Tuesday, March 31, 2009

San Juan by-the-Sea

San Juan by-the-Sea was a railroad boom town created in 1887. It was subdivided and marketed, but it never really took off. The busy scene in the lithograph above is glorified "concept art" of what the resort town would theoretically look like one day. After the boom went bust, the (already small) community soon dwindled to about 10 families.

The photo above shows a gathering at the seaside pavilion at San Juan by-the-Sea in its first year. In her most recent book on Dana Point, historian Doris Walker writes that the railroad station at San Juan by-the-Sea "was completed in 1887, when the tracks from Los Angeles ended there. Santa Fe's subsidiary, Pacific Land Improvement Company, added a spur track to the beach, then laid out the town. Lot buyers stood in line all night before the tract opened,..."
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In addition to the train station and the pavilion, the town also featured the Pioneer Hotel (which Modjeska and her entourage once used as a summer retreat,) and a smattering of homes.
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Below is a photo of the tract's map. (As always, click to enlarge.) Note the bluff-top parks and the community vegetable garden.

3 comments:

EDGE4194 said...

Chris- interesting images. I just wish I could enlarge the map so I could study it!

Chris Jepsen said...

Clicking on the photo links you to a larger version of the image on Flickr. From there, you can download it at whatever resolution you prefer.

Captain said...

That was my 'hood for over 40 years. A few of those street names survive to this day.