HISTORY IN
    
SAN LUIS OBISPO
        COUNTY
 
Site  by Lynne Landwehr © 2004
     www.historyinslocounty.org   

 

 

 

   

 

A Timeline of
San Luis Obispo County History

This timeline is extremely brief, and intentionally so. 
However, if you wish to suggest changes or additions,
please e-mail
lelandwehr @ yahoo.com (but with no spaces in the address)
and please include the phrase "Obispo History" in your e-mail's subject line. 
Thank you.

Click here for a Timeline of 
WOMEN'S HISTORY
in San Luis Obispo County.

 

     1542 Cabrillo and party enter Morro Bay,  name Morro Rock   (Click here for a timeline of Morro Bay's history, provided courtesy of Jane H. Bailey.)

 

     1769 Portolá expedition passes through the area
     1772 Fages leads Spanish expedition to area to secure bear meat for settlements
at Monterey and San Antonio
     1772 Junípero Serra founds Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, 5th in the coastal chain of 21 missions
      1797 Mission San Miguel Arcangel founded  (16th mission) 

  
      1821-22  California becomes Mexican as Mexico gains independence from Spain
      1837-1846 Mexican land grants are made to settlers in area which will become SLO County
      1848  Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; California becomes territory of United States
      1850  U.S. statehood for California; San Luis Obispo becomes one of California's original 27 counties
      1857 Cholame Valley (in SLO County) is epicenter of the historic Fort Tejón earthquake
      1858 Vigilante committee formed
      1860 County population is 1,782

      1862-64  Severe drought kills off most of the cattle on the great ranchos
     
1864  Portuguese sea captain Joe Clark establishes San Simeon whaling station
      1866  Steele brothers commence dairying  operations in "cow heaven"
      1867  Captain James Cass to Cayucos
      1870  County population is 4,772  
      1873  Construction begins on Harford's Wharf (now Port San Luis) and narrow gauge railway; County Courthouse completed
      1874  Ah Louis opens wooden store on Palm Street, City of SLO; Piedras Blancas Lighthouse completed
      1875  Developer C. H. Phillips subdivides Rancho Morro y Cayucos into town lots
      1878  Beginning of gold rush in the La Panza area
      1879  Establishment of County Hospital and Farm
      1880  County population is 9,142
      1886  Southern Pacific Railroad line arrives in San Miguel, then Paso Robles
      1889  El Paso de Robles Hot Springs Hotel replaces early thermal center; Southern Pacific service is extended to Santa Margarita
      1890s Quarrying begins at Morro Rock
      1890  County population is 16,072; Point San Luis Lighthouse completed
      1894  Southern Pacific service is extended to San Luis Obispo, ending stage service over the Cuesta Grade;
U.S. requires registration of Chinese residents, who must carry Certificates of Residence or be deported
                        
     
      1900  County population is 16,637
      1901  The "gap" in railroad service between SLO and Los Angeles is finally closed; California Polytechnic School founded
      1903  California Polytechnic School holds first classes
      1906  Union Oil builds first oil pipeline to Avila Beach
      1907  Oilport, at site of present Shell Beach,
completed in November, then destroyed  by heavy surf in December
      1910 First flight of an airplane over city of SLO, in a July 4 demonstration
      1911  Legal daily limit for Pismo clams set at 200
    
      1913  E.G. Lewis founds Atascadero colony
      1922  Construction of Blue Star Memorial Temple in Halcyon
      1923 Anderson Hotel opens in city of SLO (July)
      1925  Milestone Inn, later known as the Mo-Tel Inn, opens as the country's first "motel"
      1926  Union Oil Tank Farm Fire (April 7)
      1928  SLO High School built on Murray Hill
      1920s-30s: Colony of "Dunites" flourishes in Oceano/Nipomo dunes
      1936  W.P.A. begins work on north breakwater, making causeway
to Morro Rock; "Migrant Mother" photographed in Nipomo by Dorothea Lange
      1938  Small colony of sea otters spotted in remote area off Big Sur Coast; their recovery will re-extend their range south along SLO coast
      1939  Hoover brothers and Art Thompson establish San Luis Obispo airport
      1940  County population is 33,246
      1941  Camp San Luis is expanded to meet wartime training needs; Union Oil tanker Montebello sunk by Japanese submarine off coast near Cambria
 (December 23) 
      1942  U.S. Executive Order 9066 forces relocation of 800 County residents of Japanese ethnicity
      1946   First Pismo Beach Clam Festival
      1
950   County population is 51,417
      1958   Hearst Castle opens as state park; Alex and Phyllis Madonna open the Madonna Inn
      1960   County population is 81,004
      1962   SLO High School building condemned as seismically unsafe; new high school building completed 1963
      1965   County population is 102,486
      1970s Ongoing protests re licensing of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant
      1985 Las Pilitas fire burns 75,000 acres
      1988   FAA control tower added to San Luis Obispo County airport
      1990   Elephant seals establish new colony on beach near Piedras Blancas
      1990 (August 2) City of San Luis Obispo becomes first place in U.S. to ban smoking in bars.
      1993   Chapel Hill at Shandon completed by Judge William P. Clark and his wife Joan Clark
      1997   Record grape harvest focuses  attention on development of local wine industry
      1998   Unocal agrees to $18 million clean-up of oil seepage under Avila Beach

      1999   Beginning of Cal Trans project to widen Cuesta Grade portion of Hiway 101
      2000   County population is 246,681 (U.S. Census)
 
      2001   Cal Poly celebrates 100th anniversary of its founding
      2003 (June) Closure of SLO County General Hospital (est. 1879)
     2004  Voters defeat library funding measure and measure to ban modified crops; inroads made by "big box" stores; housing prices continue upwards

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Copyright © 2004 Lynne Landwehr.  
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www.historyinslocounty.org