The 1960s

[PHOTOS] Library trustees and the opening of the Cole Library in 1969.

The Sixties and Beyond

The sixties was a decade when Carlsbad planned for the future. No longer concerned with only organizing the basic services that a city must have, city government could focus attention on constructing civic buildings and programs. The construction of light industry and residential and commercial development added tax money to the city budget. This in turn helped to finance new city programs.

Planning for the future, Carlsbad defined a series of goals, which included formulating a general plan for future growth, constructing adequate civic buildings to service the growing community, and establishing a secure financial tax base.

Street lighting was installed, buildings were rehabilitated, streets were paved, and existing sewage systems were improved.

The city built three large publicly owned buildings: Fire Station No. 1, City Hall, and the Library, which growth had made an obvious need. The voters approved a bond issue that financed the construction of the new facility built on Elm Avenue (now Carlsbad Village Drive) that opened in 1967. This building is still used as a library and is currently known as the Georgina Cole Library. It became a focal point for community cultural experiences, providing thousands of volumes of books, art displays, lectures, film series, and community events.

The La Costa Resort and surrounding upscale homes were built in the mid-sixties. While technically not part of Carlsbad until 1972, the development of this area and the increase in population had a major impact on the city.

Residential and industrial development that replaced agricultural land in the city led to citizen complaints. Until the 1960s the flower industry was Carlsbad’s largest employer. The mayor, David Dunne, responded to these charges in April 1969. Dunne stated, “A lot of people here are not too anxious to see the city grow, but you can’t put a fence around it. People are going to come and we have to take care of them. We’ve had pretty much an agricultural/tourist type economy, but we have to develop our industrial base to keep taxes within a reasonable figure.”

[PHOTO] 1965: The Christian Education building was built and furnished by Sally Boyd in the memory of her husband, Jesse T. Boyd.

In 1993, it was expanded into the two-story Boyd Hall we know today.

Finding Fr. Driver

During the 1960s, in spite of new church buildings, change of location, attempts at new organizational activities, and the modernization of equipment, St. Michael’s, as a struggling Mission, reached an all-time low in service and operation, to a point in which keeping the doors open was becoming a serious question. There had been continuing reduction in parishioners for some time.

Parishioner Niles Moffat wrote of this period:

“Around daily problems we found time to make appeals to the Right Reverend Bishop Bloy and to Dean Conder. The focus of these contacts was to stress the need for the services of a clergy skilled in personnel work and in business administration. These initial steps lead to a series of meetings, some with the Bishop and many with the Dean, to lay the groundwork for the changes necessary to secure the kind of help of which we were in dire need. After much planning and consultation, the Diocesan Executive Committee was able in the course of four years to arrange transfers of clergymen that would make available to us the kind of man needed to serve as vicar of St. Michael’s.”

“By mid-summer of 1967, Dean Conder informed us that Father Driver might be available, depending of course, upon his disposition and preference. In late August, this man of the cloth acquainted us with his intention to spend time on a given Sunday observing the Church property, reviewing reports, and discussing problems vital to the prospect of accepting this charge. For whatever reason, our prospective Vicar elected to take on the problems here, and this change made all the difference.”

“Between 1967 and 1972, Father Driver was responsible for some major changes at St. Michael’s. Parishioner interest and attendance, along with comparable pledge support, showed marked increases. St. Michael’s was granted parish status, and with this step Father Driver became our first presiding priest, who led us from the dark days of uncertainty to a time in which we could be thankful for a flourishing church well-founded and dedicated to the glory of God.”

Text Sources, Photos, and References:
• A History of San Diego North County: From Mission to Millennium (2001) by Lola Sherman
• Windows on the Past: An Illustrated History of Carlsbad, California (2002) by Susan Schnebelen Gutierrez
• The Carlsbad Historical Society
• Historic Carlsbad: A Self-Guided Tour, Carlsbad City Library Brochure
• St. Michael’s History Booklet: From 1894 to 1983
• St. Michael’s Archive