Q3 Newsletter

Our latest Newsletter is available at our website carlsbadhistoricalsociety.com, and following this link.

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Wartime Letters of Ray and Rose Rita Langen

New book by Langen Family

Wartime Letters of Ray and Rose Rita Langen

Ray and Rose Rita Langen

While going through some boxes from the back closet of our family home on Carlsbad Boulevard, my sister, Joan (Langen Fessenden), found our parents’ WWII letters. These letters chronicle the day-to-day trials of a young family separated by war. From our father’s time in the U.S. Navy and our mother’s days on the family farm in Minnesota, the letters give tremendous detail– Navy life at Great Lakes, Illinois, the military train west, Victory over Japan Day in San Diego, a typhoon aboard the USS Kent, shore liberty in post-war Pearl Harbor, engine room watch on the USS Hamul, first-person descriptions of decimated Okinawa, life on the open ocean, and the victory train ride home.

Through the eyes of a loving, homesick, 22-year old father of two, Ray Langen wrote two or three letters a day to Rose Rita, expressed his feelings, and described his daily routine. The letters provide glimpses into the connectedness of Ray’s brothers sent to war, the relatives’ eagerness for positive news, and insights into how they coped on the homefront in the German/English/Irish/Swiss farm town of Hokah, Minnesota.

In September of 1945, just days after VJ Day, my father rode up the coast from San Diego in a fellow sailor’s 1941 Pontiac. They passed through Del Mar (where they witnessed a fire at the stables), Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Lake Elsinore, and Fallbrook.

Eight years later, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, my father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The doctor told my father that he would fare better in a warmer climate. The doctor suggested Southern California, far from the molds of the Mississippi River valley. Thanks to his wartime experiences, my father was familiar with coastal Southern California.

In June of 1953, my parents and their seven children headed west to settle in Carlsbad. For over 50 years, the letters were stored in a bedroom closet. The Langen siblings are so grateful that our sister Joan, a retired high school English teacher, organized and edited the material. We hear the voices of our parents’ era, the hopes, the opinions, and (for language lovers) even the idiomatic expressions of those gone live on in these missives. First published in 2012 as a digital book (available everywhere) by BookBaby Publishers, The Wartime Letters of Ray and Rose Rita Langen is in its second paperback printing. A few copies are for sale at Magee House (for $15.00). – -Ken Langen

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Q2 Newsletter

Please follow this LINK for  our latest Q2 2018 Newsletter.

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The Barrio in Carlsbad

As Cinco de Mayo draws near, thoughts wander to our own Mexican-American community, and questions arise as to when and how it developed in downtown Carlsbad. In future months, we will be covering more individual stories of these community volunteers. For this email blast we will focus on the original development.

Below is a very brief history of the Carlsbad Barrio. More can be found in Seekers of the Springs by Marge Howard Jones, or please check out “Barrio Voices”, a video available on our website at


Carlsbad ‘s agricultural fame began in 1914 with the ready supply of water provided by the South Coast Land Company and their division of land offered at fair prices for agricultural development. One of the first growers, Sam Thompson, began Carlsbad’s avocado industry, followed by many other growers of fruits, beans and flowers. But even with land, water, and know-how, an important element was still needed in order to thrive, and that was provided by immigrant farm workers from Mexico.

The 1916 Mexican Revolution created a large exodus of people from Mexico, who arrived in Carlsbad by a variety of ways, and with a variety of stories. They were all looking for employment in the agricultural fields and groves. Many settled in the south end of town, near the railroad tracks, and located close to the bean and flower fields. Some of the first to arrive were the Ramirez, Trejo, Acuňa, Aguilar, Gastelum, Martinez, Mata and Soto families.

Most of these families still have many members living in the area. These families settled near each other, creating a tight knit community. Their hard work and talents, built businesses, establishing deep and productive ties to Carlsbad, and their neighborhood, which they called Barrio Carlos. Each of these families have contributed to creating a more vibrant Carlsbad.

As time passed the Barrio grew, adding new families, each adding their important contribution to Carlsbad and also to the barrio. One such family was the Monroys who moved to Carlsbad in 1978. When Mario retired in 1985, both Margie and Mario became involved in local issues as well as the League of Women Voters and the Carlsbad Historical Society. Margie and Mario became a vital part of Carlsbad the Barrio transition and redevelopment. Their community service contributed to volunteering in various growth study plans, Friends of the Carlsbad Library, the Carlsbad Planning Commission, board members of La Posada de Guadalupe, and they were very active in their grandchildren’s school.

More information on the Barrio Carlos can be found at the Barrio Museum, across the street from the Lola’s 7 Up Market and Deli, at the corner of Walnut and Roosevelt. Ask at the Deli when they can show you the museum. Third grade history tours have been stopping to see this museum. Connie Trejo, former Board CHS Member, is Carlsbad Historical Society’s Goodwill Barrio Ambassador.

Brief History of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May) celebrates the Mexican Army’s defeat of the French Army at the Battle of Puebla, in 1862, under General Ignacio Zaragoza. In 1861, under Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon III), France invaded Mexico trying to expand its empire there. The Mexican army consisted of 4000 poorly equipped men, while the French troops numbered 8000. According to Mexico Online: “The victory represented a significant morale boost to the Mexican army and the Mexican people at large and helped establish a sense of national unity and patriotism.”

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New Display – Recently Restored Twin Inns Restaurant Guest Registers

The Carlsbad Historical Society is pleased to announce a unique new display featuring the recently restored historic Twin Inns Restaurant Guest Registers at the Carlsbad Historical Society Museum located in Magee Park. Librarian, and Hand bookbinder, Margit Smith undertook the restoration of the two Guest Registries, and funding was provided by the El Camino Questers.

The Registers cover the years 1930s-1950s.

The display memorabilia  includes  two registries filled with significant signatures of well known Twin Inns guests, menus, blue willow china,  a recipe of Twin Inns Corn Fritters, photos, timeline of the restaurant, and photo display of the restoration process. The Carlsbad Historical Society Museum is open FridaySaturday and Sunday 11AM to 3PM and located at 258 Beech Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008 For more information please contact us at cbadhistory@yahoo.co

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Carlsbad Historical Society – Photos for Sale

There are copies of 35 photographs from our collection available for sale. Here is the link.

Photos are in 5 x 7 and 8 x 12 inch sizes. Most of them are high resolution.

Please fill out the form and return it with your check.

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Members Exclusive Event! New Display for Twin Inns Register – Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 2 pm

Save the Date – Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 2 pm
Members Exclusive Event! New Display for Twin
Inns Register
After several years, we are finally able to display our newly
restored Twin Inns Guest Registers. We are very excited to
share this opportunity with our members and the public.
This is the first time these will be available for public
In 2016, two of the Twin Inns red leather-bound Guest
Registers were donated to the Carlsbad Historical Society
by Robert Burke, former owner of Neiman’s and the
purchaser of the Twin Inns Restaurant. He donated them
to the Carlsbad Historical Society to be used for historical
interpretation and display. The registers span the years
from the 1930s to the early 1960s. One of the registers
had the Twin Inns Chicken watermarked on each page.
(The Twin Inns Restaurant operated between 1919 and
Jo Geary, a member of the El Camino Real Chapter of the
Questers, contacted our archivist and asked if we would be
interested in their participation to pay for the repair and
restoration of the two Twin Inns Guest Registers. We
accepted their offer. The Questers located Margit Smith,
known professionally as “The Booksmith”, and who is the
retired head of cataloging and preservation at the
University of San Diego, Copley Library. Secretary Gutierrez
drove the registers to Mrs. Smith where she worked on
them for more than six months.
Once again, Jo Geary, Julian native and now Carlsbad
resident, arranged for us to receive a donated cabinet from
the Julian Historical Society. After many hours of labor from
Don Krepps, we now have a safe display for the two Twin
Inns Guest Registers.

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Q1 2018 Newsletter

Please find our Q1 newsletter here.

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Q4 Newsletter

Please find our Q4 2017 Newsletter at this link.

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Annual meeting and elections

October 15, 2017, from 2 to 4 pm

Our 2017 Membership meeting was held at Rancho Carrillo (the old Mathew Kelly ranch). We were first given a tour by Kevin Bender, former archivist at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park and currently researching and writing the first full-length biography of Leo.

After a call to order, the last year’s minutes were approved, and President Ginny Unanue gave a presentation. We have a new board member: Ken Langen, a long time resident of Carlsbad, who will be serving as Vice President. Connie Trejo will now serve as CHS Barrio Ambassador. The CHS By-Law’s change to allow board members to serve up to four consecutive two year terms was approved. Our membership has increased significantly as a result of the efforts of our board member Marvin Sipple. Finances are in good shape.

A big, Thank You Kevin Bender!, for our Annual Meeting Program. Kevin a CHS  member,  and former  Carrillo Ranch employee  was involved in the creation of the newest  Interpretive  Carrillo Ranch display. Kevin suggested this site as our Annual Meeting event, and lead our   Carlsbad Historical  Society Annual Meeting program, and tour Of Carrillo Ranch.

The Board of Directors welcome all suggestions for future events and programs, please let us know your ideas.

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