Modern Day Pioneer Women of Palomar Mountain

In Honor of Woman’s History Month
by Terri Rubio Bailey

Palomar Mountain in Southern California has a rich pioneer past, and in every aspect women were active participants. I am blessed to have a place within a remarkable group of pioneer women here on the Mountain. Like me, each in turn had married into this pioneering family, and each uniquely shaped the world here, always leaving it a bit better place for their efforts.

The first Mrs. Bailey was born Mary Tribue around 1834. Shortly after the Civil War she traveled west from Kentucky, with her husband Theodore Bailey, to start a new life. As an early settler on Palomar Mountain, Mary was wife, mother, nurse, homemaker and the fiber that held her family of six children together. Her youngest son came to rise above his pioneer roots, earning his DDS from USC (class of 1913), which helped him attract the second Mrs. Bailey in our story.

Adalind Shawl (pictured), the upper-middle-class Iowa daughter of a Civil War hero, also had come west with her family in the 1890s, but by first class train ticket. Selecting teaching, over nursing, she received a graduate degree in what today would be termed “Special Education.” The romance of the times must have been a factor in accepting the proposal of Dr. Milton Bailey, now proprietor of Palomar Resort. Later writing that “to marry Milton Bailey was to marry a hotel!” she nonetheless embraced her new Mountain life.


The third Mrs. Bailey in our lineage was a strong, self reliant Midwestern gal who traveled west from Nebraska early during the Second World War. The daughter of a destitute Bohemian orphan and a traveling salesman, Doris Price was the product of the settled and hardworking Midwest. After the war she married a newly returned veteran of the Pacific Theater – the youngest son of Adalind and Dr. Bailey. Doris’ life revolved around the Mountain for five decades.

I’m the fourth in the line of Mrs. Bailey’s here on the Mountain, and have called Palomar my home for twenty-five years now. As a teacher I embraced outdoor education here and found that, you don’t choose the Mountain, in fact it chooses you. I joined the amazing group of women when I married Doris’ son, and now proudly carry on the tradition passed on by those who came before me.

In looking at the life and times of these women, I find a century later that we have a lot in common. Many thanks to all those women who blazed the trail me. From them I learned that I have a right to be myself and a pleasant duty to make the world around me a bit better everyday. I’m sure they would approve.