When the Fallbrook Historical Society holds its annual meeting on Saturday, April 26, members will honor a longtime local resident and a business that has operated continuously for 53 years here. Arlan Peterson will receive the Pioneer of the Year award and NAPA Fallbrook Auto Parks representatives Jerry Olive and Lee Shaeffer will be presented with the Vintage award.
Peterson, who worked as a building contractor and firefighter, has lived in Fallbrook since 1940. According to the society, he moved here with his parents, Lindon and Velma and sisters Lenon, Neola, and Norene. Peterson’s father worked on a construction site for the new ammunition depot that was being built next to Camp Pendleton. The family lived on a rented 20-acre parcel of land, where they raised milk cows and chickens, on the east side of Old Stage Road across from Aviation Road.
Peterson graduated from Fallbrook High School in 1951. “He was drafted into the Army in 1953 and in 1954, before being deployed to Korea, married Rosalie Bell, a local girl,” the society noted. “They raised three children, Niles, Krake, and Tracy.”
“Peterson desired to follow in his grandfather and father’s footsteps and become a carpenter,” they explained. “At 17, he designed and built the little office at the corner of Main and College.” He couldn’t recall the number of homes he designed and built in the area, but worked in the construction business until retiring in 2009.
Peterson volunteered for the Fallbrook Fire Dept. for 20 years and worked on Camp Pendleton as a firefighter as well. He served on the local fire board for 13 years.
These days, Peterson enjoys writing stories about his life.
Owned and operated by the Olive family since 1961, NAPA Fallbrook Auto Parts has been selected to receive this year’s Vintage award from the Fallbrook Historical Society.
The award will be presented to the company’s president, Jerry Olive, and his brother-in-law, Lee Shaeffer, along with 11 loyal employees who have provided auto (including tractor) parts to Fallbrook area residents for 53 years.
The Olive Family (Floyd, Olive, Darlene, and Jerry) moved to Fallbrook in 1952 from Stockton. Floyd worked operating heavy equipment for a few years before deciding to purchase the piece of property to open an auto parts business.
“Those in Fallbrook with heavy equipment and autos always had to travel to Escondido for parts and service,” the historical society noted. “Knowing there was a real need, Floyd signed a contract with NAPA, loaded up his dump truck with parts and opened the business in 1961.”
Floyd Olive’s first employees were Wade Parker as manager and son-in-law Lee Shaeffer as bookkeeper. Son Jerry Olive was raised learning the business and took over as owner when Floyd passed away in the late 1980s.
According to the historical society, the business, located in the 700 block of East Mission Road, has seen changes over the years, including a street name change from Juniper to Mission, and the widening of Mission Road in the 1990s. The widening project reportedly necessitated the Olive family to purchase additional adjoining property to the west in order to have adequate parking.
More information about the recipients of the award will be shared at the event, slated for Saturday, April 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Donald Rivers Interpretive Center (the Barn), located on the Fallbrook Historical Society compound at the corner of Rocky Crest Rd. and S. Hill Street.
A short meeting will be conducted first, followed by the award presentations, with refreshments following. The event is free and open to the public.