History of Encinitas
Encinitas California sits on the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. To the north of Encinitas there is Batiquitos Lagoon and the San Elijo Lagoon to the south. First people living in the area of today Encinitas Ca were Indians called San Dieguitos, the La Jollans, and the Dieguenos. Diegueno’s group were mission converts and they wanted to build the Spanish Missions. In the year 1669 Governor of Baja California, Gaspar de Portola, was traveling throughout the San Diego and Monterey in California area. His plan was to build so called presidios, where the population could learn and attend religious service. The expedition was traveling through City of Encinitas and Gaspar de Portola named the area of Encinitas for the small oak tree. He named the Encinitas area Encina Canada, that mean in Spanish “Hills of live oaks”.
Encinitas was governed after the year 1800 by Mexico and the Mexican government issued land grants to ranchers who would be willing to be under Mexico’s rule.
In 1881, Jabez Pitcher came to Encinitas and many people consider him to be the father of the town. Pitcher came to San Diego and filed a claim for 160 acres on a mesa near the railroad tracks where the today Encinitas Civic Center is now located. In the year 1870, north of the railroad tracks, English spiritualists named their settlement Leucadia. The name means “Isle of Paradise” or “Place of Shelter” and is based upon Greek Island The five-acre tracts were named after Greek gods and myths.
The modern history of “Cardiff” started in the year 1875 when the McKinnon family populated the north shore of the San Elijo Lagoon. In the year 1909, J. Frank Cullen bought a big part in San Elijo, had it surveyed, and established streets and lots. He named his town in 1914, and called it “Cardiff-by-the-Sea,” after Cardiff, Wales, the part of United Kingdom. The “Olivenhain” portion of Encinitas was established as a community in 1884 by a small group of immigrants that came from Germany. The old Olivenhain Meeting Hall is still used today for social events and meetings.
The City of Encinitas California was founded around 100 years ago and today consists of five communities that take pride in their own distinct personalities. “Historic Encinitas” occupies the Highway 101 Corridor that parallels the beautiful beaches and ocean. “New Encinitas” centers on El Camino Real. “Cardiff-by-the-Sea” is made up of quaint homes dotting the hillsides overlooking the sea. “Leucadia” is famous for its giant eucalyptus trees that line the main thoroughfare on the Coast Highway. “Olivenhain” (which means “olive grove” in German) boasts plenty of open horse country, pastures, and a rural way of life.
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