Submitted by Chuck LeMenager
What was Ramona like one hundred years ago, around 1910 to 1915? According to Chuck LeMenager, local historian and author: “The boys were still 'firing anvils' on the fourth of July out in front of Frank Creelman’s blacksmith shop and having horse races down Main Street.”
Chuck will be a featured speaker at the Ramona Library’s Centennial Celebration, Thursday, October 3 at 3 p.m. and will be presenting a pictorial power-point presentation on the history of the Ramona area.
What do you mean, you ask by “firing an anvil”?
“Well the blacksmith shop was on Main across from the Town Hall and Creelman would take two of his largest anvils, about 100 pounds each, fill the cavity of one of them with black powder, place another on top of it and set off the powder,” says LeMenager.
According to a historical report, “then came the damnedest bang you ever heard, a most satisfying, hell-roaring sound. The ground shook and the upper anvil sailed into the air. The blacksmith grinned, shifted his chaw into the side of his cheek and said: 'Pretty good, huh? Fill’er up boys and we’ll do it again.'”
“That period in time, when Ramona had less than 500 population, was one of the more civically active in the town’s history.” says LeMenager, “Ramona’s favorite son, Col Charlie Collier was right in the middle of planning and building the San Diego Panama-California Exposition. The beautiful Spanish buildings and gardens which still grace Balboa Park, are very much his creations.”
Chuck, who is author of a San Diego County backcountry historical trilogy comprising three books; “Ramona & Roundabout”, “Julian City and Cuyamaca Country” and his latest release, “Off the Main Road: Revisited” will be available after the talk to sell and sign books.