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A Terrible Tragedy  ~  1886 Arroyo Grande, California

On March 31, 1886, Peter Hemmi and his son Julius were hanged from the Pacific Coast Rail Road bridge in Arroyo Grande, CA.  Peter had accused his neighbors, the Walkers, of encroaching on his land.  When the courts did not find any evidence of encroachment, Mr. Hemmi became angry and began harassing the Walkers.  One day, in anger, Peter and Julius went to the Walkers and shot both Mr. and Mrs. Walker as they worked in their garden.  Mr. Walker died instantly; Mrs. Walker crawled for help.  Later that day, the Hemmis were arrested and placed in the Arroyo Grande jail. That night, about midnight, the guards were tied up and locked in a store room and the Hemmis were hanged from the bridge. There are no records that an attempt was made to identify the persons responsible for the hanging.

The Terrible Tragedy of 1886 was remembered
by the citizens of Arroyo Grande on March 31st, 2004
11:15 pm to 12:01 am April 1st.
See full story below.

Click the start button and slides will view automatically.

as told by the

Mike Hodgson, News Editor

Click on Thumbnails to enlarge and read full story.

Page One

Page Two

Page Three

Page Four

Page Five

A marker remembering the Tragedy
sits in front of the Loomis property on East Branch Street
on the corner just west of where the Pacific Coast Railway
traveled through Arroyo Grande.

A Terrible Tragedy Story

Pacific Coast Railway 



Slide Show Photographs by Vivian Krug












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