1872: This is Pescadero

In 1872 the editor of the county newspaper took a ride over the mountains to inspect the village of Pescadero. Here is a partial account:


“….Pescadero has undergone considerable change within twelve months. A new bridge has been erected over the Pescadero Creek, a handsome and substantial structure; streets arranged in ship shape style, new buildings erected, and the town generally changed . The Garretson & Co. side, as usually distinguished from the opposite side of the creek, has thrown up the sponge and gone over to the Swanton [House] side, save a store, saloon, blacksmith shop and market; and at least two of these are about to follow.

“The old Pescadero Exchange Hotel, formerly the property of Mr. Cumins, is now the property of Garretson & Stryker, and the material is being delivered to erect on the adjoining lot a two story building, 35 x 80 feet on the ground, the lower story to be occupied by the proprietors as a mercantile store, the upper as a public hall; and the first story of the Exchange by the post office, express office and telegraph office, all of which they are agents for…The hotels are the feature of the town at present, there being two of them, the Swanton and Lincoln**….livery stables: Coburn & Marston’s, Wm Pinkham’s…


About the Lincoln Hotel:

“1870, Charles Kinsey, proprietor. Rates reduced. I am now prepared to accommodate the public, with perfect satisfaction. I am now prepared to accommodate the public, with perfect satisfaction. My house and furniture are all new., is 50 miles south of San Francisco and may be reached daily from San Mateo in Troy coaches, that run in connection with the morning train for San Jose , leaving San Jose immediately on the arrival of the cars, and reach this place in four or five hours, via Crystal Springs and Spanishtown. Guests at this taken to the celebrated Pebble Beach*** and back free. Pot and cold baths free. Also, children taught riding, free…”

From: Daily Evening Bulletin, San Francisco, August 9, 1870


About Pebble Beach, 1895

Hi June,
I suspect this Geologist testified at one of Coburn’s trials. Do you know? The only problem is, I believe he has many of his facts wrong. It is my belief the pebbles come out of the sea from an offshore quartz ridge. Mr. Hanks was at a great disadvantage not knowing of things like Tectonic plates, uplifting, and vomitoriums. Or was he truth-challenged by being employed as an “expert witness?” I’ll return to this subject with my thoughts and modern geological theories when Invisible Beach’s sand covering is removed by storms, once again exposing its treasure of colorful pebbles. That could be this month. Enjoy. John

THE   SAN   FRANCISCO   CALL,   SUNDAY,   MAY   26,   1895.
Geologist   Hanks   Tells   by   What
Process   They   Came
It   Makes   the   Pieces   of   Decompos –
ing   Granite   Round   and
In   response   to   the   question,   “Do   the
pebbles   on   Pescadero   Beach   come   from   the
land,   or   are   they   cast   up   by   the   sea?”   pro –
pounded   by   L.   Coburn   of   San   Mateo,   Geol –
ogist   Henry   G.   Hanks   has   written   the   fol –
lowing   opinion   :
San   Francisco,   March   25,   1895.
I   made   a   thorough   examination   of   Pesca –
dero   beach,   and   published   the   results   officially
in   the   year   1884   in   the   Fourth   Annual   Report
ol   the   State   Mineralogist   of   California,   folio
336,   as   follows:
“The   beach   at   Pescadero,   San   Mateo   County,
has   a   wide   celebrity   for   the   beautiful   pebbles
found   there.   These   are   nearly   all   quartz,
agates,   carnellans,   jasper   and   chalcedony,   of
many   beautiful   varieties.   On   the   shore,   under
a   low   bluff   nearly   at   the   sea   level,   a   stratitied
sandstone   dips   from   65   to   72   degrees   from   the
horizontal   to   the   southwest.   The   strike   is
northwest   to   southeast,   magnetic.   Under   this,
uucomformably,   lies   a   sedimentary   formation,
more   recent,   in   horizontal   strata,   consisting   of
sand,   water-worn   bowlders   and   pebbles.   This
formation   constitutes   the   blurt”,   and   the   peb –
bles   on   the   beach   result   from   its   disintegra –
tion.   The   upper   sedimentary   seems   to   be
formed   from   disintegration   of   the   lower,   which
extends   inland   for   an   unknown   distance.   In
the   lower   formations   the   sandstones   are   of
different   degrees   ot   fineness,   from   the   finest
silt   to   very   coarse   conglomerate;   in   the   con –
glomerate   may   be   seen   small   bowlders   of
chalcedony,   jasper,   agate   and   porphyry,   which
are   the   same   as   those   found   on   the   beach;   but
the   latter   are   concentrated   by   long-continued
action   of   the   waves,   which   have   washed   away
the   sand,   disintegrated   the   sandstone   bowlders
and   gathered   the   harder   pebbles   together   on
the   beach.   Some   of   the   sandstones   are   ce –
mented   by   oxide   of   iron,   and   all   the   loose
sands   are   highly   ferruginous.   On   the   way
from   Pescadero   to   the   beach   the   road   is   cut
through   a   formation   not   stratified,   but   in
which   the   bowlders   are   imbedded.   This   gen –
eral   formation   seems   to   be   the   same   as   is   ob –
served   in   the   oil   regions   of   San   Mateo,   San   la
Clara   and   Los   Angeles   counties.”
Although   at   that   time   I   fully   made   up   my
mind,   I   thought   best   to   again   visit   the   locality.
which   I   did   on   March   22.
I   examined   the   beaches   for   a   considerable
distance   north   of   “Pebble   Beach,”   and   the
bluff   or   bank   and   rocka,   as   well   as   the   surface
of   the   ground   for   a   considerable   distance   from
the   sea;   and   gathered   and   examined   pebbles
which   had   not   been   on   the   beaches,   but   were
taken   from   the   banks   hundreds   of   feet   inland.
Some   of   these   pebbles   1   present   with   this   re –
port.   I   find   them   to   be   mineralogically   identi –
cal   with   those   on   “Pebble   Beach/
I   also   obtained   specimens   of   the   underlying
bedrock   and   find   it   to   be   the   sedimentary
variety   named   “arkose,”   formed   apparently
from   decomposed   granite.   I   noticed   at   several
places   in   the   bluffs   along   the   beaches   I   exam –
ined   outcropping   strata   of   washed   pebbles,   a
portion   of   which   had   fallen   on   the   rocks   be –
low.   These   examinations   fully   confirm   the
opinion   I   formed   eleven   years   ago.
The   sea   along   the   coast   of   California,   between
San   Francisco   and   Pigeon   Point,   is   encroach –
ing   upon   the   land.   The   effect   may   be   seen
along   the   Pescadero   beaches   and   at   the   high
sedimentary   bluffs   between   Lobetus   and   Half –
moon   Bay.   The   waves,   which   are   resisted   by
the   hard   underlying   rocks,   erode   easily   the
softer   superimposed   sediments   which   are   con –
tinually   falling   from   the   banks.   The   breakers
then   dashing   the   detrital   matter   against   the
I   harder   rocks,   wholly   disintegrate   it,   the   re –
flux   sweeps   away   the   lighter   particles   in   the
I   condition   of   sand,   spreads   them   out   on   the
benches   and   finally   washes   them   beyond   the
surf.   Tbe   heavier   portions,   including   the   peb –
i   bles,   are   able   in   a   measure   to   resist   by   their
|   gravity   the   action   of   the   waves,   and   remain   for
a   time   exposed   and   concentrated;   but   they   in
turn   are   also   swept   out   to   sea,   and   a   new   crop
from   the   caving   banJc   take   their   places.
This   operation   has   continued   for   a   long
period   and   probably   will   for   many   centuries   to
come.   The   same   kind   of   pebbles   exist   in   the
banks   above   other   beaches,   but   in   less   quan –
tity,   and   owing   to   the   form   of   the   little   bays,
or   other   causes,   the   conditions   differ,   and   the
pebbles   are   sooner   carried   out   to   sea   or   are   at
once   covered   out   of   sight   by   the   t,and.
At   several   other   localities   on   the   Califor –
nia   coast   there   are   pebble   beaches   similar
to   those   of   Pescadero,   the   most   noted   of
which   are   those   near   Crescent   City,   in   Del
Norte   County,   and   at   Lake   Tahoe,


About June Morrall

1947 - 2010
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