Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

A glimpse into history by Jack Story

Every now and then I enjoy looking through the pages of early Fallbrook history. The earliest homesteaders, the Reches, Fox's, and Whites, like many of the early settlers in other parts of the land, seemed to be very adventurous and fearless people, willing to meet and overcome whatever obstacles they encountered in an unknown environment.

Some of the pioneers had health problems. They did, however, establish a community around the beautiful area that we know as Live Oak Park and created what they needed to support themselves. This was all happening during the last half of the 1800s.

In the early 1900s, families began migrating and settling a short distant to the west. The first little community at Live Oak Park was called Fall Brook, which was the name of a town in Pennsylvania where some of the first settlers once lived.

Where most of us are living now was once known as West Fall Brook for obvious reasons. Even in my time, the school that I attended during the 1940s was called West Fallbrook Elementary. Now, the former Fall Brook community is no more, and the people who live here are Fallbrook residents.

The one-room school house in the original Fall Brook community was active until 1939 and is now a historical site. It's

called Reche School.

The migration to the west was probably because the Union Pacific Railroad built a track along the banks of the Santa Margarita River complete with a station house. It started its way north from Oceanside through Temecula and points north. The tracks were washed out twice, the last time in 1916. They were never replaced.

In later years, a line came through Fallbrook where there was a station near its end.

All of these little tidbits are interesting and each one has its own story, which I have no room to talk about here. I do miss hearing the train whistle as the train used to cross Main Street about bedtime. I doubt if there was a person in town who could not hear it.

Early settlers made their living in several ways. Some that I have heard were grain farming, cattle, and beekeeping. They planted drought-tolerant trees such as olives. Lemons came along in time, probably after the farmers started digging their own water wells.

From the time the first settlers arrived until the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, we were mostly a farming community. A majority of the residents owned large parcels of land. There were lots of wide open space, even to the west, which was then the place that my Dad called "The Grant."

When the government purchased the land grant mainly to be a base for training Marines, it was cause for major change in the makeup of this town. Number one in my mind is that the town was

discovered! Thousands of recruits started passing through. They continue passing through today.

A sizable portion of our population increase is directly related to Camp Pendleton. The Naval Weapons Station depot

is the same. More than one hometown boy returning from the war found out that his favorite girl had been taken away by a marine or sailor from Camp Pendleton.

Folks began to realize that Fallbrook was a nice place to retire and even commuting from before retirement.

Light industry started to appear. The avocado industry began its surge around these same times and has been a major contribution to the area's prosperity through the years.

Most of my grade school education took place during World War II. Things like erasers and paper were a precious commodity. The sudden necessity for school rooms and teacher shortages presented challenges to the school district. I had classes in the cafeteria, Methodist Church, and the Scout Hut (by North County Fire Station 1) just to name a few locations of learning for me. To me, at the time, everything seemed to be normal. Only when I look back to those times do I realize the uniqueness of the shaky worldwide condition then.

As I sit here in retirement these last years, I see the town changing from a place of necessity for the area to an artsy community. With many big box-type places to shop within close proximity, I suppose this is okay. I also suppose that because of

my roots and longevity I don't meld into this environment easily but as long as I am allowed to write and talk about how it used to be, I'm happy!

hiSTORYcally yours, Jack Story

 

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