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Dana Adobe in Nipomo will host a book signing and talk on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m., with Arroyo Grande author Jim Gregory. Meet Gregory and learn about the real-life scary history of the Central Coast and its reputation as one of the deadliest, most dangerous places in America.

San Luis Obispo is reputed to be one of the happiest places in America. In 1858, it was also the most murderous. Sadly, between 2010 and 2015, New Orleans led America with a homicide rate of 47 per 100,000 population. Had the same statistical formula been applied to 1850s San Luis Obispo County, the rate would have been 178 homicides per 100,000. Since robbery was a common motive, El Camino Real between Soledad and Santa Barbara was the most dangerous road in America.

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Gregory’s third book on local history, San Luis Obispo County Outlaws: Desperados, Vigilantes and Bootleggers, released in October by The History Press, traces the history of crime and law enforcement in a Wild West that included the Central Coast.

Gregory is available for talks to local historical groups, accompanied by PowerPoint images, and for book-signings (the book is $20).

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