Atascadero’s 100th anniversary is now a little less than two years away, in 2013.
Nobody knows yet what kind of celebration the community may hold. There are a number of events that could mirror 1913, when the 23,000-acre J.H. Henry cattle ranch was purchased by Edward G. Lewis.
Lewis wrote that he met with Henry in the beautiful Paso Robles Hot Springs Hotel. In fact, Lewis’ first advertising bulletin has a photo of the Paso hotel on the cover. That meeting was in January 1913. Another big date might be on the Fourth of July when the deed to the ranch was formally accepted by Mabel Gertrude Lewis from Henry himself.
Not much more happened of interest to the general public until the summer of 1914, when Lewis began work on the City Administration Building.
Mrs. Lewis helped place the cornerstone in June 1914. A tent city was erected on a small hill up behind the present A&W restaurant, where the historical Ewalt home, formerly owned by developer Kelly Gearhart, was eventually built. Guests were given tours of the ranch property and then sent home. A second tent city was eventually opened to guests in the fall of 1915.
It is that tent city event that is now celebrated along with Colony Days in October of each year.Now is the time to begin thinking about a logo for Atascadero’s 100th celebration, whether it is a one-day affair or includes numerous events and venues throughout the year.
I have no graphic arts skills, or I’d try my hand at designing a 100th anniversary logo to be affixed to everything having to do with the centennial celebration. Such a logo is often reflective of a common thread in a community.
In the case of Atascadero, the thread is mud. The word “Atascadero” means a miry place; where one gets stuck.
Atascadero Main Street is using a reflection of the idea with its catchphrase, “Get stuck on us.” For a number of years, a popular local event was the “Mudhole Follies.”
Cowboy star Hoot Gibson filmed a movie here in 1927 about a man who had horrible blotches on his face caused by poison oak. The cure was the application of generous portions of local clay. When it was removed, he looked just perfect. The “mud” scenes were shot near Atascadero Lake and a location most locals know as the “Three Bridges” area. Gibson even found time to judge a beauty contest at Atascadero Lake in July 1927.
Finally, Atascaderans have a solid reputation for robust mudslinging during what at times are contentious issues ranging from the construction of the Highway 41 extension east across the Salinas River to Walmart.
OK, artists, pick up your pencils and brushes and draw us a centennial logo.
Reach Lon Allan at 466-8529 or email@example.com.