Guide to the Jerry MacMullen Collection MS 242

Finding aid prepared by Katrina White
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.
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
April 27, 2012

Title: Jerry MacMullen Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS 242
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.5 Linear feet (3 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1956-1974
Abstract: This collection contains volumes of Jerry MacMullen’s weekly column, “The Southwest Corner,” published in the San Diego Union.
creator: MacMullen, Jerry

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The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials.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

Preferred Citation

Jerry MacMullen Collection, MS 242, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Katrina White on April 27, 2012.
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.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Gerald (“Jerry”) F. MacMullen was born in 1898 in San Francisco. His family moved to San Diego in 1899 and he grew up in the city, only leaving to attend college at UC Berkeley. He returned to San Diego in 1921 where he established his career as a newspaperman, author, historian and artist. MacMullen first worked at the Evening Tribune, transferring to the San Diego Union in 1928 where he worked as a reporter until the beginning of World War II. He joined the U.S. Navy, serving as a commander for Naval Intelligence for four years until the close of the war, at which time he returned to newspaper work in December of 1945. A long-time member of the Maritime Research Society, MacMullen served as its president in 1948. He also published several books including Paddle Wheel Days in California, as well as two books he co-wrote with Jack McNairn, Ships of the Redwood Coast and Star of India: Log of an Iron Ship. MacMullen played an active role in the restoration of the Star of India. He served as the director of the Serra Historical Museum in Presidio Park for ten years, between 1956 and 1966. It was during this same period that MacMullen began writing a weekly column for the Union called “The Southwest Corner,” which he continued to write into the mid-1970s. Published in the Sunday edition, his articles presented historical sketches related to the history of San Diego. MacMullen was married to Roberta MacMullen and resided in Coronado until his death in 1981.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content

This collection contains transcriptions of Jerry MacMullen’s weekly San Diego Union column titled “The Southwest Corner.” They present historical sketches related to the early days of San Diego written in a humorous manner. The articles are contained in 19 volumes organized by year, dating from 1956 to 1974. Each volume between 1957 and 1973 contains every column published in that corresponding year. The 1956 volume includes articles published from May 1956 forward, and the 1974 volume is missing more than half of that year’s articles. Volumes from 1956-1971 include a table of contents and articles titles, whereas volumes from 1972-1974 do not include a table of contents or titles for the articles.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number 680910B.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Capron, John G.
Dashaway Social Club.
King, Leroy A.
MacMullen, Jerry
Maritime Research Society.
Pacific Pioneer Yacht Club.
San Diego Union Company.
Smith, Walter Gifford
Spreckels, John Diedrich, b. 1853
Star of India (Ship).
Cedros Island (Mexico)
Coronado (Calif.)
Filibusters (Political science)
Indians of North America
Newspapers Sections, columns, etc.
Presidio Park
Reporters and reporting
San Diego (Calif.)
San Francisco (Calif.)
San Nicolas Island (Calif.)
Stingaree District (San Diego, Calif.)
Warner's Ranch (Calif.)
World War, 1914-1918

Box-folder 1:1

"Southwest Corner - Vol. I - MacMullen, 1956" (34 articles), 1956 May 6-December 30

Article of interest:

“The Star of India,” November 14, 1952 (p. 52)
Box-folder 1:2

"Southwest Corner - Vol. II - MacMullen, 1957" (52 articles), 1957 January 6-December 28

Articles of interest:

“The Raid on Warner’s,” February 17, 1957 (p. 13)
“A Filibustering Editor,” April 21, 1957 (p. 31)
Box-folder 1:3

"Southwest Corner - Vol. III - MacMullen, 1958" (52 articles), 1958 January 5-December 28

Articles of interest:

“The First Locomotive,” March 2, 1958 (p. 17)
“An International Affair,” October 19, 1958 (p. 85)
Box-folder 1:4

"Southwest Corner - Vol. IV - MacMullen, 1959" (51 articles), 1959 January 25-December 20

Articles of interest:

“Gunfire in Mission Valley,” August 16, 1959 (p. 65)
“The Hottest Day of All,” December 13, 1959 (p. 99)
Box-folder 1:5

"Southwest Corner - Vol. V - MacMullen, 1960" (50 articles), 1960 January 3-December 18

Articles of interest:

“The N.C. and O. Railway,” February 2, 1960 (p. 22)
“The First White Child,” December 18, 1960 (p. 150)
Box-folder 1:6

"Southwest Corner - Vol. VI - MacMullen, 1961" (52 articles), 1961 January 1-December 31

Articles of interest:

“Modern Horse Thieves,” September 10, 1961 (p. 109)
“San Diego’s Blue Laws,” December 3, 1961 (p. 147)
Box-folder 1:7

"Southwest Corner - Vol. VII - MacMullen, 1962" (46 articles), 1962 January 7-December 23

Articles of interest:

“George A. Pendleton,” January 28, 1962 (p. 10)
“Pure Water Comes to San Diego,” April 22, 1962 (p. 46)
Box-folder 2:1

"Southwest Corner - Vol. VIII - MacMullen, 1963" (45 articles), 1963 January 6-December 22

Articles of interest:

“Stingaree,” June 16, 1963 (p. 62)
“The Beginning of Coronado Tent City,” June 30, 1963 (p. 68)
Box-folder 2:2

"Southwest Corner by Jerry MacMullen, Volume IX, 1964" (51 articles), 1964 January 5-December 27

Articles of interest:

“Rum Row,” May 24, 1964 (p. 61)
“The Flood of 1884,” July 5, 1964 (p. 76)
“John G. Capron,” August 16, 1964 (p. 94)
Box-folder 3:2

"The Southwest Corner, 1965, by Jerry MacMullen, Volume X" (47 articles), 1965 January 3-December 26

Articles of interest:

“John D. Spreckles,” February 7, 1965 (p. 13)
“Gas Street Lamps,” March 7, 1965 (p. 26)
“The Jones Affair,” October 10, 1965 (p. 118)
Box-folder 2:4

"The Southwest Corner, 1966, by Jerry MacMullen, Volume XI" (44 articles), 1966 January 9-December 25

Articles of interest:

“Saloons,” June 12, 1966 (p. 69)
“First World War Spies,” October 2, 1966 (p. 115)
Box-folder 2:5

"The Southwest Corner, 1967, by Jerry MacMullen, Volume XII" (50 articles), 1967 January 1-December 31

Articles of interest:

“A Spanish Wreck,” April 16, 1967 (p. 50)
“Politics,” November 22, 1967 (p. 151)
Box-folder 2:6

"The Southwest Corner, 1968, by Jerry MacMullen, Volume XIII" (44 articles), 1968 January 7-December 29

Articles of interest:

"Pacific Pioneer Yacht Club 1852," February 19, 1968 (p. 19)
"San Diego’s Storm," May 19, 1968 (p. 60)
Box-folder 3:1

"The Southwest Corner, 1969, by Jerry MacMullen, Volume XIV" (38 articles), 1969 January 5-December 21

Articles of interest:

“Murdered Deputy,” May 16, 1969 (p. 40)
“Dashaway Social Club,” June 8, 1969 (p. 49)
Box-folder 3:2

"The Southwest Corner, 1970, by Jerry MacMullen, Volume XV" (36 articles), 1970 January 4-December 27

Articles of interest:

“Coronado Train Wreck,” January 11, 1970 (p. 5)
“Isis Theater,” September 13, 1970 (p. 80)
“Gold Mining at Cedros Island,” November 15, 1970 (p. 107)
Box-folder 3:3

"The Southwest Corner, 1971, by Jerry MacMullen, Volume XVI" (49 articles), 1971 January 3-December 26

Articles of interest:

“Leroy A. King,” April 18, 1971 (p. 47)
“San Nicolas Island,” July 4, 1971 (p. 79)
“Smallpox,” August 1, 1971 (p. 93)
“Boat Races,” October 17, 1971 (p. 128)
Box-folder 3:4

"The Southwest Corner, 1972, by Jerry MacMullen, Volume XVII" (51 articles), 1972 January 2-December 31

Box-folder 3:5

"The Southwest Corner, 1973, by Jerry MacMullen, Vol 18" (49 articles), 1973 January 2-December 30

Box-folder 3:6

"The Southwest Corner, 1974, by Jerry MacMullen, Volume XVIII" (21 articles), 1974 January 6-December 22