It was early in 1919 and Mr. Roland L. Goble with his family from Anaheim, visited his sister, Lulu Goble, in San Timoteo Canyon. She was staying with a family by the name of Schwenkert. Their ranch was just east of what we are referring to as the Roberts ranch. The Roberts ranch consisting of 100 acres was for lease at $50.00 a month. It was fully equipped for farming and located about one and one quarter miles east of Redlands Blvd. with the buildings on the south side of the road. The anticipation for country living was really generating.
Roland Goble with his wife Eugenia McKinney Goble and their two daughters, Violet age 10 and Bernice age 6 moved onto the Roberts ranch in November of 1919.
The six room house had been updated with indoor plumbing and a new kitchen. It had a large woodburning stove with coils of water pipes in the fire box for hot water. The ice-box was restaurant sixed to aid in the feeding of the hired hands. The living room had a fire place. The master bedroom, with it’s blue carpeted floor, had a large bay window. It looked out onto the family orchard between the house and the road.
The barn was fun for playing in the hay and for gathering eggs. The corral took care of the cow and one horse, Bill, and two mules, Maud & Jenny. The house was nestled in a cluster of large Umbrella trees. The girls felt that this was really a bit of heaven. The road in either direction is well remembered because of it’s washboard feeling and large chuck holes. Driving over it with team and wagon failed to bring out this effect, but in the model T Ford the effect was very apparent. This didn’t change the girls and their thoughts of heaven, however.
Living so close to the railroad found many hobos stopping by the ranchhouse for a meal. They were always fed, but the Gobles did require a railroad tie to be cut up for wood. These itinerants usually agreed. Getting started in a country school with all eight grades in one room was quite different from the large schools of Anaheim. Besides, it was about 2 ½ miles to walk. So these two sisters, one six and one ten, would set out for school with their dog, Nemo. Of course, Nemo waited at school to return home with them. There may have been a sacrifice in the book learning at a one-room, country school, but certainly a better community spirit and an awareness of the needs of the younger children was more appreciated.
After having moved to the Roberts Ranch, they heard of the availability of a 120 acre homestead. A perfect opportunity, beset with certain handicaps. The rancher seperating the homestead from the highway wouldn’t provide a rightofway across his property.
The Homestead Law was signed by President Lincoln in 1862. One was entitled to 160 acres of government land, if he were able to make that his home, improve the land, and make it produce, all in three years. One sixteenth of the property had to be in cultivation and free of trees in those three years. When the land was filed upon, it would be without the ability to irrigate. Water became a necessity, in improving any homestead. Even before the Gobles filed on this piece of property, someone else had tried to make a go of it. There was an 80 foot well hand dug at the edge of one of the hills, but no water was ever brought in. Now the Gobles were trying it.
The Moreno Water Co. had run a two foot pipe line through this property. The line carried water from the Big Bear Lake to the Moreno Valley. A tunnel had been cut through one of the hills on the property. Standing at the entrance to the tunnel, a refreshingly cool blast of air was felt. “Here is the place for our house.” A bit of natural air conditioning existed. The entrance to the tunnel served as a perfect place for storing canned goods. This was the place for anything requiring a cool temperature.
But what about water? Mr. Goble dickered with the Water Company. “All right, you can tap the water line for domestic use if you’ll check for and report any leaks that develop on the line.” So domestic water was available.
Now the only handicap to overcome was a means of getting onto the property. Much had to be carried on foot or burro back over the hills. Violet even remembers, when going up a sudden rise in the hill, of sliding off the back of Geronimo. When it was determined that the Gobles were serious about proving up on the homestead, the man relented and a right-of-way was granted.
So they built a house to live in and planted a vegetable garden. Chickens and cows were necessary to help supply the table and with outside work available, they were able to prove up on the Homestead.
The house was laid out, and it became a family project. They took advantage of the cool air from the tunnel and the flat terrace provided as the dirt from the tunnel had been spread out. Dirt was movsd, wheelbarrow load by wheelbarrow load. Every night at least a dozen trips to get a bit more space for house or yard, as the case may have been.
To get back and forth on foot, they took advantage of this waterline. The 24 inch pipe crossed San Timoteo Creek, right through the Roberts Ranch. It made for a perfect footbridge across the wash. The water company had provided for a three footbridge on the top of the pipe. This bridge was used by the Gobles for many months. By using the bridge, they didn’t have to make the 30 foot descent into the creek bed.
Could it be that this deep wash had a part in keeping this land available for homesteading? Or, were there just too many hills to make it inviting? Whatever! The Gobles reveled in the find. They even had a name picked out. We’ll call it, “The Sunnyslope Homestead.”
The early beginnings of the homestead ranch house started with one room. Sleeping had to take place there. This necessitated a very divided living arrangement for awhile.
The homestead was filed upon in 1921. The final documents were cleared and proving up on the homestead was completed in March of 1935. That one-room ranchhouse was now seven rooms and amenities complete for the ideals of living.
Violet was married to Willis Cadwallader in September of 1927, under the trees in the front yard of the ranch home. Their romance began at the Redlands High School and there was plenty of room for living to be provided right there on the property. Railroad ties were available, so a three room cabin was built around the bend in the second canyon north of the Goble house. They lived there for the following year when work called them to Santa Ana. The younger daughter, Bernice was married to Carol Crane from Beaumont. They also used this railroad tie cabin for a year or so. This was in the mid ‘30’s.
Violet & Willis had a dream of going back to this Railroad tie cabin, but in the late ‘30’s a telephone call came through from Mr. Goble, “your house burned down this morning. It looked like the work of some hobo.” Well that shattered the dream of going back, but San Timoteo Canyon always had had fond memories.
There were rumors being heard that the Moreno Water Co. would soon be changing their method for bringing water into the valley. There would no longer be water in the pipe-line running through the Goble homestead. So a well was planned for. It was drilled to a depth of about 1500 feet. The flow wasn’t large, but six gallons a minute could be enough to take care of turkeys. The Gobles enjoyed supplying that special Thanksgiving and Christmas treat for several years.
The homestead was sold out of the family in September of 1961 to Mr. Ronald McBroom. The deed of trust was paid off in April of 1964. Mrs. Goble attached a note of appreciation to the document. This completed transaction, “brings to a close the end of a whole way of life, that has been rich in love and family and experiences.”THE EARLY BEGINNINGS OF THE SAN TIMOTEO CANYON SUNDAY SCHOOL
The following is quoted from the Memoirs of Eugenia McKinney Goble, written for her family in 1961. She was the organizing Superintendent for the Sunday School and remained so for several years.
“The San Timoteo Union Sunday School was organized in October of 1923. Louis Ranking was the missionary for the American Sunday School Union on this field at that time. The A.S.S.U. is an interdenominational home missionary movement for rural districts where there is no witness for Christ. The missionary, and there are many of them throughout the U.S., appointed by the A.S.S.U., canvases the community first to find out if the people are interested in having a S.S. If he can find even a very few who are interested, he then tries to find a place where the S.S. can meet. Sometimes they start in a home (as the early Church did), but often the homes are very small or are not available. Sometimes they have even started in an unused chicken house or shop, but most usually and preferably it is a rural Schoolhouse, such as ours.
When San Timoteo S.S. was started, our day school was a one room, one teacher school with from 35 to 40 children enrolled in all eight of the grammar school grades. A few of these were from Mexican families, workers on the Section Crew for the Railroad and a few from workers on the ranches. They were mostly of the Catholic Faith and did not attend our S.S. But over the years we have had some very loyal & lovable Mexican children in the S.S., and they were a joy to us. But mostly they were white children from ranch families’ own homes.
Our school teacher, Mrs. Haeber, at the time the S.S. started, was a very sincere and earnest Christian (she was a 7th day Baptist) and was a real help to us, with her husband. There were Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, & Mormans, who met together on the first Sunday afternoon.
Louis Rankin, the missionary, was a student at the Redlands University and also a member of the first Baptist Church in Redlands. His job was a part time job. When he first came to our community to see if we would be interested in starting a S.S. he was traveling about on a motorcycle, and he looked such a boy. He was only 19 years old, but he was really a missionary very much in earnest and we all liked him from the start.
Some of us were attending Churches in Redlands, but then in our old model T’s and chevy’s, etc., the distance to Redlands was at least twice as far as it is now. I’m quite sure there were a million chuck holes between home & church, but mostly we were concerned for the children and families who didn’t attend any place of worship.
After prayerful consideration among those who were Christians, it seemed the Lord’s will for us to establish a S.S. So Louis came out and did everything in perfect order. We elected a Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Secretary-treasurer, Pianist, and five teachers. There were about 45 enrolled as Charter members from eleven families. Most of us didn’t have much cash money in those days, but what we did have was lots of enthusiasm.
The S.S. was a success from the start, if working together in accord, studying, teaching, praying and singing (we all loved to sing) together, is a criterion of success.
Before we had our S.S. we hadn’t had much social contact with each other. A picnic now and then through the school was all, but after starting our Sunday School, the joy of Christian fellowship meant so very much. We met together at the least provocation, with pot lucks, including corn-roasts, watermelon-feeds, icrecream cranked by hand, etc. Most of us had cows & chickens as well as our own produce. Each month all the birthdays of that month were celebrated, from the oldest to the youngest, all centered around our Sunday school.
Some of us wanted to continue to go to our own Churches in town, so we started with S.S. in the afternoon. We soons found it was too much, so changed to S.S. in the morning and organized a Christian Endeavor for the svenings.
All this started 37 years ago. Our children have all grown up. Many of us have grandchildren & great grandchildren, but in looking back and thinking of those who have come and gone, we can’t think of one juvenile delinquent from among those who have been members of our S.S. I believe everyone of those who have gone from our original group are active members of some Church. One of our girl’s sons is married to a Nazerene minister. One of the girl’s sons is a foreign missionary. One of the boys in the armed forces during World War II, wrote back home, “When the shooting gets so hot, I think nothing can last much longer, I think of the Sunday School in that dear old Canyon Schoolhouse. Don’t let anything happen to it while we are away, that’s the first place I want to go when I get back home.” He did come back and while he was visiting in the canyon he worked around the old School House for a week or so, fixing things that needed repairing and painting. That was good therapy for him. I belisve he was in 11 major battles and his nerves were shattered and the working around the place he loved, brought healing.
Over the years there have been times when the going was rough and we had to suspend S.S. for short time during gas rationing and many were away in war work, etc.
There are many, many incidents that could be told of our little community and the dear little Sunday School. These are only a few of the highlights. Weddings & births & deaths have touched all of our lives as, of course, they have all of yours. Times of gladness and rejoicing. Times of sadness and of weeping. Yet through it all, we can see God’s hand leading and blessing as each member and friend has tried in our small and stumbling way, to show forth the love of Him who is the Resurrection & Life.
Our S.S. is still carrying on. Our attendance is small. With good roads and good cars it is only 15 or 20 minutes to Redlands or Beaumont. Some of the children that formerly came from the big ranches, now go into town to Church. We are thankful for this, but there are so many activities now to take the young folks that we cannot reach, and the older ones can get sermons on Television and Radio, but what about the joy of Christian Fellowship and the sharing of our joys & sorrows in prayer and thanksgiving together.
One of the missionarys, Ray R. Perry and his wife, served on this field for 32 years. They have retired now. We have a very fine young couple who are dedicated to missionary work, Bill & Barbara Fountain at work on this field.
In our own S.S. we are most fortunate to have Mr. & Mrs. O.C. Reeder who have been giving of themselves unstintingly for over three years. They drive out from Redlands twice a day on Sunday for S.S. & Preaching in the morning and for Christian Endeavor in the evening and on Wednesday evening for Bible study & prayer meeting.
It is a challenge always. There is never any letting down. Our Lord didn’t promise us an easy time, but he did say to Paul, “My Grace is sufficient for thee, my strength is made perfect in weakness.” We know he speaks to us in those words also.
Please pray with us, for the San Timoteo Canyon Sunday School, that it may continue to be used to bring blessings to those in our community and for the glory of God & the furtherance of Christ’s Kingdom.”
As we can call it to mind, the following is a list of families and friends that were in attendance at the San Timoteo Canyon Sunday School of community gatherings in the late 1920s. Any omissions or errors are because of lack of memory.Mr. & Mrs. Roland L. Goble (Eugenia) Rancher
Mr. & Mrs. R.J.Armitage (Florence) Rancher
Mr. & Mrs. ______ DeWitt (_____) Rancher
Mr. & Mrs. ______ Brannon (Pauline) Telegrapher operator for the railroad
Mr. & Mrs. ______ Marshall (_____) Rancher
Mr. & Mrs. Otto Trauzettle (_____) Rancher
Mr. & Mrs. Ed Pearson (Geneve) Rancher
Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Simpson (Mabel) Rancher
Mr. & Mrs. Fred Simpson (______) Rancher
Mr. Charlie Singleton Ramcher
Mr. & Mrs. Will Singleton (Gertrude) Dairy Rancher
Mr. & Mrs. _____ Chapman (______) Foreman, Railroad Section Crew
Mr. & Mrs. Theron Sheffer (Oma) Telegraph Operator Railroad
from the memory of Violet Goble Cadwallader (written July 1984).
For me, relationship to the rural San Timoteo Canyon public school started in November of 1919. The wife of Jonas Williams, Ethyl Benson Williams, was the teacher.I started in the 5th grade. She remained my teacher through the 7th grade. We thought a lot of her. They lived on the Dan Gurster ranch, while she was teaching.
Walking to and from school with our dog, Nemo, was an adventure each day. Going home was more fun, because we didn’t have to hurry. We’d stop to make whistles out of the grain stocks when they were just right. Bernice thought I got ahead of her often, since I was older and could travel faster.
When it was time for school to take up, Mrs. William rang a hand bell and we made two straight lines facing the teacher; girls on the east side and the boys on the west. We passed through the cloak room were we left out coats and lunch pails before going to our seats. All together the 8 grades gave the pledge of allegiance to the flag, then we san songs for 10 or 15 minutes, such as Goodmorning to You, America the Beautiful, Yankee Doodle, etc.
Some grades had more kids than others. I think, in the 5th grade there were 5 or 6, but by the time I reached the 8th grade Mernie & I were the only ones.
We were assigned our lesson and were supposed to study while the teacher attended to the other grades. Sometimes she needed help with younger ones and we’d be asked to lend a hand. We often went outside to study or recite when it was hot. Having spelling bees was always fun. Also using the dictionary and adding and subtracting and dividing orally added much to the excitement. However, grammar and parts of speech were mostly “Greek” to me. I imagine it was because the poor teacher didn’t have time to explain. High School taught me all of those things.
Mrs. Williams was extra special to us all and I had her for three years. My father was one of the schoolboard members for several years. Mrs. Williams’ salaray was $500.00 for 8 months. She was teacher, custodian, getting the wood fire started in the winter and anything else that needed doing. She looked after us at noontime and recesses, helped us with our games and plays and programs for our parents, etc. On Mayday she taught us how to dance and sing so we could wind or weave the maypole with pastel ribbons. I can still see it.
Before school, she’d let me practice on the piano. (I must have driven her up a wall). I think Margaret Simpson took her turn at it too! (practicing on the piano, I mean).
We used to play ball a lot, although I hardly ever could hit it. My favorite game was Steal Sticks. We just did with what we had, so making up games was fun.
Mrs. Williams was kind and never got out of patience with us. Not even when I hid behind a door one time and slugged a kid because he had hit my little sister. A quote from my mother regarding Mrs. Williams, “There were about 30 children in all, commencing at 5 years or even 4, sometimes. How on earth she could do it was a miracle in it’s self. She kept marvelous order, wiped drippy noses on the smallest ones and had to squelch some of the toughest ones when they wouldn’t settle down after recess.”
It must have been the fall of 1922 when a very young teacher, Miss Florence? Stone, took over as teacher.It was her first year to teach and she seemed almost to be one of us. We thought she was so beautiful. Her fiance brought her over from the Riverside area every day, in his sports car. He came back for her in the evening when her day was through. He wanted her to stop teaching and marry him, but she wanted that year of teaching. She loved all of us kids and was determined to finlsh the year and then get married. In all her teaching that year she wanted us to learn things the fun way and she did lots of lovely things for us. So you see, it was all very romantic.
In the spring she took all of us kids hiking the hills. This was one of our favorite outings or pastimes at home or school. While we were scrambling through the sage brush and other sticker plants she pricked her finger quite badly. That was on a Friday afternoon. On Monday morning when her mother went to awaken her to get ready for school, she saw she hadn’t moved since she had told her good night. The sticker in her finger had caused blood poisoning and she had died during the night. Not having phones, and thinking Miss Stone must be sick, my mother and Mrs. Brannon and others, kept school going until we were told of Miss Stone’s death. This was a mighty hard blow to us kids who loved our teacher dearly. All of her family were devastated and her fiance crushed. This was my first funeral and a serious one.
When we got our feet on the ground again, Mrs. Entenman came to finish the last 2 months. She concentrated on Mernie and me so we’d be able to pass the Constitution test required to graduate from the 8th grade and be ready for High School, which we did O.K. Mrs. Entenman needs lots of credit for doing a good job with all of us, keeping us down to business.
Through the week the school house was used for school. Saturday nights we all, from babies to Grandparents, went to the square dances at the school house. That discontinued at 12:00 midnight so we’d be ready for Sunday School in the morning and Christian Endeavor Sunday evening.
The country school house and the beautiful hills surrounding our homes and ranches was a perfect atmosphere for good living. Besides environment; it takes kind, thoughtful, and loving people, working & playing together to make a happy home and community.
These were such good years and we learned so much about really living. As Mernie said, this past June 3, 1984, “Weren’t we so fortunate to have gone to this school!”