On Sunday, December 27, 2020, members from Classic Showcase took part in the West Coast Porsche Adventure’s drive through North San Diego County and scenic Palomar Mountain. The drive was a fun, local weekend diversion for the Southern Californian Porsche faithful, and included a diverse group of local Porsche Club of America members, who setup the mini-caravan and just enjoy their cars on a Winter day during the ongoing pandemic.
Once arriving, the group stopped to enjoy some snacks, discuss each other’s cars, and enjoyed each other’s company before eventually traveling to the historic Palomar Mountain Post Office; while the 2020 Winter in San Diego was by and large moderate, there was some light hail that Sunday once the group arrived near the famous Palomar Lookout Observatory, but it was fortunately short-lived and didn’t detract from the otherwise great drive the group made from Carlsbad. This get together and drive is yet another small example of how the car hobby provides a safe and enjoyable activity to participate with others during the ongoing pandemic while getting to experience the beauty, performance, and power of these fine cars. Visit the WCPA's Facebook page here.
It’s a true fact that a post office named Nellie was recognized by the US Post Office Department, serving Palomar Mtn. Nellie McQueen, whose name appears on the register as the first postmaster, was a rancher on what was then called Smith Mountain. At that time the small community of ranchers on the mountain had to make a long ride down to Warner Springs to get their mail. “Whoever happened to be going, got the mail for everyone,” according to Marion Beckler’s 1958 book, Palomar Mountain: Past and Present. McQueen, an energetic and industrious person, applied on behalf of her community for a local post office and offered herself as postmaster. It should be noted that she did not request the facility be named for herself when she applied. Energetic and industrious she may have been, but egotistical she was not. She suggested the name “Fern Glen.”
But for their own reasons the Post Office Department preferred single word names. They also said there was another post office with a name similar to “Fern Glen.” So to avoid any confusion they chose the name “Nellie.” McQueen protested that designation but was unsuccessful in getting it changed.
The mail contract was awarded on April 2, 1883. Thereafter, wrote Beckler, “Once a week, ‘Miss Nellie’ (as the old timers called her), saddled her horse, rode down the mountain, up through Mesa Grande to Ramona, returning next day with the mail.”
She did that job until moving off the mountain in 1887. The post office was moved to different locations but kept the name “Nellie” until 1920, when it was re-named “Palomar Mountain.”
Palomar Observatory is owned and operated by Caltech, and as such it is private property. The Observatory is a popular destination in Southern California and receives tens of thousands of visitors a year from all over the world. Most come to see the famous 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope—for decades the largest effective telescope in operation. Whether you are an astronomy, history, or engineering enthusiast, or simply curious about the Observatory, you will enjoy visiting our museum and taking one of our guided tours of the facility. All are welcome at the Palomar, but we ask that all visitors respect our rules and procedures.