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Guide to the Louis and Dolores Strahlmann Papers MS 239
MS 239  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Scope and Content
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Separated Materials

  • Title: Louis and Dolores Strahlmann Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 239
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 6.5 Linear feet (14 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1783-1986
    Abstract: This collection consists of the personal papers of Louis and Dolores Strahlmann, as well as research materials they collected in the 1920s-1930s regarding nineteenth century stagecoach lines and the Vallecito stagecoach station.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English, German, and Italian.
    creator: Strahlmann family

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Samantha Mills on February 28, 2013.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Preferred Citation

    Louis and Dolores Strahlmann Papers, MS 239, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession numbers 970115 and 2002.029.


    Collection is arranged into series:
    Series I: Strahlmann Family Papers
    Series II: Dolores Strahlmann Personal Papers
    Series III: Louis Strahlmann Personal Papers
    Series IV: Louis Strahlmann Academic Papers
    Series V: Louis Strahlmann Military Papers
    Series VI: Louis Strahlmann Medical Papers
    Series VII: Louis and Dolores Strahlmann Research
    Series VIII: Anza-Borrego Park Expansion
    Series IX: Stagecoach Exhibits
    Series X: Subject Files
    Items within each series are arranged by subject.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Dolores Strahlmann's Diary #5 is detached from binding, Diary #11 has several pages detached from the binding, and Diary #2 and #3 have smudged pencil text.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists of the personal papers and research materials of Louis and Dolores Strahlmann. Personal papers include financial and legal documents, club memberships, and correspondence. Dolores’ papers include eleven of her diaries and several fiction manuscripts. Louis’ papers include some of his academic papers from Harvard, military papers from his service in the Army, and medical papers from his service in Boston, MA and San Diego, CA. Louis’ papers also include pamphlets and emergency procedures for members of the local World War II Civilian Defense group. Several papers come from other members of the Strahlmann family, including Edward Strahlmann, Louise Strahlmann, Hermann Strahlmann, Edmund Mayer, and Max Mayer.
    Research materials relate to the history of San Diego County, stagecoach lines, and the Vallecito stagecoach station, and include correspondence with pioneering stage drivers, their descendants, and other researchers, as well as numerous research notes and some original nineteenth-century documents donated directly to the Strahlmanns.
    This collection also contains correspondence related to the controversial expansion of Anza-Borrego Park, correspondence related to the restoration of the Vallecito stagecoach station, exhibit cards from a presentation of Strahlmann research materials hosted by the San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department, and finally a series of subject files containing pamphlets, publications, maps, and other items that were of interest to the Strahlmanns.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Louis Strahlman was born in 1892 to Edward Strahlmann and Louise (Mayer) Strahlmann, both natives of Germany. Edward Strahlmann (1840-1933) was a prominent pharmacist in San Diego and co-founder of the Strahlmann-Mayer Drug Company. Louis obtained a medical degree from Harvard in 1917 and then served in the United States Army Reserve as First Lieutenant of the Medical Section through World War I. In 1924 he became a surgeon for the San Diego Police Department, eventually obtaining the rank of Chief Police Surgeon. He served the department until 1946, at which point he retired to devote his full time to private practice. He was a member of numerous medical associations, including the San Diego County Medical Society, the California Medical Association, and the American Medical Association. Louis was also active in the Exchange Club, the San Diego Historical Society, the Imperial Highway Association, the Public Lands Protective League, and the San Diego Police Post of the American Legion, and was a medical contact for San Diego’s Civilian Defense network during World War II. Additionally, he was a member of the German culture societies Orden der Hermann’s Söhne (Order of the Sons of Hermann) and Nordamerikanischer Turnerbund (North American Gymnastic Union). He died on May 12, 1952.
    Dolores Strahlmann was born Dolores M. Akers in Washington on March 17, 1892. Her parents were William Akers and Emily L. (Pier) Akers. Dolores came to Southern California in her youth to enter the movie industry. By 1920 she was writing screenplays for La Carmen Productions and newspaper briefs as a special correspondent for the Hollywood motion picture studios. She found occasional work as a dancer or movie stand-in, and by the mid-1920s she was a conductor at the Southern Studio of Dancing in San Diego. She wrote screenplays and Western pulp stories under the names Dolores Brown and Dolores Lopez. Later she was active in the Women’s Auxiliary of the San Diego County Medical Society, the Public Lands Protective League, and the San Diego Historical Society. Dolores died on May 23, 1972.
    Louis and Dolores married on August 14, 1926. This was Louis’s first marriage and Dolores’s second. They owned a ranch in Mission Valley, but their primary residence was at 211 West Laurel Street. Through the 1920s and 1930s, they conducted extensive research into the history of San Diego County, stagecoach lines, and the Vallecito stagecoach station. Dolores corresponded with numerous pioneers, their descendants, and other Western researchers and wrote the bulk of their research notes. They collected original artifacts from many of their correspondents and briefly used their home as a museum. As a result of their research they were able to spearhead the restoration of the Vallecito stagecoach station, which was reopened as a museum in the Anza-Borrego State Park.

    Separated Materials

    Photographs were previously separated to the SDHC Photograph Collection.
    Ephemera, newspapers, and other printed materials were previously separated to the SDHC Ephemera Collection, SDHC Newspaper Collection, and SDHC Printed Materials Collection, respectively. Photocopies of the front page of the separated materials remain in this collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American Medical Society.
    Exchange Club.
    Harvard University.
    Imperial Highway Association.
    Massachusetts Medical Society.
    North American Gymnastic Union.
    Order of the Sons of Hermann.
    Public Lands Protective League.
    San Diego (Calif.). Police Dept.
    San Diego County (Calif.). Parks and Recreation Dept..
    San Diego Historical Society.
    Strahlmann family
    Strahlmann, Dolores
    Strahlmann, Louis
    Sun Dial Motion Picture Company.
    United States. Office of Price Administration.
    Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Calif.)
    Boston (Mass.)
    Civil defense
    Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
    Dogs -- Pedigrees
    Emergency public utility services
    Gold mines and mining
    History -- Research
    Medical appointments and schedules
    Military orders
    Military regulations
    Museum exhibits
    Pony express
    Receipts (Acknowledgements)
    San Diego (Calif.)
    Stagecoach lines
    Stagecoach stations
    Vallecito Station (Calif.)
    World War, 1939-1945