July 14, 2002
The old Libby elementary school, Portola Inn, jail, blacksmith and livery, doctor's office, library, Blade newspaper office-they are all here. In the old general store, we discovered our own mother lode-a long wall filled with photos of old Oceanside, all of them collected by the mother of the head of the historical society that oversees the Park buildings. Then,we found out the docent was the wife of the son of the last blacksmith in Oceanside;when the city exercised its power of eminent domain, her husband donated the shop and its entire contents to the city. Mrs. Larsen was happy to answer all of our questions and showed a keen zest in doing so, as well as an excellent memory.
Similarly, the docent who staffed an example of a typical 1920's Oceanside home, a building where visitor's rest rooms were located, was welcoming and informative and shared with us our feeling that the site has not been well-publicized as it deserves to be. She mentioned the gazebo in the center of the site is available for wedding rentals and one was scheduled the next Saturday. In addition, she added, the Park has picnic tables scattered about in shady, treed areas available for guests. This home brought back many memories of my Grandma's house; it had a cast-iron stove, wooden ice box, mangle, and wind-up victorola, all echoes to me. And in the schoolhouse, its old ink-welled student desks, chalk board and cloak room recalled my very old, early elementary school days.As in many of the buildings, walls of the school house were lined with photos of school groups and past events.
Admission is free to this authentic "Memory Lane." Tours for youth, senior, and club groups can be arranged. The contact number is 760-433-8297 and tours can be scheduled from Mondays through Saturdays from 9-4, or on Sundays between 1 and 4. Or, you can just come by as we did on a Sunday right after our visit to the Mission.
From journal Overlooked Oceanside -North of San Diego