John Vonderlin: In 1858 horse racing was local entertainment

Hi June,
This article from the September 14th, 1858 issue of the “Daily Alta,” shows that the “Coin of the Realm,” could be most anything on the early Coastside. Whether sacks of barley were an improvement over the Ohlone’s earlier use of shells and chert pebbles is debatable. Unless you were hungry. Enjoy. John

LETTER FROM CRYSTAL SPRINGS. THE SPRINGS- HORSE- RACING – GAME. San Mateo County, Sunday, Sept. 12. Editor Alta:— Here I am at Crystal Springs, in San Mateo county, rusticating for a few days. As I don’t suppose you know where this spot should be on the map, I will tell you that it is five miles from the Seventeen-mile House, and about one and a half miles back of the San Mateo House. The way you get to this charming spot is down the county road to the Black Hawk ranch, about two miles below Coulter’s Seventeen-mile House, and then turn in through the gate opposite the said Black Hawk Ranch. Three miles of a drive over a rolling country brings you to one of the loveliest spots this side of San Jose, which is Crystal Springs. The accommodations are plain, the food excellent, attention whole-souled, and the scenery magnificent. Well, now, that I have told you this much, let me give you a few items. On Saturday, the 11th, there was a grand race at Half Moon Bay, some six miles from here, between two horses called Eagle and Peno, in which the former beat the latter about thirty feet in the mile, which was done in two minutes. Six hundred dollars in money, and “five or six hundred sacks of barley changed hands,” that is, in sporting terms. A large number of persons assembled at the race, and several scrub races came off after the grand race. Several matches were made to come off to-morrow (Monday).

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About June Morrall

1947 - 2010
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