Beachcomber Editor Covers the news in the old “Coast Side Comet”

I like this 1980s article by Shirley Zynda, former editor of the “Beachcomber”.


By Shirley Zynda

“Like Haley’s Comet (its namesake), THE COAST SIDE COMET AND COAST SIDE NEWS – George E. Dunn, Editor and Proprietor—Is the Sensation of the Day – And If You Want To Real All The Sensational As Well As The More Substantial News Of The County – Most especially of the Coast Side of San Mateo County,” said Mr. Dunn. “Subscribe now.” He also affirmed that “Comet advertisers are reliable.”

 Promoting coastside development was the theme of the time. The whole front page is devoted to a rhapsodic description of Farallone City (now part of Montara) and the accomplishments of the Modern Improvement Club. This organization was formed to “assist in restoring the natural beauties of nature that the careless hand of man has defaced and to improve home conditions by such artificial means as to ensure the modern conveniences of life.”

 The club cleared the weeds from eight miles of sidewalks, formed a lighting system, established a garbage dump and planned to beautify the City by planting a tree in front of each lot.

 The Coast Side Promotion Association also worked to improve home conditions by securing telephone service from Half Moon Bay to Montara, and worked to get electric lighting for the Montara School District which included Farallone, Moss Beach and Marine View (the point where the Moss Beach Distillery now stands.). Members also urged the passage of bonds for boulevards in the county, “one of the most vital things we have to consider for the proper advancement not only for our district but of the entire county.”

Meanwhile the Half Moon Bay Light and Power Company had just been granted permission to increase its capital stock to $100,000 and was offering shares at $25 each. A coupon in the Comet made it easy to become a stockholder and readers were urged “to cut this out and mail it before it is too late.” The company covered “a very large territory extending from San Francisco to Santa Cruz and…although but a short time in existence, the statement of the month of October shows a net profit of several hundred dollars which is a remarkable showing.”

The Ocean Shore Development Company in its ad specified “strict building restrictions, not so much upon cost as upon attractiveness”. Marine View, “Often Called the ‘Catalina of the North'”, was cited for its Scenic Surroundings, Rich Black Soil, Fine Fishing, Marine Reefs Noted for Abalone, Ideal Climate–About 15 Degrees Warmer than San Francisco and the Automobile Highway Already Surveyed.

Ernest W. Jacobs, secretary and Sales Manager of the California Suburban Home Co., professed his greatest desire was to make Farallone City a place of homes. The Montara Realty Development Company advertised that “the future development of San Francisco will be along the Ocean Shore Railroad”, and quoted “the Chicago millionaire Fils” as saying that “the way to make money without working is to buy land near a large city and wait”. The company offered 5, 10, 20 and 100-acre tracts adjoining the townsite.

——more coming—-