National Geographic : 1942 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine Here the Spanish Bandini Family Settled Years Before Americans Took California This Guajome ranch house plainly tells the story of colonial life. Chapel, outdoor oven, windowless wall for Indian defense, blacksmith and harness shops, cowboy quarters--all are here. Lieut. (ave Johnson Couts, West Pointer, married a Bandini, and his wife got the ranch as a wedding present (page 80). Though the great 200-inch reflecting mirror is still in the process of polishing, the observa tory plant is complete. It includes not only the main structure, whose silvery dome is 135 feet in diameter, but also two smaller ob servatories, a powerhouse, quarters for the staff, and a 1,000,000-gallon reservoir. In years to come, astronomers and other scientists, as well as lay visitors from world's end, will visit this colossal telescope. With it men will explore hitherto unsolved mysteries of the heavens. This site on Palomar Mountain was chosen because nights here are usually clear, upper air strata have minimum turbulence, and city lights are miles removed. Costing $6,000,000, the grant for the ob servatory was made by the General Education Board of the Rockefeller Foundation to the California Institute of Technology. Engineers invited us to stand in the gallery of the great dome while they rotated it. One is struck by the smooth action of this enor mously heavy dome. It turns with almost no vibration. The temperature inside is con trolled for more effective work with the in struments. Up the south slope of Palomar Mountain the State has just finished a magnificent high way. After leaving the main route, which runs east from Oceanside, past Indian reser vations and old Missions along the San Luis Rey River, the new road climbs through wild, heavily wooded country up to the new obser vatory site. "Highway to the Stars," people call this spectacular drive. Padres Still Sing Gregorian Chants A long day's mule ride north of San Diego stands the historic Mission of San Luis Rey. Architects call it the finest example of build er's art among all California's old Spanish churches.