This piece is from SD HistCon founder Harold Buchanan. This looks at the history of Point Loma, home to this week’s SDHistCon Summit 2023. (See also Harold’s series on San Diego in WWII here, here, here, here, here, and here, and for those attending SDHistCon, a list of historic places and game stores in the San Diego area is here.)
Harold is an award-winning designer whose designs include Liberty or Death (2016), Campaigns of 1777 (2019), and Flashpoint: South China Sea (2022). He has been a historical gamer since 1979. Harold is an Adjunct Professor of Finance at The University of California San Diego. You can follow him on Twitter here.
Point Loma is a prominent geographical feature and neighborhood in San Diego, California. Its history is both rich and varied, and it has played a significant role in the development of San Diego and Southern California as a whole. The top image is a postcard of Shelter Island and San Diego Bay as seen from Point Loma, postmarked June 16, 1972, via Mike Roberts on Wikipedia. Here’s an overview of the history of Point Loma.
Native American Inhabitants:
Before the arrival of European explorers, the Kumeyaay people inhabited the San Diego area, including Point Loma. They lived in the region for thousands of years and had a sophisticated culture and society.
In 1542, the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, sailing under the flag of Spain, landed at San Diego Bay. He is said to have anchored his ship, the San Salvador, near Point Loma. This was the first European expedition to the west coast of what would become the United States.
After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, the lands of California, including Point Loma, became Mexican territory. During this period, large land grants were given out, and ranching became a primary industry.
After the Mexican-American War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 ceded California and other territories to the United States. Point Loma and the rest of San Diego became part of the U.S.
Point Loma’s strategic location overlooking the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay made it an essential military outpost. Over the years, various military installations, including Fort Rosecrans and the Point Loma Naval Base, were established.
The Theosophical Society:
In the early 20th century, Katherine Tingley established the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society on Point Loma. The society built the Lomaland community, which included schools, gardens, and a theater. The site is now home to Point Loma Nazarene University.
Cabrillo National Monument:
In 1913, the area at the southern tip of Point Loma was designated as Cabrillo National Monument, commemorating Cabrillo’s landing in 1542. The monument offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, San Diego Bay, and the city of San Diego.
Today, Point Loma is known for its beautiful homes, marinas, and recreational facilities. It’s a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, offering various attractions, including the Cabrillo National Monument, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, and Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.
You can contact Harold via Twitter here.