Castle Valley Comments
Nov. 29, 2012
by Ron Drake
Nov 29, 2012 | 1202 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ron Drake’s grandfather, Ed Breedlove, is shown pulling a compacting implement with a team of mules around the turn of the 20th century. He is repairing Grand Avenue, the muddy main street in Escondido, Calif., Just west of Lime Street. Courtesy photo
Ron Drake’s grandfather, Ed Breedlove, is shown pulling a compacting implement with a team of mules around the turn of the 20th century. He is repairing Grand Avenue, the muddy main street in Escondido, Calif., Just west of Lime Street. Courtesy photo
Currently, accord-ing to Ken Davis, Project Information Coordinator for the Lions Park Transit Hub and Colorado River Pathway Project, traffic on SR-128 near Lions Park has been diverted around the area of tunnel construction. He says the short detour road, known as a “shoofly,” will remain in place until the tunnel is complete.

“Traffic impacts on the entire project are expected to be the heaviest during the construction of the pedestrian bridge foundation and during the erection of bridge girders. During the foundation construction, SR-128 traffic will be regulated with temporary traffic signals. These traffic signals will only stop traffic for a few minutes at a time while oncoming traffic is allowed to pass.

“Full closures of the road will mostly occur during girder erection and will take place only during night construction between 11:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. Girder erection is scheduled for a few weeks during the winter,” according to the news release. This column will attempt to keep everyone informed as to when these closures will actually happen so those who have to travel the road late at night or early in the morning can plan their trips accordingly.


I have a pile of old photographs that have been handed down to me by relatives from both sides of my family over the years. I’m not sure why I have been entrusted with them but now I feel the responsibility for their safekeeping and organization. Many of the pictures on my father’s side of the family are beautiful old studio portraits that were taken in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other locations along the east coast. Some are still in their cardboard folders with little calendars attached, which were furnished by the studio in 1919 in one case. They seemed to be families of some affluence to afford such seemingly luxurious indulgence.

Pictures from my mother’s side of the family included a few professional portraits that were printed as postcards but mostly snapshots of family gatherings along the coast of southern California and inland in Escondido and Valley Center. Many of the old photos are in the Valley Center area where my great-great-grandfather homesteaded during the early 1800s. All of the old photographs contain a rich history of my family and I consider them priceless.

A little later in history, I also have snapshots that were taken by my parents and grandparents of me and my siblings and of cousins, friends and neighbors around our neighborhood in Escondido back in the day when it was a small, idyllic little town nestled (or hidden as the Spanish word “Escondido” indicates) in a peaceful little valley. There are even pictures that I took as a young man with an old Eastman Kodak Brownie camera. They are mostly pictures of family members, many of whom have since departed and one of our house that is no longer there and there is one of our camp at the beach.

Our family would pack up our tents and supplies during the summer and pull off the road along the old Highway 101 and set up camp. We had the beach to ourselves and we could stay as long as we wanted but usually we would spend at least a weekend, but sometimes a week several times during the summer. It was wonderful and those pictures that I took back then refresh those memorable experiences.

I recently purchased a new scanner and have been processing these priceless old photographs and downloading them to a computer to be saved electronically. I’ve also been sending them off to siblings, children, and a few selected others who will appreciate them. One of my favorite pictures is an old grainy snapshot of my grandfather, Ed Breedlove, who is at the reins of a team of mules pulling a sheepsfoot, which is a heavy compacting implement used for road construction. He is working on Grand Avenue, the old dirt main street in Escondido that existed around the turn of the twentieth century and is still the main drag in the old historic part of town.

There is a group site on Facebook that I belong to that is entitled “I grew up in Escondido-Valley Center” and the site members reminisce about the old days of that area. They bring up subjects that have been long forgotten and sometimes post pictures of old historic sites of the region. I posted that old picture of my grandfather on that site and was amazed by the response I received from those who saw it. Dozens of people stated that the picture was a treasure and appreciated seeing it.

And I thought that I was the only one who appreciated old pictures even if I don’t know the history or the people associated with the picture. When old pictures are lost, a piece of history is also lost and can’t be replaced. I’ve taken hundreds, maybe thousands of pictures over the years and one of my goals is to safely preserve and organize those valuable pieces of history.


Thirty years ago on November 27, mail service began in Castle Valley. Lyle Palmer of Moab was awarded the contract to deliver the mail to the neighborhood boxes at the entrance to the valley. He was one of 20 people who applied for the job. Prior to that time, people in the valley were assigned post office boxes in Moab if they were available or were given general delivery status and had to ask for their mail at the counter.

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