San Luis Obispo County History

Issues & Ideas: Camp Roberts distancing, the Noriega closes and past vigilantes

May 12, 2020

On this episode of Issues and Ideas, we learn more of the history behind Bakersfield's Noriega Hotel, which recent closed its doors for good. A Bakersfield institution, it was the oldest Basque restaurant in town and a winner of the prestigious James Beard Award. Also, Camp Roberts’ garrison commander has a conversation with correspondent Tom Wilmer about modified training and adjustments made to daily life at the National Guard base due to social distancing. We speak with Avila Beach resident and author Pete Kelley about his new local history book. And we’ll take a look at the 2020 census, and some new strategies used to get the word out to undercounted communities. Finally, we'll hear from San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre managing artistic director Kevin Harris about keeping a theater company alive during a pandemic.

San Luis Obispo County outlaw from the 1800's Pio Linares
The History Center of San Luis Obispo County

Historian Jim Gregory says, “California was a wild and lawless place in the 1850s, and San Luis Obispo County was no exception with the highest murder rate in America.” Outlaws and bandits passed along El Camino Real leaving a trail of victims. The James brothers, the Daltons and even Al Capone made their mark here.