Oneonta in the South Bay


During the boom era of the 1880s in San Diego, one of the principal promotions was a town named Oneonta, lying just south of the present
Imperial Beach and north of the Tia Juana River. "Oneonta" was a Mohawk Indian name of a town in New York State and was imported
from there by settlers. Oneonta, it seems, had everything. Promotion material stated that it was the Pasadena of San Diego County and that
those "living in and adjoining Oneonta have been cured of catarrh, rheumatism, lung, throat, and other diseases, and unitedly testify that
every one, without a single exception, living there for any considerable time, has been restored to perfect health." (Pourade, 1964. )


1869 - Beginning in the late 1860s, the Tia Juana Valley became the location of an agricultural community known as Monument. As population increased other communities and villages were formed, including Tia Juana, Oneonta, South San Diego, and San Yisidro. Settlement of the valley during this period reflected a general trend throughout southern California and the western United States as settlers moved west and took up government land to establish farming communities and town sites. There was a time in San Diego County, and throughout the western United States, when a substantial portion of the population lived on farms. Following the Civil War, acquisition of 160 acres of farmland became the goal of thousands of young men and women in the United States and numerous European immigrants. They wanted to establish a home and earn a living, or benefit from rising land values that could be anticipated with increased settlement. Pioneer farmers intended to establish agricultural communities patterned after those they had left in the east. These consisted of small towns and villages that provided basic services for surrounding farmsteads, which averaged from five to eight per square mile. Rural communities constituted the major type of settlement pattern and social network developed by farm families during the 19th century. They were made up of people who lived within well defined geographic boundaries, shared common bonds, and cooperated to solve common problems. They did not live in small towns or villages, but on farmsteads tied together through a common school district, post office, and country store. This was the most common type of community in San Diego County from 1870 through the mid-1930s. ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

In 1885 the San Diego City and County Directory listed on page 73 the town of Oneonta. It states that Oneonta is at the head of the bay, 13 miles south of San Diego, on the N.C & O. Railway. Has a good sanitary hotel and good school. The name, taken from the Iroquois Indians means, "Place of Rest." Its citizens were listed as follows: (Researched and compiled by Genevieve C. Kennedy, Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, June 1986) Brewster Sanitarium
Burton, C. B.
Brewster, Mrs. E. A.
Breedlove, Miss, teacher
Cook, E. C.
Cook, Mark
Coney, A.
Chandler, Ella B., M.D. ass't physician
Brewster Sanitarium
Danhoffer, Mike
Davis, T. J.
Duncan, J. R.
Drewisch, F.
Eisenmayer, N. P.
Eisenmayer, Walter
Gowan, J. C.
Hargis, G. F., pastor ME church
Holderness, Wm H.
Jackson, J. C.
Leonard, A. A., physician
Lynch, James
Mann, A. T.
Mass, A. P.
McCann, J. A.
Patterson, J. L.
Patterson, J. Jr.
Peavey, H. M.
Schultz, J. T.
Smith, C.E., store and Postmaster
Snavely, D. H.
Stout, R. C.
Sniff, Wm.
Streinenberg, R.A.
Yenawine, G. L., blacksmith

1885 - Florence Folks Schultz and and her husband James T. Schultz were original settlers in the Oneonta Community, arriving around 1885. She remained in the area until her death in the mid 40's. She maintained her dairy farm most of her life. Her brother Ralph Folks was the printer for the San Diego Union in the late 1880-90's He also was a member of the City Band. Florence was a devout Christian who met in the Oneonta School House for church before the Nestor Methodist Church was built. ( Beverly Folks Parker, email Apr. 25, 2015 )

1885 - John Harvey Folks was a captain in the same 26th Illinois infantry company during the Civil War as James Schultz, husband of John's niece Florence. "Captain Folks" as he was known, followed Florence to Oneonta, along with John's mother Leah Folks. Before he moved west, he was a successful businessman and politician in Kansas. He served in the state senate, was state coroner, owned a newspaper and bank and 160 acres of farm land. Due to declining health in 1885, he and his wife Frances moved to Oneonta, bought large parcels of property, donated land for the Highland school and for the Nestor United Methodist Church. He was elected county sheriff 1891 and in 1892 moved to San Diego. ( Beverly Folks Parker, interview Apr. 11, 2017 )

1885 - James Luther Patterson was a Civil War veteran from Ohio and railroad worker in Kansas after he married Mary in 1868. After James lost a leg in a railroad accident the family decided to leave Kansas and go west. They traveled by train with their seven children, their personal possesions, and their livestock, to the Tia Juana River Valley area, which included Nestor and Oneonta, in the southwestern corner of California. The San Diego City Directory of 1885, for the town of Oneonta, lists both James Luther Patterson and his son James Patrick Patterson along with the names of new friends and neighbors. These included Wm. H. Holderness, J.A. McCan, H.M. Peavey, J. T. Schultz, and C. E. Smith. A new Oneonta school built in 1886 was attended by several of the children. James Luther Patterson became a rancher. His oldest son Charles Patterson moved to National City to work for the railroad. On January 23, 1888, Charles died shortly after he fell under a railroad car which severed his legs almost to the hip. The death of her oldest was too much for Mary J. She died from grief three months later, April 22, 1888, at the age of thirty- eight years, eleven months, five days. Both are buried at La Vista Cemetery, National City. James moved to Los Angeles and died November 24, 1925. ( Chula Vista Historical Society, 1991. )

1885 - Hollis Newell Peavey was bom about 1900 and lived there for several years as a child with his brothers, Alvin and George and sister, Pansy. They lived with their mother in a house owned by his grandfather, Hollis Monroe Peavey, who first came to the area in 1885 and owned land between Oneonta and the Mexican border. Later, the house they had lived in was sold to the Sniff family who lived there for many years. The Peavey home in Oneonta was a two-story house with living room, kitchen, bedroom and leanto on the ground floor and two bedrooms upstairs. There was a dug well with a windmill to pump water. All toilet facilities were outside. Water for laundry was boiled in a large, black iron pot in the back yard. Clothes were rubbed on a rub board, boiled in the black pot then rinsed in large galvanized tubs. These same tubs were used for Saturday night baths. The children attended the Oneonta school for a few years then moved back to their father's ranch in the Tia Juana Valley. Peavey recalls that, when he was a child, the sanitarium was still there, as well as several homes and a vacant house or two. Hollis Peavey lives with his wife, Pansy, in a modern home a few blocks from the old town. He still owns 80 acres in the Tia Juana Valley where he has some cattle. The water has become top salty for many crops. (Elliot, 1976. )

1886 - Early in the history of the South Bay the area was dotted with several villages and communities which do not exist today except perhaps as the names of some streets and schools. These Include Oneonta, Coronado Heights, La Punta, Fruitland Resort, International City, Monument City, Tia Juana City, Barbers Station, and the "Little Landers" Settlement. From the flies of Imperial Beach Historian Freda Compton Elliott comes the following account (edited for space) of one of the original settlements of this region. "Oneonta was a flourishing village during the 1880's. It was located south of Imperial Beach and North of the Tia Juana River near the present entrance to the Navy Auxiliary Landing Field (Ream Field). It seems to have been the earliest community of any size in the South Bay area and boasted Its own branch of the Otay-National City Railroad. This railroad had suffered change in the flood of 1885 but service was restored. In 1916 devastating floods caused by 44 Inches of rain In 26 days and the break of the Otay Dam washed out the tracks and made changes in the entire South Bay terrain. Oneonta is a Mohawk Indian name given to the little town by early settlers from Oneonta, New York who helped establish It It was an entire town with wide streets, a bay boulevard, wells to the east, orchards, a $20,000 hotel, post office, school, stores, church and sanitarium. It was advertised across the country as "Beautiful Oneonta By The Sea." The old Smith store In Oneonta was built In 1885 and years later it was moved to Nestor where it stands today after being remodeled several times to meet the demands of the times. For many years it was known as Power's Market and was famous for good meats. Today, it is called the Nestor Liquor and Market and the south end of the building is a Mexican Sea Food cafe. The Oneonta school was built in 1886 and was used for more than 30 years. Later the Oneonta School District combined with the Highland School District and the South San Dlego School District to form the South Bay Union District in the 1920a. Minutes of those early board meetings are preserved in the vault at the office of the South Bay Union School District on Elm Avenue. The Oneonta school was a two-story building with an auditorium and stage upstairs. The conventional roll-down curtain, over the stage, had a scene painted In the middle with paid advertisements all around it, such as children of today have never seen. The school was used for community affairs as well as school. The Tia Juana Valley Methodist Church met upstairs at the school several years before moving back to Nestor where it has been in continuous operation to date. A post office operated by Charles E. Smith then later moved to Nestor where it also has been in continuous operation to date. One of the chief buildings of Oneonta was the Brewster Medical and Surgical Sanitarium which was run by several eminent people. The physician in charge was A. A. Leonard, M.D. , and his stationery stated following: "An institution for Invalids and those with nervous exhaustion needing surgical aid." It was boasted that people had been cured of many diseases and that everyone, without a single exception, living at the Brewster Sanitarium for any considerable time was restored to perfect health! Lots in Oneonta were advertised for sale by the following ad. "Oneonta By The Sea, (Incorporated Dec. 17, 1887, Capitol Stock $300,000, A. B. Young, Prcs., A. C Mouser, Sec.) The Pasadena of San Diego Cbunty, the terminus of the National City Otay Railroad and for healthfulness and beauty of location without a rival. It has now six round trip passenger trains daily to San Diego; good water; a $20,000 hotel; a telephone line; a lovely bay; the best fishing and hunting on this coast; a rich soil, a climate unsurpassed; a combination of ocean, mountain and valley scenery unequalled; a beautiful park site almost surrouded by water; a combination of beauties and advantages that must be seen to be believed; and it is conceded by all to be the loveliest place for a home, and the most desirable as an Sanitarium the private chronic suffering or for Investment la the county." Mt. Olivet cemetery was established in 1889, and was situated a short distance from Oneonta. One of this area's earliest residents, Mr. Hollis Monroe Peavey, along with several others, paid for lots at ten dollars each and got together $400 to purchase two acres of land for the cemetery. Peavey took care of the Cemetery until his death and his son Newell was In charge until his death. The cemetery suffered from vandalism and some persons had been picnicking there and leaving behind their trash. The name Oneonta lives on in Imperial Beach's Oneonta Avenue, running west to east between Holly Avenue and Iris, crosses the old village terrain. A large modern brick grammar school named Oneonta faces on 10th Street between Grove Avenue and Beverly Avenue, near the old village. No one mentions Oneonta Lagoon or the old Brewster Sanitarium anymore. For over a half a century, they have been only memories. Various problems plagued the village, from sand movements by the tide, to fires and floods and the village is no more. What of all that wonderful climate and views of the water and the mountains? They are still, with us and being enjoyed by more and more residents and visitors. (The San Diego Union, Oct. 1988 )

1887 - By 1887 ten subdivisions had been laid out around the south end of San Diego Bay that included Otay, Tia Juana City, South San Diego, South Coronado, Coronado Heights, Pacific Park, Oneonta, International City, and Head of the Bay. As with most of these paper towns, nothing developed here and after the collapse of the boom in 1888, International City and most of the other boom subdivisions remained undeveloped. Three, however did become established in and around the valley; Oneonta, South San Diego, and Tia Juana City. Oneonta and South San Diego Oneonta consisted of 450 acres of land located in the northwest corner of the river valley in the area now occupied by Ream Field and the north and east edges of the Tia Juana Estuary. During this period the estuary became known as Oneonta Bay, Oneonta Slough or the Inlet. Articles of Incorporation for the Oneonta Land, Town, and Water Company were filed in December 1887. Promoters saw their future metropolis as an international center of border commerce and a beach resort. They emphasized that the tract lie "immediately between and directly opposite the two passes into Lower California, through which transportation must pass, and from its high position it commands a view of the Tia Juana valley for miles." The two passes referred to appear to be Goat Canyon and Smuggler's Gulch, which, of course, were not the only nor the most easily traveled routes into Lower California, as attested to by the development of the community of Tijuana Mexico during this period. On February 9, 1888 a large advertisement in the San Diego Sun proclaimed: " ONEONTA BY THE SEA THE PASADENA OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY AND TERMINUS OF THE NATIONAL CITY AND OTAY RAILWAY NOW HAS WATER ABUNDANT, PURE, AND GOOD PIPED THROUGH ITS STREETS AND READY FOR USE. A $20,000 hotel in process of erection A telephone line now building from San Diego A lovely bay, with boats for boating The best fishing and hunting on all the coast The two best passes into Lower California Immense business possibilities. A number of houses are now building and under contract to build.... Only $150 per lot, one third cash, balance six and twelve months. Trains for Oneonta leave foot of Sixth Street at 6:20 and 8:30 A.M. and 1:50 and 5:00 PM. of each day. We predict for Oneonta 1,000 inhabitants within a year Oneonta Land, Town & Water Company." The estuary was seen as a major feature for promotion. " Oneonta lies below the mesa and stretches for some distance into the valley. A strip of ocean breaks into it, which is about 200 feet across at the widest part. It is literally alive with fish of several kinds and often a long line of the lovers of the sport can be seen, rod in hand, whiling away the hours. There are now a number of boats along the bay and it is the intention of the company to have a good fleet of pleasure boats in addition. A long drive 100 feet wide will run along its shore, and a park covering fifteen acres is now being laid out. A horse car line will be established to make connections with the beach from the town." In August 1887, advertisements claimed the following: " The National City and Otay Railroad will pass through the town and for the present make its terminus there. A large and commodious hotel will be erected close to the motor depot and park, and, in fact everything is being done to make a beautiful suburban residence town and resort to San Diego. Teams will be provided to convey visitors to the monument and other points of interest. The blocks are now being laid off 300 by 350 feet, with 20 foot alleyway. The lots will be 25 by 140 feet. Two streets will be made 100 feet wide and the remainder 80 feet wide. One of the most important of the improvements to be made is the carrying of water from the Tia Juana River to Oneonta for irrigating purposes, it is proposed by means of an engine, to throw up water into a large reservoir at an elevation of 250 feet. Pipes will be laid to the town site, and water can be used when required..." In January 1888 it was announced that no "saloons, fists, or bullfights" would be allowed but every effort would be made to encourage churches, schools, morality, and decency. Unlike so many subdivisions of the '80s boom that completely disappeared, a small village grew up at Oneonta and survived into the early 20th century when it was finally absorbed by the community of Imperial Beach. One reason for this was that the promoters actually did develop the tract, establishing a rail connection to San Diego, telephone and daily mail service, a pressurized water system, a school, and a hotel, which later became a sanitarium. The area's location had always been a popular tourist destination since S.S. Nichols had established his Bay View Hotel just to the north of this location in 1869. A stage met passengers arriving at Oneonta on the National City and Otay Railroad to take them to the Border Monument. An article in the San Diego Union described Oneonta village in August 1892, four years after the land boom had collapsed: "The principal building is the Oneonta Sanitarium, conducted by Dr. Stocking. This institution is at present the home of a number of hunters and health seekers. There are about 30 rooms well lighted and warmed, and a roof observatory, glass enclosed for sun baths. Competent nurses are in attendance, and the new institution is earning an enviable reputation. The post office is kept by Mr. Smith, who has a general store in connection. Mrs. J. Jackson also carries a stock of general merchandise. There is no hotel as the sanitarium cares for boarders. .. There is a good school house. The mail arrives but once daily, at 6 pm., and leaves at 6 in the morning.... Among the noticeable fine farms in the immediate vicinity are those of Mr. Barton, Mr. Wiley, and Mr. Eisenmeyer." ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

The San Diego Union, Aug. 17, 1887


1887/08/25 - Special Announcement! ONEONTA GRAND Opening Sale WILL OCCUR Tuesday, the 30th day of August, AT 9 A.M. This charming locality is located upon aa elevated mesa close by the sea, at the foot of the Tia Juaua Valley. An arm of the sea putting in at this point, defined by clearcut banks, affords the finest fishing to be found anywhere within reach of San Diego. The ocean beach and the surf close by is as good as the best. The picture of the Tia Juana Valley presented from this point is one strikingly beautiful. It is only a short distance from the Monument which defines the boundary line between the United States and Lower California, unquestionably the last town that can be located in the Southwest corner of the United States. Its attractions can hardly be summed up in a few words, but consist largely in its unique location. The rich broad valley of the Tia Juana will necessarily be the home of a large number of successful fruit-growers and other small farmers. The city of San Diego, like all great cities, must overflow. Charming places for homes are always in tbe suburbs of great cities, and not in the cities themselves. ONEONTA will be in close connection with San Diego via THE NATIONAL CITY AND OTAY RAILROAD, the contract for which has been let, to be completcd NOVEMBER 1st next. It is unquestionably a fact that the standard guage road, soon to be built by the Coronado Beach people, will pass through the town of ONEONTA, and when a steam railroad is built through to Ensenada, it will very naturally make a junction with the Coronado railroad at ONEONTA, passing through one of two possible routes immediately south therefrom. Develop Water Under Pressure! The projectors of the town of ONEONTA are gentlemen whose honest intentions will never be doubted, and who have pledged themselves to put the streets in excellent condition, erect buildings, and make such other public improvements as wili warrant the development of this new candidate into a fully ledged town of no mean proportions in a very brief period. In order that every one may make money, the lots have been priced at $100 each for inside lots and $150 for corners. Streets and avenues are unusally wide, and no one can visit this attractive spot without being impressed with the natural advantages it possesses. A convevance will be provided at the end of the motor line, near Otay City, which will carry passengers free to and from the townsite. Lithographic maps will ibe distributed on Saturday, and the opening sale will occur on Tuesday, August 30th, at the office of the San Diego Development Company, 824 FIFTH ST., W. H . HOLABIRD, Mgr. ( The San Diego Union, Aug. 25, 1887 )

1887/09/15 - ONEONTA The Best Town in the Valley of the Tia Juana! For the benefit of the purchasers in ONEONTA, the undersigned hereby states that the material for the externsion of the National City and Otay Railway was ordered several weeks since, the iron has been received, the contract for grading and bridging has this day been let to the American Bridge and Building Company, and that no effort will be spared to have said road completed and regular trains running thereon from San Diego to Oneonta by November 1st next, as provided in the contract with the Oneonta Company for the construction of said road.W. G. DICKINSON. President N. C. and O. R. R.Dated this September 13. 1887.Prices Will Advance Oct. 1. San Diego Development Co.824 FIFTH STHEET.W. H. Holabird, Manager. ( The San Diego Union, Sept. 15, 1887 )

1887/12/16 - On 16 December 1887 the Oneonta Land, Water and Town Company was formed with a Board of Directors as follows: A. C. Young, William S. Hinckle, John Thurman, Watson Parrish, A. C. Mouser. The purpose of the company was to sell land in the town being built thirteen miles south of San Diego on the National City and Otay Railway. The company's capital stock was $300,000 in shares of $100 each. This group had purchased 450 acres of land to be sold in lots measuring 25 feet X 40 feet and blocks measuring 300 feet X 350 feet. Avenues were to be 100 feet wide. Map 503 shows Block 70 as Hotel Block. Lots sold for $135, one half cash, balance six and twelve months with ten percent interest. For several months during 1887, the San Diego Union featured advertisements extolling the soon-to-be Oneonta. On 29 December 1887 there was a basket picnic with everyone invited. Round trip from San Diego to Oneonta was thirty cents, with trains leaving the foot of Sixth street at 8:30 and 9:50 a.m. Tickets went on sale on and after 26 December 1887 at the offices of Arnold, Jeffery and Mouser, 862 Sixth Street. A free boat ride on Oneonta Bay and music by the San Diego Band further enticed the public to attend. Simultaneously, the forthcoming Oneonta Hotel ("Now in the process of erection") was being touted. Besides that "A First-class boarding house will be opened in Oneonta on December 16th, 1887." Oneonta was advertised in a tastefully illustrated brochure entitled, "ONEONTA! By the Sea." The Pasadena of San Diego County, The Terminus of the National City and Otay Railway, and for the healthfulness and Beauty of Location without a rival." This was a planned community with wide streets, a church; a school; a 'grand' hotel of thirty-four rooms and wide porches; a telephone line to San Diego; a post-office with daily mails; a grocery store; a meat market; water under pressure; bath house, and its own branch of the National City-Otay Railway. It consisted of fourteen square blocks with its township range identified as Township 18 South, Range 2 West. (Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, June 1986)

In December 1887, construction began on Oneonta Hotel. ( The San Diego Union, Dec. 30, 1887 )


1888 - ONEONTA BY THE SEA! The Pasadena of San Diego County, the Terminus of the National City and Otay Railway, and for Healthfulness and Beauty of Location Without a Rival. Now has four round-trip passenger trains dally to San Diego; good water; a $20,000 hotel; a telephone line to San Diego; a lovely bay; the best fishing and hunting on this coast; a rich soil; a climate unsurpassed; a combination of ocean, mountain and valley scenery unequaled; a beautiful park site almost surrounded by water; a combination of beauties and advantages that must be seen to be appreciated, and is conceded by all to be the lovliest place for a home, and the most desirable as an Investment in this county. It also has a post-office, with dally malls; grocery store, meat market, water under pressure, bath house, and one of the finest beaches and surfs on this coast; also church services morning and evening every Sunday; Sabbath school, and a musical and literary society. Its new and commodius hotel is now open to the public, and being run in first-class style by the gentlemanly and efficient proprietor, A. A. Thomas, who, with his family, will spare neither effort nor pains to make it the most attractive hotel for tourists and others in Southern California, with rates most reasonable; per dd $2.00, per week $7.00. Special Inducements to families andpermanent guests. Thousands of acres of the finest agricultural land 1n Southern California, including a large portion of the famous Tia Juana Valley, surround and are tributary to the town of Oneonta; also, the trade of a vast section of Lower California. ( This pamphlet included the following testimonials, from the Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, March 1986 )

HEALTHFULNESS OF CLIMATE. Dr. C M . Fenn, of San Diego, in speaking of the mesa land in and adjoining Oneonta, in an article published in the May number, 1887, of the "Southern California Practitioner," a medical work, published at Los Angeles, California, says: "The air of this entire belt, partly because of the ocean breezes which constantly fan the heated soil, is wonderfully soothing to lesions of the lungs and mucous membranes generally. Fogs are seldom known here. During seven months' sojourn here the writer completely overcame rheumatic proclivities, which had driven him away from San Francisco, and parted company with a catarrhal trouble which had annoyed him for many years. Another medical gentleman, a victim to one of the severest forms of ozoena, was measurably relieved during a short stay. Besides these cases, an aphonic consumptive entirely recovered her voice and a fair degree of health in less than four months after her arrival. Within my observation, also, were several phthisical incurables, whose lives were unquestionably prolonged by residence here. In addition to its hygienic advantages, this locality furnishes a rare opportunity for all kines of sea bathing, fishing, pleasant walks and drives on land and beach, and a varied lanscape of plain and ocean, mountain and valley, upon which the eye cannot dwell without increasing interest. As an adjunct to pneumatic differentatlon, inhalation or medication of the lungs, by any method whatever, I can cordially recommend the Tia Juana (referring to this mesa). For suburban residences also it can have no formidable rival in this vicinity." The foregoing was written several months before an acre of this property had been purchased by the Oneonta Company. The article being an unpaid contribution to a medical journal, and the doctor totally disinterested, leaves no doubt of the truth of his statements, which are corroberated by the following statements of parties now living in ONEONTA.

Charles E. Smith, recently from Vermont, after a six months' residence in Oneonta says: "In hopes that my experience may benefit others similarly afflicted, I desire to state that for years I have been suffering with catarrh, bronchial and lung diseases, and in pursuance of the advice of physicians, visited this coast in search of health, which I have completely recovered at Oneonta. I therefore most earnestly recommend it to all who are thus afflicted." CHARLES E. SMITH.

W. D. Foote says: "I have suffered for years with chronic catarrh which has been nearly cured by a four weeks' residence in Oneonta, and which, I have no doubt, will soon be entirely well have used no medicine, and hence can attribute my cure alone to the healthfulness of Oneonta's climate. My home is in Illinois, and I own no property in or about Oneonta, and make the above statement alone for the benefit of those similarlyafflicted."

Dr. P. A. Wood, who has lived adjoining Oneonta for the last eighteen months, as also his son, came there with the poorest of health, and are to-day sound and well and ejoying the best of health.

The case of Leon Young, son of A. E. Young, for whose recovery all hope had ceased when he went to this section, now a healthy man; that of J. H. Folks, G. E. Hargis, and many others, might be referred to in proof of the correctness of the judgment of Dr. Fenn as to the wonderful healthfulness of the climate of Oneonta.

Dr. T. B. Taylor of Philadelphia, for years in charge of a sanitarium, says Oneonta is by far the most desirable place for a sanitarium he ever saw, and that after a careful study of its location, its valleys, plains, mountains and ocean with its wonderful currents and surf, producing electro-magnetic conditions of the air of a highly sanative character, charging it with ozone and oxygen, he does not hesitate to say that ONEONTA is the most desirable location for a Health Institute, and for homes on the Pacific Coast. Dr. A. G. Bowers of Chicago, Illinois, and Dr. A. B. Smith of Des Moines, Iowa, say that after a careful examination of the location of Oneonta they fully agree with Dr. Taylor as to its desirableness as a place both for homes and for a sanitarium. ( Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, March 1986 )

1888/02/09 - NC&O Motor road began running to the Oneonta hotel Sunday morning [Feb. 5] . "Carlson & Higgins have a gang of Chinamen grading on the extension to the monument" The hotel roof is about finished, is 2 and one half stories, with 27 rooms. Mr. Holden's residence is nearly complete. Mr. C. E. Smith to build house 2 blocks east of the hotel. Mr. Sniff has bought 20 acres on the monument road south of town and will improve it at once. (National City Record, Feb. 2, 1888.) -- NC&O turned south to the village of Oneonta. Grading had been started and a contract reportedly had been let for an extension of the motor road to the south, crossing the river and curving west to "International City", a subdivision laid out by the visionary William H. (Billy) Carlson and his partner, Higgins, near the initial monument marking the boundary between California, U.S.A. and Baja California, Mexico. Border Field is now located there. Like most all of Billy's projects, it fizzled. (Bice, Hiram. "Let's Ride the Dam Train" National City Record, May 5, 1892.)

1888/03/08 - The little town was incorporated by the Oneonta Land & Town Company On March 8, 1888. ( Phillips, 1959, p. 62. )

1888/07/04 - Oneonta Hotel to open July 4 with daily stage to the border monument. ( The San Diego Union, May 30, 1888. )

1888/07/28 - In an article entitled "ONEONTA" in the Southern California Informant of July 28th 1888, published without solicitation or pay, the editor, among other things, says: "Below Chula Vista we passed Otay and the Otay Valley, and soon reached the beautiful, high, level mesa on which is situated the townsite of Oneonta. This mesa is as fine land as can be found in California, or any place else, for that matter. The soil is composed principally of the famous California red lands, and is especially adapted to the raising of oranges, lemons, apricots, peaches, etc., although grain and vegetables of all kinds grow prolifically, Just south of the mesa is a stretch of valley land about two miles in width, and perhaps four miles in length. Farm-houses, orchards, fields of grass and grain show fifteen feet, and drive-wells secure a never-failing supply be valuable and productive. Water is reached at a depth of from six to fifteen feet, and drive-wells secure a never-failing supply of pure, soft water for domestic and irrigating purposes. As we reached the level of the mesa we noticed the delightfully mild and pleasant breeze direct from the ocean. Strange as it may seem this breeze is decidedly different from that coming from San Diego bay. The warm ocean winds in passing over the bay seem to acquire a campness, which, with their loss of heat, render them too harsh for delicate persons and those affected with lung and pulmonary diseases; while the pure, mild breeze from the ocean, warmed by the great ocean currents, blows gently across the level plain, and one feels like opening his mouth to drink in the delightful and exhilarating zephyrs to the fullest possible extent. The townsite of Oneonta lies in the center of this mesa tract. An unusually neat and attractive hotel of thirty-four rooms has been built and is finished and open to the public, with the genial Mr. Thomas as landlord. From the galleries and porches of the hotel excellent views can be had of the ocean, the bay, Chula Vista, National City, San Diego, Coronado Beach, Point Loma, the Monument and the mountains of San Diego county and Mexico. Oneonta bay is a little estuary from the ocean and extends to within a quarter of a mile of the hotel. The water is sufficiently deep for boating during all times of the tide, and fish of the best quality are found in greatest profusion. One arm of the estuary contains an oyster bed, where oysters are found, and although uncultivated they are of sufficient size and in quantities to supply the whole region. The surf at Oneonta is very fine and will repay a visit to see it alone. Surrounding the town, tracts of one, two, five and ten acres are found at prices ranging from $75 to $400 per acre. Oneonta is at the center of a scope of country nearly four miles square, and most of the trade from that sixteen square miles will go to it. This will make it a nice village. But its main advantages are in the nature of a health resort and a place for country villas and suburban homes; and as such, Oneonta will become a prosperous locality. The proprietors of the town are conducting their business in a straightforward manner. The INFORMANT does not believe in the speculative town lot business, but if you want a nice delightful home in a suburban village, where you can have plenty of fresh air, good water and room in which to turn around, Oneonta will very well supply your wants." (Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, March 1986)

1888/08/10 A prohibition club of 34 members was organized at Oneonta Tues eve 2nd, A. E. Young, president; C. R. Trussell, vp; T. W. Ray, secy; R. C. Stout, treasurer. ( Otay Press, Aug. 10, 1888)

1889 - There were no entries for Oneonta as such in the 1887-1888 San Diego Directories. But in 1889-1890 there were listed sixty-three as follows: (Researched and compiled by Genevieve C. Kennedy, Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, June 1986)
Andrews, Rueben C.
Barton, C. B.
Brady, Francis
Clark, Ranson C.
Clark, Sheridan T.
Davis, Thomas J., butcher
Dieberle, W. P.
Drew, E. S.
Drew, Kasimer E.
Drewise, Fred
Dunca, James R., painter
Fenton, J. E.
Folks, John H.
Frizzell, Francis M.
Frizell, Rueben
Funk, William
Gardner, William X.
Gray, Gordon Y.
Greer, D.W.
Haas, Henry
Hammond, H.H., agent Russ Lumber Company
Hargis, G. V.
Hewlitt, Rev.
Hoey, E. C., Grocer
Jackson, James Jackson
Johnson, Clarence A.
Lane, William
Lynch, James
Lynch, Patrick
Lyon, H. G.
Mansir, Charles W.
Mansir, J. A.
Meeker, J. M.
Moore, John C.
O'Brien, M. J.
Patton, George
Patty, Mark
Perry, Robert D.
Perry, Wesley
Ray, Thomas W.
Russ, Fred A.
Schultz, James D.
Schussler, Andrew
Schussler, John
Schwenke, Gustav
Smith, C. E., postmaster
Suavely, David H.
Spence, Wm. B.
Spencer, Orrin L.
Stevens, Enoch
Stevenson, Richard W.
Stokes, E. B.
Stout, Claude
Tavan, Valentine
Thomas, Charles F.
Trussell, Clavin R.
Trussell, Ray
Tullard, C. A.
Wood, Dr. P. A., Physician
Yenavine, George L., Blacksmith
Young, A. E.
Young, Leon G.


1889 - The local Otay Press newspaper made periodic references to the farmers in the area. Sugar beets, grains, and vegetables remained popular crops: "H. C. Tibetts of the Tia Juana has sent the first sample of sugar beets for a test. The sample consisted of three large beets weighing from eight to ten pounds and was grown from seed received from the agricultural department. . . Messrs Snell [Schnell] and Edmonson are both shipping large quantities of milk to San Diego via the N.C. & 0 from their ranches in the Tia Juana Valley. . . The corn crop in the valley is looking well and green corn is on the market. Watermelons, muskmelons, figs, tomatoes and vegetables are now being shipped from Otay and Tia Juana Valleys. . . Mr. Schnell is crushing barley at his mill in Tia Juana this week. . . One of the Tia Juana honey fisted farmers was rewarded by a return of 125 sacks of potatoes from one planted. . . The Oneonta Horticultural Society sent a sugar beat to the District Fair at Los Angeles, that weighed 125 pounds. Capt. Folks sent cabbages, cucumbers; Frizzell, sweet potatoes,squash, popcorn; Ware, Muscat Grapes; Flemming Tokay Grapes; Drew, corn; Tibbets, corn, apples, tomatoes, quince, pears, cabbage; Forbish, pumpkins, weight 165 pounds. The Monument district took the premium for the best Sugar Beet at the Los Angeles fair. George M. Kimball's big squash, grown on his ranch at Tia Juana, weighing 157 pounds, is ahead as far as is heard from. It may be seen at the produce store J.E. Mulvey & Sons. Cor. 6th & H Sts. San Diego. . . The surplus cabbage and other vegetables that can be so readily grown the year round in Sweetwater, Otay, and Tia Juana valleys has at last found an outlet. The producers Union has shipped a carload of cabbage to Omaha ... Our farmers will not have to let their cabbage rot in the field for want of a market as was the case in Tia Juana last winter. . . There are numerous windmills throughout the Tia Juana Valley, where most of these farms are situated, and the land is well watered. This Tia Juana Country, by the way, is green all the year. No irrigation is necessary, and the soil is generally moist. One or two gasoline engines are in use for irrigating nursery stock. . . There are not many citrus trees here abouts but the crop of peaches and apricots is very large. Several tons of dried fruit will be shipped this fall. The principal crop is alfalfa hay, wheat, hay, and live stock. One field of twenty acres has already yielded this season three crops of alfalfa hay, and from which two more crops are expected to be harvested. . . Another man in this locality had two acres of 5 year old apricots. . . BEET SUGAR INDUSTRY PROFITABLE IN TIA JUANA VALLEY DEMONSTRATED. C. S. Brown, foreman of the H. Perry ranch, Tijuana valley, last year raised 20 acres of sugar beets, this year 25 acres, next year expects to increase by several hundred acres." ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1889/08/22 - Oneonta defeated Otays at Sunday baseball game 22-10 at the salt grounds. ( Otay Press, Aug. 22, 1889 )

Highland School 1910
1889/09/19 - National City beat Oneonta at baseball game at the salt flats. ( Otay Press, Sept. 19, 1889 )

1890/06/05 - The Highland School opened with Mr. Stearns as the first teacher. The land was donated by John Folks, on the site of today's Southwest Junior High School that opened in 1929. The Oneonta School District had one school, built in 1886, a two-story, wooden frame building located in the village of Oneonta. It had an auditorium upstairs and three classrooms. The auditorium was rented to churches and organizations for a fee of $2 per evening. After 1920, the building was rented as dwelling for a few years, then sold in 1927. The South San Diego School, built in 1889, was located at 10th Street and Elm Avenue, Imperial Beach, it was a two-story, wooden frame building with the auditorium upstairs and a large bell tower. In 1920, the Highland, South San Diego and Oneonta School Districts united to form the South Bay Union School District. Emory Elementary School was built in 1930, replacing the South San Diego School.

1891 - Tia Juana River Towns Flooded In '91, Woman Says. An account of the "demise" of several once-bustling communities located years ago in the Tia Juana River flood control plain has been sent to Rep. Lionel Van Deerlin, D-San Diego. Van Deerlin's legislation which seeks more federal funds for the flood control project may be scrapped because of environmental pressure and a lack of support from city government. Mrs. Irene Phillips, 82, a resident of Fredericka Manor in Chula Vista, said she sent the flood account to the congressman "before they decided to kill the proposed $300 million flood control project." "Who remembers Oneonta or Highland?" she asked. "Or the impressively named International City? And how many San Diego area residents know of "the first Tijuana?" she asked the congressman. Mrs. Phillips said her account of the flood, researched in the Serra Museum, points out these communities were bustling but located in the Tia Juana River flood control plain. "The first Tijuana," Mrs. Phillips wrote, "straddled both sides of the border, at the point where the river crosses intov Mexico. Among other attributes, it boasted an elegant store built on stilts, Messenger's, and the Russ House, an inn popular with visitors who came for the bull and prize fights, or to take the warm baths at Aqua Caliente hot springs." Mrs. Phillips said that downstream was Oneonta, a health resort featuring boating to the Tia Juana River sloughs and the fashionable Oneonta Hotel. International City, she said, was a living experiment in good will, located on the coast, with an impressive monument and alternating English and Spanish street names. "And Highland," she wrote, "inland between the Otay and Tia Juana River valleys, was a prosperous community with school, church, and ranches devoted mainly to grain and dairy products." After heavy rains fell in February 1891, Mrs. Phillips said, the elegant hotels of that era and the thriving tourist trade were all "swept away in a thick mud flood." Fortunately, she said, only one life was lost, that of a Tijuana storekeeper who slipped while trying to step into a rescue boat. She said property damage was such that the much more widely publicized Otay River flood of 1916. in retrospect, seems minor by comparison. In an ironic aside, Mrs. Phillips notes that before the disaster struck, a group of Highland women "became concerned over the safety of the little town of Tijuana and gave a well-patronized ball in the Russ House, to raise money to hire the Boweers Dredging Company to deepen the river channel." Mrs. Phillips account of the flood is titled, "It Can Happen Again." The Army Corps of Engineers and the city of San Diego have agreed to take another look at the overall project. Mayor-elect Pete Wilson, who will take office tomorrow said he would seek a review on the project. Wilson said during a recent trip to Washington that although he was aware of environmental opposition to the proposed concrete-lined channel, he wanted to do what was best in the public interest. Van Deerlin said the environmentalists' views on the project might be right but "I wish they had surfaced sooner. We have worked long and hard to get this project going." Van Deerlin has alerted the U.S. engineers and the U.S. Boundary Commission to the possibility the project might be stopped. He said alternatives are a freeze on the project to permit time for restudy, or a scaling down of plans to provide only for a system of dikes, or for a shorter channel. The project would link up with a channel to be constructed by the Mexican government. His legislation calls for the government to increase its share of the costs from $12 to $21 million. The city would defray about $8 million. Nearly S3 million already has been appropriated by Congress, for design and initial construction. Van Deerlin said he will do whatever the city decides on the project. "If they want it scrapped," he said, "there's nothing the federal government can do but go along with their wishes." ( The San Diego Union, Dec. 5, 1971 )

1891/09/21 Southwest of Imperial Beach (the site of the present beach) a narrow body of water extended 1.5 miles inland from the ocean where the force of the waves was spend and only the rise and fall of the tide indicated its proximity to the sea. Here a little town was platted, with broad streets and a Bay Boulevard. Wells to the east of town provided an abundance of water for domestIc use, and for the orchards that were being planted. An excursion to Oneonta with brass band and picnic celebrated the opening of the Hotel . By September 21, 1891, it was advertIsed throughout the country, "Beautiful Oneonta, by the sea. The hotel of 27 rooms, with a fireplace in each room is set in a beautiful garden and lures the tourist to prolong his stay in the mild, winter-warm climate. There is swimming in the bay, also surf bathing nearby, Sailboats are ready, without charge, for all who enjoy sailing in our quiet Bay. There are clam bakes and clamming parties, fishing, hunting and future fruit orchards. A special stage takes the tourist to the International Monument." There were the usual town stores, a post office established on March 24, 1888, a church and many houses. The Warren Kimball Planing Mill furnished, and dressed the lumber for these buildings as well as for the schoolhouse. The Oneonta Dramatic Club rendered many dramas, such as the three act, "Above the Clouds" which was great success. It was a complete little town. Backers of the project had wonderful plans for the future. Here was a town on an ideal Bay with a back country as prosperous as a man could wish. Was it not possible to ship all produce from the Otay Mesa and the Tia Juana valley direct from Oneonta instead of the long haul to National City or San Diego? Hopes were high for future development but the ocean along the beach was relentless. It does queer things. The unpredictable waves brought sand into the Bay and the sail boats tilted precariously in the shoal water. The little town struggled on. The hotel was purchased by Mrs. Brewster and an Eastern Syndicate and became known as the "Brewster Medical Company." Mrs. Brewster converted it to a Sanitarium for Consumptives. The Hotel-Sanitarium burned on Sept. 16, 1897. The NC&O railroad gave up running their trains to 0neonta in 1891 after the big flood in the Tia Juana RIver Valley and the trains went only as far as Fruitland. ( Phillips,1959, p. 63. )

In 1892-1893 Directory (page 82) there are listed only 11 persons (compiled by Genevieve C. Kennedy, Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, June 1986)
Eisinmayer, E. fruit grower
Duncan,J .R. painter
Cook and Jackson, grocers
ME Church
Hargis, G. F., deputy sheriff
Phillips, Mrs. E., variety store
Sanborn, Chas., fruit grower
Smith, C.E., grocer and P.M.
Snavely, D.H., carpenter
Stocking, Dr. L.E., sanitarium
Stout, R.C., carpenter
Wood, P.A. (A. Dorsey Co., San Diego)
Yenwine, Geo., blacksmith

The 1893-1894 Directory (page 243) named the following:
Andrews, R. C. rancher
Barton,C. B., rancher
Brown, C., rancher
Cook, E. C., rancher
Eisenmeyer, W.G., miller
Hargis, G. F., accountant
Lynch, J., rancher
Miller, S. A., rancher
McCann, J. A., rancher
Paterson, J. L., rancher
Patty, M., rancher
Sanborn, C., plumber
Schultz, J. T., rancher
Smith, C. E., postmaster and general store
Stocking, Dr. L. E.
Ulterburge, C. A., rancher
Yorba, G., rancher
Armstrong, J., carpenter
Bigsby, R., real estate
Connett, P. E., rancher
Davis, T. J., rancher
Eisenmeyer, N. P., rancher
Holderness, W. H., rancher
Manser, J. E., rancher
Murdock, C. J., rancher
O'Brien, M. J., rancher
Patterson, J. P., rancher
Pierce, R. W., rancher
Schaffer, D. D., salt works
Simons, J., rancher
Snavely, D. H., carpenter
Sternenberg, R. A., rancher
Stout, R. C., carpenter
Yorba, J. rancher

1892/08 - An article in the San Diego Union described Oneonta village in August 1892, four years after the land boom had collapsed: "The principal building is the Oneonta Sanitarium, conducted by Dr. Stocking. This institution is at present the home of a number of hunters and health seekers. There are about 30 rooms well lighted and warmed, and a roof observatory, glass enclosed for sun baths. Competent nurses are in attendance, and the new institution is earning an enviable reputation. The post office is kept by Mr. Smith, who has a general store in connection. Mrs. J. Jackson also carries a stock of general merchandise. There is no hotel as the sanitarium cares for boarders. .. There is a good school house. The mail arrives but once daily, at 6 pm., and leaves at 6 in the morning.... Among the noticeable fine farms in the immediate vicinity are those of Mr. Barton, Mr. Wiley, and Mr. Eisenmeyer." ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1894/02/13 - Advertisement for The Brewster Sanitarium At Oneonta, twelve miles south of San 'Diego, on the N. C. & Otay railroad. A health resort and home for invalids. Electric, Russian, Turkish, sun and vapor baths. Skilled physician and trained nurses. Elegant sunny rooms. (The San Diego Union, Feb. 13, 1894)

1894/07/10 - Head of the Bay Notes. Dr. P. A. Wood of San Diego spent Sunday at his ranch. The apricot, blackberry and peach crops in this vicinity are turning out well. 0. E . Smith and family of Oneonta are off for a three weeks' vacation at Valley Center. The Methodists have had the room in which they worship in the school house frescoed by artist J. B. Duncan. It is a thing of beauty and therefore "a joy forever." They have also added a new pulpit to their church furniture. Mr. Eisenmeyer has returned from a three months' visit east. His walnut ranch is looking finely. He thinks, as an article of commerce, that nothing will compare with the product of a walnut ranch. Almost every inch of the Tia Juana valley is adapted to walnuts. [P. A. Wood ranch on 1892 range map, south of Vollers, east of Oneonta] ( San Diego Union, July 10, 1894 )

1895 Many of the households in this school district are listed as residing in Section 32, which presently includes Ream Field and a portion of the Tijuana Estuary. Land owners in this area on the 1895 San Diego County Tax Factor Map include J. Jackson, Mr. Mar, C. B. Barton, and J. H. and C. J. Ferry. ( Van Wormer, 2005. )

1895 - In spite of the good water, the best fishing and hunting on this coast, an abundance of wild oysters (smaller than cultivated crops), a rich soil, an unsurpassed climate, proximity to ocean and bay, Oneonta had one deadly fault. It lay in the path of periodic, devastating floods. In 1895 a flood damaged the railway, but service was restored. The City and County Directory for 1895-1896 is missing or at least not available at the San Diego Public Public Library so there is not a comparison listing to show who might have moved elsewhere because of this flood. (Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, June 1986)

1896 - The first Methodist organization in the South Bay area was the Tia Juana Valley Methodist Sunday School, beginning in 1888. The church was established in Oneonta, a community that was located where Ream Field is now. Services were conducted in the upstairs room of the Oneonta School. In 1896, a Captain John Folks, a veteran of the Civil War, donated a piece of land in Nestor to the church. The cornerstone of the present structure was laid on July 23, 1896. The National City and Otay railway ran special trains to the ceremony from San Diego. A charge of eighty cents for the trip was made. The railway in turn donated the money raised through the sale of the tickets to the church to be used to purchase furniture. The church stayed much the same as when first built until 1928. Then a recreation hall, kitchen, and fence were added. Today the Nestor Methodist Church is one of the oldest houses of worship in the South Bay area. The original sanctuary is still in use during Sunday church services. By Bob Weaver, Bay Cities Press. ( Chula Vista Historical Society, 1991. )

1897/09/14 - The Oneonta sanitarium burned to the ground Monday morning, the only things saved being a few small articles of furniture. The cause of the fire is unknown, but it is thought to be the work of an incendiary. The structure was built in 1887 and cost $19,000. The property was owned by Mrs. Elizabeth B. Brewster, but was mortgaged to a Mr. Tryon for $4,000 and insured for $5,000 in the Caledonian Insurance Company. The furniture was valued at $1,500 but was not insured. ( The San Diego Union, Sept. 14, 1897 )

1900/02/19 - Oneonta Notes. Sam Norton of Poway is helping sink a well at the Newcomer ranch. The Thursday club met at the home of Mrs. Woolen this week. Light refreshments were served. A. Sensenbrenner, who has been In Los Angeles and vicinity the past week, returned home today. Vanderver and Taylor have purchased part of Ward's 40-acre tract and will develop water for irrigation purposes. The continued dry weather will surely develop water in the Tia Juana valley. There, are several wells under consideration. The well on Lynch's ranch has reached the depth of 90 feet and an abundance of water. Mr. N. Llvermore, late superintendent of the San. Diego Water Company, left Saturday for San Francisco where he will accept a lucrative position. Mr. Lincoln Mansur, of La Mesa, succeeds him as superintendent of the water company. The teacher at Oneonta, Mrs. M. A. Patterson, gave a reception to her pupils on Valentine day. Each pupil received a dainty invitation on a hearts-shaped card a few days previous. At the appointed hour they were received at the door and a ribbon was given each which was to toe wound into a ball, at the end was found a present. Games were indulged in. ( The San Diego Union, Feb. 19, 1900 )

1906/02/23 - Mrs. Ruth Peavey selling a store building for $100 in Oneonta. ( The San Diego Union, Feb. 23, 1906 )

South Bay map 1907 (San Diego History Center)


plat map of property owners in the South Bay, shows location of Oneonta, roads and railroads going south to Tijuana.
(Alexander, W. E., Plat Book of San Diego County, California. Los Angeles: Pacific Plat Book Co., 1911.)


The USGS map of 1943 shows the location of Ream Field where Oneonta had existed.


1918/10/05 - SECOND BIG AIR SCHOOL GOES TO ONEONTA. San Diego's importance as a military center was strengthened today by the announcement that Oneonta has been selected for a second flying school for the army and that work on the construction of 14 -big steel hangars will soon be started there. At the present time the aviation corps has a school of aerial gunnery at Oneonta. and when the new hangars are received and the flying school established, this field will rank in importance with any in the west. According to the announcement made today the 14 steel hangars for the Oneonta field have already been shipped from the east. Each of these hangars is 160 by 50 feet in size, and the 14 that have been shipped represent a total cost of $175.000. At present the army aviation corps possesses ground at Oneonta about one square mile. Leases on another square mile of ground are now being negotiated and are expected to be completed In the near future and in ample time to meet the plans prepared by the war department. Much of this work is in the hands of A. P. Johnson, jr. president of the Southern Title Guaranty company, who is now in Washington oa this and other important matters Connected with army activities in and about San Diego. Confirmation of the plans for the new school were made by Col. Burwell at Rockwell Field who will also be in charge of th field at Oneonta. In addition to the establishing of the Oneonta school, there is said to be also a probability that both the Rockwell field and Oneonta field schools will be equipped with even faster fighting planes than are now: belng used. The new planes, it is said, will likely be of the same type as are now being used at the front in France by American aviators. All flyers now in the various army schools here are reported making rapid progress under the direction of Capt. Cooper of the British army. Benois of the French army and Lieut. Pouree also of the French army. These instructors have takent the greatest interest in the advancement of the fiyers In training in the vicinitv of San Diego and have been particurariv desirous of rendering every advice and assistance in the establishing of the new school. All three officers are extremely anxious to complete their work here in a short time and return to the front and report on the satisfactory conditions prevailing at the schools where they have ben rendering work of the greatest importance. With the establishing of a second big flying field at Oneonta, army officers believe that the time is not far distant when the prediction by Gen. Robinson or the British army that San Diego will be the greatest and most important flying center In the world, win have been realized. ( San Diego Union, Oct. 5, 1918 )

1918/10/15 - ONEONTA FIELD NAMED IN HONOR LATE MAJOR REAM. Request for Change Made to War Department and This Has Been Granted. Oneonta, rated as one of the finest and most efficient aerial gunnery schools in the world, has been officially named Ream field In memory of the late Maj. William Ream of San Diego. Lt. Col. Harvey Burwell, commander of Rockwell field, requested the war department to name Oneonta in honor of the popular flight surgeon. The war department promptly granted Colonel Borwells request and in a special order, a copy of which was received here yesterday, the crack aerial gunnery school's name was changed to Ream field. Major Ream had the distinction of being the first surgeon in the American air service to qualify as a military aviator. He was killed in August while flying with Lt. Col. C. K. Rhinehart's flying circus. This flying circus consisted of a number of American, French and British airmen touring middle western states with the object of giving people of those states an opportunity of viewing Allied warplanes. Major Ream was one of the pioneer surgeons in the air service. He came to North Island shortly after the first squadron of army aviators arrived from Texas in 1912. In aeronautical circles he is credited with many innovations relating to the medical treatment and care of men engaged in flight duty. Major Ream was killed near Effingham, Ill., Aug. 24, while flying as a passenger in a military airplane enroute from Indianapolis to St. Louis. Major Ream was born at Home, Neb. He was 42 years of age and a 32nd degree Mason. ( The San Diego Union, Oct. 15, 1918 )

SOURCES:
  • Chula Vista Historical Society Bulletin, March and July, 1986.
  • Chula Vista Historical Society. Family, Friends, and Homes. San Diego CA: Tecolote Publications, 1991.
  • Elliot, Freda Compton. History of Imperial Beach. 1976.
  • Menzel, Spencer L., "The Development of the Sweetwater Area (California)," M.A. Thesis, University of Southern Californa, 1942.
  • Phillips, Irene. San Diego Land & Town Company, 1880-1927. National City CA: South Bay Press, 1959.
  • Pourade, Richard F. The Glory Years. The History of San Diego, v. 4. San Diego, California: The Union-Tribune Publishing Company, 1964.
  • Van Wormer, Stephen R. "A Land Use History of the Tia Juana River Valley," California State Parks, Southern Service Center, June 2005.

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