Newspaper Archive of
The Julian News
Julian , California
November 4, 2009     The Julian News
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November 4, 2009

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November 4, 2009 The Julian News 7 ca by David Lewis photos courtesy Jim Woods personal collection Some time ago I wrote a story I titled Duggan's House. I wrote the story because when the Witch Fire erased the structure from the face of the planet, it was a personal loss for me. The house had remained unchanged for most of my lifetime and I only ever knew it as a home to some of my friends. It was a familiar landmark, easily recognized by the concrete wall that barely separated it from the state highway. The wall remains, and the history hidden behind it also remains. That history began in 1892. It had been determined that Witch Creek was to have its own post office and it was to be located in the new building that James and Thomas Wood constructed for that purpose. James was to be the postmaster. James would not be embarking upon this new venture without prior experience though. Before coming to America, James had boarded a sailing ship whereupon he twice circled the globe. While in Darwin, Australia, James earned his keep as a postmaster. I interviewed Jim Wood, James' great grand nephew, and it is Jim who provided all of the information for this story. Jim is one of a handful of people I can count on to have exceptional recall not only for the immediate past, but for the things he was told by his ancestors. Before sitting down to talk, Jim showed me a portion of the sign that once hung over the door of the Witch Creek post office. The sign was carved by James Wood's wife around 1895 or 1896. It is a very nice carving and exceptional because the letters are raised, meaning that all of the material around them had to be removed. You might say she did it the hard way. The portion of the sign that Jim has is of James' name. If you would like to see the portion that says Witch Creek Post Office, visit the Santa Ysabel post office where it hangs above the counter. Jim has loaned the sign and a copy of a document that pronounces James as postmaster of the Witch Creek post office, to the Santa Ysabel post office. The Witch Creek post office opened in 1893. Besides being a post office, the building also housed a little store. On one end of the building was the counter for the post office; on the other end was the counter for the store. In all likelihood, James mostly dealt in non perishable stock such as canned goods, beans, etc. James and Thomas also raised fruit trees and hay and the harvest that was not used by them personally could be sold at the store. Jim remembers that when James received a request for hay, he would grab his wheelbarrow and run the roughly one quarter mile up to the barn and back to get it. When Jim was a young man he recalls that, "They used to haul up there [the mail], the guy hauled it...I can remember he had a Model "A" truck, a guy named Johnny Pinkard...and he come up and pulled up in front of there and grab one of them big canvas bags out of the back and throw it up on the porch, and the old postmaster, he'd take it in and dump it out on the counter and start separaten' it." Jim could not remember if the postmaster gave the outgoing mail to the delivery If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. -- John Stuart Mill We are hosting an Edible Book in conjunction with 16 other branch libraries, The only rules are: the entry has to be made from edible items and it has to be related to a book or character. It's simple! When: Saturday, November 21, 2009 Time: Submit entdes between 10:00 AM-12 Noon Judging: 1:00 PM Awards 1:30 PM Categories: Easiest to guess book title; Most popular; Most creative Age Groups: Preschool--2nd Grade; Grade 3-6; Grade 7-12; & Adult. (4 categories) e i ~ii!ii:!iiii~iiiii:~ truck then or on the return trip. In the beginning, James and Thomas were partners. When the post office got started, James and Thomas separated their lands; James got the store and post office, Thomas got the ranch. Before James' wife died they had three children together. Bill Wood was the youngest, born in 1901 which is the year his mother died. Bill started a freight line with George Ritchie (Jr.) and the building they operated out of was known for many years as the Truck Line. We now know it today as the Rongbranch. Bill built the house south of the Rongbranch. If you look at the rock wall between the house and the highway you can see Bill's name on the face of it. Brother number two, born in 1899, was named Stanley. Doug was brother number one, born in 1896. Before the highway was realigned between the Witch Creek fire station and the top of the grade, Doug's fruit stand stood on the north edge of the highway, about a quarter of the way up the grade. Doug's stand is long gone, another victim of fire. Jim has several pictures of the post office of various vintage. One has the old horse drawn stage in it. Jim called it a "mud stage." Comparing the mud stage to the Concord stages run by various outfits, you get the idea that the stage in the picture was called a mud stage because of its light weight. This would have given it a decided advantage on the muddy dirt roads between Julian and Foster station. This is all conjecture on my part and we will leave stage design for another time. In a later photo, there is a very early car parked across the street from the store. In yet another picture there are numerous political posters mounted above the rock wall supporting the porch. It is this rock wall that is encased behind the concrete wall that remains where the post office/store once stood. James operated the post office continuously from 1893 until 1938, he died shortly thereafter. Throughout the rest of its life, the little building along the highway served as a home for several families. It was serving in this capacity when the Witch Fire consumed it and its history. The fire also destroyed some other buildings in which Jim Wood had his family's treasures stored. Jim suffered the loss of personal and public history due to the Witch Fire and I am grateful to have him share his memories and insight with us. If not for people like Jim, history would be devoid of personal insight and leave us guessing at the meaning of its remarkable footprint. Health to Host Health Classes and Palomar Pomerado Health will host a variety of FREE and low- cost health education classes and screenings led by physicians and other professionals during the month of November. Following is a complete schedule with registration information. Holiday Festivi-Tea Saturday, November 7, 11 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion, Education Classroom 15611 Pomerado Road, Poway, CA 92064 Enjoy the aromas and tastes of the holidays in a cup of hot tea. Certified Tea Specialist and local author Dharlene FahI-Brittian will host a special afternoon of sipping and sharing. Guests will sample several festive teas while learning about the history of the world's number one beverage next to water. Space is limited. To register, call The HealthSource at 800.628.2880 or visit and click on "Classes and Events." FEE: $10 / person- registration required HeartSaver CPR (Certified) Saturday, November 7, 9 a.m. - Noon or Saturday, November 21, 6-9 p.m. 125 Vallecitos de Oro, Suite A, San Marcos, CA 92069 This class provides CPR certification and is designed for the layperson who may serve as a rescuer in the workplace. To register, call The HealthSource at 800.628.2880 or visit www. and click on "Classes and Events." FEE: $40 / participant - registration required Peripheral Vascular Disease Tuesday, November 10, 6 - 7:30 p.m. Pomerado Hospital, Conference Room E 15615 Pomerado Rd., Poway, CA 92064 Peripheral vascular disease is a circulation disorder that refers to diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain. It's often a narrowing of vessels that carry blood to the legs, arms, stomach or kidneys. Join cardiologist Rod Serry, M.D. as he discusses cause, diagnosis and treatment for peripheral vascular disease. To register, call The HealthSource at 800.628.2880 or visit www.pph. org and click on "Classes and Events." FEE: Free - registration required Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome & Fibromyalgia Information Support Wednesday, November 11, 1 -3 p.m. Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion, Education Classroom 15611 Pomerado Road, Poway, CA 92064 FEE: Free Baby Sign Language Saturday, November 14, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion, Education Classroom 15611 Pomerado Road, Poway, CA 92064 Starting as early as 7 months, before verbal skills are developed, your baby can begin to learn to express his or her wants or needs through the Local T_p erience Since 1988 * Long Term Forest Maintenance and Planning * Hazardous Removal and Precision Felling * Ornamental Pruning and Lacing * Brush Clearing and Chipping * Stump Grinding FREE ES TIMA TES Fully Insured for Your Protection ERIC DAUBER H: 760-765-2975 C: 760-271-9585 PO Box 254 JULIAN, CA. 92036 WE-8690A 2902 Washington Street 760-765-I 212 Mon-Fri 8:30 to 0:30, Sat 9:00 to 5:00 CLOSED on Sunday and Events." FEE: $40 / couple- registration required Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Procedures Tuesday, November 17, 6 - 7:30 p.m. Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion, Education Classroom 15611 Pomerado Road, Poway, CA 92064 Many gynecologic procedures can now be performed laparoscopically or transvaginally. Join Sudabeh Moein, M.D., OB/GYN, as she explains the benefits of minimally invasive surgery. To register, call The HealthSource at 800.628.2880 or visit and click on "Classes and Events." FEE: Free registration required Managing Your Stress Wednesday, November 19, 6 - 7:30 p.m. Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion, Education Classroom 15611 Pomerado Road, Poway, CA 92064 Are you overwhelmed by responsibilities at work and home? Stress can wearyou down both mentally and physically. Join Elizabeth Salada, M.D. as she discusses the effects of stress, how to identify and avoid stress in the future, and ways to cope with the unavoidable stressors in your life. To register, call The HealthSource at 800.628.2880 or visit and click on "Classes and Events." Palomar Medical Center Lobby - 1st Friday of each month, Noon to 2 p.m. 555 East Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92025 High blood pressure has no symptoms. That's why it's called the "silent killer" and is a leading risk factor for heart disease. Less than 120/80 is best, while 140/90 or more indicates high blood pressure. Do you know your numbers? Take advantage of FREE blood pressure screening opportunities offered regularly by Palomar Pomerado Health. Walk-ins welcome, no registration required. Blood Glucose Screenings Palomar Medical Center Lobby - 1st Wednesday of each month, 9 to 11 a.m. 555 East Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92025 Pomerado Hospital Lobby - 2nd Wednesday of each month, 9 to 11 a.m. 15615 Pomerado Rd., Poway, CA 92064 If you are over age 45, have a family history of diabetes, are overweight, inactive or are of African-American, Hispanic or American-Indian descent - be proactive and take advantage of these FREE screening opportunities to help assess your health status. No registration requiPed. Walk-ins welcome. art of signing. MontaBriant, a FEE: Free registration I, II If.. Sign2Me Certified Instructor, required ' I will teach 50 to 60 signs during FREE Health the class and provide couples -- with a copy of her book, 'Baby Screenlrlgs Sign Language Basics." Please Blood Pressure note that this class is for parents Screenings and caregivers only. Space is Pomerado Hospital Lobby limited so register today! To -2nd Tuesday of each month, register, call The HealthSource Noon to 2 p.m. Peanut butter was invented as at 800.628.2880 or visit www.15615 Pomerado Rd., a health food by a physician and click on "ClassesPoway, CA 92064 who was concerned about the nutrition of his elderly patients. t