Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Great Morro Road

 Today's article is excerpt from the “E. G. Lewis Monthly Letter” and can be found in the November 1916 edition of the Woman's National Magazine.  The monthly column written by E. G. provides interesting reading as he described the progress and goals of the growing Colony and included tidbits of local happenings.  The magazine was published monthly in Atascadero within our historic Printery Building by the Woman's National Publishing Company of which E. G. Lewis was president, Mabel G. Lewis, Vice President, J. N. Bissell, Editor, R. P. O'Connor, Secretary and G. B. Lewis, Advertising Manager.  The magazine went from a weekly publication to a monthly magazine starting with the September 1916 issue selling for 10 cents a copy or $1.00 a year.  The previous twelve years of the weekly woman's magazine was published in University City, Missouri.  
One of the Busiest and Most Interesting Places in California
Says Morro Beach is Best of All
  Two weeks ago Sunday we opened the great Morro road to the seashore and let the automobiles go over it through the mountain passes.  A continuous string of them went through.  It is one of the most beautiful roads in all California.  We have closed it again to the public for this season as we will be working on it all fall and winter, improving the grades and making great rock cuts to give better roadway and by spring we will open it permanently.  Meantime, this coming week, our engineers go down to the beach to begin the work of the final surveys for the topographical maps that must precede the laying out of the improvements of the superb beach property.  I have just received a letter from a California woman who has visited and bathed at about all of the beach resorts on the coast, in which she writes as follows:
    I have been to a great many beaches in California (having lived here fifty-three years) but I never    have bathed at any beach as lovely as our Atascadero beach.  There is no doubt in my mind that our Atascadero beach and its attractions will be the greatest in California.
  It is a peculiar thing that one-fourth of all the thousands of purchasers of orchards and residence lots in Atascadero are Californians.  They ought to know.
  It scarcely seems possible that this beautiful Colony with its hundreds of beautiful homes, its great buildings, its thousands of acres of orchards, its sea beach, parks, seventy miles of roads and streets have all been created and built up in the few months since we purchased this immense estate, which had scarcely been trod by the foot of man.  It just shows what a power several thousand people are when they all join together with a common purpose, no matter what their neighbors say to them.  It takes people who know their own minds and can act on their own judgment to accomplish anything worth while.  If all those who are interested in Atascadero, and who have helped to make it possible, had acted on the advice of others who knew nothing about it but constituted themselves general guardians on general principles, Atascadero would still be a trackless wilderness today, as it was for thousands of years before we bought it.  Darn a man who can not make up his own mind and then act on it, but has to get all his neighbors to tell him what to do.  He usually does nothing and then berates Dame Fortune because of his lack of opportunity.
James Wilkins is the president of the Atascadero Historical Society.  The Colony Museum is located at 6600 Lewis Avenue, mailing address: P.O. Box 1047, Atascadero CA 93423.  For more information, visit the website, www.atascaderohistoricalsociety.org or call 805-466-8341.

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