1898: The Half Moon Bay-Pescadero Tiff: Part III Conclusion

[Note: Please read Parts I & II below]


Upon returning to Half Moon Bay, Roma T. Jackson, the Coast Advocate reporter, punched out an unfriendly story, once again pointing out the poor condition of the cemetery fence at Pescadero–going so far as to predict that the Pescaderans would never replace it. He also tossed in a cruel barb, aimed at the young ladies who planned to raise money for a new fence by sponsoring a dance.

The article incensed the Pescaderans who said Jackson’s article had not reported all the facts.

To present their side, “A and B”–the pseudonym for two Pescadero writers, penned a letter to the San Mateo County newspaper, the Times-Gazette.

Referring to Roma Jackson, “A and B” wrote, [Jackson] “knew that money was being raised for the purpose of building a new cemetery fence. He also knew that the ladies have been working day and night for the [cemetery] fence, and it is an insult to them and to the town…to infer that they care nothing for their dead.”

Later it was revealed that the dance had been canceled when money for the fence suddenly materialized– gifts from generous villagers.

“The new fence was raised,” reported the Coastside Advocate, “…an artistic and stately fence gladdens the eye of the passer.”

But that wasn’t enough…as the Half Moon Bay newspaper editor (as official spokesman for the special group that had visited Pescadero) continued to complain about this and that–now it was the less than friendly reception endured while staying in the tiny Coastside village.

Once again there was a retort from the writers “A and B”. “As for hospitality,” they said, “we must confess that we were very lax in that regard, because we did not know we were expected to show any more courtesies to Half Moon Bay than Half Moon Bay has to us upon former occasions.”

That statement by “A and B” speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

Clearly the trip to Pescadero was a public relations disaster for everybody. While the Half Moon Bay crowd clung to their civic superiority, the crusty Pescaderans (“A & B”) closed the door on the affair with a final statement in the Times-Gazette: “…we wish to say that Pescadero, the gem of the coastside of San Mateo County, invites the people of other places to come and visit us. The hotels are kept by hospitable persons and the townspeople stand ready with open arms to welcome the strangers, but ask that when you leave you tell the truth concerning us, and not cast slurs upon the characters of our young ladies, or upon the town in general.”