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History of Nipomo

Pictured: Migrant Mother 1935, Nipomo, California This photo of a migrant farm worker named Florence Thompson and her children is the most requested photograph in the Library of Congress. The San Francisco News ran the picture in March 1935 and 20,000 pounds of emergency food was sent by the citizens. The photographer was Dorothea Lange. The History Channel occasionally runs a one hour documentary "The Great Depression" which tells the story of the young widow Florence Thompson and Nipomo in 1935.

The Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos - This organization has produced an excellent source of information on the origins of Nipomo and why we all need to take part in protecting it.

The Beginnings of Nipomo - By Alonzo Dana and John Bowen
The original author is the grandson of William Goodwin Dana, original owner of of Nipomo Rancho, a Mexican land grant. This is the story of of early homes built on the rancho, some still occupied today one hundred years later. The editor and photographer is John H Bowen, a genealogist, writer, and computer consultant who retired to Nipomo in 1996.

Dana Adobe - Lisa VanDerStad -Adobe Restoration
This is a small piece of background information on the Dana Family and their 36,000 acre ranch.

Judge Henry Tefft - By Thomas Tefft and John Bowen
At age 25 Henry Tefft arrived in San Luis Obispo County in 1849. He died in the surf off San Luis Harbor four years later. He had become a Judge, a representative to the state constitutional convention, a wealthy landowner and the son-in-law of William Dana, the owner of the 38,000 acre Nipomo Rancho.

The Lost City
In 1923, pioneer filmmaker Cecil. B. DeMille built the largest set in movie history for his silent (and early Technicolor) epic, The Ten Commandments. It was called "The City of the Pharaohs" and is located southwest of Nipomo in the Guadelupe-Nipomo Dunes. When filming was completed, DeMille ordered that the entire edifice be dismantled... and secretly buried. Most of it remains there today.

History of the Sheriff's Office - by Captain Gary L. Hoving
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office has a rich history spanning from the "Old West" to the "Nuclear Age." Over the years, the personnel have dealt with many tragedies, enjoyed many successes, and has grown to provide a highly competent law enforcement service.