DEL MAR — Observance in July of the city as a self-governed community is drawing increased interest. One question being asked is whether it has always been known as Del Mar.
It has been since Theodore Loop came on the scene. Previous to that, it was part of the township of Weed. In the 1850s, Loop owned considerable acreage in Carmel Valley. He envisioned the shoreline at the foot of 10th Street of becoming a resort area for the “rich folks” from the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills areas.
He laid out the township with the cooperation of Jacob Taylor, a surveyor of sorts from New Mexico. Taylor was also an aggressive promoter and developer and concurred with Loop’s resort ideas.
In 1886, Taylor built Casa del Mar with shoreline amenities including a bathing pool, 40 feet by 198 feet, called a natatorium. Remnants of it are still visible at low tide. It was described as a pool that was safe from the dangerous stingray and great for children.
Taylor made 10th Street 100 feet wide and there was a boardwalk to a gazebo where visitors could rest after making the climb up from the natatorium.
On the south side of 10th Street below Railroad Avenue (now Stratford Court) there was a barn on the Theodore Reed property where there was a Wells Fargo stage coach in mint condition on which the neighborhood kids used to play. Likely it dated back to days Loop worked as a coach driver for that company.
Taylor convinced Santa Fe Railroad to locate its tracks on Railroad Avenue. He lived on 10th Street where the porch to his home became the train station and Western Union facility. Later the residence was owned by the Albino Bertoncini family and the telegraph equipment was left in place.
Across the street, Julie and Brad Allison have undertaken extensive remodeling to a residence known as the Edelweiss. At least twice abandoned for long periods, little history is known of it except that it was a general store and post office in its early years.
After Casa del Mar burned down in 1890, visitors continued to frequent the village and many built second homes, particularly along the shore.
Del Mar incorporated as a city on July 15, l959.
Filed Under: EyeWitness