SBHS News . . .

Hello Everyone: The first Bulletin of the year was sent Jan. 18 to all members who have paid dues for 2015. The second Bulletin of this year will be emailed April 12. Our next meeting will be Thursday, April 16, at 6 pm in the Chula Vista Public Library auditorium at 365 F Street. The speaker will be Mike McCoy who was one of the founders of the Tijuana River National Estuary.

Laura Charles spoke at our meeting Jan. 22, and told interesting tales of her many years as a teacher at Sweetwater High School. She spoke of the importance of Guy Hutchins, first superintendent of the new Sweetwater Unified School District in 1922. Hutchins was the uncle of South Bay Historical Society member Pat Wagner. Also at this meeting it was reported with great sadness that Society Treasurer Pattie Frazer had passed away just a few days earlier, the result of a fall during her recent trip to Arizona.

Peter Watry has been researching the military history of the South Bay, and has found an answer to a question often asked by local residents. . .

Why is Telegraph Canyon Road named "Telegraph Canyon Road"?

In the 1870s and 1880s, the U. S. Army was still trying to bring the Apaches to heel in Arizona. It was tough going. At one point, one/third of the U. S. Army was in Arizona. The main Army headquarters was at Fort Whipple, outside Prescott, AZ, but they had many forts all over Arizona for the task. At first, supplies came from San Francisco by ship down around Baja, and then up the Gulf to Yuma. (The remains of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot is now an historical park just below the south side of the I-8 bridge over the Colorado River, on the Arizona side of the river. Fort Yuma itself is on the California side, high on a bluff on the north side of I-8. Now part of an Indian reservation, the original Fort Yuma buildings are still being used.) From there, supplies went out to the various forts. Shipping by water from San Francisco to Yuma took 14 days. Smaller quantities could be carried by wagons from San Diego to Yuma and only took 7 days. In 1873, General Crook decided to connect all these forts by telegraph line from San Diego out that road. The line ran south from San Diego through National City (there was no "Chula Vista" in 1873), and then east through Telegraph Canyon to Campo, and eventually to Yuma. The original Telegraph Canyon road
followed the current route until almost Wueste Road, then turned north and out
what is now called Proctor Valley Road to Jamul. The road to Yuma went through
Campo and then to Yuma, roughly following the present Highway 94. General
Crook said "only an Apache can catch an Apache," and made much use of
his Apache Scouts. That worked several times, including with Geronimo,
but then the Indians would leave the reservation and continue raiding.
General Crook was replaced by General Miles, who held that
American soldiers did not need any Apaches, he could conquer
the Apaches using just American soldiers. That was when
one-third of the U. S. Army was in Arizona. They did
not even come close to succeeding. Finally, a Captain
who had served under General Crook took a couple
of Apache Scouts with him and they found
Geronimo deep in the Sierra Madre
mountains in Mexico. They talked
Geronimo into surrendering, and
then General Miles, after taking
credit for it all, stuffed them
on trains and hauled
them off to Florida.

More history news to come next month.
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