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Stock# 98569

Pioneer Southern California Health Seeker

Founder of San Diego's First Private Hospital 

Remondino was an early advocate of Southern California as a heath resort, and is remembered today for his early promotion of San Diego. He arrived in California in 1873 seeking to improve his own health after suffering from malarial fevers and other ailments. Encouraged by Louis Agassiz, he eventually made his way to San Diego where he was appointed city physician and even established the first private hospital in San Diego. Remondino argued that the entire Southern California region was a paradise for the aged and for people suffering from pulmonary diseases. Interestingly, he highlighted instances of the longevity among the Native Americans in Southern California as evidence of the geographical and environmental effects on health. According to Dr. Remondino, the climate in places like San Diego could lead to improved physical and mental health for those willing to relocate to the Southland.

John E. Baur described Remondino as Southern California's "chief apostle of climate":

San Diego had its share of health-seeking doctors, the most famous of whom was Peter C. Remondino, who had come from another health resort, Minnesota. By 1875 he was city physician and in time first president of the city board of health, a position Remondino held until 1921. Medical climatology, particularly localized in southern California, was his lifelong interest. - Baur, Health Seekers of Southern California (San Marino: Huntington Library, 1959), page 84.

The present book has the distinction of being included in the Dawson 80 selective bibliography of distinguished books relating to Southern California:

....perhaps the most consistent and articulate of these advocates of the Southland's salubrious climate was Dr. Peter C. Remondino (1846-1926). Dr. Remondino, based in San Diego, was active in the Southern California Medical Society and the State Board of Health. He was a writer on a variety of medical ailments, especially pulmonary consumption, and wrote an extensive history of circumcision, for which he became nationally renown. But he was especially articulate on the beneficial effects of Southern California's climate on health. In Mediterranean Shores of America, he discussed in detail the temperature, humidity, rainfall, winds, and water temperatures of Southern California, and compared the data to changes in altitude, local region, and points around the world. He noted that two of the most healthful aspects of the Southland's climate throughout the year were its relatively cool and even temperatures and its conditions conducive for getting good ventilation day and night. Many people in poor health agreed with Dr. Remondino's assessments, and seeking a more healthful climate became a major motivation for immigration to Southern California - Dawson 80.

A selection of chapters in the book here follows:

  • Sea-Air and Marine Climates
  • Rain and Rainy Weather on Coasts
  • Extreme Dryness of the Air
  • Consumption and Temperature
  • Altitudes and Southern California Resorts

Remondino's other publications include: Modern Climate Treatment in Southern California (1893); History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present (1891); and Certificates of Death, Their Significance and Importance as Well as Their Moral and Physical Aspect (1893).


This book, issued by a specialist medical book publisher, and thus never marketed through the usual general booksellers, is quite rare in the market.


Condition Description
Octavo. Original publisher's burgundy cloth, gilt title on front cover. Beveled edges. Spine ends frayed. Wear to corners. Endpapers neatly renewed. Upper corner of front flyleaf slightly chipped. xiv, 160 pages. Frontispiece. Folding color lithograph map of Southern California and folding color plate of coastal profiles. Numerous in text illustrations, several from photographs. Plus 32 pages publisher's catalogue of Medical Publications at back. Complete. Bookplate of S. Adolphus Knopf, noted Prussian-born American physician, author of Pulmonary Tuberculosis; its Modern Prophylaxis (1898), and who helped found the American Birth Control League, the predecessor of Planned Parenthood. Unobtrusive private blind stamp on titlepage: Dr. F. A. Castle, 55 East 52nd Street, New York. Internally very clean and nice. Nearly very good.
Dawson 80: 57. Cowan (1933), p. 529. Rocq 16360. Zamorano Select 93. Adams, Books and Authors of San Diego, 1338. For a recent take on Dr. Remondino, see also "Dr. Southern California" by Lyra Kilston, in Cabinet Magazine, Issue No. 66 (Spring 2018 - Winter 2019).