San Diego Media Shorten Balboa Park’s History

KPBS news editor Tom Fudge‘s last name takes on extra, emphatic meaning this morning. That’s because his outlet and several others in San Diego recently fudged the proper history of Balboa Park.

Contrary to reports by KPBS, a local FOX affiliate and others, 2015 is not the upcoming centenary of the city’s beautiful Balboa Park. From Fudge’s account of his meeting by the lily pond with Horticultural Committee of the Friends of Balboa Park member Nancy Carol Carter:

“Balboa Park was actually founded in 1868,” said Carter. “So it has 47 years of history before the [1915] exposition.”

During those 47 years it wasn’t called Balboa Park. It was called City Park. It had 1,400 acres and not much else. There was an ammunition dump. There was a pound for stray animals.

“They had a ‘pest house,’ where they isolated people with small pox and other diseases like that,” said Michael Kelly, president of Balboa Park’s Committee of 100. “And during a small pox epidemic there were about a dozen people there.”

Fudge, who happily admits that he now stands corrected, also heard from Carter about other long-ago inaccurate media reports involving how Balboa Park got its name and the previous use of a botanical building. Read his full item here.