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York, Gladys Tuttle 1974 INTERVIEW

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Mary S Taylor

Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 28069
Location: Fresno, CA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:47 am    Post subject: York, Gladys Tuttle 1974 INTERVIEW Reply with quote

Pacific Grove Tribune, CA March 15, 1974
Gladys York, 87-year resident
By Bonnie Lemons
Gladys York used to wear rubber boots to cross Lighthouse Avenue. “It was a muddy street,” she says, looking down from her bay window to the now-paved street where raindrops are splattering. Mrs. York was born in Pacific Grove before there were cars, before Lighthouse was the main street and before Holman’s was built. She has spent much of her life in the penthouse above what is now the Camera Exchange and what was once her father’s drug store. She celebrated her 87th birthday there in January. “We had a great view befor they built Holman’s,: she says, pointing to a photograph taken by her father. The shot was taken from the twoers of an old stable that once crossed Grand Avenue just above Lighthouse. It shows a few small buildings nestled in a forest. Forest Avenue is the western edge of town. Grand Avenue was the main street then,” she says. “A ravine came down above Greenwood Park. There were pollywogs. There was a forest behind us, too, but they had cleared the trees away for all this progress.” She waves her hand towards the window. “Call it progress if you will.” Gladys was born in 1891, the same year the Holmans came to town. Her parents, who became close friends with the Holmans, had moved to town a few years earlier from San Francisco for her father’s health. Her father, Charles Kirkham Tuttle, was the sixth licensed pharmacist in the state. He ran the town’s drug store, took thousands of photographs of the growing town, played the organ at St. Mary’s and operated the town’s first telephone office. He used square nails when he built the family home above the drug store. His daughter remembers growing up in the village of pg as a lot of fun. One of her earliest memories is of riding the broom while Cecil, the clean-up man, was trying to sweep the sidewalk in front of the store. Naturally, she has a photograph. It shows a laughing, dark-haired child of about three. Then there was swimming in the ocean. “You know where Neil de Vaughn’s is on Cannery Row? There used to be a beach there – Macabee Beach. We learned to swim at Macabee Beach.” Then there was school. Gladys, her sister Winifred and her brother Floyd wore rubber boots to walk from heir house to the school building, located where the Robert Down School is now. “It was just called the Pacific Grove School,” Gladys said. “The officers att he Presidio sent their children there because it had the highest rating of any school in the area.” Gladys was interested in music and art, neither of which were taught at the Pacific Grove School. She lived for the Summer School of Music held by James Hamilton Howe in the old Chataqua houses. “We had a chorus of young children,” she says. “We dressed in white dresses and sang at the Methodist Church. “To Mrs. York, who learned to play the piano and viola and became a music teacher, Pacific Grove was a musical town.” “There was a park where Holman’s is now,” she recalls. “Pacific Grove had a band that played there on Saturday nights. All the stores would be open and people just walked around and the music played.” “We would dance up here,” she adds, laughing. “It was just a village town. You knew everybody on the streets. The woman ued to have days at home when they served tea to the people who called. We had a Japanese houseboy who served tea.” There were no cars when Gladys was a chid. She rode the horse car from Pacific Grove to Monterey for a nickel or she rode her bike.” Our whole family rode bikes. I rode with my teacher to learn my multiplication tables.” Pacific Grove may have been a dry, camp meeting town, but Mrs. York remembers the festive occasions. At Christmas, there were lavish parties put on by Captain William Reed of the Presidio. “It was like a fox hunt,” she says. “He rode horseback with the Navy officer at the head of the parade. The guests followed in coaches in procession around the 17-Mile-Drvive to the log lodge at Pebble Beach. Then there were the annual winter mussel bakes at Lovers Point Beach put on by Mr. Smith, who had the bathhouse. “Those were festive occasions too – they were in the winter when all the tourists had gone home. ”Mrs. York was initiated early into the political matters of the town. Her father was a councilmember and her uncle, dr. Oliver Smith Trimmer, was a mayor. When Gladys was older, she became friends with Julia Platt, Pacific Grove’s fiery woman mayor who once took an axe to a fence that had been put up to keep the public out of the bathhouse at Lovers Point. “That’s a true story,” Mrs. York says. “She really did that.” She calls Julia Platt “a very decided spinster lady.”
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