San Ysidro and the Tijuana River Valley by Arcadia Publishing traces the history of the border region through a large collection of photographs. In 1851, surveyors placed a marble obelisk on a mesa overlooking the Pacific Ocean, which demarcated the United States-Mexico boundary line. Tourists flocked to the region alongside land speculators who envisioned upscale hotels, resorts, and spas. Tia-juana, at the time, was a small town, which existed on both the American and Mexican side.
Two decades later, an East Coast journalist, William Smythe, established a utopian agricultural colony in what is today San Ysidro. The colony was washed away by the 1916 flood and after that, Border Barons lived there while earning their living through the flourishing Vice Tourism industry in Tijuana.
The presentation will include pictures of the San Diego-Tijuana border from the 1880's onward, stories of the man who drank one bottle of whiskey per day, the controversial rumor that Seabiscuit was boarded in the Valley, and a private picture of Bobby Kennedy in San Ysidro one day before his assassination.
Author Barbara Zaragoza, a CVGS member, with her master's degree in history from Harvard University, has used extensive interviews of community members as well as photographs from private and public collections to capture what it has meant to live in this small border community. She is a freelance writer who resides in Chula Vista, California. Barbara will have her books to sell for $20 each.
This meeting is free to attend. There will be a short society business meeting before the presentation, and refreshments before and after the meeting.