Del Mar’s Beginnings
In 1882, the Southern California Railroad began its new route from San Diego to San Bernardino. A man by the name of Theodore Loop, who worked for the railroad, instantly fell in love with what he called “the most attractive place on the entire coast.” He and his wife, Ella, built a tent city on the beach, which Ella called Del Mar after a popular poem titled, “The Fight on Paseo Del Mar.”
That same year, Colonel Jacob Taylor also stumbled upon Del Mar. In 1883, he decided to take advantage of the land boom that was taking place and bought 338.11 acres of land for $1,000. Colonel Taylor designed and built a resort named Casa Del Mar, which he thought would become a resort destination for the rich and famous. It briefly thrived before succumbing to bankruptcy, flood, and fire (in that order) by 1890.
Several years later, the South Coast Land Company eventually built a new hotel called the Stratford Inn. From the moment it opened its doors in 1910, the hotel became a focal point of the town and a magnet for Hollywood stars.
Let There Be Light
In the 1920s an event occurred that would change Del Mar forever – the city received electricity from San Diego Gas and Electric. With electricity, residential areas of Del Mar began developing at a record pace.
By 1958, Del Mar residents began to debate whether they wanted the area to continue to be a part of San Diego, or attempt independence through incorporation. In 1959, residents chose incorporation and established a council-manager form of government, which continues today.
Today, Del Mar remains one of the most beautiful destinations along the western coastline. The city is comprised of two square miles of coastal land and has a population of around 4,500.
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