By 1915 automobiles parked at the curb on Main Street were a common
The store that Charles Artz opened in 1914 is behind the pillars.
As we face the second decade of the 21st
Century, it seems appropriate to look back at what was happening in Tustin
100 years ago.
The 1901 edition of “The Orange County
Directory” described the community in this way: “The business center is
small, but is surrounded by a thickly settled and highly improved country.
The population is about 800. The town has a bank, two stores and other
business facilities. It is the terminus of the Tustin branch of the Southern
Pacific Railroad, which has good depot buildings and has recently built a
large packing house. The public school is one of the best in the county.
There are three church organizations, each owning its edifice. The leading
productions are oranges, walnuts, apricots, olives, lemons ad other fruits,
with grain, hay, alfalfa and all vegetables and flowers in profusion.”
Unfortunately this optimistic view of Tustin
failed to take into account the continuing effect of the 1890s recession on
the coming decade. In the aftermath of this financial turmoil, probably
because the Tustin Hotel defaulted on its mortgage, The Bank of Tustin
closed in 1902, and Tustin’s only drug store went out of business.
Church goers felt the impact when St. Paul’s
Episcopal Church moved to Santa Ana in 1902. But the first few years of the
20th Century were not all bad.
Two telephone companies set up exchanges in
Tustin about 1903, Home Telephone Co. and Sunset Co. Communication. But this
was cumbersome with many forced to have two telephones since calls could not
be made between subscribers of the two companies.
E.. M. Wheeler organized the Tustin Mutual
Improvement Association in 1905. When they held a box social fundraiser at
the Tustin Bank Hall, auctioneer James S. Rice raised $53, more than enough
to pay for street signs the association had already installed in the
Andrew Getty sold his store at the corner of
D (El Camino Real) and Main to Henry Romer and Thomas Marshall in 1907.
Charles Artz soon replaced Marshall. By 1914 Artz opened his own store near
Main and C. A new bank, The First National Bank of Tustin, moved into the
old Bank of Tustin building in 1911.
The citrus industry prospered. Tustin Packing
Co. opened in 1905, while Tustin Lemon Association opened in 1908 and Tustin
Hills Citrus Association began in 1909.
Ed Utt and Sherm Stevens joined with James
Irvine in a 1,000-acre planting on the Irvine Ranch. Known as the San
Joaquin Fruit Co., the project included walnuts, oranges and lemons.
Sam Tingley started the Tustin Lumber Co. in
1910 to meet the needs of the agricultural community and the building
industry. Craftsman-style houses were going up among the Victorian homes
that characterized the town.
By the middle of the second decade Tustin had
motor cars and paved roads. Sam Tustin, son of Columbus Tustin, owned one of
the first autos in town, a 1912 Buick. In 1914 the State of California paved
Highway, 101 which ran through the center of Tustin as D St. (El Camino
Real). William Huntley and Nick Gulick established the Tustin Garage in
Progress was temporally blunted in 1917 when
the United States entered World War I, and many Tustin men including Nelson
Holderman, who would receive the Congressional Medal Of Honor, went overseas