Point Loma

San Diego California

Point Loma was first discovered by Europeans on September 28, 1542 when Portuguese navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo (João Rodrigues Cabrilho in Portuguese) departed from Mexico and led an expedition for the Spanish crown to explore the west coast of what is now the United States. Cabrillo described San Diego Bay as “a very good enclosed port.” Historians believe he docked his flagship on Point Loma’s east shore, probably at Ballast Point. This was the first landing by a European in present-day California, so that Point Loma has been described as “where California began”.

More than 200 years were to pass before a permanent European settlement was established in San Diego in 1769. Mission San Diego itself was in the San Diego River valley, but its port was a bayside beach in Point Loma called La Playa (Spanish for beach). Modern day Rosecrans Street follows the route of the historic La Playa Trail, the oldest European trail on the West Coast. It led from the Mission and Presidio to La Playa, where ships anchored and unloaded their cargoes via small boats. The beach at La Playa continued to serve as San Diego’s “port” until the establishment of New Town (current downtown) in the 1870s. In his book Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana, Jr. describes how sailors in the 1830s camped on the beach at La Playa and hunted for wood and jackrabbits in the hills of Point Loma.

Ballast Point got its name from the practice of ships discarding their ballast there on arriving in San Diego Bay and taking on ballast as they left for the open ocean. Fort Guijarros was constructed at Ballast Point in 1797. Ballast Point and La Playa are now on the grounds of Naval Base Point Loma.

In 1900 Katherine Tingley moved the headquarters of the Theosophical Society to "Lomaland”, a hilltop campus in Point Loma overlooking the ocean. The facility with its unusual architecture and even more unusual lifestyles became an important source of music and culture for residents of San Diego between 1900 and 1920. The Society also experimented widely with planting trees and crops, giving that formerly barren part of Point Loma its current heavily wooded character. They are credited with introducing the avocado to California.

During the 1920s there was a dirt airstrip known as Dutch Flats in what is now the Midway neighborhood of Point Loma. That is where Charles Lindbergh first tested and flew his airplane, The Spirit of St. Louis, which had been built in San Diego by the Ryan Aeronautical Company. A U.S. Post Office now located on the site contains several historic plaques commemorating Dutch Flats and Lindbergh
The best known landmark in Point Loma is the Old Point Loma lighthouse, an icon occasionally used to represent the entire city of San Diego. (It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "Old Spanish Lighthouse"; in fact it was built after California was admitted to the United States.) Perched atop the southern point that creates the entrance of the bay with Coronado, the small, two story lighthouse was completed in 1854 and first lit on November 15, 1855. At 422 feet (129 m) above sea level at the entrance of the bay, the seemingly good location for a lighthouse soon proved to be a poor choice, as fog and cloud within the marine layer often obscured the beam for ocean-going vessels.

On March 23, 1891, the lighthouse ceased to be used for its original purpose, as a new lighthouse was built nearer sea level on the same southern point. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is now partially open to the public and has been refurbished to its historic 1880’s interior. It is located within the Cabrillo National Monument, named after Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the first European explorer to see San Diego Bay.













Stairs going up







Catch Basin to catch rain






Whale back bone



Some Submarines just past the buildings









Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery is situated in the city of San Diego, California, on the Fort Rosecrans Military Reservation. The cemetery is located approximately 10 miles west of downtown San Diego, overlooking the bay and the city. Fort Rosecrans is named after William Starke Rosecrans, a Union general in the American Civil War.




No comments: