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

Society honors valued figures in Fallbrook history

FALLBROOK – The Fallbrook Historical Society held its annual awards ceremony during an open house at the historic Reche School House Saturday, Sept. 16. Here are the award presentation speechs:

Pioneer of the Year – Jerry Sayre

This year's Pioneer of the Year is a champion of Fallbrook history. Jerry Sayre is a man who knows Fallbrook, the town where he was born and grew up.

Sayre Market, run by his father and uncle, was a Fallbrook landmark on Main Avenue in the 1940s and 1950s.

Jerry intimately remembers what the old town of Fallbrook has looked like across the decades.

Jerry recalls that when he was young his mother forbade him from walking on the west side of Main Avenue because there once was a Pool Hall on that side of the street.

Jerry Sayre is a historian and a genealogist who volunteers his time and skills to document the history of many of the old families who lived here.

He shares his valuable first-hand knowledge and memorabilia with the docents and visitors at the Fallbrook Historical Society Museum. He uses his knowledge to analyze historic photos, so they can be properly dated.

Jerry Sayre is a proud leader of the Sons of Union Veterans, the Sgt. Pittenger Camp, serving as camp commander for four terms.

Jerry volunteers his time and materials cleaning up the historic Odd Fellows cemetery, and documenting the stories of the pioneers interred there.

Jerry led the renovation of Pittenger's Medal of Honor gravesite in 2020. Without any fanfare, he has repaired & painted the fencing of many historical cemetery plots.

As an alumnus of Fallbrook High School, Class of 1970, Jerry was the Drum Major of the band. His uniform is on display in our museum.

Business of the Year – Pine Tree Lumber

There has been a lumber yard here in the vicinity of Hawthorne & Vine since the beginning of Fallbrook.

After the town of West Fallbrook was surveyed in 1885 and lots were being sold, merchants and settlers were anxious to start building. Everyone needed wood. Trees were scarce on the mostly dry plateau of West Fallbrook. Lumber arrived in Fallbrook by train from San Diego and Oceanside, coming by ship from sawmills further north.

In 1892, the Fallbrook lumber yard was located at the corner of Vine Street and Juniper Street (now East Mission Road). A competing lumber yard was at Fig and Main. In 1910, Samuel Graffin was the owner of the lumber yard at the Fig Street location. In 1916, the lumber yard was required to move to make way for the coming Santa Fe railroad forcing Graffin's lumber yard to move from Fig Street to Hawthorne Street.

In March 1924, Sam Graffin sold his 'Fallbrook Lumber' business to Hayward Lumber of Los Angeles. In December 1952, Pine Tree Lumber of Escondido bought the business and purchased all the vacant land adjoining the Hayward Lumber yard.

This gave Pine Tree Lumber a full block frontage on Vine Street and partial frontage on Hawthorne, Orange and Vine Streets.

In August 1953, over 70 years ago, Pine Tree Lumber erected a lumber shed that ran the full length of Vine Street between Hawthorne and Ivy. It is still there today.

Member of the Year – Jeff Duhachek

If there is one guy who keeps the Historical Society open, it is our vice-president, Jeff Duhachek. We could not open the Museum, the Schoolhouse, or even the Caboose, without our volunteer docents.

Jeff recruits our crew of volunteer docents, he trains us, and communicates with everyone to set the schedules, allowing our facilities to be open.

Jeff is also our webmaster. The public learns about the Historical Society and is able to read about Fallbrook's history through the professional website that Jeff maintains for us.

Raised in Minneapolis, Jeff earned his Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. He is an Air Force veteran. He and his wife, Ardis, came to Fallbrook 10 years ago after he retired from a long career with Sperry, Texas Instruments, and Honeywell. Jeff and Ardis stay busy with their volunteer involvement with several groups in Fallbrook.

The Historical Society has benefited from Jeff's leadership plus his extensive computer and electrical skills. When he isn't leading tours or speaking to civic groups about History, Jeff is usually fixing something for us!


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