Carlsbad history at St. Michael’s By-the-Sea.

The fascinating history of Carlsbad includes its very first church, St. Michael’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, built in 1894.

St. Michael’s By-the-Sea is located on Carlsbad Boulevard at Christiansen Way, a block south of Magee Park.

During a recent adventure in San Diego’s North County, I walked around the church’s original structure, which stands by several other later buildings.

I paused to read this plaque…

The first church built in Carlsbad was St. Michael’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church. Originally erected in 1894 overlooking the ocean on Oak Avenue, the quaint Gothic structure was moved to its current site in 1959 when Florence Shipley Magee donated an adjacent site for a new church.

Original redwood paneling, oak pews, and a Victorian pump organ are all still in good condition. The only alterations are a new entry, replacing one which led directly into the choir area at the front of the chapel, and a new heating and air conditioning system.

Far from being a relic of the past, the chapel is used for regular Sunday and weekday services as well as for weddings and funerals.

PLAQUE COURTESY OF THE CARLSBAD HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

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History inside Carlsbad’s Shipley-Magee House.

The 1887 Shipley-Magee House, home of the Carlsbad Historical Society, contains a museum that history lovers must visit. I walked through its doors earlier this year to discover a treasure trove of artifacts, documents and old photographs from Carlsbad’s earliest days.

The rooms of this historical Craftsman-style house are not only filled with fascinating exhibits, but with furnishings that represent how life must have been like for many in the late 19th century.

Enjoy the following photographs. Better yet, go visit yourself!

The Carlsbad Historical Society’s website is here, with the hours and location of the Shipley-Magee House and its museum.

The society’s website contains pages and pages detailing Carlsbad’s history: from the first settlers, to the construction of the Magee House by Samuel Church Smith (one of the founders of the Carlsbad Land and Water Company), to the layout of downtown Carlsbad in 1925.

If you’d like to see photos of Magee Park, where the house is located, along with several other historic structures and a beautiful rose garden, you can check out an old blog post here.

You can also enjoy photographs of several historical buildings in Carlsbad here, and for more on Carlsbad’s famous Twin Inns, click here and here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Celebrities, giant chickens, and history in Carlsbad!

Did you know the historic 1914 Twin Inns restaurant in Carlsbad hosted a variety of celebrities over the years? (Including Groucho Marx, who took the occasion to promote his latest movie Duck Soup.)

Did you know the restaurant’s big plaster chickens along Highway 101 were featured in National Geographic Magazine?

Did you know the first Carlsbad City Council meeting took place underneath the restaurant where a teen hot rod club met?

Did you know the Twin Inns provided take out chicken dinners that were packed inside a hollow loaf of bread?

I learned all this and more during a visit to the Carlsbad Historical Society‘s museum, which occupies the old Shipley-Magee House at 258 Beech Avenue.

Walking through rooms filled with fascinating exhibits, I discovered several displays that celebrate and remember Carlsbad’s famous Victorian restaurant.

Should you visit the museum, you’ll find a glass display case that contains an elegant Twin Inns guest register. And examples of the Blue Willow pattern china that diners might remember. And you’ll see old photos of the architecturally amazing building and some very beautiful artwork.

Photographs I’ve taken of Carlsbad’s landmark Twin Inns building can be found here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

History and beauty at Magee Park in Carlsbad.

Magee Park in Carlsbad is a special place where both history and beauty thrive.

I enjoyed a walk through the park recently, pausing frequently to admire its several historical structures.

Everywhere I walked, it seemed, beds of roses greeted me. Magee Park’s rose garden is so beautiful and extensive that the American Rose Society called Carlsbad “An American Rose City” in 2002.

The centerpiece of the park is the 1887 Magee House, a handsome Craftsman-style house built by Samuel Church Smith, one of the founders of Carlsbad Land and Water Company. Today it is home to the Carlsbad Historical Society and their museum. Unfortunately, the museum was closed when I walked past. Read more about the Magee House’s history here.

Other historic structures in Magee Park include the Shipley-Magee Barn, Heritage Hall, the Twin Inns Granary and the Twin Inns Gazebo.

During my meandering walk, I photographed many of the informative signs and plaques that I came upon.

During Carlsbad’s agricultural past a variety of barn styles were constructed.
The barn at Magee Historical Park is the oldest Carlsbad barn in existence. This sign on the barn’s side details its history, and tells a little about the life of Florence Shipley and her husband Hugh Magee.
Vast areas of present day Carlsbad were once used to raise cattle and horses.
Heritage Hall in Carlsbad, California.

HERITAGE HALL

HERITAGE HALL WAS BUILT IN 1926 AS THE ORIGINAL SANCTUARY OF ST. PATRICK’S CATHOLIC CHURCH. IN 1952 IT BECAME CARLSBAD’S FIRST CITY HALL AND POLICE STATION; IN THE 1960’S THE FIRST LIBRARY, THE FIRST CHILDREN’S LIBRARY AND LATER A BALLET STUDIO. IN 1979 THE HALL WAS MOVED TO ITS PRESENT SITE WITH THE HELP OF FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY, THE CARLSBAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY, AND VOLUNTEERS. IT IS NOW A COMMUNITY MEETING HALL.

The Twin Inns Granary.

THE TWIN INNS GRANARY

ORIGINALLY BUILT BY EDDIE KENTNER, PROPRIETOR OF THE WORLD FAMOUS CARLSBAD TWIN INNS, THIS GRANARY WAS DONATED TO THE CITY OF CARLSBAD BY NEIMAN’S VILLAGE FAIRE AND MOVED TO MAGEE PARK IN 1985. IT WAS RESTORED THROUGH THE GENEROUS ASSISTANCE OF THE CARLSBAD EVENING ROTARY CLUB.

Now I’ve begun to walk around the Magee House…

A time capsule in front of the Magee House placed by the Carlsbad Historical Society. It will be opened July 4, 2076, our nation’s Tricentennial.
Roses by the Magee House’s welcoming veranda.
Circular patio with birdbath beside the Magee House. More roses.
The old Twin Inns Gazebo nearby.
Continuing my walk around the Magee House.

As I walked through wide, grassy Magee Park, I noticed it has several trees with dedication plaques.

I found three of them…

25 years of friendship with sister city Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.
In loving memory of Doris A. Gordon.
Mary Jane Joseph. Proud resident of Carlsbad.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Quiet beauty at Maxton Brown Park in Carlsbad.

A small but very beautiful public park can be enjoyed in Carlsbad at the corner of Laguna Drive and State Street.

Maxton Brown Park is a quiet place. One can sit on a bench to read a book or gaze out at Buena Vista Lagoon.

During my recent walk in Carlsbad I rested on one bench that had a view of the lagoon. It was very peaceful.

I then briefly explored the park and found several memorial plaques that honor loved ones.

Here are a few photos…

The above plaque overlooking the lagoon reads:

LT. MAXTON BROWN PARK

515th SQDN

MARCH 5, 1915 – JULY 8, 1943

BUENA VISTA LAGOON CONSERVATOR

AMERICAN LEGION POST 146 MARCH 5, 1976

I did a little searching on the internet and learned that during World War II, on July 8, 1943, 2nd Lieutenant Maxton Brown of Carlsbad was downed over Sicily. He flew with the 515th Bomb Squadron.

The Buena Vista Lagoon is home of the Maxton Brown Bird Sanctuary. According to this page of the Carlsbad Historical Society, prior to the war Maxton “spent many hours at the lagoon sighting and recording over 150 species of birds.”

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos of Carlsbad’s grand, historic Twin Inns.

Several impressive landmark buildings can be observed during a visit to Carlsbad.

Perhaps the most prominent landmark stands at the corner of Carlsbad Boulevard (the local stretch of old Highway 101) and Carlsbad Village Drive. It’s called the Twin Inns. Look for the big blue Victorian building next to the Carlsbad gateway sign.

Approach the Twin Inns and you’ll not only be impressed by its grand architecture, but you’ll have the opportunity to view an informative plaque that relates a good deal of fascinating history.

The plaque by the front steps reads:

TWIN INNS

This Victorian structure was built in 1887 for Gerhard Schutte, whose role in the development of the town led to his being called the “Father of Carlsbad.” Schutte and partners Samuel Church Smith and D.D. Wadsworth founded the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company and had as their vision “a town of small farms and gracious homes.” To that end they bought 400 prime acres at $40 per acre for development as a community. They laid out a townsite, lined roads with eucalyptus seedlings, and named the streets. This property was converted to the Twin Inns Restaurant circa 1917 by Whiting and Reed and was purchased by Ed and Neva Kentner in 1919. It was named the Twin Inns since the building was identical to the nearby Wadsworth home, also used as an inn. The building was extensively remodeled with a large octagonal dining room added in 1922. The Twin Inns was a popular summer dining area frequented by many of the Hollywood set after a day at the races and later figured prominently in Carlsbad’s history serving as the site of the first City Council meeting and deliberations on the city’s incorporation. The building was also famous for its fried chicken dinners, which were promoted by large plaster chickens out front. After 60 years as a family business, the Twin Inns was sold in 1984 and became part of the Village Faire Shopping Center.

COURTESY OF THE CARLSBAD HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION

On either side of the steps you’ll find two decorative signs…

The Twin Inns – Famous Chicken Dinners
Built by Alonzo Culver for Gerhard Schutte in 1887.
The north side of the Twin Inns.
The south side of the Twin Inns. You can see a sign for one small business that presently occupies the building, Sun Diego Boardshop.
The southeast corner of the Twin Inns. This part of the historic building is now used by Pedego Electric Bikes.

I was told by a friendly employee of Pedego Electric Bikes that the above door, on the building’s east side, used to be an entrance to a speakeasy back during Prohibition!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

The mysterious Coastal Helix sculpture in Carlsbad!

Have you ever wondered about that mysterious shining sculpture in the traffic roundabout at the north end of Carlsbad? You know, where Carlsbad Boulevard meets State Street, just south of the Buena Vista Lagoon?

The fantastic sculpture is titled Coastal Helix. It was created by California artist Roger White Stoller in 2014. Learn more about him here.

As you drive past the silvery flame-like public artwork, watching for merging traffic, you can’t fully appreciate it.

During my walk up the Coast Highway last weekend in Carlsbad I approached Coastal Helix and took a variety of photos. You can see how small stories appear to be told in the metalwork. One sees birds, frogs, surfers, and many other lively elements all mixed together.

According to the artist’s description here: “A celebration of the Pacific Ocean and coastal lagoons, the stainless pattern incorporates abstracted imagery of local flora and fauna: a whale, pelican, heron, crab, bird-of-paradise, waves and many more elements can be discovered. Gateway to the city, it stands atop artisan boulders built by Boulderscape and designed to replicate the local sandstone cliffs…”

These coastal inhabitants all seem to have spiraled upward mysteriously from the rocks upon which the sculpture is perched.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Art-filled walks in San Diego’s North County!

This year I’ve walked quite a bit in San Diego’s North County. Many of those journeys filled my eyes with wonderful art.

I’ve amassed so many photos over the years, I’ve decided to list the following links. They take you to blog posts concerning a variety of art-filled walks in North County. (No, there’s no listing for San Marcos or Rancho Bernardo. I’m sure there’s cool art in those places which I’ll discover in the future!)

Are you ready for some fun?

Click the following links to see cool murals, street art, sculptures . . . and one world-famous installation by a major international artist that is tucked away in a place few visit. What am I talking about? I’m afraid you’ll have to do a little exploring! (Hint: it’s magical.)

The following links include hundreds of photos!

Carlsbad

Cool street art throughout Carlsbad Village!

Faces painted with words of confusion, revelation.

Del Mar

Del Mar’s sculpted Journey and A River of Time.

Amazing mosaic wall at the Del Mar Library!

Breeders’ Cup horses race on a Del Mar street!

An amazing Sunset Seat on the cliffs of Del Mar.

Encinitas

Photos of cool Sea Walls mural in Encinitas.

Cool pics from a wonderful walk around Encinitas.

Fun tile mosaic art on Encinitas sidewalk!

The miracle of the Surfing Madonna.

Amazing walk from Swami’s to the Cardiff Kook.

Escondido

Happy art and the Escondido Students’ Tile Mural.

Colorful art in Escondido celebrates nature!

Unusual public art at Escondido Transit Center.

Beautiful public art near Escondido City Hall.

Public art in Escondido: two female bronzes.

Carving stone and the Blue Granite Shift.

Star Streams at the Center for the Arts.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s Grande Step Totem.

Photos of Queen Califia’s Magical Circle!

The gigantic bronze leaves of Kit Carson Park.

Leucadia

Murals in Leucadia along Coast Highway 101.

A colorful walk through nerdy, artsy Leucadia.

Oceanside

Sculptures near the Oceanside train underpass.

Flying pigs and other cool Oceanside murals!

The cool Cruisin’ carhop mural at 101 Cafe!

Poway

The Pioneers sculpture at Old Poway Park.

Photos of Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway.

Solana Beach

A walk down Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail.

Sea life mosaics at Solana Beach bus station!

Cool mural overlooks Solana Beach train tracks!

Cool art and history in Solana Beach.

Sea-themed mosaics at Fletcher Cove and Overlook Park.

Vista

Amazing sculptures around downtown Vista!

Wild Horses run through Vista Village!

Murals in and around Alley Art Man Way!

Letters Home: A fallen soldier and a memorial.

Love Locks many hearts together, forever.

Stained glass panels beautify Paseo Santa Fe!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Beauty and history in Carlsbad Village.

Photo of the beautiful old Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad Village. Built in 1887, it is one of the few pre-1900 stations left in the country.
Photo of the beautiful old Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad Village. Built in 1887, it is one of the few pre-1900 stations left in the country.

Last weekend I walked around Carlsbad Village. After taking photos of several historic buildings, I strolled for a bit along the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Did you know Carlsbad is named after Karlsbad in Bohemia? That’s because Carlsbad was founded after mineral springs were discovered not far from the beach in the late 19th century. The water was said to be identical in taste and chemical content to the famous healing waters in Karlsbad.

Because my walk was meandering and random, I didn’t see or photograph all of the historic buildings in Carlsbad Village. But I did learn quite a bit about this beautiful coastal community!

To learn more about Carlsbad Village, which is the downtown part of Carlsbad in north San Diego County, please read my photo captions.

Train tracks pass the Santa Fe Depot. The modern Carlsbad Village Station is located one block to the north.
Active train tracks pass the historic Santa Fe Depot. (The modern Carlsbad Village Station is located one block to the north.)

The restored Santa Fe Depot is now the home of Carlsbad's Convention and Visitors Bureau, where tourists can obtain local information.
The restored Santa Fe Depot is now the home of Carlsbad’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, where tourists can obtain local information.

The Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad also served as telegraph, Wells Fargo, Post Office and general store. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad also served as telegraph station, Wells Fargo, Post Office and General Store. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A look inside Carlsbad's historic Santa Fe Depot, now a tourist information center. (Photo taken shortly before Christmas.)
A look inside Carlsbad’s historic Santa Fe Depot, now a tourist information center. (Photo taken shortly before Christmas.)

A vintage wood stove in the depot.
A vintage wood stove in the depot.

A board on the wall shows arrival times for Amtrak and the Coaster. The active Carlsbad Village train station is one block north.
A board on the wall shows arrival times for Amtrak and the Coaster. The modern Carlsbad Village train station is located one block north.

Photo of the grand Twin Inns building beyond the landmark Carlsbad sign on Carlsbad Boulevard, which is a segment of Historic Route 101.
Photo of the grand Twin Inns building beyond the landmark Carlsbad sign on Carlsbad Boulevard, which is a segment of Historic Route 101.

Twin Inns is a Victorian structure built in 1887 by Gerhard Schutte, the Father of Carlsbad, co-founder of the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company.
Twin Inns is a Victorian structure built in 1887 by Gerhard Schutte, the Father of Carlsbad, co-founder of the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company.

Alt Karlsbad, built in 1964, recreating a 12th century structure. Today it is a spa and bottling plant for its famous mineral water.
Alt Karlsbad, built in 1964, recreating a 12th century structure. Today it is a spa and bottling plant for its famous mineral water.

Statue of Captain John A. Frazier, created by sculptor Vaclav Lokvenc, of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) in the Czech Republic, sister city of Carlsbad.
Statue of Captain John A. Frazier, created by sculptor Vaclav Lokvenc, of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) in the Czech Republic, sister city of Carlsbad.

Captain John A. Frazier discovered artesian springs with mineral water on his farm in 1882. He built a hotel and spa and was co-founder of the city of Carlsbad.
Captain John A. Frazier discovered artesian springs with mineral water on his farm in 1882. He built a hotel and spa and was co-founder of the city of Carlsbad.

Someone performs a handstand in a grassy park that overlooks the beach in Carlsbad Village.
Someone performs a handstand in a grassy park that overlooks the beach at Carlsbad Village.

A view of nearby coastal scenery.
A view of nearby coastal scenery.

Sign above Carlsbad's beach bluff, describing its animals and plants, unique habitat and the cycle of life.
Sign above Carlsbad’s beach bluff, describing its animals and plants, unique habitat and the cycle of life.

A beautiful photo of Carlsbad State Beach near Carlsbad Village.
A beautiful photo of Carlsbad State Beach near Carlsbad Village.

UPDATE!

Here are more photos of Alt Karlsbad and its mineral water dispensing hut that I took during a later walk…

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I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Cool street art throughout Carlsbad Village!

This weekend I took a long random walk through Carlsbad Village to see what I might see. And I discovered lots of super cool street art!

Carlsbad Village is the downtown part of Carlsbad, situated right near the Pacific Ocean. As you might imagine, many of the images depicted in the street art are of surfing, the beach, sea life, and the laid-back Southern California lifestyle.

My feet turned corners randomly, so these photos aren’t in any particular order. Because my thoughts were far away at the time, I’m afraid I didn’t gather a whole lot of information concerning all this artwork. But you can see artist signatures on a few of the murals.

Which do you like? I think my favorites are the surfing Mario and the two tigers under colorful dripping paint!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!