Half-Mooning

Written by Burl on May 20th, 2009

As promised, here is some updated information on Half Moon Bay posts from last week. First, a “history” of Cameron’s Pub & Inn, taken directly from their menu:
The Inn was built about 100 years ago and has quite a history. At least three times since the turn of the century it has been a house of ill repute or a house of fun, depending on where you grew up and what you learned to call those places where ladies of the night live, sort of. During the “Roaring Twenties,” Al Capone’s sister allegedly became involved in the Inn and reportedly owned the slot machines in play there.
Bootleggers used to make their brew far back in the coastal canyons and then take it to the Inn, where it was next shipped to San Francisco. There are still people who can recall bullets flying across Highway 1, as hijackers fought it out with the bootleggers over who would get the booze.
Three murders took place at the Inn in the 1930s. Two of them occurred when three escaped convicts from San Quentin ended up at the Inn and had an argument. One of the convicts shot and killed the other two. Not much could be learned about the third murder, except that it involved a woman.
During Worid War II the Army took over the inn. They used it as a mess hall and converted the upstairs portion into officers’ quarters. The Army also added the back part that is now used as a bar and game area.
In the late ’40s, some residents recall drinking in the back part of the Inn while drunken bartenders took turns shooting pistols at targets set up on the wall opposite the bar. In the ’50s, several people reported having their first beer at the Inn several years before the age of 21. It was that kind of place.
In the ’60s, the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang allegedly stopped at the Inn for a drink. The Angels were in a hurry and rode their cycles into the bar itself.

And here’s “A Brief History of Manuel F. Cunha Intermediate School” by Dave Cresson:
The growing population of the Coastside has long forced the Coastside schools to strain at their seams. At the beginnings of Spanishtown — now Half Moon Bay — schools were privately funded and taught separately for English and Spanish speakers. Those simple one-room schools expanded steadily fromt he earliest (1860s) to today’s complex and multi-million dollar enterprises. The new construction being completed at the intermediate school today is one more step in the process of accommodating the expanding needs of Coastside youth.
The roots of the intermediate school lie in several schools that served the different parts of the Coastside. Grammar schools were scattered all along the coast. Among those now abandoned is one that still stands as a home in Montara. The foundation of another that burned down in the 1970s remains within a community park in Moss Beach. a grammar school in Miramar was taken down after WWII, and a beautiful grammar school in Half Moon Bay stood near today’s town library on Church St. It fell to a fire while it was still being used, in the early 1900s. Yet another, called Tunis School, operated until relatively recently (1964) south of town. It was the last one-room schoolhouse in San Mateo County.
Until the mid-1960s, the elementary schools were governed by several different administrative school districts, and the high school by yet another separate administrative district. All the school districts of the Coastside were fully unified in 1964, and named after the Portuguese navigator who worked for the early Spanish explorers. That is the Cabrillo Unified School District.
Early in the 20th Century, a grand building was erected in Half Moon Bay to serve the Coastside’s high school students. It stood proudly on Kelly Ave., close to Cunha’s current location. The structure was among the proudest within the growing town. Because it served all the Coastside, it was given the name “Union High School”.
Population growth and modern times resulted in what must have been a difficult decision at the time. The fine old building was replaced with a modern and larger building. A new elementary school was also erected. The new construction had its touches of art deco design, replacing the Spanish castle look of the previous, less space-efficient high school.

 

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