The political star of Josiah Parker Ames was rising when he donated a new flag staff to the town of Half Moon Bay in 1876. The newspaper described it “as a beautiful stick, with a small platform around the base.” The flagpole was planted on the southwest corner of Kelly and Main.
While JP reached new political heights as a stage legislator, the booming potato business at Amesport slipped into decline. A pesty worm destroyed the future of the crop and the little steamers stopped less frequently at Amesport. Finally Ames sold the business to the Pacific Coast Steamship Company–but they were never able to resuscitate the business and duplicate the heady days of the 1870s. The connection between JP Ames and Half Moon Bay was severed.
Josiah Ames was appointed the warden of San Quentin Prison in the 1880s; he is noted for introducing the manufacture of jute bags there. This prolific Englishman by birth died in 1903 in Martinez but not before he was subjected to embarassing accusations of fraud by a sister living in Oakland.
NOTE: The descendents of JP Ames have a website: http://amessociety.org/