BAJA CALIFORNIA, 1950-1967: Photographs by Howard E. Gulick
Howard E. Gulick made his first long trip into Baja California in 1950, traveling as far south as Loreto in a new Jeep station wagon. Throughout the 1950s he spent most of his vacations exploring the peninsula. In 1956 Gulick co-authored with Peter Gerhard a classic guidebook used by a generation of Baja California aficionados: The Lower California Guidebook: a Descriptive Traveler's Guide (Glendale: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1956) Though not the first such guide - a pioneering effort by the Automobile Club of Southern California described a 1925 automobile trip - The Lower California Guidebook blazed a trail for Baja California guidebooks by providing up-to-date coverage of roads and services along with accurate historical information.
According to their preface Gulick and Gerhard sought to "set the record straight and to present a useful and detailed description of the peninsula, with the sort of factual information that a traveler would want to know." In 1964, Gulick recalled, "besides merely covering roads, I studied and looked for old trails, missions, ranches, etc. Along with all this, detailed notes of road mileages enabled me to plot the roads on a base map. During this period most long weekends were spent down there often in the company of Faustino Perez of Ensenada, and frequently two-day weekends also."
Gulick made hundreds of photographs of Baja California's landscapes, coastlines, cities and built environment. The Mandeville Special Collections Library houses Gulick's Baja California-related papers, including his original travel journals, correspondence, map materials and, notably, his photographic slides. A selection of Gulick's Baja California images dating from the 1950s and 1960s here follows. All quotes are from the 1956 edition (the first edition) of the Lower California Guidebook.