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~ Kathy M.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Panama California Exposition in 1915 - San Deigo, CA

Hello, Friends!  I was working on this post last week, and am going to just go ahead and post it as is for this week's Sepia Saturday.  I highly doubt that it is on theme, but we will be in Eugene for our son-in-law's funeral, and I wanted to get this posted while it is still convenient.  I am sorry that I am behind on last week's return visits.

I found this little picture packet in The Letsom Letters barrel of fun.  They are not really postcards themselves, but a group of 20 pictures of the Panama California Exposition held in San Diego in 1915.  There are links at the bottom of this post that will tell you all about how that came about. In summary, some San Diego businessmen saw an opportunity to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal and bring others to visit their fine city by building this expo.  San Diego was the first major port after you went through the canal and headed up the West Coast. 

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

It seems as if Mr. J.M. Shelley of Eugene, Oregon, attended the Expo and mailed this to my Great-Great Grandfather, John Letsom, who had recently moved from Yoncalla back to his ranch in Elkhead.  Any souvenir packet or postcard that you mailed from the special post office at the Expo only cost you a penny.  It was inexpensive advertising.

Mr. Shelley was a pioneer, and prominent Eugene businessman.  He was partners in a grain mill, among other things.  To learn more about John Letsom, you can read the post that I wrote about him and his family by " CLICKING HERE".

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

The Panama California Expo was built in what was known then as "City Park" and is now known as "Balboa Park".  Some of the buildings are still there, but others are long gone.  Today there are museums and gardens and much, much more.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

It is all quite fascinating, and I would have known nothing about it if I hadn't found what I did.  I hope that you guys will enjoy it as much as I did. 

Kathy M.

President Teddy and First Lady Roosevelt even paid the Expo a visit:


For my other Sepia Saturday Posts, go to the sidebar on the left and scroll down until you get to this photo of my Dad and me for the list.  Make sure to visit my friends and read their cool stories over at Sepia Saturday.

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Very cool stuff! You have a nice slice of history at your fingertips. I wonder what other things you'll find in that barrel of fun?

Postcardy said...

I like seeing that because I collect exposition postcards. I wish I could have attended one of the big expositions.

Wendy said...

Wow -- it must have been absolutely magical.

Bob Scotney said...

I've spent an hour reading up on the Panama Canal, I had no idea that it was so recent. Gine collection of exposition postcards. I would love to see some of the canal itself.

Christine H. said...

I also wish I had been able to go to one of these Expos. How exciting. It's great to see the old cards though too and to think what it would have been like to be there.

Joy said...

What beautiful cards, and how wonderful they are together as a whole. I have a handful of early Panama Canal stamps (one even featuring Teddy), so interesting to see the context.

Kristin said...

Expos must have cost a fortune to set up. I guess they must have brought in a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

I do so wish we could have the world expositions again. The pageantry and beautiful architecture is not something we find at the local fair grounds is it. These are great postcards!!

Karen S. said...

Theme or not, this is an exciting post! Thanks for sharing such a great amount of beautiful would be really something to attend something like that (expos of years ago) today!Wouldn't it!

Linda said...

I learned something today, thanks to this post. Had no clue about a San Diego expo to capitalize on Panama canal opening. A history lesson, beautiful pictures, and priceless video!

Mike Brubaker said...

A neat post about a forgotten event. I read a wonderful history of the Panama Canal a few years ago, and we in modern times forget how important an engineering feat it was and how it transformed geography.

Teresa Wilson Rogers said...

Your postcards are historical and beautiful. So sorry for your loss.

Margaret said...

Just beautiful. I am sharing my Grandmothers Yellowstone journal (1915) at my blog and I know she also went to California and then I believe took the train through the badlands on her return trip to Illinois. I have some photos that I have NO idea of where they are from.. grand buildings and arches...and now I am wondering.... could she have gone the exposition? I will have to call my mom and see if she knows. I will someday in the future share these photos... and thanks for this possible lead!

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