Chick Miller Mahr is 2015 Pioneer of Year

Chick Miller Mahr, 94, addresses attendees of the Fallbrook Historical Society old-fashioned picnic on Sunday, June 28, after being honored by the organization as Pioneer of the Year for 2015. She has lived in Fallbrook since 1923. Christine Rinaldi photos

A well-known Fallbrook woman and a longstanding business were this year’s honorees at the Fallbrook Historical Society’s annual, old-fashioned community picnic held Sunday, June 28.

Chick Miller Mahr, 94, a resident of Fallbrook since 1923, received the 2015 Pioneer of the Year award. Scrappy’s Tire & Auto Repair, Inc., represented by third-generation family operator, Steve Scrape, was celebrated as the Vintage Business honoree.

Chick Miller Mahr

Ada Laura “Chick” Miller moved to Fallbrook with her family in 1923. She married Herbert “Herb” Mahr in 1939. Herb’s family had moved to Fallbrook in 1917.

The couple purchased property on what is now known as Clemmens Lane, planted a small grove, and began their life’s work of growing citrus fruits and avocados.

In addition to farming, Herb worked as a carpenter and Chick worked in a local packing house. Beginning in 1948, Chick went to work in the cafeteria for Fallbrook Elementary School District.

That same year, the couple purchased a prime 20-acre parcel off Live Oak Park Road, on which to grow crops. They steadily worked their farming operation for decades. Chick ultimately went to work in food services for Fallbrook High School.

Herb Mahr passed away in 2002. At that time, their daughter, Jan Mahr Owen took over the physical operation of the ranch and spent a few years transitioning it to a certified organic operation.

“My mom is still the boss though,” Jan said. “She is very involved in everything.”

Scrappy’s Tire & Auto Repair, Inc.

The Vintage Business of the Year award winner, Scrappy’s Tire & Auto Repair, Inc., has been in the same location since 1967 at 346 South Main Ave.

To date, three generations have been involved in the business. Forest Scrape, a retired Marine, originally bought the already-established tire business and since he went by the nickname “Scrappy,” he gave his newly-acquired business the name of Scrappy’s Tire Company.

Forest’s son, Larry, took over management of the business eventually, and was assisted by his son, Steve. When Larry passed away in 2012, Steve continued running the company and upholding the excellent record of service the company has provided to the community that began with his grandfather.


Additional recognition

Fallbrook Historical Society president Roy Moosa welcomed attendees to the event and provided an update on the organization’s accomplishments over the past year and current goals.

Board member Mary Belton presented certificates of recognition to an artist and a group of school students who have been working for months with her, to paint murals on the outside of the society’s storage containers located adjacent to the Pittenger House. The murals depict scenes of the Fallbrook area landscape and natural bird and animal habitat. The students were guided/mentored in their painting activity by Daniel Martinez, a well-known muralist. As an extra benefit, the high school students received credit for their required community service hours for their work on the museum grounds.