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The History of Downtown SLO

  • Founding of Downtown

    Founding of Downtown
    Mission San Luis Opispo de Tolosa was founded on this day by Father Junipero Serra. It's name comes from the Bishp of Toulouse from France and is the fifth of twenty one missions located in California. After this, a city grew and flourished into what it is today.
  • First Store Downtown

    First Store Downtown
    Ah Louis opened the first store in downtown SLO, selling specialty goods. It was first made of wood, and then rebuilt with bricks in 1885. Today, his great grand son still runs the shop and keeps the family history going.
  • Carnegie Library

    Carnegie Library
    San Luis Obispo's first library, the Carnegie Library was funded by the famous Andrew Carengie. It remained the Library of downtown until 1955 and now serves as the SLO Historical Museum.
  • Richard Nixon visits SLO

    Richard Nixon visits SLO
    As the Republican candiate running for govenor of Califorina, Nixon made a stop downtown and gave a speech in front of the courthouse. Afterwards, a formal reception was held at the Fremont Theatre.
  • Downtown SLO Association Created

    Downtown SLO Association Created
    The Downtown Association was established to help aid and preserve the businesses and practices of downtown SLO. It is a non-profit organization that serves the community and approximetly 600 businesses as well.
  • First Thursday Farmers Market

    First Thursday Farmers Market
    The Downtown Association joined the local farmers and held the first farmers market downtown in 1983. From there on out, every Thursday seventy or more farmers gather down Higuera and sell their fresh produce to eager shoppers.
  • SLO Named the Happiest Place in America

    SLO Named the Happiest Place in America
    Oprah Winfrey names SLO to be the happiest place in America! A camera crew and the famous Jenny McCarthy explore the best spots in town and show the world just how happy we are.