John Vonderlin: What happened at Spaulding Corner?

Story by John Vonderlin

Email John ([email protected])

Hi June,

Spaulding Corner is a shady grove of redwoods at a wide, flat, pulloff  along Pescadero Creek, about seven-tenths of a mile west of Loma Mar. There is  easy access to the creek, on paths that seem to be on an old graded road. A hundred feet down the path leads you to a sandy swimming/wading hole, below a large water-polished boulder.
On that boulder are a number of etched initials, some dates, places of origin, affection, a peace sign, and a smiley face. Most have been smoothed to near undetectability because of Nature’s sand blasting, high water laden with sediment. A few higher up the boulder are still easily read, if cryptic.
Dr. Brown, in his book
calls it Spaulding Camp, and mentions that there apparently was a resort here in the 1870’s of that name. His language is a little unclear to me, but it seems he also says that by 1886 it was known as the place where Spaulding Camp “was,” not “is.”  My guess would be that a fire was involved in its demise, as usual.
I asked about it at a meeting of the Pescadero History Society that Meg invited me to after our Tunitas Cliff adventure. While some knew of the spot, nobody I talked to knew much about it. One ventured it had something to do with the WPA, which was active extensively in the area. I’ll keep asking.
Whatever its history, it has a pleasant legacy of providing a cool, scenic respite on a hot day, to locals and tourists for generations, through the decades and centuries. Enjoy. John
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