Race To Electrify The South Coast: Conclusion

As the official victor in the race to bring light to Pescadero in 1925–Great Western again petitioned the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for a new franchise. Great Western was then working at Colma, where, according to the Half Moon Bay Review, the power company was “strengthening its poles, making it possible for them to carry 44,000 volts to Half Moon Bay where a substation is to be built…

“When all the new construction is completed, at a cost of approximately $2 million, [ed. can that figure be right?], the Coastside, including Half Moon Bay, San Gregorio and way points, will receive electric service equalling any city in the nation.”

Winning the race bestowed Great Western with a high profile and new purpose. The company donated the services of its legal staff to help secure the right-of-way of the abandoned Ocean Shore Railroad for a scenic highway. Great Western also granted the services of one of its leading engineers, W.J. Walsh, to help improve Pedro Mountain Road.

In December, 1925–as PG&E concentrated on buying out smaller power companies all over Northern California–Great Western was finally granted permission to extend itshigh tension wires from South San Francisco to Half Moon Bay.

Then–a strange twist in the tale.

Just when Great Western appeared to be in total control of the Coastside’s light and power, the company sold its interest in the South Coast, including San Gregorio and Pescadero. The buyer was PG&E!

Great Western was soon to bow out of the electrical business on the Coastside altogether. Again, PG&E was the buyer.

In this ironic turn of events, the loser of the race to Pescadero emerged as the winner who took all.