July 10, 1909 – The Beacon reported on an automobile trip made to Ukiah in the brand new Studebaker touring car owned by Mendocino Lumber Company Superintendent J. S. Ross. Mendocino Beacon editor and proprietor Auggie Heeser, Woods Superintendent Ed Boyle, and Miss Irene McLeod accompanied Ross on the journey.

People seated in an antique Studebaker automobile

A 1909 Studebaker 5-Passenger Touring Car. (Photo courtesy of John M. Daly. More antique auto photos at http://emfauto.org/)

Irene, an 1897 graduate of Mendocino High School, was employed in the bookkeeping department of the Kahn Optical Company in San Francisco. She had just finished a two-week vacation on the coast, visiting her family and friends. In Ukiah, she caught the train to return to her home in San Francisco.

The other purpose of the trip, as reported by the Ukiah Daily Journal, was for the gentlemen to attend to important matters before the board of supervisors. Specifically, the supervisors were discussing an ordinance that would allow voters of an election precinct to prohibit the issuance of liquor licenses within their precinct. This ordinance eventually passed and went into effect on July 26th, 1909. The following day, voters in the Big River precinct which included Mendocino, effectively banned the sale of alcohol in their precinct.

The car trip from Mendocino to Ukiah took 4 hours and 15 minutes, and the return trip was about 5 minutes longer. The Beacon reported that Low Gap Road had recently been repaired and was in excellent condition. The worst section of road encountered by the travelers was between the end of the Albion railroad and the bridge just before the Ottoson place in Comptche. “Some fifteen teams are hauling ties over this stretch and each team makes several trips a day, and the road is badly rutted out and cut to pieces.”

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