Thursday, October 23, 2008

From the Director

( Photo courtesy of George Cooke)
The historical society receives requests for information from time to time. This week a question came from the project manager who is remodeling the building pictured above. In 1976 this was Southwest Bank; this December it will reopen as California Bank and Trust. The bell in front was the point of interest. Was it historical? After a team of RBHS researchers looked through old phone directories and other publications, and calls were made to former bank officials and other community members, it was determined that the "El Camino Real" style bell was a replica which was commissioned for all the original branches of Southwest Bank. The bell will be repainted, the missing clapper replaced, and a historic plaque put up. While the bell is not one of the original mission bells, it is 32 years old and a community landmark.
We also learned that murals were commissioned for each bank. Famed local artist Richard Gabriel Chase was hired to depict San Diego County events from history. One was of the Battle of San Pasqual. If you remember the original mural in Rancho Bernardo, please contact the historical society with more information.


At October 27, 2008 8:15 PM, Anonymous George Cooke said...

Hi Susan,
This "El Camino Real" style bell is an interesting bit of history for Rancho Bernardo, and a wonderful example of a use for the blog. I hope it attracts some comments from people who may know more parts to add to the story.
...George Cooke


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