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Walking tour highlights Oceanside’s history

OCEANSIDE — The streets of Oceanside hold a lot of history. To share some of that history, John Daley, Oceanside Historical Society vice president, led the final in a summer series of six-block history walks on Sept. 12. The walk was packed full of facts and began at the Civic Center and wound through downtown.
Dean Howe of Oceanside was a first-timer on the walk. “I wanted to check the walk out,” Howe said. “I belong to the Oceanside Historical Society and always get their newsletter.”
Along the walk, Daley pointed out buildings from the 1880s all the way to recent 2008 redevelopments and shared their history. “I know a little bit more about local history then the next guy, that makes me an expert,” Daley said.
Daley grew up in Oceanside and learned about local history through research and listening to verbal accounts, which he shares on the walk.
There was a building boom in Oceanside in the 1940s. Buildings built during the war years have a solid,
sturdy look, Daley said. At
that time, Oceanside was a town of 5,000 people and 7,000 showed up to work. There were lines at every restaurant and the 101 Cafe added a residential trailer park to house workers. In 1942, Camp Pendleton was bought as a military amphibious training ground.
Oceanside was established in the 1880s and most of the town has been rebuilt several times. The Oceanside Pier was rebuilt six times. The first pier was built at the end of what is now Wisconsin Street, Daley said. The band shell located by the pier was rebuilt four times since it was first constructed in 1845, and there were prior hotels on the oceanfront site where the newly built Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort now sits, including the South Pacific Hotel built in 1897.
After a couple dozen buildings were pointed out and Daley shared stories of trains that have come through Oceanside, the tour headed back to the Civic Center.
“I grew up in Oceanside and went to Oceanside High School,” Rod Andres of Escondido said. Andres has gone on the history walk three times. “Every time I learn something different.”
To arrange a history walk or learn more about Oceanside history, contact the Oceanside Historical Society at

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