One of the landmarks
along Highway 94 is the Bamboo Inn in Dulzura.
The building and sign still stand but the business is closed and no
one except the old timers know that it used to be a busy place in the
community. I had the pleasure
of talking with Al Glover who lives in Dulzura.
His parents built and operated the Bamboo Inn for many years.
His father came from Indiana and his mother was born in California.
They came to San Diego and bought a small parcel of land in Dulzura
for $50.00 in 1932. They had
been deceived since after fixing the house up they were told by the real
owner it was his land, not theirs.
Fortunately, his father
got a job at the Dulzura Store (the current Dulzura Café) and they moved
there. Mrs. Willets
owned the store and needed help since her husband was sick. In 1936 they
homesteaded another place in Dulzura where the Bamboo Inn is located. His father built a store in 1937 (picture dated 1939)
and eventually doubled the size for a restaurant and bar. There were two front doors, one for the store and the
other for the restaurant/bar. The
store was well stocked with canned goods and essentials.
At that time it was still a long trip to and from town.
The neighbors convinced them to get a beer license and start
serving drinks and food so that is when they enlarged the building.
It was a very active place as they served food and drinks.
Square dances were held every Saturday night.
They also rented cabins and sold gasoline. The first cabin was built for Mr. Dick Harris who was a civil
engineer and he worked on the flume from Barrett to Otay.
Mr. Harris wanted a cabin built to his specifications.
He said he would pay for it. He
did not want windows to the south or east.
It was a one room cabin and built in 1948.
Other people wanted to rent cabins so they eventually built more
cabins to rent. The store was
leased by Murphy’s (who lived at Murphy’s curve) and they ran it for
awhile, but it was eventually
closed in 1967.
Al Glover remembers the
old road to San Diego and how long it took to get to San Diego with all
the curves. He went into the
Navy during the war and was gone for several years.
He retired in Dulzura. This
is another slice of Highway
94 history. This business was
a result of people being
unable to travel into town easily.