Thursday, September 2, 2004
<>Head on Down
This letter is in regards to Stuart Thornton’s cover story “Deep South” [Aug. 26-Sept. 1]. While I sensed that the writer was out of his element and a bit uncomfortable, I was glad to see the Weekly venture out and explore some of the old and sometimes forgotten corners of our county. >
While I’m born raised in Salinas, this county’s “off the beaten track” southern cities have always been places I’ve been drawn to. From Parkfield, rich in activities such as the summer bluegrass festival, annual rodeo, and mountain bike races, to the once historic oil fields of San Ardo.<>I believe there are many of our county’s residents who don’t realize what is out there beyond the borders of the Peninsula. While admittedly these towns are not what they once were, it is still important to remember all of our history and perhaps give an place old a new try. I think many would find the slower pace of yesteryear a refreshing break from the modern-day hustle and bustle.
The South Will Rise
About once or twice a year I head down to southern California for a surf trip, and therefore drive through South County. Sometimes I turn off and take Cattleman Road or Bradley Road instead of staying on the freeway. Though I know I travelled on the old Highway 101 that went through Bradley and San Ardo as a kid, I don’t remember it. I wonder if there is any interest in getting Cattleman Road and Bradley Road Historic US 101 road signs, as in San Diego County, where the decommissioned Highway 101 has been redesignated with these historic highway signs? One would think that the Bradley Road bridge over the Salinas River should get some sort of historical landmark status.>
Good News About the Old
We want to commend the Weekly for its efforts to keep Monterey Area residents informed about matters that affect our historic heritage. Reporter Jessica Lyons’ thoughtful update on the status of the old Monterey County Jail in last week’s issue is a recent example [“Old Jail in Court,” Aug. 26-Sept. 1]—the ongoing coverage of the fate of Carmel’s Flanders Mansion is another. >
In the rush to get on with the future, it may be worth taking a moment to ask—why preserve these old buildings?
One answer is that historic preservation reminds our community where it came from—what previous generations achieved, what they believed, what they hoped to be. And by protecting these reminders of the past, we build the present and the future, since we save valuable resources and at the same time remind ourselves of our community’s goals and dreams.
Further, preservation makes economic sense, as towns and cities that protect their historic areas attract more visitors, and those people stay longer and spend more. Finally, saving and re-using historic buildings creates profits—as well as appealing places to live and work!<>Again, thanks for helping keep our area—where California was born—up-to-date on issues that may impact our historic resources; we look forward to continuing in-depth coverage.
Send Us A Letter
Write to: Editor, Monterey County Weekly, 668 Williams Ave., Seaside, CA 93955. Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters should be no more than 300 words long. Please include telephone number for verification. >