Have you seen the souvenir shirts about the Hotel California that say “since 1928?” The shop across the street from the hotel makes and sells them. I never could find out if the hotel really existed in 1928. It didn’t ring true in my mind, such a large building and hotel in such a small town. I once asked Gene Kira (“The Unforgettable Sea of Cortez”) about it and he said he thought the building was there before it was a hotel but he wasn’t completely certain and since his research materials were in storage, it would be a long while before he could check it out. He never did. But today, Debbie Stewart of the hotel, gave me a clipping from an old La Paz newpaper and it explained almost everything.
In an October 25, 2002 “public opinion” piece, local La Paz newspaper Sudcaliforniano published a note from one of Antonio ‘El Chino’ Wong Tobasco’s daugthers ( Sra. Maria Belen Tabasco Castillo) to the effect that he, Don Antonio Wong Tobasco and his wife, Sra. Trinidad Castillo de Tabasco, began construction on the hotel in 1947 and the work was completed with the inauguration of the hotel on February 5, 1950. Sra. Maria included two photos. She also directly addressed the 1928 claim and unequivocally states that the hotel was founded in 1950, not 1928. She should know as she states, “In (this hotel) I was born, grew and it was my home during many years…”
Click on the above image to open a window with a larger version, and then go find your Spanish dictionary and 501 Verbs and start translating. Have fun!