John Harbison

HISTORIC TALE: JOHN HARBISON, KING OF THE BEEKEPERS

 

By Brigitte Garcia and Miriam Raftery

February 6, 2016 (Harbison Canyon) – Here’s a sweet fact from East County’s history: pioneer beekeeper John S. Harbison was once the largest producer of honey in the world.

 After settling with his family along the Sweetwater River in what later became known as Harbison Canyon, he led the way for San Diego County to become a major honey-making region during California’s “Golden Age of Beekeeping.”

But it wasn’t all sweet success. Obstacles along the way included severe weather, bees lost at sea, vindictive farmers and arson.