1905: John Vonderlin: Whoever has the Road has the Power (Political, I mean)

Story from John Vonderlin

Email John ([email protected])

Hi June,
  Here’s an interesting fork in the road
in the history of Half Moon Bay’s development.
This story is from the May 11th, 1905 issue of
the “San Francisco Call.”  It sounds like San
Gregorio’s chance to be a thriving town was
crushed by agitators in HalfMoon Bay intent
on maintaining their coastal primacy. They’re
probably still thankful.
  Is this the eventual Highway 92? Enjoy. John
Residents of HalfMoon Bay
Discuss Advisability of
Tapping La Honda District
Funds To Carry Out Work
Could Be Easily Raised
By Private Subscriptions
HALFMOON.   BAY,   May.   10.—An   im – 
portant   agitation   has   been   started here
for   the   construction   of  a  wagon   road
which   will   tap   the   rich   La   Honda
district   and   divert  to   this   town   much
of   the   valuable   traffic   and   trade   that is
now   monopolized   by   Redwood   City   and
Palo   Alto.   In   and   around   La   Honda   a
very   profitable   trade   has   developed
from   the   presence   of   many   hundreds
of   summer  visitors   and   the   prospect
of   a   coastwise   railroad   has   made   the
possibilities   for   traffic   many   times
greater.   It   is   to   take   advantage   of’  this
traffic   that   the   construction   of   a   wagon
road   is   being   urged.  
   A   wagon   road   constructed   from   Half – 
moon   .Bay   five   miles   to   the   east,   to
connect   with    the   county  road   would
make   all   of   the   traffic   tributary  to  this
town.   Such   a   road   was   surveyed  many
years   ago   and   can   be   built   on   a   4.per
cent   grade.   It   is   argued   that   if   the
county   road   funds   be   not   sufficient   or
available,   private   subscriptions   should
be   raised   at   once   to   begin   the  highway.
At   present   Redwood   City   and   Palo
Alto   on   the   north   and   San   Gregorio   on
the   south   have   good   roads   into   La
Honda   and   reap   the   natural   fruits   of
such   an   advantage.   When   the   railroad
becomes   a   reality   it   is   feared   that   San
Gregorio   will   not   only   obtain   its   share
of   the   resulting   traffic,   but   will   absorb
that   which   should   belong   to   Halfmoon
Bay.   Such   an   event   would   be   a   very
serious   one   for   Halfmoon   Bay,   as   at   a
single   stroke   it   would   lose   its   primacy
among   the   coast   towns   of   San  Mateo
County.   A   wagon   road   such   as  that
now   being   discussed   would   prevent   any
change   of   existing   conditions.  
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