We Are Ramona

The Orange Book Celebrates 60 Years!

Remember 1956, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, Kay Thompson’s Eloise, the Plaza Hotel’s most famous guest, was a best seller, and gas was all of 22 cents a gallon? If you don’t remember first hand, maybe you know someone who does.

Well, 1956 was a significant year for the community of Ramona because it was also the year that the Orange Book launched and this issue’s cover of the Ramona Community Orange Book celebrates that birthday. Our cover looks back at life—both nationally and locally—in 1956, recognizing some of the memorable events of our birth year.



• The epic film The Ten Commandments premiered, featuring Charlton Heston and the largest production budget of its time.
• Debate over the future of water intensified in Ramona, which was in the throes of a drought. Some citizens wanted to secure additional water sources outside of town, while an opposition group advocated for keeping the supply local, urging people to “tighten your belts and wait for rain.”
• “You’re in good hands with Allstate” became the insurance giant’s famous tagline.
• 1956 was the last full year that the Navy owned the Ramona Airport, where it had conducted auxiliary training for Navy pilots since World War II. During the war, Navy dive-bombers practiced their aim with cast-iron bombs containing a ten-gauge shotgun shell that exploded upon impact.
• American movie star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco in a spectacular ceremony, images of which were seen worldwide.
• The Dow Jones crested 500 for the first time ever.
• Dick Clark started American Bandstand.
• As the result of a rent increase, the Ramona Library moved from the Chamber of Commerce building to 619 Main Street, where it remained until 1973.
• Elvis Presley hit #1 on the Billboard Top 100 with “Heartbreak Hotel,” a song that George Harrison later said gave him “a rock ’n’ roll epiphany.”
• In Ramona in 1956, a small ranch home (with outbuildings, acreage, and a well) typically sold for between $8,000 and $12,000. In general in those days, a person could obtain a county permit for construction on the same day he applied for it.
• As The World Turns premiered on CBS as the first half-hour American soap opera and aired for 54 years before ending in 2010.
• Early experiments in aerial firefighting were carried out in bi-planes departing from the Ramona Airport. These trials were in response to several catastrophic wildfires in the county, including the Inaja Forest Fire Disaster of 1956 (about 9 miles outside of Julian) that claimed the lives of 11 firefighters.
• The world’s first hard drive, the IBM 350 Disk File, was invented by Reynold Johnson.
• The wireless television remote control was introduced to the public, launching one of the most significant components of the war of the sexes!

We here at the Orange Book are proud to be a part of this great community and, in particular, we are proud to be celebrating our 60th year of connecting Ramona businesses and residents in meaningful and useful ways. Since 1956, the Ramona Community Orange Book has been delivered annually via US mail to every household and business in Ramona. We are proud to be your local directory, to be your source of information about who lives and does business in Ramona. Our goal is to provide you with accurate, meaningful information while celebrating some of the things that make Ramona such a great place to live.

Of course, in today’s world, effectively delivering the marketing messages of the businesses who want to serve you requires us to also make those messages available to you online. To meet that need, we created a Ramona community website (www.weareramona.com) that allows you to access the same valuable information you find in this directory, whether you are looking on your desktop, your laptop, or your smartphone.

So, take a moment and thumb through this 60th Anniversary edition of your print Ramona Community Orange Book, or take a moment to check us out on www.weareramona.com and also find information about what’s happening in town and what’s of interest to you and your neighbors.

No matter which way you chose to use us, we thank you for making the Orange Book the most used source of residential and business information available in Ramona and we look forward to continuing to meet and exceed your expectations.


We Are Ramona