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Good news about our ‘Hidden vale’

ED GALLO SPEAKS

It’s time for another good news column or should I say just a good news column as opposed to the normal bad news being broadcast and published every day nationwide. I will focus mostly on Escondido since, believe or not, there is good news about the beautiful “Hidden Vale” that we call home. Anyone who has lived here more than 47 years will remember the substance of an article I read the other day.

When I moved here in 1973 there was a weathered billboard sign on the corner of Bear Valley Parkway and Via Rancho Parkway where today is the location of the Vineyard Golf Course. The sign read “Southwest Adobe.” The business had closed a few years earlier—most likely the result of the depleted supply of mud used in the production of adobe bricks. There have not been many adobe homes built since the ‘80’s due in part to the cost of the brick which was being transported from the nearest site in the Central Valley and new building regulations related to new earthquake standards.

The article recounted the history of the Escondido based Weir Brothers who were the prime builders of adobe homes. Most of their homes were built in South Escondido in a location referred to by locals as “the adobe section” included Verla Lane, Verda Avenue, Las Palmas and more which was in the unincorporated County area. The original CC&R’s restricted construction to 100% adobe then amended in the early 1970’s to allow adobe veneer to be used on any area of the home that can be viewed from the street—thus in keeping with the adobe theme.

Now for the most interesting part of the article and yet another source of pride for all of us. “It is believed that the Escondido area has more adobe buildings than any other area in the country outside of New Mexico.” The adobe section is such a pleasure to tour and take note of the tranquility provided by these beautiful homes and this is not the only area of town for such architectural delights. I have to tell you about two other homes that deserve comment.

Some years ago in the old T-A there was a story about a man who built an adobe home at the corner of Hamilton Lane and Bernardo Avenue with adobe brick made from his lot. I remember watching the progress of the construction as it took many months to build filling the brick’s boxes and having them dry before putting them in its place. Every time I happen to drive by I marvel at the determination it took to build this home.

There is another adobe home I found in 2014 while walking homes in East Escondido. I stopped in front of the home and looked at what I thought was a great remodel since this was located in a subdivision which was built in the early ‘70’s. The owner was home and I commented on the beautiful remodel as it looked like adobe. She said, “it is adobe” and invited me inside to see the interior. I was blown away as it was, in fact, original adobe construction. Then she proceeded to give me the history that it was the original ranch house of a previous owner before the city limits were expanded to the East in the mid-1950’s. So far the home is not on the historical registry but it should be.

The other day I read how some activist groups are raising concerns about the production of face masks. More precisely what is on the front of the mask. Their complaint is that they “feel” companies are exploiting the pandemic by using the space as additional branding. Huh? I have a mask with the “United States Army” shield on the front. There also are Marines, Navy and Air Force masks. Is this exploitation? I had to read the 1st Amendment again.

This week’s personalized license plate has been in town over 40 years about as long as this man has been serving the public in Escondido. I have known DR MOUTH as long as he has been in business. My guess is that many of you know of whom I write.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

One response to “Good news about our ‘Hidden vale’”

  1. Jeanette Regan says:

    I am hoping, Mr. Gallo, that you realize there is an Adobe Home Tour each year featuring the adobe homes in the Escondido area. It was canceled this year because of COVID-related concerns but they hope to schedule the same tour for this fall.

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