This week in La Jolla history...
Published - 03/08/12 - 02:34 PM | 5021 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
La Jolla in 1903, looking toward Torrey Pines Road and Prospect. -Courtesy of the La Jolla Historical Society
La Jolla in 1903, looking toward Torrey Pines Road and Prospect. -Courtesy of the La Jolla Historical Society

From Linda Pequegnat’s book, “This Day in San Diego History,” available at Warwick’s and at

March 9, 1882

An ad appeared in the San Diego newspaper:

“La Jolla for sale: This famous resort, with nearly 400 acres of land, and all the caves, is offered for sale at such a price that the buyer can realize a great profit by a little judicious outlay in such improvements that will attract the public. The owner resides East and wishes to dispose of it soon.”

The owner was Charles E. Dean who had bought the 400 acres known as La Jolla Park some 11 years earlier in January 1871.

The La Jolla area was first mapped as a part of the San Diego pueblo in an 1845 survey of San Diego County. It was located in the far northwestern corner of the pueblo and contained 60 lots. Only a portion of those lots (three) were included in the 400 acres of La Jolla Park that Charles Dean owned.

But Dean never developed La Jolla, although it is thought that he might have built a shack there and dug a well for water that contained only salt water.

After owning La Jolla Park for 13 years, Dean finally sold it in June 1884 to William Armstrong, who then sold it to Charles H. MacArthur in January 1886. Two months later, in March 1886, La Jolla was purchased by F.T. Botsford, later known as the “Father of La Jolla.” Botsford wrote in his diary on that March 1886 day, “Bought La Jolla!”

Botsford and his partner, George Heald, subdivided the land and sold the La Jolla Park lots at a big auction in 1887.

Correction: In last week’s “This week in La Jolla History...,” it was reported that Spencer Wilson, manager of the Cove Theatre, came to La Jolla in 1933. In fact, Wilson graduated from La Jolla High School in 1931. He came to the community much earlier.
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