John Vonderlin: In the 19th Century there was a “Sea Lion Saloon” on the Road ‘Tween San Mateo & HMB

Story from John Vonderlin

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Hi June,

    Newspapers from 1880 to 1910, the piece below could have been the second biggest story about happenings on the stage road from San Mateo to Half Moon bay; just behind the stage hold-up story with its large drawings. I’m going to see if I can find any other mention of Spring Valley Water Works’ carp removal program. After years of shooting sea lions or turning them in very smelly lamp oil, only rounding up “laze-about” sea lions, and putting them to work, may have been considered “progressive.”  Enjoy. John




Nomadic Spring Valley Fish Ex-

ecutioner Drives Mountaineers “Dry”

Roving Mammal Wanders From

Reservoir and Pays Visit to

Roadside Saloon

SAN MATEO. Nov. 27.— Every moun-

taineer in the vicinity of Rand*s saloon,

a roadside resort on the stage road

leading from San Mateo to Half Moon

Bay, has taken a pledge to abstain

from all alcoholic liquor for some time

to come, this unusual and wholesale

action being caused by the appearance

of a sea lion in the doorway of the.

resort a week ago when the merri-

ment was at its height.

Sundry and various believers in the

cup that cheers, had seen snakes at

different times, but the appearance of

the sea lion put forward their usual

New Year’s resolution by a month.

Some time ago the Spring Valley

water company placed a number of sea

lions in their lakes back of San Mateo

for the purpose of reducing the num-

ber of carp that have infested them

of late years.

The king of all these lions finally

became tired of the kind of water in

the corporation’s lakes and started

overland for the Pacific. Following the

stage road, the sea lion became thor-

oughly disgusted with the dustiness of

the route and stopped at Rand’s in

accordance with the custom of all trav-

elers for the last 40 years for refresh-

ment. After an unusual commotion

caused by its appearance, the sea lion

was finally captured and returned willy

nilly to the company’s lakes to under

go the water treatment once more.

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