The Coburn Mystery: Chapter 57

By June Morrall


1893, the year of a “financial panic,” centered in the big cities.

In January, respected Pescadero pioneer Alexander Moore traveled to the state capitol in Sacramento to lend his last minute support for passage of the controversial Pebble Beach legislation, Assembly Bill 103. His presence was worth the trip; the so-called “Pebble Beach bill” passed the legislature unanimously, adding it to the county park system.

Loren Coburn had claimed the beach, and all of its shiny pebbles, but he was not in Sacramento to fight for it.

Why was that?

Apparently, an incomplete piece of legislation had been passed. Yes, the beach was now officially a public park—but the road, Coburn’s road, leading to the beach WAS NOT. There was no provision for a road or path or trail for people to use to get to the beach.

That problem would be dealt with later. In Pescadero there was much rejoicing. A “Grand Picnic” was planned for April, including San Mateo and Santa Cruz Assemblymen James O’Keefe and Bart Burke. The festivities closed with a “Grand Hop” at the Union Hall.

Everyone had so much fun, there was another big picnic scheduled for May, a “seashore banquet,” if you will,. Assemblymen O’Keefe and Burke were guests of honor.

When the time came,  Pescadero’s Dr. McCracken rose to speak:

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he said, “today in Chicago the greatest fair and exhibit in the history of the world has been dedicated to the people….we are here to celebrate an important event to the people of this county, the dedication to the people of beautiful Pebble Beach. For over a year the people have been battling for their rights, and it had come to the time when they were to be protected in them. We have with us two gentlemen to whom, for this, we owe much., and will now take pleasure in presenting each with a charm made from a pebble from the beach as a slight token of the regard the people of Pescadero hold of their friends. As we love Pebble Beach so we hold in remembrance those who so valiantly assisted in the passage of Assembly Bill 103.”

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(Image at the top of the story: 1893 minted in San Francisco Morgan Silver Dollar. Only 100,000 were struck, making this coin the rarest Morgan Silver Dollar.)

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About June Morrall

1947 - 2010
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