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A Walk Through San Miguel’s Past……the ’70s!

By Donna Fullerton

The first influx of foreigners to San Miguel began in the 1940s. All who came seemed to agree that the town had a magical allure. In 1937, Stirling Dickinson was one of the first Americans to move here. He was also the first American to buy a house— just 10 days after arriving. And for only US$90.

Live Presentation
“A Walk Through San Miguel’s Past”
By the San Miguel Archive Project
Thu, Aug 20, 5:30pm
La Biblioteca
Teatro Santa Ana
Reloj 50A
100 pesos

In a revealing and personal 1992 video interview, Dickinson talks about his initial visit to San Miguel, arriving at the train station where he was met by a cart drawn by three burros. His interview can now be accessed on the San Miguel Archive Project’s YouTube channel at There you can view another 25 full interviews plus short story excerpts by early residents who share their anecdotes about life here in the 1940s through the 1990s. Some were filmed more than 20 years ago; others are more recent but equally entertaining. If you want to be informed when new videos are added, just click the “subscribe” button on our YouTube channel.

The San Miguel Archive Project seeks to document and preserve this kind of material and ensure that it is available for historians and researchers, as well as to continue conducting interviews. The project is being managed jointly by La Biblioteca and our committee of volunteers, which includes Diane Largman, Pam Knoles, Sue Beere, and Dennis Lanson.

Save the date: live interviews at Teatro Santa Ana

On Thursday, August 20, at 5:30pm there will be live interviews of several famous and infamous longtime residents, hosted by Camie Sands at La Biblioteca’s Santa Ana Theater. They will share their stories about life here in the 1970s compared to today, and take questions from the audience. More event details will appear in the next issue of Atención.

Delving into San Miguel stories this way can enhance your experience of living here. So, be sure to visit our YouTube channel, and attend a walk through San Miguel’s past on August 20. Tickets for the event are available at the Teatro Santa Ana box office. If you have questions, email Pam Knoles at

View the videos on the San Miguel Archive Project’s YouTube channel:

Hear about life in San Miguel back when
A house in Centro rented for US$15 per month and drinks cost three pesos
The telephone operator knew everybody’s business
There were three taxis; one had tires filled with sand and couldn’t go uphill with passengers
A bridge was stolen piece by piece—while everyone, including the mayor, looked on

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