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John Stewart Harbison, c. 1870s. The Pennsylvania beekeeper brought his first shipment of bees to California in 1857. He settled near Sacramento and had such success that many others tried their hand at honey production.

“The California newspapers called it the ‘bee fever,’ stating that every steamship arriving in San Francisco had beehives piled on its decks,” according to a 1969 Journal of San Diego History article.

Harbison eventually came to San Diego and formed a partnership with an R.G. Clark. “By 1873 they…produced over 30 tons of comb honey….

“In the spring of 1874, Harbison moved with his wife and daughter, Florence, to San Diego County, taking up a homestead near the Sweetwater River 23 miles from San Diego in a little valley now known as Harbison Canyon.”

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