The Greatest San Diego Pictorial Map
Fine example of the rare Marston Company / Jo Mora Map of San Diego, published in 1928.
The map includes a detailed and whimsical look at San Diego, with marvelous caricature vignettes of historical persons and major landmarks, a town plan, and a whimsical historical timeline.
In the south, the map extends to Tijuana, with racetrack and border crossings depicted. Coronado and North Island were still separated at this time, with Rockwell Field shown with a docked airship and a biplane at the Naval Air Station. The built-up section of San Diego is largely confined to the area between National City and Balboa Park. Hunting is shown in Mission Bay. There are small communities in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla. Camp Kearny is shown up north. Many elements of San Diego's military history can be seen on the map.
The Marston Department store was a major San Diego establishment, which had started in 1878. The map was made to celebrate the store's 50th anniversary. Women's fashion from the five decades of the store's existence decorate the upper right corner of the map.
The map gives the sense that, even in 1928, San Diego was still a small, quiet community perched on the U.S. border and the Pacific Ocean. Cows graze in what is now Clairemont, and skunks, coyotes, and bobcats inhabit an otherwise bucolic Mount Soledad.
Joseph Jacinto "Jo" Mora, born 22 October 1876 in Uruguay, died 10 October 1947 in Monterey California. Mora came to the United States as a child, he studied art in New York, then worked for Boston newspapers as a cartoonist. He was a man of many other talents, artist-historian, sculptor, painter, photographer, illustrator, muralist and author. In 1903, Mora came to California, then in 1904 he moved to Keams Canyon in northeast Arizona, living with the Hopi and Navajo Indians. He learned their languages and photographed and painted an ethnological record, particularly of the Kachina ceremonial dances. In 1907, he married Grace Needham and they moved to Mountain View, California. He moved to Pebble Beach in 1922 and established a home and large studio there, it being near the Carmel Mission (San Carlos Borroméo De Carmelo Mission) after being commissioned to do the Serra Sarcophagus* for Padre (Father) Ramon Mestres.
During his long and productive career, Mora illustrated a number of books including Animals of Aesop (1900), Dawn and the Dons - The Romance of Monterey (1926), Benito and Loreta Delfin, Children of Alta California (1932), and Fifty Funny Animal Tales (1932). He authored three books, A Log of the Spanish Main (1933), Trail Dust and Saddle Leather (1946) and his posthumous publication, Californios (1949).
His map work included Monterey Peninsula (1927), and Seventeen Mile Drive (1927), California (1927), San Diego (1928), Grand Canyon (1931), Yosemite (1931), Yellowstone (1936), Carmel-By-The-Sea (1942), California (1945) (large and small versions), and Map of Los Angeles (1942).