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History of Solana Beach

Prior to 1923, the area which is now the city of Solana Beach was known as Lockwood Mesa, and was used for the growing of grains and lima beans. The mesa, comprising approximately 220 acres had been first settled in 1886 by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jones and their children. Another early settler of Solana Beach was Edmund Stevens and his family, from South Dakota, who retired to the area in 1892.

city of Solana Beach

In 1922, Colonel Ed Fletcher, with backing from the Santa Fe Railroad, bought approximately 140 acres of the mesa from George Jones. The Stevens heirs began selling their property for development in 1932.

The original subdivision map of Solana Beach was filed on March 5,1923 and featured the central plaza next to the ocean, which is still a focal point of the community today. The post office and the Santa Fe Irrigation District were also established in 1923.

Fletcher Cove, the main public access to the beach, and site of annual community festivals, was created by using a combination of hydraulic washing and extensive steam shovel work which made a gap in the picturesque bluffs.

With the exception of the first years of the Great Depression, Solana Beach grew at a gradual and steady pace. A community lifeguard service at the beach began in 1941, fire protection was inaugurated in 1949 and the first sewers were installed in 1950.

Santa Fe Irrigation District

Beginning in the late 1940s, local Solana Beach officials meeting at the lumberyard, negotiated with the California Department of Highways to move the planned eight-lane interstate highway from the Coast Highway inland. Solana Beach business people made numerous trips to Sacramento and the local community newspapers sustained the effort to publicize the desires of the community. Finally, in 1957, the state ran up the white flag and announced that it had selected an uninhabited inland route for Interstate 5. This freeway now bisects Solana Beach inland.

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