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The Jour n a l of

Volume 5 4

San Diego History

Fall 20 0 8 Number 4 • The Journal of San Diego History

The Bishop’s School: Celebrating 100 Years

Publication of The Journal of San Diego History has been partially funded by generous grants from the Joseph W. Sefton Foundation; Natale A. Carasali Trust; Quest for Truth Foundation of Seattle, Washington, established by the late James G. Scripps; the Dallas and Mary Clark Foundation; Philip M. Klauber; and an anonymous friend and supporter of the Journal. Publication of this issue of The Journal of San Diego History has also been supported by a grant from “The Journal of San Diego History Fund” of the San Diego Foundation. The San Diego Historical Society is able to share the resources of four museums and its extensive collections with the community through the generous support of the following: City of San Diego Commission for Art and Culture; County of San Diego; foundation and government grants; individual and corporate memberships; corporate sponsorship and donation bequests; sales from museum stores and reproduction prints from the Booth Historical Photograph Archives; admissions; and proceeds from fund-raising events. Articles appearing in The Journal of San Diego History are abstracted and indexed in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life. The paper in the publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Science-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.

Front Cover: The Bishop’s School Tower designed by Carleton Monroe Winslow and placed above the chapel in 1930. Photo by Allen Wynar. Back Cover: Open Day, 1921. Returning students perform in front of Bentham Hall, which originally featured El Miradero, a lookout tower designed by Irving Gill. It was removed in 1930. Photo courtesy of The Bishop’s School. Cover Design: Allen Wynar

Preserve a San Diego Treasure Your $100 contribution will help to create an endowment for

The Journal of San Diego History

Please make your check payable to The San Diego Foundation. Indicate on the bottom of your check that your donation is for The Journal of San Diego History Fund. The San Diego Foundation accepts contributions of $100 and up. Your contribution is tax-deductible.

The San Diego Foundation 2508 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92106

(619) 235-2300 or (858) 385-1595 [email protected]

The Jour nal of

San Diego History Volume 54

Fall 2008

Iris H. W. Engstrand Molly McClain



Review Editors

Published since 1955 by the SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California 92101 ISSN 0022-4383

number 4

The Jour na l of

San Diego History Volum e 5 4

Fa ll 2 0 0 8

Editorial Consultants MATTHEW BOKOVOY University of Nebraska Press DONALD C. CUTTER Albuquerque, New Mexico WILLIAM DEVERELL University of Southern California; Director, Huntington-USC Institute of California and the West VICTOR GERACI University of California, Berkeley PHOEBE KROPP University of Pennsylvania ROGER W. LOTCHIN University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill NEIL MORGAN Journalist DOYCE B. NUNIS, JR University of Southern California JOHN PUTMAN San Diego State University ANDREW ROLLE The Huntington Library RAMON EDUARDO RUIZ University of California, San Diego ABE SHRAGGE University of California, San Diego RAYMOND STARR San Diego State University, emeritus DAVID J. WEBER Southern Methodist University


n um ber 4

Published quarterly by the San Diego Historical Society at 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California 92101. A $60.00 annual membership in the San Diego Historical Society includes subscription to The Journal of San Diego History and the SDHS Times. Back issues are available at Articles and book reviews for publication consideration, as well as editorial correspondence, should be addressed to the Editors, The Journal of San Diego History, Department of History, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110 All article submissons should be typed and double-spaced with endnotes, and follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Authors should submit three copies of their manuscript, plus an electronic copy, in MS Word or in rich text format (RTF). The San Diego Historical Society assumes no responsibility for the statements or opinions of the authors or reviewers. ©2008 by the San Diego Historical Society ISSN 0022-4383 Periodicals postage paid at San Diego, CA Publication No. 331-870 (619) 232-6203 Note: For a change of address, please call (619) 232-6203 ext. 102 or email [email protected]

CONTENTS Volume 54

Fall 2008

number 4

ARTICLES The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 Molly McClain 235

Irving Gill’s Vision for The Bishop’s School

Nicole Holland, Ashley Chang, and Pieter Stougaard 268

Artists in La Jolla, 1890-1950 Jean Stern 281

Village Memories: A Photo Essay on La Jolla’s Past Jeremy Hollins 300





The University of San Diego and The San Diego Historical Society congratulate The Bishop’s School on its 100th Anniversary Year 2008-2009

The Bishop’s School Centennial Celebration Exhibition Series 2008-2009

Staged in the Wheeler J. Bailey building on Bishop’s campus, these exhibitions are open to the public without charge: • The Bishop’s School History Exhibition September 16 – December 15 “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” features photographs, uniforms, student trophies and awards, letters, yearbooks, and other items from Bishop’s 100-year history • California Plein Air Art Exhibition January 19 – March 1 “Visions of San Diego” featuring California Impressionist paintings from The Irvine Museum • Irving Gill Architecture Retrospective Exhibition March 16 – April 30 Images and designs from the work of the renowned early 20th century architect, Irving Gill

The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 Molly McClain The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, founded in 1909, has a long tradition of celebrating birthdays. In the early twentieth century, a party was held each year to honor the school’s founder, Episcopal Bishop Joseph Horsfall Johnson. Ellen Browning Scripps, an important benefactor, described it in a 1916 letter to her sister, Virginia. She wrote that there was ice cream, an “immense birthday cake,” speeches and toasts “with the occasional outbreak of college cries from the side tables.”1 Scripps, too, was honored on her birthday, an event now known as “EBS Day.” Every year, alumni and friends sing “Happy Birthday” while a representative from the Scripps Foundation blows out the candle on her cake. In 2009, The Bishop’s School celebrates another birthday, its own. For the past one hundred years, the school has prepared young women and men to meet the demands of a college education. An independent day-school affiliated with the Episcopal Church, it values intellectual, artistic, and athletic excellence. It also maintains a tradition of community service that dates back to World War I. This article focuses on the early years of The Bishop’s School. It explores the collaboration between Bishop Johnson and the Scripps sisters, emphasizing their exceptional vision for women’s education at a time when few girls finished high school, much less prepared for college. The article also points out the importance of Progressive-era attitudes on the development of the school. The founders’ passion for efficiency, economy, and social justice influenced the school’s culture and curriculum. It also led them to patronize Irving Gill, an advocate of a reformed style of architecture. The result would be a campus of remarkable simplicity and serenity.

Women’s Education The Bishop’s School was founded at a time of expanding educational opportunities for women. Between 1870 and 1900, the number of women enrolled in colleges and universities multiplied eightfold, from 11,000 to 85,000. Women’s colleges such as Vassar (1865), Wellesley (1875), Smith (1875), and Bryn Mawr (1884), became national institutions. Seminaries such as Mount Holyoke, Mills, and Rockford, were re-chartered as colleges in the 1880s. Women attended private coeducational institutions including Boston College, Cornell, Oberlin, Swarthmore, the University of Chicago, and the University of Southern California. They also enrolled at large state universities in California, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan,

Molly McClain, associate professor and chair of the History Department at the University of San Diego, is co-editor of The Journal of San Diego History. She was a boarding student at The Bishop’s School in the late 1970s. She is very grateful for the assistance of Judy Harvey Sahak, Librarian, Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College, and the staff of The Bishop’s School.


The Journal of San Diego History

The Bishop’s School offered an innovative curriculum designed to help students pass the rigorous entrance exams required by women’s colleges like Vassar and Smith. In this photo, members of the Class of 1917 read outdoors. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

Missouri, and Wisconsin. Although elite men’s colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia did not admit women, reformers continued to press for access. Their efforts resulted in the creation of Barnard (1889) and Radcliffe (1894) as affiliated women’s colleges.2 In the early years, however, relatively few women took up the challenge of higher education. Some public high schools prepared their students to attend teacher-training normal schools at state colleges and universities. Most, however, did not offer a curriculum that would help their students pass the rigorous college entrance exams required by elite institutions. Private girls’ schools, meanwhile,


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 generally emphasized the kind of female “accomplishments” that would prepare women for good marriages and lives of leisure. According to Andrea Hamilton, “The new women’s colleges faced the reality that very few young women had adequate academic preparation to undertake true college-level work.”3 At the turn of the century, educational reformers established independent girls’ schools that would prepare women for college. The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, established in 1885, offered one of the earliest and most innovative programs. Students studied English, history, geometry, algebra, laboratory sciences, German or Greek, and music. They took gymnastics and participated in sports in an effort to allay parents’ fears that education might be detrimental to their daughters’ health. According to the 1896 school catalog, the institution sought “to provide for girls the same advantages that had for some time existed in the best secondary schools for boys.”4 Other college preparatory institutions for women included the Brearley School in New York (1884), the Marlborough School in Los Angeles (1888), and the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. (1889). The Bishop’s School combined an innovative approach to women’s education with an emphasis on Christian character. A 1919 article in the Los Angeles Times expressed teachers’ hopes that “the moral and spiritual characteristics of the student should be developed along with purely mental attributes.” The school motto, “Simplicitas, Sinceritas, Serenitas,” expressed a desire to help students attain “strength and poise in their physical, mental and spiritual lives.” At the same time, it was intended to be the foundation for a women’s college in San Diego. According to a 1910 article, Bishop Johnson said “that if the city continues to grow, and The Bishop’s School for Girls now being inaugurated keeps pace with the progressiveness of the city, that it will terminate in a women’s college equal to any in the country.”5

The Right Reverend Joseph Horsfall Johnson (1847-1928) The Right Reverend Joseph Horsfall Johnson, the bishop of the Los Angeles Diocese of the Episcopal Church, was an energetic and enthusiastic supporter of education. He was born in Schenectady, New York, on June 7, 1847, the son of Stephen Hotchkiss Johnson and Eleanor Horsfall. His family traced its roots back to the founding of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1638. He graduated from Williams College in 1870 along with friends Francis Lynde Stetson, who went on to become J. P. Morgan’s personal attorney; Francis E. Leupp, Commissioner of Indian Affairs; and Dr. Harry Pratt Judson, President of the University of Chicago. Johnson retained great affection for his alma mater, attending alumni events and meetings of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. After graduation, he entered the General Theological Seminary in 1870. He was ordained deacon in 1873 and priest in 1874. He served as rector of Trinity Church, Highlands, New York (1874-79); Trinity Church, Bristol, Rhode Island (1879-81); St. Peter’s Church, Westchester, New York (1881-86); and Christ Church, Detroit, Michigan (1886-96). He married Isabel Greene Davis of Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1881 and had one son, Reginald D. Johnson.6 Johnson was elected Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles in February 1896. Until that time, the Episcopal Church in California had been under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of California with its headquarters in San Francisco. In 1895, eight


The Journal of San Diego History

counties of Southern California became a separate diocese.7 According to Leslie G. Learned, rector of All Saints, Pasadena, Johnson arrived to find “very little except a band of the most devoted clergy.” The region was struggling to emerge from the real estate collapse of 1888 and St. Paul’s Cathedral “was weak and tottering. The prospect was not alluring.”8 The diocese had thirty-three clergy, thirty-nine missions and parishes, and 3,600 communicants. It had one institution, Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, and $15,000 worth of debt. Johnson proved to be a gifted spiritual leader and a first-rate administrator. “He possessed a business sagacity and vision rarely given to a clergyman,” wrote Learned. He was not only “trusted The Right Reverend Joseph Horsfall Johnson, Episcopal by his own clergy and by his laity, Bishop of Los Angeles. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School. but financial leaders of Los Angeles placed exceptional confidence in his business judgment.” By 1910, the diocese had seventy-three clergy, seventy missions and parishes, 8,000 communicants, and no debt.9 He raised money for Good Samaritan Hospital’s new building on Wilshire Boulevard and helped to establish the Neighborhood Settlement of Los Angeles, the Church Home for Children, and the Home for the Aged. A short man, Johnson had a big waistline and an outgoing personality. He showed “an extraordinary ability to make and keep friends….He could go nowhere without being greeted by one person after another.” Rev. W. Bertrand Stevens recalled that it often took nearly an hour for the bishop to return home after a Los Angeles Philharmonic concert, despite the fact that he lived only a few blocks away. Each summer Johnson traveled to Europe, usually to a spa at Vichy or Marienbad. Stevens wrote, “He liked big ocean liners and great hotels,” rather than secluded spots. If he went to a strange hotel “he would immediately set about making the acquaintance of all the people there, and within an hour or so after his arrival, nearly succeed in doing so.” A Baptist minister who met him on the train to San Diego described him as “a broad-minded man—kind, genial, and intensely human.” A college friend, Walter Goodwin Mitchell, said, “He was such a whole hearted, genial man,” adding, “He was always that way, from a boy.”10 The bishop strongly believed in the importance of fellowship, writing: “If a man cannot read the office of worship and a sermon, he can at least speak a kindly word to a fellow man.”11 Johnson took his faith seriously. He held “high church” Tractarian views and insisted on the strict observance of canons and the rubrics of the new Prayer Book of 1892.12 He rarely missed a General Convention or a Synod of the Province of


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 the Pacific, though he never publicly took sides on issues under debate. He conducted himself with great dignity in the pulpit and gave powerful public sermons that tackled controversial issues like divorce.13 In 1914, he took his own clergy to task for participating in “the scramble for numbers, for large congregations, for large contributions,” without regard to the methods used. He reminded them that the church was not a social club where parishioners could enjoy “vaudeville” from the pews. “We may make ourselves popular with the man in the street…,” he said, “What is it worth when a great moral issue is at stake?”14 At the same time, he retained a “sunny optimism” about the future of the church. In 1918, Ellen Browning Scripps described his reply to an address given by the socialist writer H. Austin Adams: “of course, the Bishop’s response was—as his remarks always are— especially happy and his dove of peace and harmony spread his gracious wings over the assembly.”15 The bishop traveled throughout Southern California, informing himself about the state of the missions in the region. He was particularly concerned by the poverty of San Diego’s Native American community. He helped Charles Bishop Johnson, n.d. Beatrice Payne, Class of 1922, noted that the bishop had the “most remarkable Fletcher Lummis and the Sequoia League memory of names. He could always recall a girl to get the attention of President Theodore instantly after once meeting her.” Courtesy of The Bishop’s School. Roosevelt and Francis E. Leupp in order to assist more than two hundred Cupeño Indians who had been evicted from Warner’s Ranch in 1903.16 He also sponsored a lace-making school at the Mesa Grande Reservation though he insisted, “I feel very strongly about the protection of the native industries, basketry and the drawn linen, and shall do all that I can to see that that is kept in full view.”17 In 1906, an article in the Los Angeles Times reported, “The Indians all over this section of the State have learned to know and love Bishop Johnson. One of them recently wrote a letter to Miss Grebe, the deaconess of the diocese, in which he said: ‘When is the Bishop coming? We like that man.’”18 Johnson also felt strongly about education. He established one of the first Diocesan Summer Schools in 1902 in Santa Monica. He considered creating a college affiliated with the Episcopal Church. He finally came to the conclusion, however, that the establishment of good preparatory schools was “the greatest


The Journal of San Diego History

contribution that the Diocese of Los Angeles could make.”19 In 1907, the Bishop began laying plans for a girls’ preparatory school. He tapped Anna Frances O’Hare Bentham (ca. 1877-1915) and Rev. Charles Edward Bentham (ca. 18751914) to head the new school that he planned to open in Sierra Madre, not far from Pasadena. At the time, Charles Bentham was rector of the Church of the Ascension in Sierra Madre. He and his wife had come to California from Boston around 1902 due to ill health. A Harvard graduate, he had attended Berkeley Divinity School and was ordained priest in 1901. Anna Bentham had been educated at the Boston Normal School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After the death of a daughter, Dorothy, she committed herself to teaching and community service. She founded both the Sierra Madre Club for Anna Frances Bentham was the first principal of The Women and, later, the San Diego Bishop’s School while her husband, Rev. Charles E. Bentham, served as teacher, school chaplain, and treasurer College Women’s Club. When Bishop of the board of trustees. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School. Johnson offered her the position of headmistress, she was head of the English Department at the Marlborough School, at that time located in Pasadena.20 However, Johnson altered his plan to build his girls’ school in Sierra Madre when two prominent San Diegans offered to become benefactors: Ellen Browning Scripps and her sister Eliza Virginia Scripps. Two schools would be built: a day school in San Diego and a boarding school in La Jolla.

Ellen Browning Scripps (1836-1932); Eliza Virginia Scripps (1852-1921) Ellen Browning Scripps and her sister Virginia were drawn to the idea of a preparatory school in San Diego. Ellen was the only one of her thirteen siblings to have received a college education, attending the Female Collegiate Department of Knox College at Galesburg, Illinois, from 1856 to 1859. She supported the women’s suffrage movement and endorsed progressive political ideas.21 Her sister, meanwhile, was a devout Episcopalian who firmly believed in women’s capacity for work and independence. The Scripps sisters came from a family of hardworking, entrepreneurial men and women. Their great-grandfather, William Scripps, had come to the United States from Great Britain in 1791 to escape a “threatened domestic explosion,” leaving behind an illegitimate child and his outraged mother. Ellen, matter-of-


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

Ellen Browning Scripps in the library of her La Jolla home, n.d. Courtesy of Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College.

fact about her family’s “plebian origin,” considered many family members to be little more respectable than their ancestor.22 Their grandfather, William Armiger Scripps, visited his nephews in Rushville, Illinois, in 1833 and 1843, purchasing some land on the outskirts of town before he left. Their father, James Mogg Scripps, worked as a bookbinder in London until he decided to emigrate to Illinois in 1844 “for the good of the children.”23 In fact, he found his business dwindling with the introduction of mechanical binding. He married three times. His first wife, Elizabeth Sabey, died in 1831 after giving birth to two children: William Sabey and Elizabeth Mary. His second wife, Ellen Mary Saunders, died in 1841 after producing six children: Ellen Sophia, James Edmund, Ellen Browning, William Armiger, George Henry, and John Mogg. He met his third wife, Julia Osborn, soon after his arrival in America. She also bore five children: Julia Anne, Thomas Osborn, Frederick Tudor, Eliza Virginia (called Virginia), and Edward Wyllis. This large family lived together on an eighty-acre farm in Rushville, not far from their Scripps cousins. James Mogg tried his hand at coal mining, brick and tile making, tanning, ice quarrying, lumber milling, and farming. His limited success encouraged his sons to leave Rushville for Detroit. Ellen’s brothers took up journalism on the eve of the Civil War. One cousin had established Rushville’s Prairie Telegraph while another cousin, John Locke Scripps, was an early proprietor of the Chicago Tribune. After working briefly in Chicago, James, the eldest brother, moved to Detroit to become business manager and part owner of the Tribune. In 1864, his brothers George and William joined him. Edward arrived in 1872. Together, they invested in real estate and founded the Evening News, later called The Detroit News, in 1873. They gained a foothold in a competitive market by charging only two cents per issue, half as much as the competition. In 1878, they started the Cleveland Penny Press and put twenty-four-year-old Edward


The Journal of San Diego History

in charge. Within a few years, they had acquired papers in St. Louis, Buffalo, and Cincinnati. By 1908, the family had a chain of low-cost, working-class newspapers in Akron, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, El Paso, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Tacoma.24 Ellen Browning assisted her brothers on the Tribune and the Evening News. She had worked as a teacher after graduating from Knox College but soon realized that she would not be able to make a living. She wrote her brother George in 1864, “At present price of labor…, I shall starve or be compelled to lay aside the birch and ferule for the dish cloth or wash tub. I verily believe the woman who did my washing and ironing at the rate of five cents a piece realized a much larger monthly Virginia Scripps, known to her family as “Jennie,” income than I am blessed with.”25 As n.d. She provided considerable financial support and a result, she left the classroom for the encouragement to The Bishop’s School. Courtesy of Ella newsroom, working as a proofreader Strong Denison Library, Scripps College. and head of the copy desk. She also cut, trimmed, and rewrote articles from other papers to create a daily miscellany, occasionally adding her own observations. This would be the germ of a Scripps institution, the Newspaper Enterprise Association. She worked ten hours a day in the office before returning to James’s home where she helped with the housework. Her brother Edward recalled, “She nursed my brother’s children; and when I fell seriously ill in the same home, she nursed me. All of her small salary, for a time, went to providing for myself and other of her brothers and sisters, who were not self-supporting.”26 Ellen wrote, “I have been a workingwoman—and a hard one—all my woman’s life, and I have learned the value of property.”27 A physically slight woman, Ellen had a sharp intellect and considerable business acumen. Her lawyer recalled, “She did an enormous amount of reading—magazines, new books, classics. There are few Bible students who were more familiar with the Scriptures.”28 Edward, musing on the mental capabilities of women in general, told her: “Old as you are and female as you are, I am sure that your vision is clearer and your imagination more vivid in such [business] matters than that of any man that I know.”29 He owed her a considerable debt for she invested in his newspapers and loaned him money after a quarrel with his brother caused him to be removed from the Scripps Publishing Company in 1889. Their combined business interests brought Ellen a substantial income that she reinvested in stocks, real estate, and newspapers. According to her brother, she was “a very clever accountant” who kept “exact records of transactions” and at no time


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

Virginia and Ellen Browning Scripps with their brother George H. Scripps, ca. 1890. Ellen founded the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in George’s memory. Courtesy of Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College.

“conducted herself so as to lead me to suppose that she did not intend to exact from me every penny that was due her.”30 For his part, Bishop Johnson described her as “one of the keenest women I have ever known.”31 Ellen’s younger sister Virginia, meanwhile, had an independent spirit and a considerable temper. A handsome woman, she never married but, instead, managed the family farm in Rushville. “Jennie,” as she was known by the family, worked briefly as a copyeditor on the Evening News before returning home to care for her sister, Annie, who became chronically ill with rheumatism at the age of twenty-six. She also looked after her mother until the latter’s death in 1893. She did not have her sister Ellen’s patience and skill with invalids, however. Family members described her as an “unpleasant creature” with strong tendency to “meddle in everything.” Her sister Annie tried to explain her behavior, writing, “Jennie is a good hearted girl and has nothing vicious in her disposition…I think the main difficulty with her has been that she has never realized her ambition.” She complained that James and Edward always bought off Virginia, giving her money on the condition that she leave them alone. As a result, she was spoiled: “No one has ever made her feel a hardship resulting from her worst acts.”32 By the 1880s, the Scripps brothers had made enough money to indulge even


The Journal of San Diego History

Ellen Browning Scripps built her home, South Moulton Villa, on the cliffs above La Jolla Cove. Photo dated 1902. ©SDHS #22287.

their least favorite sister. The Evening News had sold eighteen million copies in its first four years; other papers also prospered. James traveled to Europe and returned home with Old Masters paintings that he would give to the Detroit Museum of Art. He also contributed $70,000 to the construction of Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church, completed in 1892. Edward and Ellen traveled to Europe, North Africa, Turkey, Palestine, Cuba, and Mexico. Ellen sent home long, descriptive accounts that were published as features in the Scripps papers.33 Ellen and her brother Fred made their first trip to California in 1890. The latter purchased 160 acres in Linda Vista, intending to develop a citrus ranch. Their brother Edward came out the following year to settle in San Diego, “a busted, broken down, boom town” that appealed to his need to retreat from business after his break with James. He bought several hundred acres of land in what is now “Scripps Ranch” and named his ranch “Miramar” after a palace in Trieste, Italy.34 Hoping to develop a family compound, Edward invited his sisters to live with him. Virginia, for one, was surprised by his offer: “I know I shall enjoy it. But the question in my own mind is whether the rest of the family will. I am not very much beloved (as Ellen is) by every one and I doubt if any of you will consider me anything of an acquisition to the community if not a positive incubus and a general nuisance.” She suggested, instead, that she be allowed to have her own home where she might have “the means of being hospitable.”35 Ellen, too, thought that she would be best living on her own, away from the “differences and dissentions, unhappy ‘states of mind,’ carping and criticism” that characterized family interactions.36 In 1897, Ellen and Virginia moved to La Jolla and built a large house, South Moulton Villa, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. At that time, the village was little more than “a beautiful expanse of grey-green sage brush and darker chaparral from the top of Mt. Soledad to the Cove.” There were “cow paths in lieu of streets,


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 deep to the ankle in summer with dust, in winter as deep in mud.”37 Railway cars ran from the depot at Prospect Street to Pacific Beach and San Diego, bringing back ready-made cottages on flat cars. The La Jolla Park Hotel and bungalows such as the “Green Dragon” provided accommodation for summer visitors. Ellen and Virginia built cottages for their extended family—including the “Wisteria” and the “Iris”—and purchased several acres of land. In 1900, Ellen inherited the bulk of her brother George’s estate, at that time worth $36,000 per annum. Litigation began almost immediately. George, an irascible old bachelor who liked to smoke cigars and play cards, left behind a will that was described as a “legacy of hate.” James received nothing while Edward, Virginia, and William received very substantial bequests.38 Ellen and her attorney, J. C. Harper, spent over a decade fighting lawsuits aimed at overturning George’s will. In May 1910, the court decided in her favor. By this time, her estate was appraised at $1,800,000. Her annual income was estimated at $120,000 per annum (or approximately $2.6 million per annum in 2006 dollars).39 Once assured of her inheritance, Ellen began to look for ways to spend money. At seventy-three years of age, she felt no need to indulge in personal extravagance. She had always lived frugally. She ate little, dressed simply, and wore little jewelry. When her sister returned periodically to Rushville, Ellen dismissed the maid, cooked her own meals, and cleaned up after herself. She slept on a cot on the porch of her house.40 Her brother, however, encouraged her to make use of her new wealth. She wrote to Harper in 1912, “E. W. seems anxious that I should get rid of as much of my income as possible and, really, the expenditure of $50,000 per annum or even double that sum seems not so difficult an undertaking. It only needs the habit.”41 She would develop that habit over the next two decades, donating generously to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the La Jolla Women’s Club, the Scripps Memorial Hospital, the Community House and Playgrounds, the La Jolla Children’s Pool, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Zoological Garden and Research Laboratory, Scripps College, and the Y.M.C.A, among other institutions. One of her first bequests, however, went to The Bishop’s School.

The Bishop’s School, 1909-1932 Bishop Johnson first met members of the Scripps family in Detroit during his ministry at Christ Church. He may have encouraged James to provide money for the construction of Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church but he failed to persuade him of the value of the “high church” liturgy that, after 1892, began to be adopted in many parishes. Although the Scripps sisters had Anglican roots, they had “low church” sensibilities. Ellen described her creed as “substantially socialistic—the brotherhood of man—in theory, if not in practice.” She told one educator: “I have a high appreciation of Bishop Johnson’s character and a great sympathy with his work and aspirations—as a man, not as a clergyman. My instincts and interests are educational—not religious (I feel as though I might be sailing under false colors if I did not explain this to you).”42 In 1908, Bishop Johnson approached the Scripps sisters about developing two schools, a day school in San Diego and a boarding school in La Jolla. They had played important roles in the construction of St. James by-the-Sea Chapel and, in August 1907, promised to donate property to the church “for a girls’ school.”43


The Journal of San Diego History

St. James by-the-Sea Chapel (1907) was built by Irving Gill on a lot donated by Ellen Browning Scripps. A Bishop’s student recalled, “On Sundays, we all flocked up to the little picturesque chapel St. James by-the-Sea and here we baptized and confirmed and listened to our baccalaureate sermon.” ©SDHS #84:15150-47..

In January 1908, Ellen wrote: “Bishop Johnson spent the afternoon here. Greatly admired the church. Had some conversation with him in regard to a plan that he has for establishing two schools under the direction of the church.”44 In November, the bishop spent the night in La Jolla and “walked down to Jenny’s proposed site” for the school “and seemed favorably impressed with it.”45 On January 4, 1909, the first students, ranging in age from eight to fourteen, gathered for classes in a cottage behind a two-story house on Fifth Street.46 Ellen noted in her diary, “The Bishop’s School is to begin in San Diego tomorrow at Miss Ada Smith’s house” located on Fifth Avenue at Juniper Street. She wrote that the Benthams “feel encouraged with the school prospects, having already 10 pupils.”47 The bishop also felt optimistic. Scripps wrote, “His idea is to start a boarding school in San Diego eventually to be moved to La Jolla.”48 Construction of a day and boarding school located at First Avenue and Redwood Street began in the summer of 1909. Ellen recommended that the architect Irving Gill be chosen to design The Bishop’s School. She had been pleased with his work on St. James by-the-Sea Chapel in La Jolla (1907) and the Scripps Biological Station (1908-10).49 The former was a Mission Revival building while the latter was a flat-roofed, concrete, “assertively plain” structure that reflected the design philosophy of international modernists like Adolf Loos.50 She employed him to renovate her Craftsman-style house, South Moulton Villa, and mentioned him frequently in her diaries.51 In August 1909, she met Bishop Johnson at Gill’s downtown office and discussed plans for the new school buildings. She wrote in her diary, “by appointment with Bishop Johnson at Mr. Gill’s in relation to school. He promises him $25,000 for school at La Jolla.” In October, she wrote, “Bishop Johnson here all the morning


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

Scripps Hall (1910), designed by Irving Gill, was the first structure on The Bishop’s School campus. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

looking around at lots and buildings. Also brought out plans of new school building.”52 Gill’s first structure on the La Jolla campus, Scripps Hall (1910), was a white concrete building with long arcades. An article in The Craftsman praised it as fireproof, sanitary, and “so free from superfluous ornament that it furnishes a new standard for architectural simplicity.” The white walls captured the colors of the sunset and glowed “like opals.” Inside, plain rooms allowed each girl “to express her individuality” by choosing the decorations.53 Doors were made of a single panel of wood and there were no moldings, cornices, or baseboards to collect and hold dirt. The architect’s concern with health and sanitation reflected the contemporary belief that disease and poor health were caused by dampness, dust, germs, and air pollution. Gill’s realization that buildings could solve social


The Journal of San Diego History

Anna Bentham, the school’s first principal, was educated at the Boston Normal School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She founded the Sierra Madre Club for Women and the San Diego College Women’s Club. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

problems put him at the forefront of the modernist movement in architecture.54 Ellen became personally interested in The Bishop’s School, contributing more money than she had planned. She explained to her attorney, “The execution of the building itself has not exceeded the cost originally contemplated but you know how things ‘grow,’ how one thing leads to and necessitates another—the improvement of the grounds, the artistic bills of finish, the furnishing, etc., etc.” She believed that the school was “destined to be a grand institution” and therefore worth the investment. She wrote, “I feel more than assured that I have embarked in an undertaking that is almost limitless in its scope and power for good.”55 Virginia also felt responsible for the future of the institution. She donated


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

Anna Bentham led the Class of 1913 and younger students to St. James by-the-Sea on graduation day. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

$20,000 and several parcels of land in 1909. She later turned over most of her La Jolla properties to the school in return for a scholarship endowment.56 She worked on the grounds, planting lawns, vines and flowering shrubs. She also maintained tennis, croquet, and basketball courts outside school. Her eccentricities (which included rearranging the drawing room furniture) endeared her to students who, in 1914, selected her as the senior class mascot. They also included her as a character in a skit, “a ‘take off’ of the ‘wise and reverend designers’ of the school.”57 Ellen often gave her sister credit for the success of the institution. After Bishop Johnson’s inspection in October 1914, she wrote, “I need not tell you (as the bishop will do, I trust, more thoroughly) how splendid he thinks the work you have done…(He gave no credit to me, either!).”58 From the start, The Bishop’s School sought to prepare girls for college. The headmistress ensured that no student enrolled in the college preparatory program would be graduated “unless she has satisfactorily completed such subjects as are required for admission to the best eastern colleges.” Students also had the option of taking a degree in English or Music, subjects that did not qualify them for college admission. Many girls, however, chose the more challenging preparatory course. In doing so, they emulated their teachers, young women with degrees from Vassar, Smith, Cornell, Wellesley, and the University of California.59 Anna Bentham served as a role model for many students during her relatively short tenure. Tall, with auburn hair and a pale complexion, she projected a theatrical grandeur. Students recalled how she swept into a room in a white satin dress with a train, causing conversation to cease.60 When she attended athletic events, crowds stood up and applauded. Ellen recalled “her gracious majesty of bearing and white satin and smile moving regally about the audience.”61 However, she did not entirely approve of Anna’s influence. “What’s the use of expecting the school girls to wear simple head gear,” she wrote, “when Mrs. Bentham leads off in those flaunting white ostrich plumes?”62 The Benthams, tragically, died within three weeks of each other. Anna


The Journal of San Diego History

Bentham suffered from severe diabetes and passed away in January 1915, age 38, shortly after her husband’s death from heart disease.63 Former colleagues at the Marlborough School said that they “never had another teacher with so wide a range of subjects, so commanding and loving disposition toward the students, and such a magnetism for the parents.” An obituary in the Los Angeles Daily Times described her as one of the “foremost of women educators and leaders in Southern California.”64 In 1915, Bishop Johnson decided to integrate the day school and the boarding school. Teachers would no longer have to travel between one campus and the other. The Bankers Hill property was leased to a former principal from Minneapolis who ran the San Diego Bishop’s School for two years before financial losses caused it to close.65 The La Jolla campus, meanwhile, expanded to include three structures designed by Gill: Scripps Hall (1910), Bentham Hall (1912), and Gilman Hall (1916-17).66 Scripps toured the newest building “from cellar to roof (which came out in a ‘sleeping porch’).” She said that it was “large enough to accommodate 40 or 50 girls. The rooms are beautiful and every one with a fine outlook.”67 In 1916, Gill had finished the La Jolla Women’s Club (1912-14) and was working to complete Ellen’s new house after her old one had been destroyed by an arsonist. She told her sister, “The two Gills [Irving and Louis] have been busy all day (albeit Sunday) in shirtsleeves and overalls down on their knees ‘surfacing’ the cement floors. I don’t know how you will like the effect, but to me it is ‘a thing of beauty and a joy forever.’”68 Margaret Gilman became principal of The Bishop’s School in 1915. She was the daughter of Arthur and Stella Scott Gilman, pioneers in women’s higher education.69 They helped found Radcliffe College and in 1886 founded the Gilman School for Girls in Cambridge, Massachusetts (later the Cambridge School of Weston). Margaret spent her early career at Radcliffe where she served as Head

Scripps Hall, left, and Bentham Hall, right, with its small chapel and bell tower, 1912. At this time, the main entrance to campus was located on Prospect Street. ©SDHS #81:11867.


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

Gilman Hall (1916-17) provided a vantage point from which visitors could view games on Open Day, 1921. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

of House. She later became principal of the Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, a Quaker college preparatory school for girls. Bishop Johnson credited her for bringing that institution “to its present eminence and high standing.”70 Although she did not have her predecessor’s flair for drama, she was earnest and well meaning. Ellen Browning Scripps found her to be somewhat trying, telling her sister, “I think you could ‘meet her needs’ better than I can. She seems to crave affection, understanding, appreciation, and a confidential friend, more than in me lies to bestow.”71 But she admitted that she made a significant impact on campus life: “The more I see of her the more I esteem her in her official position.”72 Gilman kept academics foremost in the minds of students. After going to chapel early in the morning, girls spent the next five hours in the classroom. They attended two mandatory study halls, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and from 8 to 9 p.m. Seniors took advanced classes in both geometry and arithmetic. They also developed a portfolio of their work for display at commencement. By 1916, Bishop’s students were sufficiently well prepared to pass the often rigorous college entrance exams. In October 1917, Gilman told a meeting of the board of trustees “what last year’s graduating class are doing: 1 at Vassar, 1 at Barnard, 1 at Occidental, 2 at Berkeley, 1 at Mills, and 1 at Syracuse, 1 in business (that is, Mary), 1 in society, and 1 a question mark.”73 The school also emphasized sports, in particular, tennis and basketball. Students divided into two teams, “Harvard” and “Yale,” and competed with one another and, on occasion, girls from San Diego High School. In 1917, the teams changed their names to “Army” and “Navy” to recognize the United States’ participation in World War I. In November 1917, Ellen Browning Scripps reported: “The girls’ basketball league of The Bishop’s School—the Army and the Navy


The Journal of San Diego History

Members of the faculty softball team, ca. 1920. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

opposing forces had their contesting game in the afternoon, the army winning by one point—a very exciting game, I am told.” On another occasion, she described girls engaged in “‘high jumping’ over a fixed rod four feet high.”74 Students later adopted the team names “Purple” and “Gold” to honor Ellen Browning Scripps’s alma mater, Knox College. Educational reformers paid particular attention to physical activity as a way to prevent the kind of ill health that had plagued nineteenth-century women. Other solutions included fresh air, balanced meals, adequate ventilation, experimental water cures, and calisthenics. At Bishop’s, boarders took cold baths intended to stimulate intellectual activity. On warm nights, they slept outdoors above the arcade of Scripps Hall. In addition to team sports, students attended calisthenics classes and competed in swimming contests at Del Mar.75 Female faculty and students also participated in community service activities. Many women living in the Progressive Era believed in their capacity for advanced education and in their need for independence and an equal voice in the public world. They rejected the idea that women and men were the same, however, arguing instead that their compassionate natures made them particularly suited to helping less fortunate members of society. Some followed the example set by Jane Addams and her Hull House settlement in Chicago and founded institutions such as San Diego’s Neighborhood House. Others volunteered at hospitals, organized charity rummage sales, sponsored Girl Scout troops, and raised money through women’s clubs. At The Bishop’s School, students dressed dolls for patients at the Children’s Hospital and packed supplies for the Mesa Grande Reservation and other missions in California and Alaska. During World War I, they rolled bandages for the Red Cross, raised vegetables, and donated money for military vehicles. A new class, “Surgical Dressings,” was even introduced into the curriculum.76 Students also applied their education to real world problems. Helen Marston Beardsley, Class of 1912, attended Wellesley College but returned home each


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

During World War I, Bishop’s students tended a victory garden and rationed wheat, meat, and other foodstuffs. Students enrolled in a course, Surgical Dressings, appear in the windows of Bentham Hall. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

summer to work at Neighborhood House where she helped impoverished Mexican families. She later founded a local branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Other graduates also embraced progressive reform. Ellen Browning Scripps wholeheartedly approved of such work, writing in 1920: “It is so good to find women ‘doing things’ instead of spending their time in cooking dainties and embroidering underwear.”77 Bishop Johnson continued to take an active role in the life of the school. During Bentham’s illness, he often came to campus. On one occasion, he stirred up the faculty and staff “from principal to cook-and-sauce man.” He went so far as to call one staff member to account for “finding half a dozen donuts in the garbage pail.”78 He presided over meetings of the board of trustees, raised money for new buildings, created scholarship funds, and worried about budget deficits. Scripps told her sister that the Bishop took up such tasks “with the understanding of a man…exercising a sort of paternal interest over the school.”79 The Bishop’s wife, Isabel Greene Davis Johnson, also contributed to the welfare of the school by giving money for a chapel in memory of her mother. Gill did not get the commission, perhaps because his structures were too expensive at that time.80 Instead, the job went to Carleton Monroe Winslow who had just completed his work as architect-in-residence for the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego. Winslow designed a modest nave with choir stalls, exposed timber beams, and old Mexican pavement tiles on the floor.81 Saint Mary’s Chapel, dedicated in February 1917, became the spiritual center of life on campus. In 1938, Winslow added transepts and a baptistery while friends of the school donated money for stained glass windows.82 Ellen Browning Scripps described Bishop’s events in letters to her sister who, after 1915, spent most of the year attending to family business in Rushville. She once wrote, “How I [wish] that in these special functions you were here and I


The Journal of San Diego History

were ‘there’—anywhere, anywhere out of the world of society!”83 She maintained that socializing was difficult for her while, at the same time, participating in a whirlwind of activity. In June 1918, she wrote: “Mr. [Wheeler] Bailey has engaged us for dinner at his house Monday evening; Tuesday is the play at the club house; Wednesday is the Bishop’s reception; Thursday evening a birthday party for the Bishop at Mr. Bedford-Jones’s; and Friday the commencement exercises and I am in it for it all.”84 Ellen Browning Scripps encouraged the school to invite members of the La Jolla community to events. In 1916, she described the Bishop’s reception that included dinner, dancing, and festivities in the auditorium “which was hung with Japanese lanterns and the revelers made a very pretty and festive sight. The entertainment struck me as unusually gay, elaborately ‘dressy’ and chic generally, with far less dignity but much more abandon and joyousness than on previous similar occasions.” However, she noticed a “very marked innovation—there seemed to be none of the old time ‘bone and sinew’ of the community. You will understand what I mean when I say none of the ‘Millses and Mudgetts’ were in evidence. In fact, I saw no one distinctively of other than the Episcopal Church there except the Browns and the Birchbys. The ‘community of La Jolla’ was conspicuous by its absence. I don’t know whether this was intentional but if so I think it was a mistake. The Bishop’s School should be just as much a part of our community of La Jolla as any other public institution.”85 Ellen also paid attention to problems at the school. In 1917, she described “a series of peculiar Bishop’s School troubles,” including a 13-year old runaway who “was found at 10 o’clock at night in the Santa Fe Station waiting to take the midnight train to Los Angeles. She was homesick and wanted to go home to her mother.” She said, “the latest, and ‘peculiarest’ of all” involved “a girl who received a letter from her lover saying he had been rejected by the examining board of the army on account of a serious heart trouble which gives him not much over a year more to life. He writes to release her from her engagement; and she has gone into hysterics and the infirmary.”86 In the autumn of 1918, the outbreak of a virulent strain of influenza, known as the “Spanish Flu,” caused health officials in San Diego to close public buildings to prevent the spread of St. Mary’s Chapel (1917), designed by Carleton M. Winslow, reflected an Arts & Crafts aesthetic. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School. disease. Bishop’s students,


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

Sophomores posed for a photograph in front of Gilman Hall, ca. 1919-20. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

prohibited from leaving school grounds, were given an atomizer and told to spray themselves with a solution of bisulphate of quinine twice a day. In December, the school closed its doors and sent students home.87 In 1918, Marguerite Barton succeeded Margaret Gilman as headmistress. Johnson described her as “a very remarkable woman with great intellectual ability and fine culture.”88 She had graduated from Radcliffe College, magna cum laude, in 1898 with a major in English. In 1915, she completed a master’s degree in English literature and, in 1918, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She had taught English at the Cambridge School for Girls before moving to La Jolla. Gilman, who had decided to return to her native Boston, did everything she could to ease her successor’s transition. Ellen Browning Scripps wrote that “Miss Gilman…realizes what her own mistakes have been—through ignorance of her situation, and intends to do everything possible to help her successor, and for the benefit of the school itself. She is working hard to get everything into shape and matters so recorded and classified as to make Miss Barton’s an easy initiation into the work.”89 Barton did a great deal in her short tenure at Bishop’s. She reorganized the school into three units—academic, domestic, and business—headed by members of the faculty. The result was “an entirely changed organization in character and conduct,” according to several teachers. Unfortunately, she died in January 1921 after undergoing surgery for a gastric ulcer. Scripps noted, “Miss Barton had left the school in such admirable condition that the loss will be felt chiefly as a personal one.” She added, “The school goes on just as though nothing had happened, the teachers all agreeing that that was the only right way of proceeding, but they all feel it very keenly. I think she had endeared herself very strongly to all the inmates of the building and to the community so far as it knew her.”90 A new headmistress, Caroline Cummins, took charge of Bishop’s in 1921. Like her predecessor, she had been educated at one of the early women’s colleges,


The Journal of San Diego History

Vassar, graduating magna cum laude in 1910. She took her master’s degree in classics and taught at the Cambridge School for Girls. She came to The Bishop’s School in 1920 to teach Latin and English in the lower school and to help with administrative tasks but Barton’s death led the bishop to choose her as headmistress. At thirty-three years old, she was the youngest faculty member and the most recent arrival. However, she was also the daughter of a country doctor and had the reputation as “cool and clear in decision in times of emergency.” Scripps felt confident in Cummins’ abilities. She described her as “young (33) and pretty, and very modest about her attainments…She says she would have preferred to have held the position of vice principal under a superior, but she will ‘fill the bill.’”91 Cummins encouraged academic Caroline Cummins, a Vassar graduate, served as excellence during her thirty-two headmistress for thirty-two years before retiring in year tenure. One student recalled, 1953. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School. “Our preparation for college was so superior that many of us found college work much easier for that training.”92 The headmistress kept a weekly record of each student’s grades in every subject, supervised the curriculum, made out the schedules, and edited the Alumnae News. She invited a wide variety of speakers and performers to campus, including Jane Addams, naturalist John Burroughs, author-adventurer Richard Halliburton, historian William James Durant, poet Louis Untermeyer, and pianist Ignace Jan Paderewski. She also emphasized the school’s connection to women’s colleges. Two stained glass windows in Saint Mary’s chapel represent seals of the “Big Seven” women’s colleges as well as Elmira College, which had given Ellen Browning Scripps an honorary degree.93 Bishop Johnson spent a great deal of time in La Jolla in the early 1920s. Scripps noted that he made “frequent visits here. The Bishop’s School is taking up much of his time and thought and work.”94 He “felt very proud of his La Jolla school” and enjoyed showing it off to educators visiting from the East Coast.95 It compared favorably to the Harvard School, a boys’ preparatory school in Los Angeles that he had purchased for the Episcopal Church in 1912. Ellen Browning Scripps offered the bishop the use of her bungalow and limousine when he came to La Jolla. Ordinarily, he stayed at the school where he had his own bedroom and bathroom. However, this proved increasingly inconvenient, Ellen told her sister Virginia, as “he doesn’t like being the only man among 100 women and other men enjoy meeting him in an establishment of ‘his own.’ He will have his breakfasts here, but I shall ask him to other meals for I also am a ‘lone woman.’” They had long conversations over pancakes and maple syrup


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

Bishop Johnson and Ellen Browning Scripps in the library of South Moulton Villa, n.d. The open drawers, at right, show Albert R. Valentien’s watercolors of California’s native plants, now the property of the San Diego Natural History Museum. Courtesy of Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College.

for Johnson rose early and made breakfast his principal meal. On one occasion, he entertained her houseguests: “Bishop Johnson was in his happiest and most jovial mood at the breakfast table yesterday, which infected the rest of the party.”96 Johnson’s early-morning breakfasts with Ellen led to the creation of Scripps College. Although he once had planned to develop a women’s college in La Jolla, his experience as a trustee of Pomona College showed him how difficult such an undertaking would be. Instead, he and Dr. James A. Blaisdell, President of Pomona College, encouraged Ellen to provide the foundation of a women’s college in Claremont, California, where the existence of another institution created economies of scale. This was the start of the Claremont College consortium, modeled on Oxford and Cambridge.97 Ellen described Scripps College, which opened in 1926, as a new adventure. She told one reporter, “I am thinking of a college campus whose simplicity and beauty will unobtrusively creep into the student’s consciousness and quietly develop a standard of taste and judgment.”98 In the early 1920s, the bishop and the board of trustees decided that The Bishop’s School should focus on the education of middle-school and high-schoolaged girls. There had always been a few boys at Bishop’s but no additional male students were accepted after this time. The small elementary day school that had started in 1909 was discontinued in 1924. Until 1971, when The Bishop’s School merged with the San Miguel School, boarders and day students were female, as were many of the faculty. The sequestered nature of life at the institution, combined with required attendance at chapel, caused a few students and alumnae to describe Bishop’s as “The Convent.”99 The school lost a friend and benefactor when Virginia Scripps died on April 28, 1921. She suffered a heart attack while on an around-the-world tour with a group of Bishop’s students and their instructor, Caroline Macadam, and died in London several weeks later. At a memorial service in La Jolla, she was remembered as a free spirit who “went her own way, heedless of criticism or conventions.” In her


The Journal of San Diego History

will, she left twenty-one lots to The Bishop’s School. She also left money to St. James by-theSea Episcopal Church and to Christ Episcopal Church in Rushville, Illinois.100 In 1928, Bishop Johnson died at his home in Pasadena from pneumonia following a year of ill health. Newspaper articles and editorials praised the eighty-one-year-old clergyman for his vision and his humanity and noted his many contributions to Southern California. The Bishop’s School remembered his great service to the institution by raising money for the construction of a Spanish Renaissancestyle bell tower, “the Bishop Johnson Tower,” over St. Mary’s Ellen Browning Scripps, 1919. Courtesy of Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College Chapel, a project completed in November 1930.101 Ellen Browning Scripps continued to support The Bishop’s School until her death on August 4, 1932. She provided an endowment of $100,000 and, in 1924, gave $50,000 for a new gymnasium with an auditorium and a swimming pool.102 She also left a substantial bequest. At the end of her life, she told a friend, “one of the greatest delights of her life had been teaching.” She believed that schools should be “an open door to knowledge” and that educational methods should reflect the “experimental age” in which they lived.103 For the next seventy-five years, The Bishop’s School would remain committed to her educational ideals.

The Bishop’s School, 1932-present The Bishop’s School continued to uphold the high academic principles of the founders. In 1941, it became a charter member of the California Association of Independent Schools, a non-profit organization that sought to raise and maintain standards in private school education. Faculty worked to ensure that students were prepared for admission to the University of California, Stanford University, and Pomona College, the three most prestigious co-educational institutions in the state.104 College acceptance letters validated the institutional philosophy of Bishop’s and provided markers of the school’s success. When students failed to gain entrance to competitive colleges and universities, trustees complained. In 1961, a concerned party informed the bishop, “not one of the ’61 class was admitted to Stanford…And the class of ’61 has been called the best in many years!”105 An exhaustive study of the school’s academic and administrative programs followed. The Bishop’s School benefited from the leadership of several headmistresses after


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

Boarding students gathered in the Scripps Hall lounge, 1966. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

Cummins’ retirement in 1953. Rosamond Larmour headed the school from 1953 to 1962. She and her administrative assistant Mary Moran drew on their experience at the Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas, to enhance the educational effectiveness of the school and to generate greater publicity. They also increased enrollments from an average of 125 to nearly 300.106 Ruth Jenkins, daughter of the Episcopal Bishop of Nevada and former head of the Annie Wright Seminary, served as headmistress during the height of the Vietnam War, from 1963 to 1971. She channeled the desire for change into a massive building program that would provide new classrooms, chemistry and biology laboratories, additional dormitory space, tennis and basketball courts, an enlarged hockey field, and even a new entrance to campus. Her greatest achievement was Ellen Browning Scripps Hall that provided residence apartments, a lecture hall, dining room, kitchen, drawing room, terrace, and health center. She responded to changes in student culture by discontinuing the requirement for evening chapel, adopting a new school uniform, extending off-campus privileges for boarders, and reducing chaperonage requirements. At the same time, she encouraged respect for tradition.107 In 1971, The Bishop’s School merged with the San Miguel School for Boys under the leadership of Philip Powers Perkins, former head of the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. The San Miguel School, founded in 1951, was an Episcopal boys school with a campus in Linda Vista. At this time, many women’s secondary schools and colleges, including the nearby University of San Diego, became co-educational in an effort to remain academically competitive and financially solvent. Between 1965 and 1979, the number of girls’ schools in the United States dropped by half, from 1,132 to 551. Women’s colleges experienced a similar decline.108 The merger caused many faculty, students, and alumnae to reflect on the


The Journal of San Diego History

The Bishop’s School became co-educational in 1971, bringing male students to campus for the first time since 1922. Photo dated 1973. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

value of single-sex education, a subject which gained national prominence with the publication of Carol Gilligan’s In a Different Voice (1982).109 It also initiated a period of unprecedented prosperity for the school. The Bishop’s School had always catered to a relatively homogenous segment of society—overwhelmingly white, Protestant, and affluent. The founders had ensured that the school did not engage in discriminatory admissions policies but, until the 1960s and 1970s, the administration did not engage in the outreach necessary to attract a diverse student body. Over the next thirty years, however, the composition of the school changed to better reflect the ethnic, economic, and religious diversity of Southern California.110 Dorothy Williams, who served as headmistress from 1973 to 1983, guided the school through the turbulent years of the 1970s. According to one faculty member, “she dealt with discipline problems involving drugs and sex, conflicts with faculty over their roles as authority figures, changes in religious views, constant tensions over curriculum, rebellious student attitudes towards traditions.”111 She also helped students and alumni come to terms with the end of the boarding program, a decision announced by the Board of Trustees in 1981. The decision reflected changing economic realities: more classrooms were needed as the numbers of day students continued to grow. It also acknowledged the challenge of acting in loco parentis while, at the same time, accommodating student demands for greater personal freedom. Since 1983, The Bishop’s School has thrived under the leadership of Michael Teitelman who came to La Jolla from the Graland Country Day School in Colorado. He increased the endowment, built the scholarship program, and energized faculty, students, alumni, and members of the board of trustees. Changes in the curriculum included the expansion of the Advanced Placement program and the addition of electives in almost every department. In 1999, students could take courses such as Pacific Rim Studies, Contemporary Women’s Authors, and


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 Macroeconomics. Today, students compete for National Merit Scholarships and win admission to the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. At the same time, they participate in an award-winning performing arts program and play a wide variety of sports, including tennis, water polo, football, lacrosse, and basketball. They also stay true to the school’s progressive heritage by engaging in community service before graduation. One hundred years after its founding, The Bishop’s School remains committed to its role as a college preparatory institution for both women and men. It encourages the pursuit of “intellectual, artistic, and the athletic excellence in the context of the Episcopalian tradition.” It also seeks to foster “integrity, imagination, moral responsibility, and commitment to serving the larger community.”112 In doing so, it honors the hopes and ambitions of Bishop Joseph Horsfall Johnson, Ellen Browning Scripps, and Virginia Scripps. It also recognizes the investment made by generations of trustees, parents, faculty, and friends. Happy Birthday to The Bishop’s School!


Ellen Browning Scripps (EBS) to Virginia Scripps (VS), June 6, 1916, Scripps College, Denison Library, Ellen Browning Scripps Collection, Drawer 3, Folder 17 (hereafter SC 3/17).


Barbara Miller Solomon, In the Company of Educated Women: A History of Women and Higher Education in America (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1985), 58.


Andrea Hamilton, A Vision for Girls: Gender, Education, and the Bryn Mawr School (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004), 12. See also David Tyack and Elizabeth Hansot, Learning Together: A History of Coeducation in American Public Schools (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1992),


Hamilton, A Vision for Girls, 26.


“Southern California’s Institutions of Learning Stand Unequaled in America Today,” Los Angeles Times, August 16, 1919, III.17; “Plans to Build Women’s School: Big College May Be Erected in San Diego,” Los Angeles Times, March 3, 1910, II.11.


W. Bertrand Stevens, A Bishop Beloved: Joseph Horsfall Johnson, 1847-1928 (New York and Milwaukee: Morehouse Publishing, 1936), passim; “Bishop Johnson Called by Death in Pasadena,” Los Angeles Times, May 17, 1928.


Diocese of Los Angeles, Episcopal Church, A Brief Historical Sketch of the Diocese of Los Angeles (Los Angeles: N. V. Lewis, the Philocophus Press, 1911), 17-18.


Dr. Leslie G. Learned, Draft Tribute to Bishop Johnson, 1928, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles Archive, Bishop Johnson Papers, File Cabinet 3.


Learned, “Bishop Joseph H. Johnson,” 1928, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles Archive, Bishop Johnson Papers, File Cabinet 3. See also, “Diocese and Busy Bishop,” Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1910, II.6.

10. E. Herbert Botsford to Reginald Johnson, May 21, 1928, “Joseph H. Johnson,” Williams College Archives. The author is grateful to Linda L. Hall, Archives Assistant at Williams College, for this information. 11. Stevens, A Bishop Beloved, 25-26, 29, 47. Eleanor Bennett, who later became a journalist in Long Beach, wrote in her diary on March 17, 1907: “I called upon Bishop Johnson and took dinner with the St. Paul’s pro Cathedral people in the Parish House. It was excellent, three courses for 25c. I never thought I would like the Bishop; I did not care for his looks so fleshy and not handsome but he is very pleasant to meet and talk with and seems to be kind hearted and sympathetic.” Eleanor F. Bennett, “Journal for 1907,” Huntington Library, HM 64264.


The Journal of San Diego History 12. Ruth Nicastro, ed., As We Remember: Some Moments Recalled from the First Hundred Years of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles (Los Angles: Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, 1995), 8. In 1908, he was honored with a doctorate in sacred theology from the General Theological Seminary. In his later years, he spent a great deal time on the committee that created the revised Book of Common Prayer in 1928. Stevens, A Bishop Beloved, 23-24. 13. “Too Many Wives: Bishop Johnson’s Plain Talk on Divorce,” Los Angeles Times, May 17, 1900, I.8; “Appalling Conditions: Plain Speech from Bishop,” Los Angles Times, January 3, 1910, II.7. 14. “Plain Talk: Bishop Flays Modern Idea,” Los Angeles Times, May 14, 1914, II.6. 15. Stevens, A Bishop Beloved, 49; EBS to VS, June 7, 1918, SC 3/19. Scripps added, “I have a wondered if Austin Adams is not being lured back into the fold of humanity, among the other miracles that are being wrought in these wonderful times.” She described him as “too self-centered” to talk about “anything outside Austin Adams but I fancied last night that he had undergone—or is undergoing—a sort of spiritual chastening…” 16. Mary C. B. Watkins described the bishop’s visit to Mesa Grande in 1900: “Mr. Restarick and the Bishop were here. They are splendid. We went to the lower Reserves and then they went over to Manzanita….The two old women at San Jose and Puerta Chiquita are breathing their last, and the Bishop knelt in the dirt and ashes of those dreadful houses, and prayed, pulled up the blankets and smoothed the wrinkled cheeks.” Mary C. B. Watkins to Constance G. DuBois, December 17, 1900, Constance Goddard DuBois Papers, 1897-1909, #9167, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library, Reel 1; “For Our Indians: Bishop Johnson Calls Sequoia League in Special Session to Consider Relief for Aborigines,” Los Angeles Times, March 3, 1906. 17. The bishop worked with a New York organization, Lace Made By North American Indians, to bring a teacher to the Mesa Grande Reservation. Sophie Miller and, later, Miss Brunson taught girls and women to make lace and weave baskets. Joseph H. Johnson to Constance G. DuBois, November 2, 1904, DuBois Papers, Reel 1. 18. “Indians Like Our Bishop,” Los Angeles Times, June 9, 1906, I.15; “Bishop Johnson is a Friend of the Indians,” Los Angeles Times, December 21, 1911, I.15. 19. Stevens, A Bishop Beloved, 35-36. 20. Thomas W. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision: A Story of The Bishop’s Schools (San Diego: Privately printed for The Bishop’s School, 1979); Catherine Turney, The History of a Parish (Sierra Madre, CA: Privately printed for the Church of the Ascension, [1985]), chap. 4; “In Death Undivided: Hand in Hand into Shadows: Charles E. Bentham and Wife are Dead Together,” Los Angeles Daily Times, January 15, 1915. 21. “Biography by E. W. Scripps, Chapter 27, from E. W. Scripps Autobiography, 1928,” Scripps Collection, Drawer 1, Folder 9; Patricia A. Schaelchlin, The Newspaper Barons: A Biography of the Scripps Family (San Diego: San Diego Historical Society, 2003), 25, 36. Ellen Browning Scripps received her certificate from Knox College in 1859 but she was not awarded her degree until 1870 when the school became co-educational. Frances K. Hepner, Ellen Browning Scripps: Her Life and Times (San Diego: San Diego State College, 1966), 13. 22. EBS to VS, July 7, 1918, SC 3/19. 23. Schaelchlin, The Newspaper Barons, 9. 24. Ibid., chaps. 5-8, passim. 25. Albert Britt, Ellen Browning Scripps: Journalist and Idealist (Oxford: Scripps College, 1960), 34. 26. E. W. Scripps, “Socialism—Individualism—Fatalism,” 1917, Biographical Materials, SC 3/19. 27. Memo by J. C. Harper, undated, SC 1/39. 28. Memo by J. C. Harper, Oct. 5, 1935, SC 1/39. 29. E. W. Scripps to EBS, May 21, 1914, SC 2/49. 30. “Biography by E. W. Scripps, Chapter 27, from E. W. Scripps Autobiography, 1928,” SC 1/9. 31. Bishop Joseph H. Johnson to J. C. Harper, March 19, 1915, Bishop’s School File, SC 11/43. 32. Schaelchlin, The Newspaper Barons, 50, 78, 84-85. In 1967, Judith Morgan interviewed Thomas O.


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 Scripps and other La Jolla residents who remembered Virginia Scripps. Their remarks on her temper, and frequent use of bad language, can be found in “The Miss Scripps Nobody Knows,” San Diego Union, July 30, 1967. 33. Schaelchlin, The Newspaper Barons, chap. 8, passim. 34. In early 1890, Fred and Ellen traveled west to see their sister, Annie, who resided in a sanitarium owned by the Remedial Institute and School of Philosophy in Alameda, California. In San Diego, they visited Fanny Bagby, a journalist who married Paul Blades, managing editor of the San Diego Union. Schaelchlin, The Newspaper Barons, 110-12, 115; Charles Preece, E.W. and Ellen Browning Scripps: An Unmatched Pair (Chelsea, MI: Bookcrafters, 1990), 74; EBS, Diary, January 1-March 10, 1890, SC 22/40. 35. VS to E. W. Scripps, September 25, 1892, SC 26/44. 36. Excerpt, EBS to E. W. Scripps, November 14, 1892, Biographical Materials, SC 1/60. 37. Howard S. F. Randolph, La Jolla Year by Year (La Jolla: private printing, 1946), 12, 34, 78-79. 38. Schaelchlin, The Newspaper Barons, chap. 14, passim; E. W. Scripps to L. T. Atwood, February 7, 1906, SC 26/45. 39. E. W. Scripps, “The Story of One Woman” (1910), 32, Biographical Materials, SC 1/54. Calculation based on the Consumer Price Index, “Measuring Worth.Com,” (accessed October 25, 2007). 40. Memo by J. C. Harper, October 5, 1935, SC 1/39. 41. EBS to J. C. Harper, May 23, 1912, SC 1/28. 42. EBS to James A. Blaisdell, September 24, 1914, SC 1/73; “Questionnaire reply regarding old age, 1921,” Biographical Materials, SC 1/47; Lawrence H. Waddy, A Parish by the Sea: A History of Saint James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, La Jolla, California (La Jolla: St. James Bookshelf, 1988), 80, 107. 43. EBS, Diary, January 29, 1908, SC 23/12. St. James by-the-Sea was the first parish church built for St. James by-the-Sea. It was located on a lot donated by Ellen Browning Scripps and, later, moved to the southwest corner of Draper and Genter Streets. It was dedicated March 9, 1908 by Bishop Johnson and Rev. Charles L. Barnes of San Diego. The font was made from two large shells from the South Seas brought from Honolulu and mounted and presented by Virginia Scripps. Waddy, A Parish by the Sea, 51. 44. EBS, Diary, January 21, 1908, SC 23/12. In August, she and Virginia entertained Charles and Anna Bentham who had been chosen to head The Bishop’s School. EBS, Diary, August 13, 1908, SC 23/12. Scripps had wanted the school to be called “The Bishop Johnson School” but the bishop demurred, according to one student, “because he wanted each one of his successors to feel that it was his school as well.” Beatrice Payne, “Memories of a Bishop’s School Alumni from 1907 to 1922,” Scrapbook Album, The Bishop’s School Archive (hereafter TBS). 45. In October, she noted a visit from the bishop, Captain Hinds, and A. G. Spalding who sought to raise $10,000. EBS, Diary, October 30, November 13, 1908, SC 23/12. The bishop also viewed other properties. Scripps wrote, “Bishop Johnson came out in afternoon and spent the night. Met him by E. W. Scripps and Dr. Boal and went with them to look at the site. Dr. B. proposed to confer with the bishop of the school. Seemed to them rather impractical. Later the bishop walked down to Jenny’s proposed site and seemed favorably impressed with it.” Boal later sold 40 acres of land to E. W. Scripps. EBS, Diary, December 11, 1908, SC 23/12. 46. The first students at The Bishop’s School were Alice Wagenheim ’13 (San Diego), Rose Brown ’14 (Hawaii), Maud Hollows (Chula Vista), Dorothy Clowes ’14 (National City), Christine Simpson (Siam), Anita Kennedy (Santa Ana), Diantha Harvey and “by special permission her small brother,” John Harvey (England), and Beatrice Payne ’20 (San Diego). Payne, “Memories of a Bishop’s School Alumni from 1907 to 1922.” 47. EBS, Diary, January 3, 10, 1909, SC 23/13; Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 8-9. 48. EBS, Diary, March 22, 1909, SC 23/13. 49. In early 1907, the board of directors of the Biological Association had decided to find another architect as they considered Gill’s plans for the Biological Station to be too expensive. Scripps wrote in her diary, “Mr. Gill (of Hebbard & Gill) called in morning to protest a certain action


The Journal of San Diego History taken by the Biological Association in discharging his firm and employing another architect to get up plans for building.” EBS, Diary, January 13, 1907, SC 23/11. She subsequently engaged him to draw up plans for St. James by-the-Sea at the south-west corner of Draper and Genter. In May 1907, she wrote: “Mr. Gill came out to look at our lot in regard to building a church. He took us to see the new M[ethodist] E[piscopal] Church in San Diego of which he is architect. Cost $65,000. Capable of accommodating 2,500 persons.” He brought plans to her house for her consideration several times in 1907. EBS, Diary, May 2, July 14, September 14, September 27, 1907, SC 23/11. 50. Thomas S. Hines, Irving Gill and the Architecture of Reform: A Study in Modernist Architectural Culture (New York: The Monacelli Press, 2000), 12, 136. See also Sarah J. Schaffer, “A Significant Sentence Upon the Earth: Irving J. Gill, Progressive Architect: Part I: New York to California,” The Journal of San Diego History (hereafter JSDH) 43, no. 4 (1997): 218-39; and Schaffer, “A Significant Sentence Upon the Earth: Irving J. Gill, Progressive Architect: Part II: Creating a Sense of Place,” JSDH 44, no. 1 (1998): 24-47. 51. In April 1908, she wrote, “Saw Mr. Gill, gave him orders to go on with the improvements, making of conservatory, enlargement of sun parlor, etc. Brought out my copy of plans and specifications of new bungalow, also ground plan of house and park property.” EBS, Diary, April 27, 1908, SC 23/12. 52. In December, she wrote, “Bishop Johnson here this afternoon. Brought plans of new school building. Also left letters for me asking for $3,000.” EBS, Diary, August 12, October 20, December 15, 1909, SC 23/13. In January 1910, it was decided to use day labor rather than contract workers. Scripps wrote, “Bishop Johnson, Mr. Gill, and the Benthams here in afternoon to make final arrangements about school building. Decided to throw off Acton’s bid ($45,000) and undertake the work by day work instead of contract.” E. W. Scripps loaned them a cement mixer. EBS, Diary, January 29, February 1, 1910. 53. Eloise Roorbach, “The Bishop’s School for Girls: A Progressive Departure from Traditional Architecture,” The Craftsman (September 1914), 654. 54. Hines, Irving Gill and the Architecture of Reform, 76. 55. EBS to J. C. Harper, September 15, 1910, November 8, 1910, SC 1/87. On January 31, 1910, Scripps wrote in her diary, “Bishop Johnson called to tell me about the incorporation of school. There are to be 5 trustees, himself, Mr. and Mrs. Bentham, and myself. Judge Haines has charge of incorporation matter. The bishop proposes to have some Scripps on the board perpetually either by nomination or appointment of predecessor.” The following month, she wrote, “Bishop Johnson, the Benthams, and Judge Haines here to lunch and to complete incorporation of ‘Bishop’s School on Scripps Foundation.’” EBS, Diary, January 31, February 18, 1910, SC 23/14. 56. EBS to VS, October 5, 1917, SC 3/18. Virginia Scripps also donated the use of several cottages to the school, including the Domestic Science Building, as annex to the dormitory and for servants’ quarters. The Klein House, across the street, was also used as a dormitory annex and, later, an infirmary. Payne, “Memories of a Bishop’s School Alumni from 1907 to 1922.” 57. La Leyenda [yearbook], 1914, SDHS, Ephemera/Education: The Bishop’s School; EBS to VS, June 6, 1916, SC 3/17. Ellen Browning Scripps described the skit as “a regular little tempest in a teapot, the bone of contention being a lot of blueprints supposed to be the plans of the new building that is to be.” Characters included Irving Gill, Wheeler Bailey, Mr. McKemper, Mrs. Gorham, and Miss Foster. 58. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 13; EBS to VS, October 25, 1914, SC 3/16. 59. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 14-15. Among the members of the Class of 1914 were several girls for whom admission to either Vassar and Stanford was their main ambition: Louise Fleming, Helen Logie, Jean Miller, and Erna Reed. La Leyenda [yearbook], 1914, SDHS, Ephemera/ Education: The Bishop’s School. Among the instructors at The Bishops School were Caroline Macadam, A.B. Vassar, who taught History, Mathematics and Travel; Caroline B. Perkins, A.B. Wellesley, who taught French; Nancy Kier Foster, A.B. University of Southern California; and Louis Roman, L.L.M. Université de France, who taught Spanish. Scrapbook Album, TBS. 60. One student recalled, “Mrs. Bentham created for those about her the atmosphere of a wellordered, refined home.” At her dinner table, she used “her personal monogrammed silver and all of the napkins used in the dining room were hand hemmed, the result of our fireside labors during the hour of reading in the library.” Payne, “Memories of a Bishop’s School Alumni from 1907 to 1922.”


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 61. EBS to VS, May 22, 1919, SC 3/20. 62. EBS to VS, October 25, 1914, SC 3/16. 63. From 1913, her disease progressed as a “rapid rate.” Faculty noted that she was “losing her memory fast and doesn’t remember from one hour to the next things she says and does.” In November, Ellen wrote to her sister, “Bishop Johnson is to be down on Friday (tomorrow) I could wish he could do a little cleaning up at The Bishop’s School and put Mrs. Bentham away on a shelf.” EBS to VS, November 7, 1913, November 20, 1913, SC 3/16. On January 10, 1915, Scripps wrote in her diary, “Mrs. Bentham died at 10:30 a.m. Virginia was there…Board of Trustees of Bishop’s School meet at school at 9 p.m.—including Bishop Johnson, Mr. Bailey, Mr. McKemper, and myself. Hold session till 11 p.m.” EBS, Diary, January 10, 1915, SC 23/19. 64. “In Death Undivided: Hand in Hand into Shadows: Charles E. Bentham and Wife are Dead Together,” Los Angeles Daily Times, January 15, 1915. 65. The San Diego Bishop’s School, headed by Mrs. Alyda D. MacLain and Miss Isoline L. Lang, was a separate institution, independent of The Bishop’s School in La Jolla. The San Diego Bishop’s School, “Announcement for 1916-1917,” SDHS, Ephemera/Education: The Bishop’s School. 66. Scripps told her sister about the construction of Gilman Hall: “Mr. Gill was out yesterday. Says he thinks the plans for the new school building are satisfactorily completed but, in letting a building by contract, there are so many preliminaries to be gone through that actual work is much delayed in the beginning.” EBS to VS, May 12, 1916, SC 3/17. 67. EBS to VS, November 11, 1916, SC 3/17. In 1915, Bentham Hall was named in memory of Dorothy Bentham, daughter of the late Rev. and Mrs. Charles E. Bentham. 68. EBS to VS, June 16, 1916, SC 3/17. In 1915, Scripps drove to Los Angeles with her attorney, J. C. Harper, to see Gill about plans for her new house, South Moulton Villa II. She wrote, “At Mr. Gill’s office in morning with Mr. Harper, dot crossing building plans with Mr. Gill. Visit on the occasion the homes of Miss Banning, Mr. Dodge (in process of construction) and Mr. Laughlin to see certain things Mr. Gill wants to introduce into my building.” EBS, Diary, October 2, 1915, SC 23/19. 69. In an article for Century Magazine, Arthur Gilman described the foundation of Vassar College in 1865 and the “Harvard Annex” (later Radcliffe College) in 1879. He wrote, “It is not a question of putting all our girls through college; it is not even a question of their being taught in the same institutions and classes with men when they go to college. The form in which women shall be taught and subjects that they shall study are of minor importance at the moment, and time will settle them in a natural way. The great desideratum is that they be given the collegiate education when they need it, and that they be the judges of their own needs.” Arthur Gilman, “Women Who Go to College,” Century Magazine 36 (1888), 717-18. 70. San Diego Union, May 1, 1915. 71. EBS to VS, May 12, 1916, SC 3/17. Scripps admitted to her sister, “I find myself usually rather antipathetic to Miss Gilman and do things, purposely, which sometimes shock her.” EBS to VS, November 23, 1916, SC 3/17. 72. EBS to VS, October 5, 1917, SC 3/18. 73. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 17; EBS to VS, October 6, 1917, SC 3/18. The curriculum included Latin, German, Science, Physical Training, Domestic Economy, Arts and Crafts, Music, Art, Social Ethics, Riding and Swimming, and Elementary Religion. Scrapbook Album, TBS. 74. EBS to VS, November 20, 1917, SC 3/18; EBS to VS, March 5, 1921, SC 3/22. 75. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 17; EBS to VS, May 7, 1916, SC 3/17. One student recalled, “In the early years we slept at night on the top of the arcade of Scripps Hall in cots that were covered with black oil cloth, and awakened in the morning to find pools of water on our beds from the heavy fog.” Payne, “Memories of a Bishop’s School Alumni from 1907 to 1922.” 76. Hamilton, A Vision for Girls, 64; Caroline Cummins, “Random Reminiscences,” The Bishop’s School Alumnae News (Summer 1970), SDHS, Ephemera/Education: The Bishop’s School; EBS to VS, September 16, 1917, SC 3/18. One student recalled that under Gilman’s direction, “the girls assumed a deep responsibility of war work,” in connection with the Red Cross. Payne, “Memories of a Bishop’s School Alumni from 1907 to 1922.”


The Journal of San Diego History 77. Kyle E. Ciani, “Revelations of a Reformer: Helen D. Marston Beardsley and Progressive Social Activism,” JSDH, 50, nos. 3 and 4 (2004): 102-123; EBS to VS, July 26, 1920, SC 3/21. 78. EBS to VS, October 25, 1914, SC 3/16. 79. EBS to VS, February 15, 1921, SC 3/22. 80. In 1917, Scripps wrote, “Mr. Gill has been out 2 or 3 times. He keeps his residence in San Diego and spends most of his time here. I think the office is closed only temporarily. They still retain it. Mr. Harper has received word from you to notify Gill not to do any more work at The Bishop’s School and he has so told him…Building has practically come to a standstill in all this part of the country, and no one is going to do any spectacular building while financial conditions are so uncertain.” EBS to VS, September 22, 1917, SC 3/18. 81. In 1916, Ellen wrote that her brother E. W. visited to The Bishop’s School “and went all over the building with her [Gilman], and gave his opinions and criticisms quite freely. He thinks the chapel should have had an entrance on the street. By the way, they are having stalls designed for it, instead of moveable seats. Miss Gilman feels sorry that the whole thing, designing, building, furnishing, etc., should not have been left entirely to Mrs. Johnson; that that would have completed the beauty and significance of the tribute to her mother.” EBS to VS, November 25, 1916, SC 3/17. 82. Before the construction of St. Mary’s Chapel, students used St. James Chapel. One student wrote, “On Sundays, we all flocked up to the little picturesque chapel St. James by-the-Sea and here we baptized and confirmed and listened to our baccalaureate sermon.” Payne, “Memories of a Bishop’s School Alumni from 1907 to 1922.” 83. EBS to VS, May 29, 1916, SC 3/17. 84. EBS to VS, June 2, 1918, SC 3/19. 85. EBS to VS, June 7, 1916, SC 3/17. For more information on La Jolla’s early settlers, see Patricia Ann Schaelchlin, “Anson Peaslee Mills in His Cultural Context: An Interpretation of his Diaries, 18981932,” master’s thesis, San Diego State University, 1979; and Schaelchlin, La Jolla: The Story of a Community, 1887-1987 (La Jolla: Friends of the La Jolla Library, 1988). 86. EBS to VS, October 31, 1917, SC 3/18. 87. EBS to VS, October 11, 1918, SC 3/19. 88. EBS to VS, February 16, 1921, SC 3/22. 89. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 24-25; EBS to VS, July 6, 1918, SC 3/19. Gilman hoped to leave an architectural legacy, a Memorial Gate in honor of the late Anna Bentham. Scripps described it as “a beautiful and unselfish tribute to a predecessor whom she never knew; and would be in its inception and construction worthy of its designer and its office.” 90. EBS to VS, January 18, 20, 1921, SC 3/22. 91. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 29; EBS to VS, March 9, 1921, SC 3/22. Cummins wrote, “My appointment to the position of Headmistress came as a surprise to me and to everyone else. The Bishop spent several weeks in the East looking for someone with the qualifications he desired, without success. And so, in March [1921] he asked me to carry on for him at least for a year…. Naturally, the last arrival and the youngest member of the faculty did not appeal to everyone as leader, but they all hung on!” Cummins, “Random Reminiscences.” 92. Edith Stevens Haney, “Fifty Year Memories,” SDHS, Subject File: The Bishop’s School. 93. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 31-32, 45, 47. 94. EBS to VS, August 9, 1920, SC 3/21. 95. EBS to VS, December 14, 1920, SC 3/21. 96. EBS to VS, January 31, March 16, 1921, 1921, SC 3/22. Cummins wrote, “When Scripps Hall was the only building and classes met in sections of the drawing room, Mrs. Bentham’s office was the small room nearest the entrance from Cuvier Street and next to the Bishop’s bedroom and bath.” Cummins, “Random Reminiscences.” 97. Bishop Johnson imagined integrating Pomona College, Occidental College, Throop (later the


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 California Institute of Technology), and the University of Southern California “under a kind of Oxford plan, by which none would lose its identity, but through which all would be enormously strengthened” at a time when each institution was experiencing administrative and financial problems. His vision created the Claremont College consortium which includes Pomona College (1887), Claremont Graduate University (1925), Scripps College (1926), Claremont McKenna College (1946), Harvey Mudd College (1955), Pitzer College (1963), and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences (1997). Stevens, A Bishop Beloved, 41. 98. Hepner, Ellen Browning Scripps, 21. Scripps graced the cover of Time Magazine as a result of her contributions to Scripps College. “Miss Ellen Scripps…Another Oxford Rises,” Time Magazine 7, no. 8 (February 22, 1926), 20-22. 99. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 46, 49. See also, Gertrude Gilpin, “School Enrolled Boys in the Early Days,” San Diego Tribune, April 11, 1958, SDHS, Subject File: The Bishop’s School. 100. Schaelchlin, The Newspaper Barons, 180. 101. The tower built by Irving Gill was removed when a permanent second floor was added to the east wing of Bentham Hall in the fall of 1930. The Bishop Johnson Tower was built at the same time and dedicated on December 13, 1930. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 36; La Jolla Light, July 7, 1998, SDHS, Subject File: The Bishop’s School. 102. J. C. Harper, “Memorandum: New Building for Bishop’s School,” July 22, 1924, SC 11/43. 103. Excerpts from an address by Mary B. Eyre, 1935; letter read by Dr. James A. Blaisdell at a Memorial Service on October 18, 1932, “In Memoriam: Ellen Browning Scripps, 1836-1936, complied by J. C. Harper,” SC 1/32. 104. Sandee Mirell, California Association of Independent Schools, 60th Anniversary, 1941-2001 (Santa Monica: California Association of Independent Schools, 2001). 105. Anonymous letter to Right Rev. Eric Bloy, [1961], Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles Archive, Institutions: The Bishop’s School, File Cabinet 8. The following year, six out of forty-eight graduating seniors were admitted to Berkeley, three went to Scripps College, and two attended Pomona. “College Acceptances (as of June 24, 1962), Class of 1962,” Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles Archive, Institutions: The Bishop’s School, File Cabinet 8. 106. “Changes, Additions, Improvements, 1953-1962,” Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles Archive, Institutions: The Bishop’s School, File Cabinet 8. 107. Mitchell, Reviewing the Vision, 63-68. 108. Ilana Debare, Where Girls Come First: The Rise, Fall, and Surprising Revival of Girls’ Schools (New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2004), 172. Between 1960 and 2006, the number of women’s colleges in the United States dropped from 233 to 58. Leslie Miller-Bernal and Susan L. Poulson, eds., Challenged by Coeducation: Women’s Colleges Since the 1960s (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2007), 1. 109. Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982). Gilligan’s work forced psychologists to think about the role of gender in human development. A later work suggested that girls might learn differently from boys. Gilligan, Nona P. Lyons and Trudy J. Hanmer, Making Connections: The Relational Worlds of Adolescent Girls at Emma Willard School (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990). 110. For information on housing discrimination in La Jolla, see Mary Ellen Stratthaus, “Flaw in the Jewel: Housing Discrimination Against Jews in La Jolla, California,” American Jewish History 84, no. 3 (1996): 189-219. In 1998-99, 26 percent of the school body identified themselves as students of color. Jane Bradford, “The Vision Revisited,” unpublished manuscript, 1999, 36, The Bishop’s School Archives. 111. Bradford, “The Vision Revisited,” 4-5. 112. “Bishop’s Philosophy,” (accessed November 14, 2007).


Irving Gill’s Vision for The Bishop’s School Nicole Holland, Ashley Chang, and Pieter Stougaard Irving J. Gill (1870-1936), founding architect of The Bishop’s School, produced an essay in 1916 while construction was underway on Gilman Hall. He submitted it to The Craftsman, an important design and architecture magazine published by Gustav Stickley and devoted to the promotion of an American Arts & Crafts style. His essay was entitled “The Home of the Future: The New Architecture of the West: Small Homes for a Great Country.”1 A photo illustration shows the school’s first structure built on Banker’s Hill with the caption: “Honesty, frankness and dignified simplicity mark this house designed to rest upon the crest of a canyon: Seen from the bottom of the slope, this section of the Bishop’s School, designed by Mr. Gill, rises like a natural monument of stone.”2 Gill produced some of his most innovative and path-breaking work for The Bishop’s School. He created an architecture based on a modernist stripping down or near elimination of ornamental elements Portrait of Irving J. Gill, 1915. ©SDHS #80:7818. in favor of the straight line, the arch, the circle, and the square. His work reflected the vision of Episcopal Bishop Joseph H. Johnson and Ellen Browning Scripps for a progressive school founded on the motto, “Simplicity, Sincerity, Serenity.” Gill fused together American pragmatism and idealism, much like his mentor Louis Sullivan (who declared “form ever follows function”). He also drew on the work of European architects and artists such as the Viennese modernist Adolf Loos and the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian and his circle. In a 1914 essay, Eloise Roorbach, an architectural critic Nicole Holland, a Ph.D. candidate at UC San Diego, is an Advanced Placement art history instructor at The Bishop’s School. Ashley Chang (’09) and Pieter Stougaard (’09) are students at The Bishop’s School. The authors extend their appreciation to the San Diego Historical Society and the Architecture and Design Collection, University Art Museum, UC Santa Barbara. They thank Molly McClain for her editorial assistance and also thank Kurt Helfrich, Greer Hardwicke, Gregg R. Hennessey, Thomas S. Hines, Jane Kenealy, Roswell Pund, (‘81) Susie O’Hara, Sarah Schaffer Cooper, (‘93) John C. Welchman, and Terry Whitcomb.


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 for The Craftsman and a close friend of Gill, wrote that the architect “recently built a school at La Jolla down by the sea, known as The Bishop’s School for Girls, which embraces the most radical theories. Its originality must certainly remain unquestioned.”3 Irving Gill was born in a small town in upstate New York. In 1890, he moved to Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper. He obtained a job in the renowned office of Dankmar Adler & Louis Sullivan and worked as a draftsman under the supervision of chief draftsman Frank Lloyd Wright. A pioneer in the development of steel framework skyscrapers, Sullivan preached a reductivist aesthetic that attracted international architects like Loos. The latter visited the Chicago office and wrote an essay “Ornament and Crime” (1908) advocating simplicity. Gill, who worked on Sullivan’s Transportation Building project for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, wrote in his 1916 essay, “Any deviation from simplicity results in a loss of dignity. Ornaments tend to cheapen rather than enrich, they acknowledge inefficiency and weakness.” His years in Chicago helped him develop a language of architecture at once ethical, moral, symbolic and aesthetic. In his writing, he chose words such as “simplicity,” “honesty,” “chaste,” and “beautiful” to characterize his practice.4 Suffering poor health, Gill moved from Chicago to San Diego, a young town offering both a healthy climate and “the newest white page,” as he described the West.5 Gill’s professional partnerships for the design and construction of residences, churches, schools, and commercial buildings included Falkenham & Gill; Hebbard & Gill; Gill & Mead; and, with his nephew Louis J. Gill, the firm Gill & Gill. In 1909, Gill designed structures for The Bishop’s School’s two campuses: a day school in downtown San Diego and a boarding school in La Jolla. Kate Sessions, pioneering horticulturist of Balboa Park, helped landscape the campus at First Avenue and Redwood Street and may have advised on the La Jolla campus. An important and previously unpublished lot plan in the archives of the San Diego Historical Society, done in Gill’s fine hand, shows his first plan for the La Jolla campus. It contains a central pond and parterre gardens bordered by flowers, suggesting a Victorian carved picture frame. Although it is dated ca. 1912, it must have been designed much earlier as it bears little, if any, relation to the actual buildings. It is, instead, a very early presentation drawing, probably done in 1908 or 1909. It reveals his vision of a balance of indoor and outdoor spaces, connected by halls and arcades. It shows two formal gardens, one nearly four times the size of the other, as well as tennis courts. The smaller garden centered on a statue; the larger focused on a pond. Gill’s plan for The Bishop’s School campus resembled a utopian design for a medieval monastery in its dominant axes, ordered cubical spaces, and overall balance and symmetry. In his essay, he referred to “the arched cloisters of the Missions” that had been “seized upon and tortured until all semblance of their original beauty has been lost.” He wanted to return such spaces to their “meaning and definite purpose—that of supporting the roof or the second story and thus forming a retreat or quiet walk for the monks.”6 In a drawing for Gilman Hall, he labeled the arcade “cloisters.”7 Gill’s buildings for the La Jolla campus—Scripps Hall (1910) with its living spaces, Bentham Hall (1912) with its small chapel and watchtower, and Gilman


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Irving Gill, Sketch for Lot Plan, pen and ink on tracing paper, ca. 1909. This utopian design for The Bishop’s School resembles the plan for a medieval monastery and bears little formal relation to Gill’s built structures. One exception is the annotated “Assembly Room,” a term which reflects Gill’s Quaker background, marking the space for the first chapel and an area known today as Taylor Performing Arts Center. Striking are the formal, parterre gardens centering on a pond in the present-day Quadrangle. ©SDHS Archives, #1009-013.

View of The Bishop’s School in 2008, seen across the Quadrangle. Left and center, Gilman Hall (1916); right of Gilman Hall, St. Mary’s Chapel (1916-17) and the Bishop Johnson Tower (1930); at right, Bentham Hall (1912) with tower by Carleton Winslow (ca. 1930) that replaced Gill’s earlier belvedere-style tower. Photograph by Pablo Mason.


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009 Hall (1916-17)—show a geometric approach that fused reformist Modernism with Mission Revival. In his essay, Gill wrote that the arch signified ”the dome of the sky, exultation, reverence, and aspiration,” the square symbolized “power, justice, honesty and firmness,” and the straight line indicated “greatness, grandeur and nobility.”8 His structures reflected the core values of physical, mental and spiritual well being that informed the built architecture, the college preparatory curriculum, and school’s community engagement. Gill did not design all of the buildings on campus, however. Carleton Monroe Winslow (1876-1946) designed St. Mary’s Chapel in the romantic Spanish Baroque Revival style that became popular after the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 in Balboa Park. Winslow, who had worked in Bertram Goodhue’s New York office, arrived in San Diego in 1911 to participate in the construction of the exposition’s central buildings. In 1916, he received a commission from Isabel Johnson, wife of the bishop, to design a chapel in memory of her mother. Winslow later removed Gill’s original belvedere “watch tower” from Bentham Hall in favor of a dome at some time during his work for the Bishop Johnson Tower (1930) and the Wheeler J. Bailey Library (1934).9 To Winslow’s credit, he attempted to maintain Gill’s architectural vocabulary along with his simplicity in design and materials. Gill opened an office in Los Angeles in 1913 and rarely visited San Diego after 1920. His vision of a utopian community, however, helped to define the village of La Jolla in architectural terms. His works there, besides The Bishop’s School, include the La Jolla Women’s Club (1912-14), the Scripps Recreation Center (1913-15), and South Moulton Villa II (1915), now the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.10 He was aware that he was creating an architectural legacy, writing in The Craftsman, “If we, the architects of the West, wish to do great and lasting work we must dare to be simple, must have the courage to fling aside every device that distracts the eye from structural beauty, must break through convention and get down to fundamental truths.”11 His courageous pursuit of beauty and truth continues to inspire students and faculty on The Bishop’s School campus.


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Students and faculty gather for a photograph in front of Bishop’s day school campus in San Diego. The property formerly had belonged to a botanist, Professor Townsend Stith Brandegee, who had planted a large number of rare trees and plants. The San Diego Union described it “the greatest collection of Lower California specimens in existence.” Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

Irving Gill, The Bishop’s Day School (1909), 3068 First Avenue, San Diego, California, photograph, n.d. This photograph, doubtless taken by Gill himself, served as an illustration for his only major essay, “The Home of the Future: The New Architecture of the West: Small Homes for a Great Country.” Courtesy of the Architecture and Design Collection, University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara 1968.105.259.p.2.


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

Irving Gill, perspective rendering, Scripps Hall and Bentham Hall, ink and watercolor on paper, signed and dated 1910. This ink and watercolor image of Scripps and Bentham Halls is done in a palette of soft, tender blues and greens, suggesting climbing vines and wisteria that provided “ornamentation” for the arches, or, as Gill wrote: “unornamented save for the vines that soften a line or creepers that wreathe a pillar or flowers that inlay color more sentiently than any tile could do.” Courtesy of the Architecture and Design Collection, University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1968.

The Bishop’s School, La Jolla, ca. 1920s. This photograph features Scripps Hall, left, and Bentham Hall, center, with the original belvedere “watch tower,” the design of which is echoed in the Gilman sleeping porch, behind. At right is St. Mary’s Chapel, built by Winslow in 1916-17. The classical detail of the ground story “tabernacle” on Bentham Hall contrasts with the Mission Revival roofline above, a design deriving from Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Gill, who had consulted on the mission’s condition, used some design features in the façade for St. James Chapel, no longer extant. ©SDHS #5463.


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Louis J. Gill, Rough Sketch No. 1, Revised Plot Plan, ink on paper, signed and dated February 19, 1916. Louis Gill ran the San Diego office of Gill & Gill after his uncle left for Los Angeles. This sketch marks already constructed buildings with parallel line hatching. Winslow’s 1916 chapel is in outline, as are the projected spaces for Gilman Hall dormitory, library, and offices, upper left, as well as dormitory, music building, and support services, below. Gill proposes an astonishing and never-built Greek amphitheater, an architectural feature then much in vogue, here set on an axis with Bentham Hall. ©SDHS Archives, #1022-001.

The living room in Scripps Hall, ca. 1910, reflected an Arts & Crafts aesthetic with its large tile fireplace, beamed ceilings, inset bookcases, and comfortable seating. The walls were painted “warm gray” and surfaced “so that they will catch color from sky and garden,” according to a 1914 article in The Craftsman. ©SDHS #81:11868.


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

A dorm room in Scripps Hall, ca. 1910. Eloise Roorbach praised Gill for his “modern efforts to encourage individuality instead of molding it along arbitrary lines.” Each room was “severely plain, identical in finish and furnishings, in fact merely a white page upon which each girl may express her individuality.” ©SDHS #81:11898

Maurice Braun, Wheeler J. Bailey house, colored pencil drawing, ca. 1920s. Leading San Diego plein air artist Maurice Braun (1877-1941), an avid student of Theosophy and a firm believer in San Diego’s Edenic qualities, illustrated Gill’s 1907 La Jolla house for Wheeler J. Bailey, a long-time Bishop’s trustee and donor of the 1934 Library. Dating from Braun’s middle period, this colored pencil drawing denotes the sweeping seascape and accents the Mediterranean feeling of the Southern California coastline. Braun’s vignette is a rarity; it portrays the only accurately identifiable Gill building in Braun’s overall work. Courtesy of the Braun Family Collection.


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Irving Gill, Bentham Hall East, West, North and South Elevations, graphite and ink on linen, dated in title block, July 3, 1912. The south elevation, seen at the foot of the sheet, features Gill’s original tower, designed in the Italian “belvedere” or “watchtower” style, with unglazed openings on each side, a design echoed in the extant upper story of Gilman Hall, once the sleeping porch. Carleton M. Winslow replaced Gill’s tower with a domed version around 1930. Courtesy of the Architecture and Design Collection, University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1968 105.11.D.56.

Tilt-slab concrete construction method, La Jolla Women’s Club, 1912. The tilt-slab method was invented by U.S. Army Colonel Aiken for barracks construction during the Spanish-American War. Wheelbarrow loads of concrete are poured into horizontal forms articulated by steel bars, marking heights and outlining openings for doors or windows. Here, an entire wall is seen being hoisted into place. Gill purchased equipment in 1912 and used the process in building Gilman Hall in 1916. Gill’s recently rediscovered 1910 specifications for The Bishop’s School refer to it as a “reinforced concrete school” and give no indication that he used the tilt-slab method for the earlier buildings. Courtesy of the Architecture and Design Collection, University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara 1968.105.130.p. 20.


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

Scripps Hall, Wrought Iron Balconies, revised North Elevation to show balconies, Wrought Iron Cross, revised West Elevation to show cross, graphite and ink on linen, dated in title block 9/1/1910. Scripps Hall, the first of the three Gill buildings, was intended for living quarters and included bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, and parlor. Its west elevation featured the original entrance to the school, surmounted by a wrought iron cross, shown here, with a pathway to Prospect Street. Gill’s attention to detail is noted in the precision of measurements and patterning, seen in the balcony and the Celtic-Mozarabic-style cross. Courtesy of the Architecture and Design Collection, University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1968.105.10.D.37.

Students gathered on the arcade of Gilman Hall, 1916. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.


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The school’s first gymnasium and swimming pool were designed by Louis J. Gill, the nephew of Irving Gill, in 1924-25. They were located on the site of a cottage that had served as the domestic science building. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.

Aerial view of La Jolla showing The Bishop’s School at the corner of Prospect Street and La Jolla Boulevard, April 16, 1935. ©SDHS #79:741-8.


The Bishop’s School, 1909-2009

St. Mary’s Chapel (1917) was designed by Carleton M. Winslow in the Mission Revival style. In 1933, the San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded a certificate of honor to The Bishop’s School, recognizing the “exceptional merit” of the chapel’s architectural design. The jury took particular note of the woodwork, windows, and tile floor. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School

Gilman Hall’s arcade represents Gill’s modernist interpretation of a medieval cloister. ©SDHS #93:18897-1.

Wheeler J. Bailey Library (1934), photograph by Erickson. This photograph shows the bridged pathway over the ravine—called by Bishop’s students “the jungle”—that was later cleared and filled. Carleton M. Winslow’s customary Spanish Baroque Revival style appears in the interior stained glass lancet windows, beamed ceiling, and cruciform plan, but the architect pays homage to founding architect Gill in the arches and clerestory windows on the exterior. Courtesy of The Bishop’s School.


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Irving J. Gill, “The Home of the Future: The New Architecture of the West: Small Homes for a Great Country,” The Craftsman (May 1916): 140-51, 220. All quotations in illustration captions come from this essay. For monographs and critical writings on Gill see: Thomas S. Hines, Irving Gill and the Architecture of Reform (New York: The Monacelli Press, 2000); Bruce Kamerling, Irving J. Gill, Architect (San Diego: San Diego Historical Society, 1993); Esther McCoy, Five Architects (New York: Reinhold Publishers, 1960); Marvin Rand, Irving J. Gill Architect 1870-1936 (Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith, 2006); Sarah J. Schaffer, “A Significant Sentence Upon the Earth: Irving J. Gill, Progressive Architect: Part I: New York to California,” The Journal of San Diego History (hereafter JSDH) 43, no. 4 (1997): 218-39; and Schaffer, “A Significant Sentence Upon the Earth: Irving J. Gill, Progressive Architect: Part II: Creating a Sense of Place,” JSDH 44, no. 1 (1998): 24-47.


Gill, “The Home of the Future,” 144. In the article, the photograph is misidentified as a structure on the La Jolla campus. The former Bishop’s Day School, on the edge of a canyon, is now the site of the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple at 3072 First Avenue at Redwood Street.


Eloise Roorbach, “The Bishop’s School for Girls: A Progressive Departure from Traditional Architecture,” The Craftsman (September 1914), 654. In her essay, Roorbach misidentified a photograph of the St. James by-the-Sea as The Bishop’s School Chapel. Bentham Hall contained a small chapel.


Gill, “The Home of the Future,” 142, 144.


Ibid, 141.


Ibid, 151. Gill’s vision has endured to the present day, as one participant in a 2007 student survey of attitudes toward the campus commented: “We have a beautiful campus and grounds, which creates a warm, safe, and comfortable feeling. There is a lot of open space, which makes offices and classrooms feel accessible.”


Drawing, Architecture and Design Collection, University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara 1968.105.9.D.18.


Gill, “The Home of the Future,” 142.


In honor of the centennial of The Bishop’s School, an exhibition of drawings and photographs of The Bishop’s School will feature the designs of Irving Gill and Carleton Winslow, Sr., as well as subsequent campus architects Mosher/Drew; Frank Hope; KMA Architects; and Tucker, Sadler, Noble, Castro.

10. Gill’s original design was recreated with considerable modifications by architect Robert Venturi. The Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 1996. See: Laurie Ann Farrell, Hugh Davies, and Robert Venturi, Learning from La Jolla: Robert Venturi Remakes a Museum in the Precinct of Irving Gill (San Diego: Museum of Contemporary Art, 1998). 11. Gill, “The Home of the Future,” 141-42.


Artists in La Jolla, 1890-1950 by Jean Stern The small seaside village of La Jolla evolved into an art community in 1894 when Anna Held established her Green Dragon Colony. The Green Dragon was a cluster of cottages designed by Irving Gill (1870-1936), a young architect who, at the time, had been in San Diego just over one year. The colony also served as a center for musicians and artists who came from throughout the United States to entertain both colony residents and Hotel del Coronado visitors. All the while, these creative individuals gathered in kindred energy and exchanged ideas in an atmosphere of friendship and art. Although none could foresee it, the next significant development in the young but dynamic La Jolla art community came when newspaper heiress Ellen Browning Scripps (1836-1932) retired and settled in La Jolla in 1897. Uncomfortable with her great wealth, she became La Jolla’s best loved philanthropist and set about to improve the lives of her new neighbors. Ellen Browning Scripps was responsible for the creation of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (1903), The Bishop’s School (1909), the La Jolla Women’s Club (1914), La Jolla Recreation Center (1913), the Birch Aquarium at Scripps (1915), Scripps Park (1915), Scripps Aviary at the San Diego Zoo (1923), Scripps Memorial Hospital (1924), and Scripps College in Claremont (1926). Upon her death in 1932, she willed the entire collection of nearly 1,200 Albert R. Valentien watercolors of the California flora, which she had personally commissioned from the artist in 1908, to the San Diego Museum of Natural History. In 1941, her home, designed by Irving Gill in 1915, became the La Jolla Art Center, later to be remodeled and renamed the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art. At the turn of the twentieth century, La Jolla, positioned between two active art communities: Los Angeles to the north, and San Diego to the south, would play host to many of the great California Impressionist painters. Franz Anton Bischoff (1864-1929) first painted in the San Diego area in 1915 when he participated in the Panama-California Exposition. He continued to paint there, and in La Jolla, all through the mid-1920s, producing a number of paintings of the distinctive coast. Born in Bohemia, Austria, Bischoff mastered the difficult art of porcelain painting before coming to the United States in 1885. Over the following twenty years, he established himself as the foremost American china painter, a designation he retains to this day. He moved to California in 1906 and settled in South Pasadena. Once in California, Bischoff turned to landscape painting, finding less and less time to continue his flower paintings and his porcelain work. Through the Mr. Jean Stern, executive director of the Irvine Museum, is a recognized authority on California impressionism. He frequently lectures on the subject and has written numerous books and articles, including monographs on artists such as Franz A. Bischoff, Alson S. Clark, Sam Hyde Harris and Elsie Palmer Payne.


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1920s, he painted the coastal areas of Monterey and Laguna Beach, San Diego, the Sierra Nevada, and the desert near Palm Springs. Some of his most charming works were painted in the small central California village of Cambria. In 1928, he and his friend John Christopher Smith traveled to Utah, where they painted in Zion National Park. He died on February 5, 1929, in his home in South Pasadena, California. Maurice Braun (1877-1941) was a founding member of the La Jolla Art Association in 1918 and continued to paint and exhibit in La Jolla throughout his life. Born in Hungary, Braun emigrated to the United States with his family when the artist was four years of age. An exceptional talent, he copied works of art at the Metropolitan Museum and, in 1897, enrolled in the School of the National Academy of Design. After three years there, he studied under William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) for an additional year. In 1909, Braun moved to San Diego. An active member of the Point Loma Theosophical Community, he was given studio space in the Isis Theater building in downtown San Diego by Katherine Tingley. He became an active member of the art community and founded the San Diego Academy of Art in 1910. One of his most important pupils was Alfred R. Mitchell. In 1921, Braun returned to the East and established a studio in New York City. He also established studios in Connecticut—one at Silvermine and finally in the art colony in Old Lyme. After a few years he returned to San Diego but continued from 1924 to 1929 to spend part of each year in the East. In 1929 he joined nine other artists in forming the Contemporary Artists of San Diego. Braun enjoyed a national reputation and his paintings were exhibited in Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York. In 1915, he received a Gold Medal at the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego for his painting California Hills. Other prizes included the Hallgarten Prize from the National Academy of Design in 1900 and a purchase award from the Witte Memorial Museum in San Antonio, Texas, in 1929. He died November 7, 1941, in San Diego, California. Alson Skinner Clark (1876-1949), an unconfined traveler, had wandered throughout the world before settling in Pasadena in 1920. Always looking for beautiful scenery, he spent most of his summers through the 1920s vacationing and painting along the coast in Laguna Beach, La Jolla, and San Diego. Born to a wealthy family in Chicago, Clark enrolled in Saturday classes at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1887 at the age of eleven. He also received private tutoring from a German painter while visiting Europe with his family a few years later. After completing his public school education, he studied at the Art Institute for several months from November 1895 through March 1896. Not satisfied with the teaching methods at the Institute, he left for New York where he enrolled in the newly formed school of William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). After four years of study, Chase advised Clark to continue his art education in Europe. Late in 1899, Clark went to Paris where he enrolled in the Académie Carmen, the atelier of James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). He remained there for about six months, during which time he traveled in France, Holland and Belgium. He continued his studies in Paris at the Académie Delecluse and with Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939). Clark returned to the United States and, early in 1902, opened a studio in Watertown, New York. Newly married, he returned to Paris in the fall of 1902. He


Artists in La Jolla, 1890-1950 and his wife thereafter divided their time between France and the United States until the outbreak of World War I. Clark exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, which held a one-man show for him in January 1906. On a summer trip in France in 1907, Clark began to lighten his palette to the higher key of his first teacher, Chase. The change in his style to a stronger impressionist method was reinforced during a trip to Spain in 1909 and was regularly seen in his work thereafter. In October and November 1910, he visited Giverny where he saw former classmate Lawton Parker, Frederick Frieseke, and Guy Rose. An inveterate tourist, Clark traveled throughout Europe and the United States. In 1913, on his way to Paris, he stopped in Panama and decided to undertake the project of recording the construction of the Panama Canal. Eighteen of those paintings were exhibited at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. The Clarks returned to America in August 1914 at the outbreak of World War I. After the United States entered the war in 1917, he enlisted in the Navy and was sent to France to work as an aerial photographer. In the winter of 1919, Clark visited California for reasons of health. In January 1920, he decided to remain, acquiring a home and studio along the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena. He renewed his acquaintance with Guy Rose who had returned to California in 1914. In 1921, along with Rose, Clark began teaching at the Stickney Memorial School of Art. Attracted to the southwest landscape, Clark made numerous painting trips in California and in Mexico. He sent works for exhibition to New York and Chicago, was represented by Stendahl Galleries, and also received mural commissions. He died in Pasadena on March 23, 1949, while painting in his studio. One of America’s great Impressionist painters, Colin Campbell Cooper (1856-1937) had come to California to visit the 1915 San Francisco Panama Pacific International Exposition early in the year. He went south to spend the winter of 1915 in Los Angeles and the spring of 1916 in San Diego to paint and attend the Panama-California Exposition. In those few months, he produced a large number of elegant works, from small mixed-media pieces to full-size oil paintings, many of which represented the expositions. Born in Philadelphia, Cooper attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts beginning in 1879. In 1886 he went to Europe, first painting in Holland and Belgium before moving on to Paris. In Paris he studied at the Académie Julian, the Académie Delecluse, and the Académie Viti, three of the more popular art schools among American art students. After his return to the United States in 1895, Cooper taught watercolor painting for three years at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia. He returned to Europe in 1898, traveling and painting in Holland, Italy, and Spain, and developing a reputation as a painter of the great architectural treasures of Europe. He continued to be interested in the interpretation of architecture after his return to the United States in 1902, painting a series of impressionist cityscapes of New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Over the next several years he continued his European sojourns and in 1913 went to India, returning to California in 1914. In January 1921 Cooper established permanent residency in Santa Barbara. During the 1920s, he served as Dean of the School of Painting at the Santa Barbara School of the Arts. He made another trip to India and visited England, France, and Spain in 1923. He died in Santa Barbara, on November 6, 1937.


The Journal of San Diego History

Alfred R. Mitchell (1888-1972) left his home in Pennsylvania in 1908 to come to San Diego, California. Wanting to become a professional artist, he began a course of study in 1913 at the San Diego Academy of Art under Maurice Braun. His talents were acknowledged just two years later when he received a Silver Medal at the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego. Encouraged by Braun, Mitchell returned to his native Pennsylvania in 1916 and enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he came under the powerful artistic influence of two of Bucks County’s leading figures, Daniel Garber (1880-1958) and Edward Redfield (1869-1965). In 1920, Mitchell was awarded the highly coveted Cresson European Traveling Scholarship, which allowed him to spend the summer of 1921 in England, France, Italy, and Spain. Upon completion of his studies, Mitchell returned to San Diego where he became an active member of the art community. He played a leading role in the formative years of both the La Jolla Art Association and, later, the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego. In 1929, he was a founding member of the Associated Artists of San Diego. Mitchell remained a popular art teacher well into his senior years. He was active in every facet of the San Diego and La Jolla art communities and was widely mourned when he died on November 9, 1972, in San Diego. Charles Arthur Fries (1854-1940) began his art career at the age of fifteen as an apprentice lithographer in the firm of Gibson and Company in Cincinnati. While there, he began studying under Charles T. Webber (1825-1911) in 1872, at the McMicken School of Design which later became the Cincinnati Art Academy. Fellow students there included future masters John Twachtman (1853-1902), Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), Henry Farny (1847-1916), and Robert Blum (1857-1903). Fries worked for a few years as an illustrator and staff photographer for the Cincinnati Commercial Gazette. In 1876 he went to London and Paris where he saw the works of the Impressionists. After returning to the United States, he opened a studio in Cincinnati where he made lithographs from views painted in his journeys in the Southeast which were also published in Harper’s Weekly, Century Magazine, and Leslie’s Magazine. His lithograph Bird’s Eye View of Cincinnati, a scene from a hot air balloon, was used for the poster of the Cincinnati Exposition of 1886. After his marriage in 1887, he moved his studio to New York City where he continued to illustrate for books and magazines, among them McGuffey’s Reader and Eggleston’s History of the United States. In 1890 he purchased a farm in Vermont. He met Charles F. Lummis, the great booster of the American Southwest, who advised him to go to California. In 1896, he moved his family west, living at the Mission San Juan Capistrano for several months. While in Capistrano, Fries’ daughter became seriously ill and required the attention of the local doctor. She recovered, but the episode resulted in the most renowned painting of his career. Too Late, painted in 1896, depicts a grieving mother prostrate over the recently deceased body of a young girl. A doctor, bag in hand, stands just inside the doorway, apparently unable to arrive in time to save the child. The painting was widely reproduced with copies displayed in numberless pharmacies and doctors’ offices throughout the United States. The artist never sold the painting and lent it out for display on numerous occasions during his career. It was eventually purchased by Henry Ward Ranger and is now in the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. After his move to California, Fries put aside illustration work and devoted all


Artists in La Jolla, 1890-1950 his energy to painting. He was a founding member of the La Jolla Art Association and the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego. He was an active member of the art community, teaching and painting in Yosemite, Death Valley, Baja California, and the back country of San Diego. He kept a journal record of his paintings that documents nearly seventeen hundred paintings from 1896 to 1940. He was known as the dean of San Diego painters. Charles Fries died on December 15, 1940, in San Diego, California. Guy Rose (1867-1925) the most respected and distinguished California Impressionist painter visited La Jolla in 1917. Captivated by the beautiful scenery, he painted several majestic views of the beaches and coves. Born in San Gabriel, Rose attended the California School of Design in San Francisco in 1886 and 1887, studying under Virgil Williams and Emil Carlsen (18531932). In 1888, he went to Paris and enrolled in the Académie Julian. Becoming an exceptional student who won every award the school offered, he soon found his paintings accepted for the annual Paris Salon exhibitions. In 1894 Rose experienced a bout of lead poisoning that forced him to temporarily abandon oil painting. He returned to the United States in the winter of 1895 and moved to New York where he turned to a career as an illustrator as it did not require using oil paints. He also taught drawing and portraiture at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, gradually regaining his health. He took up oil painting again around 1897. In 1899, Rose returned to Paris where he painted landscapes and earned money as an illustrator for Harper’s Bazaar and other American magazines. He was greatly influenced by Claude Monet and, in 1904, Rose and his wife Ethel settled in Giverny, becoming members of the small American art colony there. He befriended artists Richard Miller (1875-1943), Lawton Parker (1868-1939), and Frederick Frieseke (1874-1939). In 1910, Frieseke, Miller, Parker, and Rose exhibited in New York as “The Giverny Group.” Rose returned permanently to the United States in 1912, settling for a time in New York. He moved to Pasadena at the end of 1914 and served for several years on the board of trustees of the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art. He became the director of the Stickney Memorial School of Fine Arts in Pasadena and persuaded Richard Miller to visit and teach at the school in 1916. Rose painted primarily in the southern part of the state until about 1918, at which time he began to spend summers in Carmel and Monterey. He developed a serial style of painting, like Monet, in which the same scene would be depicted at different times of day. Arthur Millier, the art critic for the Los Angeles Times, expressed great admiration when he remarked that Rose was “almost more a French Impressionist than an American painter.” Rose suffered a debilitating stroke in 1921, rendering him unable to paint for the last years of his life. He died on November 17, 1925, in Pasadena, California. Cincinnati-born Albert R. Valentien (1862-1925) entered the School of Design of the University of Cincinnati (now called the Cincinnati Art Academy) in 1875 at the age of thirteen. He studied under Thomas S. Noble (1835-1907) and Frank Duveneck (1848-1919). His favorite subject was pottery decoration. In 1879, at the age of sixteen, he was competent enough to start a class taught with fellow artist John Rettig (1855-1932). In 1881, Maria Longworth Nichols offered the young but well-established Valentien the position as chief decorator at her newly founded Rookwood Pottery, in


The Journal of San Diego History

Cincinnati. He was the first full-time decorator at the venerable firm and remained as chief artist for over twenty years. At Rookwood, Valentien met his future wife, Anna Marie Bookprinter (18621947), who was also employed as a decorator starting in late 1884. They were married three years later, on June 1, 1887. The marriage, as well as their artistic collaboration, would prove to be happy, lasting, and productive. Albert’s years at Rookwood would establish him as one of the leading American art pottery decorators of his day. In 1899, the couple took a leave of absence from Rookwood so that Anna might study in Paris. She took sculpture classes under Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) and at the Académie Colarossi. Both Valentiens submitted work for display at the Spring Salon and the prestigious Universal Exposition of 1900. Albert was awarded a Gold Medal for his pottery decoration. His success at the exposition caused his work to be purchased by several European museums, including the Luxembourg Museum in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Budapest. While in Europe, Albert’s health began to fail. In order to relax, he started painting wildflowers. This passion for floral painting would later lead to a second career and much critical acclaim as a painter. In 1900, the couple returned to Cincinnati where Anna tried to get Rookwood to produce a line of pottery that featured more sculptural elements. Her ideas were turned down. In the spring of 1903, the couple came to San Diego for a short visit with Anna’s brother Charles. They immediately fell in love with the beautiful little city and decided to stay there for the rest of the year. While in San Diego, they rediscovered wildflower painting and Albert produced a series of 130 detailed studies of the abundant local flora. This group is now part of the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum. Albert and Anna Valentien returned to Cincinnati in 1905. They tendered their resignations from Rookwood and Albert turned to full-time flower painting. In 1908, they again traveled to San Diego. Soon after their arrival, Albert accepted a commission from noted philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps to paint the entire California flora, which he estimated to be about 1,000 different plants (it is, in fact, more than five times larger). Scripps had a large, private library in La Jolla and she wanted these paintings to be a centerpiece. In 1911, Albert and his wife Anna opened the Valentien Pottery Company in San Diego. It operated for only a brief time and examples are scarce. Their pottery featured stylized sculptural designs under monochrome vellum glazes, very much like what Anna had unsuccessfully offered to Rookwood. Anna created the etched door hardware and a brass-framed art glass lantern on the outside of the Wednesday Club in San Diego in 1911, The Scripps commission would occupy nearly ten years of their lives, from 1908 to 1918. Anna collected and Albert painted every specimen of California plants and wildflowers they found. The couple visited all parts of the state, from the Sierra Nevada to the Mojave Desert, including every valley, meadow, desert wash, and coastal plain they could reach in search of their artistic quarry. In many cases, Albert had to look through a microscope to draw the delicate parts of even the smallest plant accurately. It was an achievement unequalled in its scope and artistic merit. Moreover, it was a scientific accomplishment that may never be duplicated since some of these plants are now rare or thought to be extinct. In the end, the series


Artists in La Jolla, 1890-1950 numbered just under 1,200 paintings, all produced on sheets of light green paper measuring 20 inches by 14 inches. The Valentien paintings of California flora are now in the collection of the San Diego Natural History Museum. From 1914 to 1916, Anna Valentien taught art at the State Normal School (Teacher’s College) in San Diego, and from 1917 to 1938 at San Diego Evening High School. One of her evening school students, Donal Hord (1902-1966), would become San Diego’s best known sculptor. When he finished the Scripps commission, Valentien turned to painting landscapes but worsening health limited his sketching trips. In an interview late in his life, Albert Valentien stated that his only complaint was that “there are so many wonderful things waiting to be done and such little time is given to us in which to do them.” Albert died in his home at 3905 Georgia Street, in San Diego, on August 5, 1925. Anna Marie Valentien survived him by more than twenty years and died in San Diego on August 25, 1947, at the age of 85. The following pages include Plein Air paintings to be featured at The Bishop’s School exhibition sponsored by the Irvine Museum January 19 to March 1, 2009.

Albert R. Valentien Matilija Poppies, 1903 watercolor and gouache, 28” x 20” Private Collection


Louis Betts (1873-1961), Mid-Winter, Coronado Beach, ca. 1907. Oil on canvas, 29” x 24”. The Irvine Museum.

Alson S. Clark (1876-1949), Yacht Race, San Diego Bay. Oil on board, 18” x 22”. Private Collection, Courtesy of The Irvine Museum

Alson S. Clark (1876-1949), La Jolla, 1924. Oil on board, 18” x 21”. Private Collection, Courtesy of The Irvine Museum.

Guy Rose (1867-1925), La Jolla Beach, ca. 1918. Oil on canvas, 24” x 29”. Private Collection, Courtesy of The Irvine Museum.

Alson S. Clark (1876-1949), La Jolla Seascape. Oil on board, 35” x 47”. This very large painting was painted en plein air. Private Collection, Courtesy of The Irvine Museum.

Guy Rose (1867-1925), Indian Tobacco Trees, La Jolla, ca. 1918. Oil on canvas, 24” x 29”. Private Collection, Courtesy of The Irvine Museum

Maurice Braun (1877-1941), California Hills, 1914. Oil on canvas, 40” x 50”. Winner of the Gold Medal at the 1915 PanamaCalifornia Exposition, San Diego. The Irvine Museum.

Maurice Braun (1877-1941), La Jolla, ca. 1918-20. Oil on canvas, 24” x 36”. Private Collection.

Colin Campbell Cooper (1856-1937), Ramona’s Marriage Place, San Diego. Oil on board, 10.5” x 13.25”. This painting shows Old Town, San Diego. Private Collection, Courtesy of The Irvine Museum.

Colin Campbell Cooper (1856-1937), Balboa Park, San Diego, 1916. Gouache on board, 6” x 9”. Private Collection, Courtesy of The Irvine Museum.

Alfred R. Mitchell (1888-1972), La Jolla Shores. Oil on canvas, 40” x 50” (unsigned). Courtesy of The Irvine Museum

Village Memories: A Photo Essay on La Jolla’s Past Jeremy Hollins La Jolla is a part of the city of San Diego with a strong community identity. Henry Fitch of Old Town mapped the area in his survey of 1845 as “pueblo land,” containing about sixty lots. John C. Hayes mapped it again as part of the pueblo, then city of San Diego, in 1858. Long known for its spectacular coastline and enchanting rock formations, La Jolla remained sparsely settled during the early American period. In 1870, Charles Dean received pueblo lots 1283 and 1284 from the city trustees and, after acquiring several more lots, subdivided an area that became known as La Jolla Park. Even though Dean promoted La Jolla’s “charming rocks and their caves with the attractions of moss, shells and beautiful nooks,” he was unable to develop his land. In December 1880 he advertised La Jolla Park “For Sale to the Highest Bidder,” and, still unsuccessful, left San Diego for St. Louis in 1881. The “Boom” of the 1880s nevertheless brought speculators such as Frank T. Botsford and George W. Heald to La Jolla and they again scheduled a public auction in 1887. Heald bought a onefourth interest in La Jolla Park and worked to carefully lay out the community. La Jolla began to “take off” and by the turn of the twentieth century, it boasted 350 residents and some one hundred buildings. It became a popular resort area and a perfect location for the founding of The Bishop’s School in 1909.

Cows at the Beach, 1906. At the beginning of the twentieth century, La Jolla Shores was an enjoyable resting place for Holstein cows that were part of the nearby Long Beach Dairy run by the family of early resident Jeremiah Lee Holliday. The shores were used at times to grow lima beans and grapes. Photo courtesy of the La Jolla Historical Society, VM001.0104.

Jeremy Hollins is an architectural historian who has worked for the La Jolla Historical Society, IS Architecture, and URS Corporation. He has a masters of arts from the University of San Diego and presently lives in North County. He enjoys studying vernacular buildings and historic maps.


The Journal of San Diego History

The real estate “boom” of the 1880s brought speculators to La Jolla. Frank T. Botsford, a New York stockbroker, and George W. Heald bought a considerable amount of property, subdivided it, and scheduled a public auction. This photo shows Robert Pennell, auctioneer and manager of the Pacific Coast Land Bureau, 1887. ©SDHS #5511.

The Mills family. Anson Mills (third from left), his daughter Ellen Mills (fifth from left), and wife Eleanor Mills (seventh from left) are shown fishing and having a picnic in the La Jolla Shores area, ca. 1895. The Mills family first came to La Jolla in 1890 following Anson’s retirement. Eleanor “Nellie” Mills became one of La Jolla’s first real estate brokers and property managers. ©SDHS #4998.


A Photo Essay on La Jolla ‘s Past

Tourists and La Jolla residents enjoyed the Cove’s picturesque surroundings, enhanced by rock formations like Alligator Head and Sphinx Rock (foreground), pictured here in 1895. Ocean erosion and storms caused the formations to deteriorate significantly. Alligator Head’s arch collapsed in 1978 and the rest of the landmark fell in 1983. ©SDHS #3344-1.

As early as 1890, Scripps Park became home to a “Tent City” that housed vacationers, guests, and people from inland areas eager to escape the summer heat. The tents, pictured here in 1899, were raised each year around Memorial Day and taken down at the end of the summer. The bathhouse and swings seen above the Cove were built in 1894 by the San Diego, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla Railway. The company also built a dance pavilion and belvederes to encourage visitors to the area. ©SDHS #80:8104-130.


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The bathhouse and swings above the Cove, pictured here ca. 1900, were early tourist attractions at Scripps Park. The bathhouse had a short-order restaurant that served lunch, coffee, and cold drinks. On August 28, 1905, a small fire, caused by an exploding gasoline stove, destroyed the building. The swings remained part of the park’s landscape until ca. 1906. ©SDHS #1282.

Modest, single-family cottages and bungalows above La Jolla Cove provided accommodations for summer visitors. ©SDHS #22403.


A Photo Essay on La Jolla ‘s Past

Prospect Hill Golf Camp in front of the Green Dragon Colony, ca. 1910. The first tee was located at what is now the corner of Exchange Place and Prospect Street. ©SDHS #88:16848.

La Jolla’s first library, known as the Reading Room, was built on the northeast corner of Wall and Grand (Girard) Streets in 1898. It is now located on The Bishop’s School property on the corner of Prospect and Cuvier Streets. ©SDHS #17468-2.


The Journal of San Diego History

A McKeen Motorcar known as the “Red Devil” parked in front of Hotel Cabrillo (1909). The gasoline motor car made a loop around the village, heading north on Ivanhoe, west along Prospect Street, and south on Fay Avenue before returning to San Diego. The Hotel Cabrillo was incorporated into the La Valencia Hotel in 1956. ©SDHS #4506.

Diving from La Jolla’s seaside bluffs, seen here in 1914, was a popular activity in early La Jolla. Local teens organized diving groups throughout the early twentieth century and earned an appreciation for La Jolla’s unique coastal location. ©SDHS #7222.


A Photo Essay on La Jolla ‘s Past

Panoramic view of the La Jolla Shores area, ca. 1921, prior to the construction of the La Jolla Beach and Yacht Club in 1927 (which became the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in 1935). Seen in the right-hand corner is the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which relocated to La Jolla Shores from the Cove in 1907, and the southern portion of Torrey Pines State Reserve. ©SDHS #15320.

The bathhouse pictured here, ca. 1923, was the second bathhouse built at the Cove. It was completed in 1906 and featured a bowling alley, a pool (covered in 1907 and used as a dance floor), cafe, 180 dressing rooms, and lockers. Plans for the removal of the bathhouse began in 1919 due, in part, to its unsanitary condition. It was finally removed in 1925. Seen in the background are the Red Rest and Red Roost bungalows which have been above Scripps Park since 1894 and are two of the oldest remaining bungalows in La Jolla. ©SDHS #90:18138-94.


The Journal of San Diego History

The present-day Colonial Hotel opened in 1929 with ninety apartments and rooms. The original Colonial, designed in 1911-1912 by Richard Requa, was relocated to the rear of the new hotel. The hotel advertised itself as fire-proof (evidenced by its penthouse) after recent fires at the Dining Car restaurant, the La Jolla Garage, and five major fires in 1915 devastated the community. ©SDHS Sensor #32-44.


A Photo Essay on La Jolla ‘s Past

Horseback riding on La Jolla Shores, ca. 1920. La Jolla residents enjoyed swimming, golf, tennis, and horseback riding, among other activities. ©SDHS #5736.

Shops along Prospect Street in 1929 included, from left to right, the La Jolla Chocolate Shop Café, Pickwick Stages System, H. & R. Grocery Co., Geo. Henderson Jewelry, Shoe Repair, Dames Café, and the Jack-O-Lantern. The Hotel Cabrillo is at far right. ©SDHS #5268.


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In 1926, the San Carlos Electric Railroad Station of the La Jolla and San Diego Electric line stood alone in the virtually undeveloped La Jolla Hermosa area. The San Carlos station was completed in 1924 and remained in service until 1940 when the “Last Car” took its last trip. The La Jolla United Methodist Church acquired the building in 1953 and, after extensive alterations, converted the former station into a home for its congregation. ©SDHS #9199.

The San Diego Electric Railway named stations along the La Jolla and San Diego Electric line after California’s missions, according to the December 12, 1924 edition of the La Jolla Journal. It adopted the Spanish Colonial architectural style for the San Carlos Electric Railway Station in La Jolla. In 1929, the railway planned an upscale restaurant for the San Carlos station with the intention of attracting locals and out-of-towners. ©SDHS #92:18728.


A Photo Essay on La Jolla ‘s Past

In the background of this photograph, ca. 1927, is the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s one-thousand-foot pier, dedicated in 1916. In the foreground are three of the first residences built in La Jolla Shores, constructed during a building boom in the early 1920s. ©SDHS #5269.

Aerial view of La Jolla, 1921. Ellen Browning Scripps’ home, South Moulton Villa II, and her landscaped gardens, open to the public, appears in the foreground at the corner of Prospect and Silverado Streets. ©SDHS #S-20A.


The Journal of San Diego History

BOOK REVIEWS The Anza Trail and the Settling of California. By Vladimir Guerrero. Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books, 2006. Maps. 240 pp. $16.95 paper. Reviewed by Donald T. Garate, Historian and Chief of Interpretation, Tumacácori National Historical Park, Arizona. At long last, a highly readable, comprehensive single volume account of Juan Bautista de Anza’s expeditions to, and settlement of, the San Francisco Bay Area is now available. Dr. Vladimir Guerrero, a professor of Spanish language and literature, has compiled a concise, 220-page account of both the 1774 and the 1775-76 expeditions. This is especially good news to enthusiasts of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail who have struggled for years to know and understand this dynamic story by relying on bits and pieces of information gleaned from various publications or the Internet, or by struggling through Herbert Bolton’s long, out-of- print (and thus difficult to find) five volumes on the subject. Even more so, to tourists and travelers along the 1200-mile route that lies within the United States, this new book will provide a quick and easy read to get all the basics of these phenomenal expeditions. Beyond the basics, Guerrero also offers some welcome interpretation that has been lacking. His most significant contribution shows how important, even vital, Indians Sebastian Tarabal and Salvador Palma were to the success of the expeditions. The book includes writings and viewpoints from the diaries of Anza, Francisco Garcés, and Pedro Font as well as the writings of Father Junípero Serra, and combines them into a highly readable and interesting day-by-day account of the expeditions. As a trained linguist, Guerrero is able to provide new interpretations of the original Spanish, which will undoubtedly be of great help to those who are not bilingual, and certainly to those who want to examine the finer shades of meaning in what the original authors’ intent might have been. While Guerrero’s translations are generally reliable, a word of caution about livestock is in order. In the numerous instances in which the author uses the word “steer” and in one instance “bull,” the Spanish word from which these translations came was res, which is literally a “head of livestock” of unspecified gender (and proper English in its plural form is “head of cattle” not “heads of cattle,” which the editors let slip). Even more importantly, caballería cannot universally be translated as “horse” as Guerrero does here. Caballería literally means “mount,” or “riding animal,” and could just as well have referred to a mule as a horse. In spite of the author’s postulation that mules would have been useless if the expedition was attacked, soldiers on the frontier were often mounted on mules and knew them to have many qualities not possessed by horses. A major drawback of the book, from the viewpoint of a researcher or historian, is its lack of an index and footnoting. The book follows the trajectory of the expeditions closely because the author has drawn his information mostly from the original Spanish writings. Readers who desire to learn more about any specific detail in the story, however, have no notes to direct them to the relevant primary sources. And without an index, the book will be extremely difficult to use as a reference work.


Book Reviews Along these lines, since the author used only the writings specific to the expeditions, some of his interpretations of the people and places are inaccurate, or at least speculative and undocumented, since the original diaries do not treat those subjects. For instance, how can we know that Fernando de Rivera was a “big, powerful, mestizo” when his birth record says he was pure Spanish? How could Father Tomás Eixarch have been a “guest at Tumacácori” when he was the assigned minister there in the years before he left on the second expedition? How could Juan Capistrano Felix, the “healthy boy” born at La Canoa have “live[d] to maturity in Alta California” when San Gabriel Mission records show that he died at eleven months of age? These reservations are not to suggest that Guerrero’s book is not a successful account of the Anza expeditions. Rather, the reader needs simply to be aware that he or she is not reading a history of Sonoran missions or early California military personnel. Nor is this a biography of any person or persons on the Spanish frontier. It is, plain and simple, an excellent retelling of the story of finding a route through a formidable wilderness to the Bay of San Francisco, and then the transporting of several hundred people and livestock over 1800 miles of that wilderness to establish what is today one of the largest and best known cities of the United States.

Beloved Land: An Oral History of Mexican Americans in Southern Arizona. By Patricia Preciado Martin. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2004. Illustrations and photographs. vi + 151 pp. $17.95 paper. Reviewed by Richard Griswold del Castillo, Professor, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, San Diego State University. The Mexican Americans of southern Arizona have a rich history dating back to the seventeenth-century missions and presidios. They have survived in a harsh and unforgiving environment and their way of life is an inspiration for us today. Living descendants of the first European pioneers of this region tell the stories of their lives in this collection of oral histories. Patricia Preciado Martin has devoted her life to preserving the oral history of the elders who grew up on the ranchos surrounding modern-day Tucson. This is a beautiful book, not only because of the wonderfully rich first-person narratives about daily life, but also because of the photographs by José Galvez, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer. As mentioned in the preface by Thomas Sheridan, the ranchos surrounding Tucson have slowly given way to developers, and the way of life described in these oral histories has faded. The Mexican rancheros, the men and women who led rugged lives in the desert, are documented in this book’s collection of ten individuals. There are tales of children and their parents working, playing, praying, learning, and singing together. There are stories of suffering and tragedy, such as Ellena Vásquez Cruz’s memories of how babies died for lack of access to doctors. There are tales that will make us smile, as when Rafael Orozco Cruz remembered how his friends learned about the birds and bees by accident. The smells of the roasting meat and pan-fried tortillas come up to us through pages


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describing the details of food preparation on the rancho. The songs they sang—the lyrics at least—are in the book, too. The reader almost hears the way they used to sing every morning and on special occasions such as Christmas. We learn first hand of how the real cowboys—the Mexican vaqueros—worked and lived on this forgotten frontier. For those unfamiliar with Hispanic culture, this book is an excellent introduction to the strong values of the parents, their love and discipline, and the customs and celebrations of the wider community. Those who criticize the new immigrants coming to the United States should remember that they too share in the customs and heritage of some of the oldest families in the Southwest, and this heritage is one of respect, hard work, and love for family and God. This book will be a beautiful addition to anyone’s library. The next time you drive through Tucson remember the beautiful faces and stories you encounter in Beloved Land thanks to the work of Patricia Preciado Martin.

Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge. By Linda Nash. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006. Maps, photos, index, and notes. xiii + 332 pp. $24.95 paper. Reviewed by N. Pieter M. O’Leary, J.D., M.A. Attorney and historian, San Diego, California. Linda Nash has produced a brilliant survey of California’s Central Valley from early nineteenth-century settlement to the inundation of the valley (and the bodies of its inhabitants) with pesticides, herbicides, and other “modern” means of increasing agricultural productivity during the latter half of the twentieth century. Nash restores the human body to the center of environmental history after prolonged efforts by scholars and non-scholars alike to separate the study of human bodies from the rest of nature. This is a thoroughly researched work, expertly conveyed, which analyzes key events from California’s history from the perspectives of human health and the natural environment. In her first two chapters, Nash chronicles the concepts of healthy and unhealthy landscapes in nineteenth-century California. She suggests that while historians of American expansion have not neglected the study of disease and its role in the nation’s settlement, these historians have overwhelmingly focused on the “disease experience of Native Americans” (p. 16). Nash focuses on white and non-white bodies alike, which she describes as “malleable and porous entities that were in constant interaction with their surroundings” (p. 18). She argues that human bodies became important means through which settlers and migrants (as well as the physicians who examined them) understood the new environments of California and especially the Central Valley. From the onset of fever to the fluctuations of menstrual cycles, bodies facilitated colonial expansion and registered the physical effects of that expansion. Nineteenth-century California was a place of contrasts. State Board of Health officials viewed the state’s many different environments as having their own effects on health. Physicians of the time even divided the state into three separate


Book Reviews regions to assess scientifically the relationship between environment and health. For example, coastal regions like San Diego were generally believed to foster convalescence for certain patients. The Central Valley, however, was seen as an “insalubrious region” (p. 51). Apparently beneficial characteristics like the warm temperatures, long growing season, and fertile soils actually brought a physical danger to the body of the settler. Nash also argues that ideas about health influenced human alterations of the environment. Her history of the eucalyptus tree is one good example. From a nineteenth-century medical standpoint, these trees were seen as the most important in California. Few questioned the tree’s ability to “render healthy otherwise uninhabitable districts” (p. 72). The strong aroma was said to have a “prophylactic effect” and was also said to protect the soil from heat as well as allowing it to “absorb excess water and humidity” (p. 72). Due to the apparently salubrious effects of the eucalyptus, more than a million of them were planted by 1874. Locals in Tipton reported a “significant decrease in disease” after they planted over 120,000 of the trees (p. 72). As a result, the eucalyptus was well on its way to becoming a fixture in the California landscape. In general, Nash writes, “nineteenth century understandings of health required physicians to pay close attention not only to the sufferer’s body but also the surrounding landscape” (pp. 44-45). With the development of the germ theory of disease, however, physicians began to focus more tightly on the human body and the laboratory. The study of the natural environment and its impact on human health, for the most part, fell to others. In the following two chapters, Nash takes the reader through the “rise of germ theory and the corresponding decline of environmental medicine” (p. 81). The focus was now the human body. As theories of disease-causing agents and disease transmission gained currency, the state’s Public Health Services and Public Health Boards developed irrigation, sewage treatment, and sanitation plans. In places like San Francisco, for example, Dr. Rupert Blue of the U.S. Marine Health Service pushed for the replacement or removal of wooden homes and structures, for the paving of city sidewalks and markets, and finally the proper handling of animal manure and human trash. As the germ theory of disease blossomed, so too did the citrus groves, vineyards, and orchards of the Central Valley, as ever increasing acreage was cultivated. Nash’s fifth chapter examines the 1970s and 1980s as a toxic period in the history of the Valley. Using the cancer clusters located in and around McFarland to drive home her point, Nash discusses the movement of pesticides, defoliants, and other toxic chemicals through the region’s soil, aquifers, and air. As these chemical pollutants were dumped into the region, cases of new, more complex illness such as cancer, asthma, and neurological disorders appeared with increased frequency. Studies of these ailments led to a renewed awareness of the importance of the environment on human health. Human bodies alter the environment they inhabit, and that same environment affects the bodies within it. After nearly one hundred years, the study of human health and disease again links the human body and the natural environment. Nash’s contribution is to reveal how alterations of California’s environments have helped scientists recognize the interrelationship between the two.


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Writing the Trail: Five Women’s Frontier Narratives. By Deborah Lawrence. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, 2006. Illustrations, index, and notes. x + 158 pp. $29.95 cloth. Reviewed by Paige Griffith, Master’s Candidate, New York University. The myth of the American West has been dominated by notions of physical strength, moral weakness, and above all, masculinity. This mythical West is hardly a place for the “true woman” of the nineteenth century. But as Deborah Lawrence exhibits in Writing the Trail, women were not only present, but a significant component of westward expansion. The plethora of western writings by men, and their failure to recognize women, has blinded many to these contributions. Throughout her book, Lawrence emphasizes that “To truly appreciate [the American frontier’s] complexity, we must look to noncanonical women’s diaries and journals that have for too long been ignored by us in literature” (p. 3). These works, though previously considered “subliterary,” provide information that can only enrich the public’s understanding of true western heritage. Through the analysis of five writings, Lawrence presents both a general introduction to the female narrative genre and specific examples of how women adapted to and persevered against demanding situations. The five women that Lawrence chose reflect the variety of circumstances western travelers faced. Susan Shelby Magoffin accompanied her new husband down the Santa Fe Trail into Mexico and back home to Kentucky. Luckier than most, Magoffin traveled in her own wagon with a maid. Her description of “the life of a wandering princess, mine” hardly begins to describe her good fortune (p.16). One of the primary themes running through all five narratives is transformation both on and through the journey. Magoffin, who found herself a temporary shopkeeper by the end of her travels, is a fine example of the transformative nature of the trip west. So too is Sarah Bayliss Royce, one of the first women to participate in the California gold rush and author of the second narrative. During a time when a woman was defined by the house she kept, western women like Royce were forced to create a home without the actual structure. Things that defined a woman as middle class (extra clothing, musical instruments, books) were always the first to be dumped on the trail, and the constant invasion of dirt made the whole process unbearable. But Royce, stripped of the majority of her defining substances, found salvation in her sex. Lawrence points out that many women were paid well, even better than their husbands, for the performance of domestic tasks. And paid labor was just one way that these women found some modicum of autonomy: “Contrary to the nineteenth-century stereotype of feminine helplessness, narratives like Royce’s indicate that pioneer women took action to manage their lives” (p. 54). The inclusion of the famous Dame Shirley letters serves two purposes. The notoriety of Louise Smith Clappe and the contents of her letters make Lawrence’s work much more accessible. But more importantly, Dame Shirley’s writings parallel the theme of Writing the Trail. Dame Shirley provides observations about and examples of women and their shifting place in the California mining camps. A camp could provide many opportunities for almost any woman, but not without intense sacrifice.


Book Reviews The final two narratives provide evidence of demographic groups previously neglected by scholars. Eliza Burhans Farnham was a widow traveling west. Taking up a rancho after her husband’s death, she comes to appreciate her hard work for what it can bring her as opposed to what it is denying her. Although Farnham is a good example of the possibility of physical change, her prejudices against her neighbors and the native people, and her emphasis on bringing order and “gentility” to the West indicate the limits of the transformative power of the western voyage. The final narrative is written by Lydia Spencer Lane, an officer’s wife. She provides insight into the female-centered community of the military outpost, and the importance of friends in general. Her changing attitude towards physical appearance and Native Americans are two examples of how life in the West could alter perceptions. Writing the Trail, though an excellent introduction to the works of pioneer women, is not without its flaws. The primary sources are so dissected that the reader has little chance to interpret anything for him or herself. Furthermore, some of the examples of transformation and connection to nature seem strained. Most notably, if one has any familiarity with scholarship concerning pioneer women, this book provides little new insight. However, Writing the Trail would be an excellent resource for introducing students to the social history of the westward movement. It would also be a useful text for women’s studies groups or anyone interested in augmenting his or her knowledge of the great American West.

The Devil in the Silicon Valley: Northern California, Race, and Mexican Americans. By Stephen J. Pitti. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. Bibliography, illustrations, index and notes. xiv + 297 pp. $19.95 paper. Reviewed by Linda Heidenreich, Associate Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, Washington State University. In The Devil in the Silicon Valley, Stephen Pitti explores San José and the Santa Clara Valley, where “Latinos…helped to shape this region…for more than two hundred years” (p. 1). His dense study analyzes the many roles of Latinos in building the region and the role of the devil – racism – in facilitating their exploitation. Pitti’s work serves as a counter narrative to the booster literature of the region, making visible the lives of those workers whose labor built it. He brings to his study a broad lens, beginning with eighteenth-century contact and conflict between Spanish-Mexican settlers and the Ohlone people, and closing with the late twentieth-century rise of the Service Employees Industrial Union (SEIU). For each generation that he studies, Pitti maps their struggles and conflicts. The devil of racism is a consistent thread bringing cohesiveness to his expansive narrative. Like other historians of his generation, Pitti brings no romance to his subject. In Pitti’s telling, the early contact between the indigenous peoples of the area and Spanish-Mexican colonizers is rooted in violence. Enlightenment philosophies prevented both church and state from seeing the Ohlone and other indigenous peoples of the region as fully human. With the U.S.-Mexico War and the gold rush, indigenous peoples were once again hyper-exploited, this time by American


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settlers, and the Californio population of the region was displaced from positions of economic and political influence into unskilled, high-risk occupations. While this tale of displacement is a familiar one, Pitti’s careful attention to this particular region allows him to map resistance, including labor organizing in the mercury mines of New Almadén. Segregated by mine owners into an area called “Spanishtown,” the workers of New Almadén founded their own school, cemetery, and butcher shop. They also established mutual aid societies, institutions that would serve as a means of resistance throughout the history of the region. Pitti’s attention to the early twentieth century, a much under-studied time period in the history of the West, makes this work especially important. For it is in the early twentieth century that a new wave of boosterism masked the struggles of ethnic Mexicans living and laboring in the valley. Like their nineteenth-century counterparts, ethnic Mexicans in this period were confined to the secondary labor sector and, like their predecessors, they too engaged in resistance. Pitti’s pages are replete with histories of mutual aid societies, labor organizing, and coalitions among workers from different ethnic backgrounds. His careful attention to labor organizing helps make the success of later organization such as the National Farm Labor Union and the Community Service Organization (CSO) understandable. As he describes the rise of the CSO in San José, Pitti is able to weave together the lives and work of well-known historical figures such as Ernesto Galarza and César Chávez with those of lesser known organizers such as Helen Valenzuela. The CSO, in Pitti’s narrative, did not introduce any new way of organizing to the area; instead, it built on a long tradition of local resistance, making possible the later activism of the Chicano Movement. In this context, the organizations of the Chicano Movement were yet another wave of resistance, building on the old, making possible the new. In this text they are neither climax nor anti-climax, they are an important part of a long tradition. And so Pitti ends not with the rise of the Chicano civil rights organizations of the 1970s, but with the emergence of service workers’ unions and the successful resistance of ethnic Mexicans to white supremacist boosterism at the close of the twentieth century. Pitti’s work is a pleasure to read. His careful attention to a specific place introduces readers to narratives of resistance that are often overlooked in other California histories. By focusing on the “devil” of racism, he is able to reveal exploitation and resistance as well as critical coalition building among workers. While the text may be a bit encyclopedic for lower division students, those teaching upper division and graduate courses in western history, Chicano history, and/or labor history will find in it a great aid for introducing students to the complex and layered struggles of which history is made.


Book Reviews Fit to Be Citizens?: Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939. By Natalia Molina. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, and index. xvi + 279 pages. $50.00 cloth. $19.95 paper. Reviewed by Sylvia Hood Washington, Research Associate Professor, University of Illinois, School of Public Health, Institute for Environmental Science and Policy. Natalia Molina’s first monograph, Fit to Be Citizens?, is a well written and impressively researched study that poignantly elucidates how the ever changing notions of race—and particularly “whiteness”—not only influenced social status but also the health of those communities who did not fit neatly into the traditional “white versus black” racial dichotomy in the United States. Furthermore, Molina provides the reader with strong evidence of how the fate of these communities was determined by varying measures of medical and legal discipline that accompanied their identities as “non-whites.” Throughout the book Molina provides a wide array of evidence that supports her primary argument that not only did “medical discourse [have] the power to naturalize racial categories, it also had the effect of naturalizing social inequalities…By shaping racial categories and infusing them with meaning, health officials helped define racialized people’s place in society” (p. 8). Although the book’s title specifies “race,” Molina informs the reader in the beginning that the study is specifically focused on the public health consequences of the fuzzy social constructions of race for individuals of Mexican or Asian descent in Los Angeles. According to Molina, the larger percentage of Asians and Mexicans in the Los Angeles population resulted in racial prejudices which were normally “reserved for African Americans” being applied to people of Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican descent. This compact monograph tells its story succinctly in five chapters totaling a mere 188 pages. Molina examines decades-long public health struggles of Asian and Mexican communities against forced sterilization, tuberculosis, typhus, and the plague. These communities, economically marginalized and physically separated from Anglo neighborhoods by a range of legal and extralegal practices, suffered under the burden of poor housing conditions and neglect on the part of public health officials. When these factors led to outbreaks of disease, as in episodes of typhus and plague in the 1910s and 1920s, health officials blamed Asian and Mexican residents. These officials frequently maintained that disease stemmed from non-white Angelenos’ cultural practices and ignorance of the principles of sanitation. Such complaints led some to conclude that ethnic Chinese, Japanese, and Mexicans were not only disease-carrying vectors who threatened the larger social body but also that they were essentially inassimilable. Indeed, Molina highlights connections between such public health discourses and both immigration restriction and the repatriation of ethnic Mexicans in the 1930s. When Los Angeles’s non-white residents did receive medical attention from city authorities, they found it in racially segregated health clinics “that proved to be not only separate but also unequal” (p. 90). My only criticism of this work is the immediate dismissal of African Americans from the study. Her thematic points would have been stronger if she had addressed how Asians’ and Mexicans’ public health problems compared to those


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of blacks in the same geography, particularly when they were all were considered medical and public health anathemas in the same era. This is a critical question particularly because Molina argues that both Asians and Mexicans were preferred as labor sources over African Americans and as a direct consequence were allowed into the area in larger numbers. It is not apparent to this reader that their experiences were uniquely different from those of African Americans on the West Coast. The documentation for Fit to Be Citizens? is impressive. Students as well as senior scholars who read this work should take advantage of the insights and knowledge provided in Molina’s copious notes and detailed bibliography. This reader strongly recommends this monograph as a must read for historians of public health, environmental scholars, and scholars interested in the role of ethnicity and race in shaping America’s public policies during the early modern era, when Social Darwinism wielded its greatest impact on immigrants and ethnic groups who found themselves at the racial margins of “whiteness.”

César Chávez, the Catholic Bishops, and the Farmworkers’ Struggle for Social Justice. By Marco G. Prouty. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press, 2006. Bibliography, illustrations, index, and notes. iii +185 pp. $40.00 cloth. Reviewed by Richard A. Garcia, Professor of History, California State University, East Bay. The title of this text is a misnomer. It should be “The Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee and Its Role in César Chávez’s Farmworkers’ Struggle.” The central focus is not the farm workers or even Chávez. Instead it is the American Catholic Church, specifically the role of the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee and its attempt to provide mediation between the growers and Chávez’s United Farm Workers (UFW) in the 1965 to 1970 grape strike and then the 1970-1977 lettuce boycotts. The Catholic Church created the committee, led by Monsignor Higgins, the “Labor Priest,” to forge a partnership with Chávez and the farmworkers. Prouty’s thesis is straightforward: “During this epoch the [American] Catholic Church, through the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Farm Labor, played an invaluable role in bringing peace to the California valley and victory to César Chávez’s movement—La Causa (the Cause)” (p. 3). Prouty builds his arguments, especially the theory that the Church played the central role in Chávez’s two victories, around the Catholic Church’s newly opened archival communiqués. Adhering to the Church’s interpretations, Prouty asserts that these successes were a result of a “partnership” with Chávez (p. 3). Prouty argues that three basic institutional changes led to Chávez’s victories: “the end of the Bracero Program, the rise of the Civil Rights movement, and the support of the Catholic Church” (p. 3). He suggests that the farmworkers’ victory in the lettuce strike was a result of the Church’s move from mediation to more outright support of Chávez’s union. There is very little mention, however, of the social, cultural, and political forces in the sixties that supported the farmworkers’ movement. Prouty presents a historical context that is synchronic and not diachronic. He does not


Book Reviews really develop a historical analysis, but one, it seems, emanating from institutional historicism which relies on David Easton’s systems theory that analyzes “power” based on the different “strengths and weaknesses” of the institutional “players” struggling for systematic power and institutional hegemony. In Prouty’s telling, the Church was the mediating institution that could bring stability to the California valley. The author’s readings and interpretations of the archival sources seem to be accepted without much scrutiny. In short, Prouty is led by the sources and his own biases. Prouty’s book should have focused on the role and activities of Higgins who, in fact, was the central figure in this drama. Higgins guided the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee’s fight for what he believed was the true “intellectual framework” of the Church: social activism, as outlined in the major Papal encyclicals, from Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 Rerum Novarum, the Catholic Magna Carta, through the 1965 Vatican II reforms. Historically, these encyclicals were to be the core of the Church’s intellectual mandate, but they conflicted with the Church’s traditions and bureaucratic nature. The strength of Prouty’s book is that it allows us to see the central ideological split between the residue of Aquinas’s scholasticism and the traditionalism of the Institutional Church as it sharply conflicts with Erasmus’s humanitarianism, the Papal social encyclicals, and Vatican II’s reforms echoing Martin Luther’s Reformation. This central religious and philosophical conflict in the U.S. Catholic Church is, in fact, the hidden textual core of the book but Prouty does not fully address it. Overall, Prouty accepts the Church’s logic that its lack of full support for the farmworkers’ struggle was caused by an early period of internal differences in what the Church believed was just an intrafaith conflict. Despite Prouty’s “scholarly” weaknesses, he gives us a glimpse into the promise of what the field of institutional history can be, if done with criticality and imagination and not led by the sources. Unfortunately, this work does not fulfill the potential of institutional history and does not appear to be based on the central notion that historians need both to structure and interpret history, not just report it.


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DOCUMENTARIES Cul de Sac: A Suburban War Story. Directed by Garrett Scott and Ian Olds. Brooklyn, NY: First Run/Icarus Films, 2001. 56 minutes. $75.00. Reviewed by Matthew Bokovoy, Acquisitions Editor, University of Nebraska Press. San Diego police authorities found themselves in a panic on May 17, 1995. Shawn Nelson, a 35-year-old U.S. Army veteran and unemployed plumber, drove through the streets of Clairemont, the Sports Arena, and Highway 163 in a 57ton M60 Patton tank stolen from the National Guard Armory in Kearny Mesa. The roughly 45-minute joy ride resulted in crushed cars, mangled street lights, and broken fire hydrants. It also resulted in Nelson’s death at the hand of San Diego police authorities. What circumstances had led Shawn Nelson to this final, desperate act? Cul de Sac: A Suburban War Story by award-winning film makers Garrett Scott and Ian Olds provides a compelling narrative to understand how a well-regarded and warm-hearted tradesman from Clairemont unraveled into unemployment, alcohol abuse, and methamphetamine addiction that led to his final act on earth. The film makers use the tragic trajectory of Nelson’s life to explore the shadows of the Southern California economy, namely the demise of the post-World War II defense suburbs that had provided skilled and semi-skilled workers with the decent salaries and high wages that ushered them into the middle class and the American Dream. As a native son of a safe, suburban upbringing in Clairemont, Shawn Nelson, and many of those he grew up with, became casualties of the end of the Cold War. Nelson’s father had been a technician at Convair’s Atlas Missile production facility in Kearny Mesa and moved his family to the suburb of Clairemont, built by developer Lou Burgener (and named for Claire Tavares) to supply returning veterans with affordable, modern housing. According to Scott Nelson, Shawn’s brother, the neighborhood was so safe and nurturing you could leave your keys in your car and kids roamed in packs along the streets without worry. The economic decline of the 1989 recession manifested itself locally in falling property values and a methamphetamine addiction epidemic. In one interview, Michael Stepner of the redevelopment authority noted that perhaps Clairemont had reached the end of its useful life, a casualty of the decline of the local defense industry. When talk of the peace dividend gave way to both military base closures and the winding down of the defense industry, blue collar Californians in communities like Clairemont suffered diminished expectations through the mid-1990s. With a lack of good blue collar defense jobs, Clairemont went through economic decline, offering its residents little economic opportunity for upward mobility. Nelson proved resourceful as a handyman and electrician with a reputation for helping down-and-out friends. But not even an optimistic Shawn Nelson could overcome the privations of self-employment. Chronically unemployed and grieving over a divorce and the death of his parents, Nelson’s life spun out of control into alcoholism and meth addiction. During his last days, he had dug a seventeenfoot-deep “gold mine” in his backyard and believed a government helicopter was


Documentaries following him to steal his mineral rights. The bank was ready to foreclose on his home. Under duress and with no resources for medical assistance, he stole the tank from the Kearny Mesa National Guard Armory. The film stylistically weaves interviews with Nelson’s family and friends, public officials, and urban historians with stock footage from World War II, the San Diego defense industries, and the Vietnam War. Scott and Olds imply that a city and region based on a war economy will experience a certain type of cultural blowback that results in a kind of institutionalized violence lying beneath the social structure. Scott and Olds connect Nelson’s life story to the larger forces that transformed the defense suburbs of San Diego throughout the 1990s. What emerges is a poignant tale of class consciousness in Southern California filtered through Shawn’s life and the many family members and friends still trying to understand the reasons for his demise. Despite the human shortcomings involved in Nelson’s tragedy, every interview segment suggests economic and social injustice. All who knew Shawn interviewed for the film—his brother, his friend Fela, Karen Rowlands, Chuck Childers, Chuck Johnson, Dale and Diane Fletcher, and roommate Tim Wyman—confirm that he was a good man, even if somewhat troubled. In a compelling scene of philosophical reflection, Nelson’s friend Fela believed that Shawn had tried to stand up to the authorities, and they had taken his life. Fela notes with disgust that the authorities had the power, but will never have the morality. Cul de Sac unflinchingly moves beyond the media sensationalism that emerged from Nelson’s rampage to ask the important question of how and why this man committed this desperate act.

Ripe for Change. Written and directed by Emiko Omori. Produced by Emiko Omori and Jed Riffe. DVD. Independent Television Service, 2005. 55 minutes. Reviewed by Jeffrey Charles, Associate Professor and Chair, History Department, California State University, San Marcos. In the first half of 2008, food shortages caused riots around the globe and salmonella outbreaks from imported produce sickened thousands of Americans. The skyrocketing price of oil put enormous strain on farmers who depended on gas-fueled farm equipment and petroleum-based fertilizers, and farmers all across the South and West complained about the shortage of labor caused by a U.S. Border Patrol crackdown. Based on this evidence alone, the food and agricultural system is certainly “ripe for change.” Teachers and an interested general audience can turn to this documentary for its presentation of some alternative possibilities to today’s global, industrial agriculture system – a system that California growers helped create beginning in the early twentieth century, and one that some Californians have always worked hard to reform. Ripe for Change first aired in May 2006 as part of the PBS series, California and the American Dream. This four part film series focused on how the Golden State is being transformed by immigration, economic development, and community restructuring. The series is now available on DVD as four separate films. These DVDs probably will be of most interest to libraries, educators and scholars,


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although of the four, Ripe for Change has the most general appeal. Ripe for Change makes the case for sustainable farming in California largely through interviews with key figures in the recent movement toward local, nonindustrial agriculture. These interviews include such well-known figures as restaurateur Alice Waters and farmer and author David Mas Masumoto. But they also include eloquent testimonies from lesser-known growers such as Maria Inés Catalán, an immigrant organic farmer, and Will Scott, Jr., president of the AfricanAmerican farmers of California. Interviews with academics and journalists also play a key role. The geographic range of those interviewed is limited to Northern and Central California – those interested in San Diego, or even Southern California in general, where agriculture still plays a crucial economic role, will be disappointed. The film’s message is a laudable one – that we should encourage small growers, including women and poor immigrants, as they work hard growing and selling pesticide-free produce direct from their farms to local markets. Yet the documentary falls somewhat flat, in part because the filmmaking itself is rather uninspired. There are many “talking heads,” but not quite enough connecting narration, nor are there many arresting images. A few more lingering shots of Masumoto’s luscious peaches would have constituted a more effective argument for small, sustainable farming than the somewhat tendentious on-camera interview of the environmental lawyer and activist Claire Hope Cummings. This is not to say that Cummings’s critiques of the current food system and her comments about the corporate origins of genetically modified crops are without merit, just that they might have been more cinematically illustrated. In general, the film suffers from a lack of emotional power or dramatic tension, yet the interviewees do touch upon some of the controversies involved in reforming our agro-food system, and a sustained focus on just a few of these would have made the film’s analysis more thought-provoking. To mention a few of the issues the film introduces but leaves hanging: Would the consumer buy wormy or spotted lettuce if pesticide use was discontinued? Is small farming a necessity for a sustainable agriculture, or can large farms also function sustainably? Do genetically modified crops offer promises of conservation of water and fertilizer, or are they simply instruments of corporate control? Can farmers’ markets be scaled up to address the inequities of food distribution, providing the poor their share of fresh fruits and vegetables – or are they, like the organic offerings of the grocery chain Whole Foods, going to be limited to a more upscale clientele? And what about the fate of farm work in a reformed system, since organic farming is far more labor-intensive? Are we willing to pay these farm workers adequately? Finally, if we move to reduce our dependence on distant markets, will our urbanized society be able to provide enough land, water, and farmers to ensure our food supply? For those who are unfamiliar with issues of agricultural sustainability and the problems with our food “chain,” this film would make important viewing. For others more aware of current issues, the interviews of significant figures in recent Northern California agricultural and food history could also make the film valuable. If problems concerning food continue to generate headlines, however, perhaps a new, more definitive documentary on recent California agriculture is in order.


Book Notes

BOOK NOTES Ho for California! Women’s Overland Diaries from the Huntington Library. Edited by Sandra L. Myres. San Marino, CA: Huntington Library Press, 2007. Illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, and index. 337 pp. $24.95 paper. The Huntington Library Press has reprinted the late Professor Myres’s annotated collection of five women’s diaries. These accounts come from three primary routes to California from the era of the gold rush to the 1860s. The Imaginary Line: A History of the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, 1848-1857. By Joseph Richard Werne. Fort Worth, TX: Texas Christian University Press, 2007. Photographs, maps, bibliography, and index. 272 pp. $34.95 cloth. This monograph chronicles the work of the joint boundary commission to determine the location of the international border. Joseph Richard Werne explores the political, economic, and technological obstacles that made this project a decadelong endeavor. Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora. By Andrew Lam. Foreword by Richard Rodriguez. Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books, 2005. Photographs. xv + 143 pp. $14.95 paper. In sixteen short essays, journalist Andrew Lam reflects on his experiences as a Vietnamese living in the United States. Lam, who at age eleven fled South Vietnam shortly before the fall of Saigon, investigates the pull of both American and Vietnamese culture on himself, his family, and other members of the refugee community. Positively No Filipinos Allowed: Building Communities and Discourse. Edited by Antonio T. Tiongson, Jr., Edgardo V. Gutierrrez, and Ricardo V. Gutierrez. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006. Photographs, notes, and index. xi + 258 pp. $27.95 paper. Twelve essays by scholars from a range of disciplines explore numerous aspects of Filipino American history. Common themes uniting the essays include the legacy of American colonialism in the Philippines, the racialization of Filipinos, and the politics of identity. The Search for a Civic Voice: California Latino Politics. By Kenneth C. Burt. Claremont, CA: Regina Books, 2007. Photos, illustrations, tables, notes, bibliography, and index. xiii + 438 pp. $24.95 paper. This historical account traces Latino politics in California from before World War II through the coalitionbuilding that helped propel Antonio Villaraigosa to victory in the 2005 Los Angeles mayoral election. Shaping the Shoreline: Fisheries and Tourism on the Monterey Coast. By Connie Y. Chiang. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008. Illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, and index. 320 pp. $35.00 cloth. Connie Chiang examines the ways various actors have attempted to derive profits from the Monterey coast. In the process, the book explores how human perceptions of nature have shifted as the area moved from a coastal resort to the working-class town of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row and back to a tourist destination by the close of the twentieth century.


The Journal of San Diego History Executive Director David Kahn BOARD OF TRUSTEES Officers Robert F. Adelizzi, President Arthur G. Peinado, Vice President Donna Long Knierim, Vice President Helen Kinnaird, Secretary Michael P. Morgan, Treasurer Harold G. Sadler, Past President & Chairman, Board of Governance BOARD MEMBERS Thomas Anglewicz Diane G. Canedo James R. Dawe Kathy Eckery August J. Felando Ann Hill Polly Liew Virginia Morrison John Sinnott Marc Tarasuck John Vaughan Nell Waltz

CREDITS Design and Layout Allen Wynar Printing Crest Offset Printing EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Travis Degheri Cynthia van Stralen Joey Seymour Arjun Wilkins


MUSEUM OF SAN DIEGO HISTORY, RESEARCH LIBRARY, JUNIPERO SERRA MUSEUM, VILLA MONTEZUMA, AND MARSTON HOUSE STAFF Jane Anderson, Administrative Assistant Itzel Baeza, Site Interpreter Jeff Boaz, Exhibit Preparator Trina Brewer, Museum Store Manager Reggie Cabanilla, Facilities Supervisor Julia K. Cagle, Assistant Archivist Rachel Carpenter, Site Interpreter Tori Cranner, Director of Collections Karie Dzenkowski-Castillo, Senior Exhibits Preparator Heather Gach, Museum Educator Nyabthok Goldet, Assistant Museum Custodian Jamie Henderson, Collections Assistant Margaret Johnson, Museum Educator Tam Joslin, Museum Store Associate Lauren Kasak, Site Interpreter Jane Kenealy, Archivist Thomas Ladwig, Exhibits Preparator Joel Levanetz, Assistant Collections Manager Rachel Lieu, Assistant Registrar Oscar Martinez, Museum Custodian Kevin McManus, Site Interpreter Carol Myers, Photo Archivist Rosa Petroulias, Store Associate Ginger Raaka, Director of Retail Brianna Rendon, Site Interpreter Aurora Sandoval, Business Manager Jessica Schmidt, Membership Coordinator Gabe Selak, Public Programs Manager Susan Stocker, Accounting Chris Travers, Director of the Booth Historical Photograph Archives/Photographer Nicholas Vega, Senior Curator Kate Vogel, Exhibition & Graphic Designer

Publication of The Journal of San Diego History has been partially funded by generous grants from the Joseph W. Sefton Foundation; Natale A. Carasali Trust; Quest for Truth Foundation of Seattle, Washington, established by the late James G. Scripps; the Dallas and Mary Clark Foundation; Philip M. Klauber; and an anonymous friend and supporter of the Journal. Publication of this issue of The Journal of San Diego History has also been supported by a grant from “The Journal of San Diego History Fund” of the San Diego Foundation. The San Diego Historical Society is able to share the resources of four museums and its extensive collections with the community through the generous support of the following: City of San Diego Commission for Art and Culture; County of San Diego; foundation and government grants; individual and corporate memberships; corporate sponsorship and donation bequests; sales from museum stores and reproduction prints from the Booth Historical Photograph Archives; admissions; and proceeds from fund-raising events. Articles appearing in The Journal of San Diego History are abstracted and indexed in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life. The paper in the publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Science-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.

Front Cover: The Bishop’s School Tower designed by Carleton Monroe Winslow and placed above the chapel in 1930. Photo by Allen Wynar. Back Cover: Open Day, 1921. Returning students perform in front of Bentham Hall, which originally featured El Miradero, a lookout tower designed by Irving Gill. It was removed in 1930. Photo courtesy of The Bishop’s School. Cover Design: Allen Wynar

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The Jour n a l of

Volume 5 4

San Diego History

Fall 20 0 8 Number 4 • The Journal of San Diego History

The Bishop’s School: Celebrating 100 Years