Sunday, December 16, 2012

Towns in the County, 1888: San Diego History Pt. III

Below are descriptions of some of the cities in San Diego County from T.S. Van Dyke's The City and County of San Diego (1888). Keep in mind that most of them were barely towns and that San Diego County was much larger then. Imperial County and most of Riverside County came from San Diego County.

"A few miles farther up the shore is La Jolla Park."

"Just around the opening of Soledad Valley upon the sea lies the handsome seaside town of Del Mar, with some 300 inhabitants."

"Carlsbad, a new watering-place with a mineral spring whose waters are attracting much attention. A few miles north of Carlsbad is Oceanside, a fast growing seaside town of over a 1,000 people."

Northeast of Temecula, 25 miles from the coast, is the Laguna Rancho, which contains 5,000 acres and surrounds the county's largest lake.
"By this lake is the thriving town of Elsinore with nearly a 1,000 people, with Wildomar near by well on the road to overtake it."

Friday, December 14, 2012

What to do During a Lull; or San Diego History, Pt. II

"The real estate offices were deserted; the hotels had more waiters than guests; empty stores and vacant houses became numerous on all sides." This is Mr. Van Dykes' observation after the 1873 financial crash, but it sounds eerily similar to our country's recent experiences.

National City's population dropped to a couple dozen people and San Diego's, to 2,500.

Mr. Van Dyke eloquently follows the above sentence with the following observations: "Day after day and year after year the bright sun shone upon quiet streets and store-keepers staring out of the door at an almost unbroken vacancy. Many a man in San Diego during those long years that followed sat and looked at nothing long enough to have made a fine lawyer, doctor, engineer, or a fine literary scholar if he had only substituted a book for the empty door-way."

From The City and County of San Diego by T.S. Van Dyke, 1888

San Diego History, Pt. I

In 1845, "the city lands, to the extent of 47,000 acres, were surveyed and mapped and granted to [the local government] by the Government of Mexico. This grant afterwards confirmed and patented by the United States, and hence the magnificent proportions of the present city limits." From the book, The City and County of San Diego by T.S. Van Dyke, 1888.