These are unaired excerpts from a 1980 interview I did with Bill Miramontes for the documentary “The Mystery of Half Moon Bay”
Carmen Miramontes & Chico Gonzales celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary in Half Moon Bay.*
Bill: Carmen Miramontes was known as a midwife–or a doctor–in Half Moon Bay. When she married Chico Gonzales they went on horseback on a trail to Mission Dolores. They were married at Mission Dolores in San Francisco.
Bill: I used to haul peas and grain and hay to San Mateo. We’d leave at 4 in the morning and we’d get to San Mateo about 11 with a load. A whole day and all we could pull over the mountain…One ton per horse. You
had six horses, could only haul six tons. Which wasn’t very much as a paying proposition.
Bill: It’d take a whole day in the old days if you wanted to go to San Mateo. If you wanted to go to San Francisco, you’d have to figure on almost two days.
Bill: They’d drive their horse & buggy to San Mateo. Take the streetcar to San Francisco. When the car came that really helped this city.
(The cover illustration is of Half Moon Bay)
Bill: I worked for Standard Oil [in Half Moon Bay] for 53 years. There was just enough oil in the ground to encourage people to drill for more. They’ve been drilling here since before I was born…We drilled a well on Shoults Flat. It flowed for three, four days over the top. A very light quality of oil, like distillate…just a little pocket of oil.
Photo: San Mateo County History Museum. Visit the Museum and the new exhibits at the historic, beautiful Redwood City Courthouse.