San Marcos (Images of America)
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According to legend, the name San Marcos can be attributed to a group of Spaniards who, while out on a mission to capture suspected horse thieves, accidently stumbled upon a beautiful little valley on the feast day of St. Mark. This little valley would remain sparsely populated for years to come, as a Mexican land grant tenanted by vaqueros, an agricultural salvation for homesteading early Californians, and the site of small towns that would nearly disappear between the pages of history. With the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad, eventual official incorporation in 1963, and continuous progression today, San Marcos has formed an identity as a prospering and growing community that still retains the feel of a rural small town.
purchased in 1914. Stanley Mahr, one of the area’s original poultry farmers, spent all 91 years of his life in San Marcos. The Mahr farm was taken by eminent domain for development surrounding California State University San Marcos. 64 In 1926, Donald McAleese, an oil driller from Huntington Beach, teamed up with Henry W. Davenport, a German geologist, to develop two exploratory oil wells in the San Marcos area. The two wells, sunk on sites leased from farmers, were located at the corner of
of the first in the nation. In 1977, the campus held the Indian Heritage Festival featuring a powwow, demonstrations in Luiseño basket making, and a performance by folk singer and actor Floyd Red Crow Westerman, pictured here. 107 In 1979, San Diego State University opened a satellite campus for North County residents out of Vista Middle School. Three years later, the campus relocated to an office building on Los Vallecitos Boulevard in San Marcos. In 1985, Sen. William A. Craven launched
running cattle. That year, Clemson decided to turn the land over for development. In July 1962, the Frazer brothers— three developers from Glendale— bought the property with plans to start a housing community. Construction began on the community of Lake San Marcos even before escrow on the land transaction was closed. The lake itself was drained in 1963 and the shoreline reshaped and extended, doubling its area to 80 acres. This photograph shows the drained lake and the soonto-be-underwater
communicate with one another. At first, all Indians were considered good, known as quiasee-i, and could speak freely with nature. After a time, the Wind-Spirit divided the people into tribes “and sent them to places on earth that were to be their homes,” according to the legend related to Roberts. Pictured at left, at an undisclosed location, are some remnants of a Luiseño village, utilized during periodic migrations. The Luiseño inhabited a vast area stretching from Oceanside to Palomar Mountain
thanks to current members of the society, who trusted me to produce the first book on San Marcos history in almost 40 years after only a few months of volunteering. Specifically, thanks to Tanis Brown for making me feel welcome since my first day, Mimi Kennedy for square dancing her way into my life, forever young Maryanne Cioe, and Jackie Hartley (I wish I could have had a meal under the mural at Hartley’s Steak and Eggs). Numerous families must be given thanks for photo donations including the