KENDRA SITTON | Uptown News
North Park historian and regular Uptown News columnist Katherine Hon has published a book about the history of many of the buildings, businesses and people that make up the fabric of North Park. All of the articles contained in “History Snippets: Past Matters Stories of North Park” originally ran in Uptown News as part of her “Past Matters” column, which began in late 2014. While regular readers may have seen the information before, this is the first time the columns will be collected together. Some have been updated to include new information as well as photos.
Before writing her column, Hon edited and published the classic history of North Park’s first 50 years, “North Park: A San Diego Urban Village, 1896-1946” by Donald Covington, when the author died before completing his book. That effort gave Katherine an extensive background in — and appreciation for — North Park’s history.
Topics range from the history of favorite local restaurants like Olympic Cafe to when Morley Field was a dump (literally). In between are lessons about architecture, fireplace tiles, neon signs, and the contributions of luminaries including George Marston and Mary Jane Hartley.
Rather than being a comprehensive narrative of North Park, this piecemeal approach of studying the individual sites of the area lends itself to readers interested in a certain aspect of North Park or who want to savor each interesting tidbit. Hon’s digestible articles pack a lot of information about many of the important sites in what began as a streetcar suburb and is now a thriving commercial and residential neighborhood of San Diego.
Hon hopes that people will be motivated to preserve North Park’s authentic historic character when they learn the stories behind the buildings and other features that make the community unique.
“History Snippets” is available to purchase at Verbatim Books, the San Diego History Center and the gift shop at the Marston House.
Kendra Sitton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.