Did You Know…
The founding of Solana Beach is attributed to Colonel Ed Fletcher, a developer for the Santa Fe Company. Originally, the land had been set aside by the company to grow eucalyptus trees for railroad ties, but the weather along the coast did not prove conducive for the company’s production needs, so they began selling lots in the early part of the 20th century. The town started to grow after Lake Hodges was completed in 1918, supplying water to the area.
The beach was “opened” in 1924. Prior to this time, the cliffs made access to the beach difficult. They hydraulically blasted away the cliff around Fletcher Cove–”it took a man standing on the cliff with a fire hose three months to blast the bluff area away.” They celebrated the opening with–what else?–horse races on the beach!
In Solana Beach’s early years, there were two grammar schools (on Rios Street, and later on Genevieve). However, upon graduating eighth grade, students had to ride the bus to attend high school in Oceanside–at that time, approximately one hour away.
In the mid-1920s, lots were selling around $1500. But after the Depression hit the area, half-acre lots were selling in 1940 for around $500.
(Information provided by Jim Nelson’s Early Solana Beach, 2002)