It took a while to decide on the names of these two border towns. With little imagination, the town on the American side was named Calexico and the town on the Mexican side became Mexicali.
They were both small at first, but Mexicali became the center for supplies and materials for the construction of the canal system. The farmlands were already established close to the city limits of Calexico. Mexicali had more room to store supplies and pack animals.
Calexico had laws did not permit cantinas or saloons, so all the beer joints and dance halls were in Mexicali. All kinds of sinning took place across the border such as gambling. I am a gentleman, so I will not mention other sinful things that happened there.
The population of Mexicali in 1910 was about five hundred, and in Calexico about one hundred fifty. Nobody knew, and nobody worried about where the border actually was. It was not a problem then like it is now.
The usual response was, “It’s around here someplace, I am not sure where.”
Eventually the borderline was marked by a barbed wire fence, but since wood was very scarce here, the people took the fence posts for firewood to cook their meals and the barbed wires lay scattered on the ground.