The South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant Timeline, http://www.ibwc.state.gov/Files/south_bay.pdf )

1999/12/17 - New bridge dedicated for flood-prone valley. San Diego lifeguard chief B. Chris Brewster arrived early to see it -- a new bridge over this valley where he has seen so much death. Officials yesterday christened the $14.5 million concrete-reinforced structure that overlooks the Tijuana River Valley, hours after an awed Brewster realized how much it will improve access to an area that has seen dozens of drownings when flood waters inundated the basin. "This bridge is more than just an edifice to us," Brewster said. "It's dedicated to Danny Marschall." The plaque mounted on the end of the Dairy Mart bridge reads: "Dedicated to Danny R. Marschall, a long time resident and community activist of the Tijuana River Valley. Born February 15, 1919 in Anaheim, CA, to German immigrants, Mr. Marschall lived a life which expressed his love of family, his faith, his love of the land and people from all walks of life, and his belief in civic activism. He knew he could make a difference. He served two terms in the U.S. Army before being honorably discharged in 1946. Mr. Marschall received the Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal. After the war, Mr. Marschall developed farmland in Ventura, Orange, and Riverside counties before moving his business to 500 acres of farmland in the Tijuana River Valley in 1974. His prize-winning strawberries were served at Wimbledon, and giant peppers exported to Europe. During the floods between the years of 1980 to 1995, Mr. Marschall came to the aide of imperiled businesses, families and animals. He shored up farmlands and homes of valley residents, delivered equipment to and rescued stranded residents, and ferried political leaders and emergency personnel throughout the valley, crossing raging river waters. The great flood of 1980 and the resulting erosion to the valley's fertile farmlands spurred Mr. Marschall to become a civic activist. He worked tirelessly on environmental and political issues to restore and improve the quality of life for residents of the Tijuana River Valley. Mr. Marschall served on the Board of the Tia Juana Valley County Water District from 1991 until his death in 1998, and received formal recognition from the United States Congress in 1996 for his many contributions to the valley." ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 18, 2000. )

2000/06/28 - Multiple agencies in joint effort produce flood map. A coalition of federal, local and Mexican agencies has completed an ambitious project to map the most flood-prone area of the Tijuana River Valley on both sides of the border. The 18-month project, using three-dimensional computer modeling, someday could be used to accurately predict floods and give adequate warning to residents living in the danger zone. It still could take years to develop the raw data into a flood warning system. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

2000/10/28 - Race may decide future of waterless water district. The Tia Juana Valley County Water District may be small, but the upcoming election could have an enormous impact on the future of the 54-year-old district. Two candidates are running with the stated goal of disbanding the district, which provides no water, but still collects $50 annual fees from 3,559 property owners. The seven-square-mile district includes the Tijuana River Valley and parts of Nestor and San Ysidro. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

2001/08/28 - Gloria Marschall, 72, South Bay farmer. Floods and frost can uproot a farmer's dreams in the low-lying Tijuana River Valley. But such forces of nature seemed to toughen Gloria Marschall's resolve and test her resourcefulness. When floods destroyed hundreds of acres of farmland in 1980, Mrs. Marschall joined valley residents in forming a security service. Its objective: to issue residents identification cards in order to screen those entering the area and prevent outsiders from stealing from homes and farms. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, Aug. 28, 2001. )

2002/04/19 - Anti-flood project in South County gets going. Ground is broken for Tijuana Valley berm. Arsenio Arceo remembers the floodwaters rushing into his home at night, forcing his family to take refuge on the second floor. Now he and his Wardlow Avenue neighbors have reason to hope that their homes will never again be devastated by a flood like the one in 1993. Yesterday, ground was broken for the long-awaited north valley berm, a flood-control project almost a decade in the making. The 3,000-foot-long earthen berm will run from near the intersection of Wardlow. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

2002/05 - South Bay Water Reclamation Plant of the City of San Diego opened at 2411 Dairy Mart Road. The South Bay Water Reclamation Plant (SBWRP) is located at the intersection of Dairy Mart and Monument Roads in the Tijuana River Valley. The plant relieves the South Metro Sewer Interceptor System and provides local wastewater treatment services and reclaimed water to the South Bay. The plant opened in May 2002 and has a wastewater treatment capacity of 15 million gallons a day. ( South Bay Water Reclamation Plant, http://www.sandiego.gov/mwwd/facilities/southbay/index.shtml )

2002/07/26 - Tia Juana board hires Bilbray as lobbyist. The Tia Juana Valley County Water District has hired former congressman Brian Bilbray to help the district obtain more than $1 million for a ground water exploration project. The board of directors voted Tuesday to pay Bilbray several thousand dollars over the next few months to lobby for them in Washington, D.C. Their goal is to have the California Affordable Quantity and Quality Water Act, soon to be introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer, passed by the House of Representatives. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

2003/08/31 - Tijuana River's binational flood warning system set to go. It is first to be installed on Mexico-U.S. border. Tijuana River area gets 18 stations. A new flood warning system has been installed on both sides of the border in the Tijuana River watershed to speed advance notice of potentially devastating floods. It is the first binational flood warning system anywhere on the U.S.-Mexico border, county and federal officials say. It's welcome news for residents of the Tijuana River Valley, some of whom were flooded out of their homes and ranches in the middle of the night during the heavy rains of 1993. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

2004 - 'Clean Water Now' campaign. Tijuana Estuary education coordinator Anne Marie Tipton: "The majority of the year, the water is fine. In my opinion, sewage is not our biggest issue ‹ it's sedimentation. An estuary's job is to filter pollutants and be a sponge. This is one of the last estuaries, a natural biofilter of the watershed that also helps clean runoff from our streets. When you have too much sediment in there, the coastal wetland turns into solid land. That's why we're working in Mexico to stabilize the slope to stop the sediment from filling the estuary." Wildcoast executive director Serge Dedina: "Ocean pollution has had a significant impact on public health in Imperial Beach and will require a coordinated transboundary effort to resolve the issue. Wildcoast launched its 'Clean Water Now' campaign in 2004. Since that time, there have been a number of positive developments, including: 1) Construction of a new secondary sewage treatment plant on the U.S.-Mexico border; 2) Construction of three new sewage treatment plants in the Tijuana-Rosarito area; 3) Improvement of management of border sewage collector systems by Veolia Water, with improved oversight by the International Boundary and Water Commission; 4) Proactive leadership to deal with the tidal wave of plastic and tires coming out of the Tijuana River through the efforts of the Tijuana River Valley recovery team; 5) Signing of legislation by Governor Schwarzenegger to provide funding through the state tire fund to deal with the issue of waste tires in Tijuana [tires and plastic clog sewage collector systems, in addition to clogging up the Tijuana Estuary and flowing into the ocean. We have seen less pollution these days, especially since there has been an improvement in managing sewage collector systems." ( Wycoff, Ann, "The Battle for IB," The San Diego Magazine, Aug. 2010. )

2004/02/12 - "Opinion: Triple border fence is a bad idea," By Denise Moreno Ducheny. Ducheny, D-San Diego, is a member of the state Senate, representing all of Imperial and parts of Riverside and San Diego counties. "Next Wednesday, the California Coastal Commission will hold hearings on the "triple border fence" proposed by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service to strengthen control of the U.S.-Mexico border region in San Diego County. The security of our border is a major priority, but this project is not the solution. I have long opposed the triple fence idea. We do not know if a project of this size would deter illegal immigration. We do know it would damage our environment and set back our relations with Mexico. The border region involves many local, state and federal jurisdictions and should therefore be addressed cooperatively among these levels of government. The project is not the most effective way to secure the border. Other means, such as fortifying the existing fence, upgrading technology and increasing personnel, would give us better results. Some will argue that the additional fences are warranted to protect us from terrorists. More fences will not make us safer. Terrorists enteringthecountryare more likely to choose the Canadian border, which is much longer and not nearly as well protected. Furthermore, additional fences will not make the right statement as we work toward greater cooperation with Mexico. The government of Vicente Fox has shown an eagerness to work with our government on immigration issiies as well as a wide range of concerns from disease control to environmerital protection. Instead of building another unsightly fence, we should put more effort into other methods of border control and work cooperatively withourneighbor. Equally important, the additional fences would be far too damaging to the natural habitat of the area, as well as many cultural and historical treasures. Building the proposed fence project would permanently alter 3.5 miles of sensitive habitat, including over 10 acres of wetlands and coastline. This habitat is critical to the survival of the local ecosystem, which does not recognize borders. The border region is actually the northern range of habitat formany Baja flora and fauna. The area around Lichty Mesa and Border Field State Park, for example, supports at least 53 rare or endangered species. Besides building more fences, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service proposal calls for drastic alterations in the landscape, such as the capping of Lichty Mesa to make way for a road and filling of the canyon known as Smuggler's Gulch. The project would permanently change landforms that encourage plant life and create artificial barriers to the natural flow of plant seeds and animals within theregion. In addition to the destruction of natural habitat and the devastation to the historical and archaeological sites,the filling of Smuggler's Gulch would exacerbate flooding conditions in the Tijuana River Valley. Efforts being undertaken by the state Coastal Conservancy to control flooding would be seriously undermined by the proposed project United States immigration policy is constantly changing. President Bush is proposing major changes in policies and procedures. It is not prudent to undertake an enormous building project, permanently altering the landscape, to address an issue about which we do not have a clear and consistent policy. Federal officials should be encouraged to focus resources on improved staffing and technology at the existing border crossings and adjacent areas, perhaps improving the single fence as many suggested during the environmental review process. Any proposed solution, to be successful, will need to involve closer collaboration among state, local and federal authorities, as well as cooperation from ourneighborsacrosstheborder. I have joined several other local leaders, including Reps. Bob Filner and Susan Davis of San Diego, state Sen. Dede Alpert, D-San Diego, Assemblyman Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, and county Supervisor Greg Cox, to express our objections to the plan. We encourage all concerned citizens to do the same." ( The San Diego Union-Tribune, Feb. 12, 2004 )

2004/05/07 - It's time to say farewell to Sandi's, to Chip and Dale, Friendly and Frosty and the rest of the herd. Sandi's Rental Stable in the Tijuana River Valley, the only place in the county where you could rent a horse for a ride on the beach, has shut down after nearly 20 years. The South Bay institution, sometimes spelled Sandy's, went out of business last month. Owners Dan and Teresa Kackert, along with their 2-year-old daughter and 5-month-old son, are packing up and moving east. They're going to Dan Kackert's hometown, Chicago, where he will join his father's development business. "We're all just sick about it, and sad that he's leaving,"said Gale Moriarity, a longtime friend of the Kackerts who worked in the stable's office. Moriarity and her husband, Robert, are throwing a farewell party for the Kackerts and everyone associated with Sandl's tomorrow, from noon to 4 pm. It will be a barbecue, just like many that have been held at Sandl's in the past. The celebration is free and open to the public. The stable is at 2060 Hollister St. "Nobody can believe he's going," said Carolyn Powers, a member of the Tijuana River Valley Equestrian Association, who has led many trail rides from the stable. The stable's Web site recently posted a notice that it was closed "due to circumstances beyond our control." The site also asked supporters to help them "fight bureaucracy and horse discrimination.'' Kackert and his wife declined to discuss their reasons for leaving. Friends said the couple felt as if the business was being pushed out by competing interests among the valley's many stakeholders, which include the city and county of San Diego, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and two federal environmental preserves. "He felt there was no security that the horse business would continue to be allowed, and he had his family to think of first," Moriarity said. "Dan just saw his whole way of life coming to a screeching halt," Powers said. Kackert took over the stable in 1994 from his father-in-law, Ron Mullis, who opened Sandi's Rentals in the mid-1980s. When Kackert started there were 35 horses, and he built up the herd to 105 at its peak. For the past few years the stable has kept about 85 horses for rent. As of yesterday, 11 horses remained, walking around the near-empty pens, and all but three had been sold. Over the years, Kackert said, people from every continent had ridden Sandi's horses on the beach at Border Field State Park. He said they had customers from at least 25 countries. Their youngest rider was 4 and the oldest was 87. Sandi's horses were used to help train canine companions, and the gentlest ones provided a riding experience for deaf and blind people and for children with Down syndrome and other disabilities. "So many people rode a horse for the first time there," Moriarity said. "Honeymooners came from all over the United States so they could ride a horse on the beach at sunset." Pam O'Neil, chief of staff for Supervisor Greg Cox, said the supervisor, who was out of town this week, was very sorry to see the stable close. "As far as we're concerned, we're losing a real amenity for the public," she said. "It's a personal loss for our office, too," O'Neil said. Cox and his staffers often rented horses at Sandi's, so they could become more familiar with the rural river valley that is part of the 1st District. At one time there were four horse rental stables in the Tijuana River Valley, but the others have closed, too. Sandi's was the last horse rental business in the valley. Private stables remain. The Kackerts were unable to find a buyer for the business, so the land, which was leased, will revert to the owners. Since it is zoned for agricultural use, it will probably either remain vacant or be put to a farm-related use, Moriarity said. ("Popular stable rides into sunset," by Leslie Wolf Branscomb, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 7, 2004. )

2004/07/10 - Tiny water district won't just go away. Tia Juana board opposes LAFCO. Nearly 60 years after the Tia Juana Valley County Water District was formed to protect the water rights of farmers, a county commission is poised to pull the plug on the district, which is accused of misusing public funds. The Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to dissolve the 16-square-mile district, putting an end to a water district that has never provided any water to its constituents. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

2005 - The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve is designated a "Wetland of International Importance" by the United Nation's Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. ( Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve History)

2005/10 - The Tijuana River Valley Animal Rescue is an independent, small, grass roots animal rescue group that was founded in October, 2005.

2006 - The Otay Valley Regional Park, Tijuana River Valley Regional Park, the Border Highlands, Border Field State Park, Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve constitute approximately 5,000 acres, an impressive complex. ( Walke, Imperial Beach, 2006, p. 113 )

2008 - Homeland Security seized ownership of 150 feet of land running immediately along the boundary and began heavy construction in 2008. To create the flat road and fence bed desired by border agents, 2.1 million cubic yards of dirt were needed to fill Smuggler's Gulch, a half-mile-long canyon. To locate this immense amount of landfill, construction crews looked no further than the mesas of Border Field State Park and scraped them, despite documentation of the botanical importance of these natural areas. In addition to altering the cultural landscape of Border Field State Park, construction work devastated the unique native habitat of each mesa. ( Carter, Nancy Carol, "Border Field State Park and Its Monument," Eden: Journal of the California Garden & Landscape History Society, Fall 2011. )

2008 - Wide stretches of the Kimzey Ranch on Hollister Street at Monument Road, including stables and pens where four horses and nearly a dozen goats drowned last December, were under about a half-foot of water or filled with mud this week. "It wouldn't have happened if the city would have cleaned the pilot channel out first," said rancher Dick Tynan, who is losing about $2,600 per month in rent on land that's "mucky." Farmer David Egger, who is suing the city for damages from last year's flooding, said 10 acres of topsoil were ruined by Dec. 7 flooding. He estimates the loss at up to $100,000. Horse owner Kim Warriner and her husband, Kirk Coles, checked out the Smuggler's Gulch channel last week. It sits below an earthen berm made from 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt, the site of a new border fence. Homeland Security waived federal and state laws for the fence construction last year, including for drainage and erosion controls. ( "Farmers, ranchers assess damage after rains," San Diego Surfrider, online )

2008/12/18 - Martha Torkington, owner of the River Valley Ranch on Monument Road, was at home in Coronado when the flooding began. ( U-T San Diego, Dec. 18, 2008 )

2008/12/19 - Dozens of horses at Edgar (Egger?) Ranch that were rescued from the Tijuana River Valley earlier this week have been claimed. ( CBS8, Dec 19, 2008, online )

2008/12/19 - Tijuana River Valley ranchers and horse owners say they were surprised by floodwater that rose so quickly Wednesday morning that many couldn't move their animals to safety in time. Trudy Hoffman, who keeps horses at the Kimzey Ranch, near Monument Road and Hollister Street, walked through inches of mud yesterday, recalling the sequence of storm events that started just after 11:30 a.m. "It felt like a tsunami," ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

2009/10/10 - Channel dig under way to prevent flooding. Driving bright yellow front loaders and bulldozers, San Diego storm-water crews yesterday began digging into tons of sediment, vegetation and debris that have accumulated in Tijuana River Valley channels for years. After receiving emergency permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week, city officials immediately began the work they hope will help prevent a repeat of last year's devastating flooding. ( San Diego Union-Tribune, )

2013/09/06 - The Tijuana River Valley rancher sits in his truck, off a side road to a backroad north of Monument Road, a mile from the border and a mile from the ocean. He's been here 24 years, he says, in a cluster of small ranches with chickens and horses. He watches the 20 or so film-crew members shoot take after take of a scene for a movie called La Migra, being filmed in the river valley next to the border. Angelic Pictures, Mark Maine's San Diego­based company, is filming the story of a porous border, a Border Patrol agent's first love coming back to him and bringing evil and betrayal into his life. This scene has a beautiful young woman and a shaved, tatted, muscled, and mustachioed man exchanging cars and more on a dirt road near the border. The rancher points to the actor who looks like a criminal: "You remember they used to have all Mexicans in movies wearing a big sombrero and sleeping? I say to the actor, 'Who are you supposed to be?' and he says, 'Mafia.' So I guess that's better than when we were just gente who sleep in sombreros, eh?" ("Film shoot in Tijuana River Valley, Reflections of a rancher," By Lucy D. Barker, San Diego Reader, Sept. 6, 2013 )

2014 - The Tijuana River Valley Community Garden on Hollister Street - "The RCD of Greater San Diego County, in partnership with the County of San Diego, manages the largest community garden in San Diego County. The Tijuana River Valley Community Garden is located at the corner of Hollister Street and Sunset Avenue, in the southernmost portion of San Diego. The Tijuana River Valley Regional Park spreads over five acres of land, and there are 136 garden plots. Members of the community garden come from all walks of life. On any given day, you can hear 3 or 4 different languages being spoken. This diversity manifests itself in the crops that grow in the garden plots Nopales, Laotian Cucumbers, Heirloom Tomatoes, etc. Young and old help each other, trading gardening advice, time, and the fruits of their labor literally! Many gardeners are apartment dwellers, who relish the opportunity to get out into the fresh air and work the land. A community garden fosters many wonderful things, such as increased consumption of fruits and vegetables to combat malnutrition and obesity. Gardeners have also commented on the therapeutic benefits of caring for their plants and experiencing the reward of their time and effort. There is currently a waiting list for plots. If you live in the South Bay area, and would like to add your name to the waiting list, please contact Ann Baldridge at (619) 562-0096." ( The Tijuana River Valley Community Garden, online )

2014/10/01 - "Today's blog post comes from ILACSD's Director of Development & Marketing, Morgan, who likes to take any and all of her out-of-town guests down to Borderfield State Park and the Tijuana River Valley for a private tour of one of San Diego's little known gems! Someone recently asked me, "what the heck is going on in the Tijuana River Valley that could warrant 4 weeks straight of cleanups and restoration events?" Well, I'm here to share with you the good news, and the bad news, about the Tijuana River Valley region. The Tijuana River is a 120 mile waterway that originates in Baja California, northeast of Ensenada and flows through Tijuana. On its way to the Pacific Ocean, the River crosses the US-Mexico border near San Ysidro and its mouth is just south of the City of Imperial Beach, just a few miles north of the border. In Tijuana, the river is more like a concrete canal filled with trash, sewage and homeless migrants. Last year, NPR aired a story focusing on the hundreds of homeless who live in the Tijuana River channel. While there are seemingly insurmountable political, economic and social issues surrounding the border region, a group of San Diego and Tijuana-based nonprofits have come together to tackle the pollution problem. This group, jointly referred to as the Tijuana River Action Network, works on both sides of the border to prevent pollution, teach more sustainable building techniques and hold governments accountable for improvements in sewage infrastructure. So where does I Love A Clean San Diego fit in? Well, each year for the past few years, our annual Coastal Cleanup Day kicks off the month of cleanup activities called Tijuana River Action Month. In fact, Coastal Cleanup Day involves close to 20 cleanup sites in the shared Tijuana River Watershed. While most of them are in Mexico, they do include Borderfield State Park, Tijuana River Valley ­ Dairymart Road, and the Tijuana River Valley Community Garden, all on the U.S. side of the border. This year alone, nearly 50,000 pounds of debris was collected from these sites at Coastal Cleanup Day!" (ecoBLOGic, October 1, 2014)

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This web page was created Feb. 27, 2015, and revised Mar. 1, 2015, by Steve Schoenherr for the South Bay Historical Society | Copyright © 2015