I have driven up and down the stretch of Hwy 101 that extends from Carmel Valley Road up to Via de La Valle hundreds of times, it is one of my favorite areas of San Diego yet I had never questioned how it all came to be. This piece of heaven also called Del Mar California has the feel of a European medieval town, with the feel of a small community and ocean views that never end.So how did it all get started?
I found some information on Del Mar 's history through it's own historical society. According to documents found the date when you could say everything was set in motion was on August 14 1882, the day the railroad tracks were laid along this stretch of coastline in the effort of uniting San Diego and San Bernardino.
The man in charge of overseeing the project was Theodor M. Loop an engineer and contractor. He set up camp in a beautiful parcel of land that he referred to as "the most attractive place on the entire coast.". He set up a tent city and built a house for himself and his family. It was his wife Emma who named it, Ella, called it "Del Mar" - words taken from a popular poem, The Fight on Paseo Del Mar.
Loop met a gentleman named "Colonel" Jacob Taylor who suggested they develop the area and build a town here. It was 1885 when he purchased 338.11 acres at the northern end of the mesa from homesteader Enoch Talbert. It is said that he paid $1,000. And at this Del Mar was officially founded.
Taylor had a very clear picture in his mind of what the area was to become. His plan was for this to be a playground for the well to do, a seaside resort for the elite. The visionary designed and built a town whose focal point was Casa del Mar, a hotel-resort. Other town attractions included a natatorium, dancing pavilions, and a bathing pool extending from the beach out into the sea.In 1889 tragedy struck and the main attraction, the hotel, burnt down to the ground and so the town was left without it's focal point. This together with the struggling economy left the small town in a dormant state for at least 15 years.
It was until the beginning of the 1900 when The South Coast Land Company hired a prominent Los Angeles architect, John C. Austin, to draw plans for a new hotel, the Hotel Del Mar. The hotel opened in 1910, and fulfilling the original plans for the area, the elegant hotel served as a magnet for Hollywood stars of the silent film days.
From 1912 till 1920 beautiful new homes began to appear around the new town and many of them soon became landmarks. Construction was halted in the 1930's
Still it was during this time in 1933 when the search for a site to host the San Diego County Fair began. Ed Fletcher suggested that the 184 acre site in the San Dieguito Valley - just off the main highways and the Santa Fe Road - would be easily accessible and a perfect setting for a fairground.
It was on October 8, 1936 when the fair opened with an attendance of fifty thousand guests.
Bing Crosby made the Del Mar Turf Club a reality and Pat O'Brien became the Vice President. The Race track opened on July 3, 1937,and with it a new era began in Del Mar. The track was hailed as Bing's Baby or Movieland's Own Track. In 1938, Bing recorded the song that would open and close everyday of racing since those early days - Where the Turf Meets the Surf (click to listen to the song).
The race track brought A list celebrities and personalities every year, and many of them decided to set up homes in Del Mar, among them Lucy and Desi, Burt Bacharach and many others.
However during World war II the race track had to be closed and converted into a bomber tail assembly production facility until 1945 when racing returned to the the track.
The city of Del Mar was incorporated until 1959. During the following two decades everything was mostly quiet in the area. There was a growing movement of people in Del Mar whose goal was to beautify and maintain the open space, and it was at this time when the gorgeous Seagrove park with its grassy are overlooking the ocean was created.
Today the centerpieces of new Del Mar are L'Auberge - a beautiful hotel designed with the Stratford Inn in mind - and just recently renovated. And the elegant shops and boutiques of the picturesque seaside shopping center, Del Mar Plaza. Its selection of restaurants provides great taste, mood, and rave reviews.
Del Mar has maintained it's picturesque main street, it's small upscale town ambiance, with beautiful homes each one unique and different from the rest, some landmarks in their own right some brand new.
Today Del Mar is 92014 zip code. According to the Multiple Listing Service information the area has:
142 Active Listings out of which 114 are detached and 34 are attached
7 Contingent listings
15 Sales in the past 30 days
This gives it a 9.47 month inventory of homes.
60 properties on the counties list of foreclosure and preforeclosure.
And according to the statistics of the sales the averages are:
A.Price per Square Foot $740.52
A.Days on Market 108
A. percentage of sale to asking price 94%
The School District includes the Del Mar Union School District which is one of the highest ranking school districts in all of San Diego. It has 8 Elementary schools and 2 middle schools and 2 High Schools.
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All the information in this blog has not been checked, it is believed accurate but not guaranteed.