What was once acres of farms, an Inn, a trolley station, fishing grounds, and an anti-aircraft gunnery school, is now an upscale, family-friendly community with boutique shops, favorite surf spots, and best of all - the place we call home.
A Brief History
The original residents of Bird Rock were Native Americans who arrived in the area 7,000 to 10,000 years ago. In 1870, the Native Americans were separated from the coastline when "Indian Reservations" were established in San Diego County. Native American burial sites have been unearthed around Bird Rock.
In the early 1900s, the M. Hall Company started buying up large tracts of land in what is today Bird Rock and recorded the subdivision as "Bird Rock - City By The Sea" Premium lots near the ocean went for about $1200 in 1923, while lots on the east side of La Jolla Boulevard went for $450 ($550 for corner lots).
Bird Rock's pre-WWII history is significant in its initial development and connection to surrounding areas. In the early 1900s, Bird Rock was the home to many Japanese farmers, a large portion of the population that tended to the expansive strawberry, lavender and vegetable fields down through to Pacific Beach. Sadly, this chapter ended with their internment after the start of the war, and the area's landscape and industry began to change.
The town grew after World War II, and saw the development of post-war single-level homes on generous lots that were originally developed for working families in the area. A few of these La Jolla homes
remain, sprinkled throughout the neighborhood, lovingly cared for in their original condition. General Dynamics employees, naval officers as well as owners of the shops, restaurants, and employees of businesses in La Jolla made up the close-knit community.
Although modest, Bird Rock wasn't always so quiet. La Jolla Boulevard was once a part of the Pacific Coast Highway. Coast Highway was the only paved north/south road between Mexico and Los Angeles (the Rose Canyon route wasn’t paved until the 1930s, and I-5 wasn't constructed until 1947). Any vehicle being driven between these areas would have passed along the west side of the block.
1920's - San Carlos Electric Railway Station Present Day - La Jolla Methodist Church
1924 - Trolley service began from downtown San Diego to downtown La Jolla, with a stop in Bird Rock
. Service ended in 1940. La Jolla Hermosa used to be named Electric Ave, and the rail ran along this road and along what is now the La Jolla Bike Path. You can still see portions of the old track along the road and sidewalk today, and it is nearly twice the width of other surrounding streets. The noisy trolleys on the east side of the block ran every half-hour in each direction and the electric railway also hauled freight. The San Carlos Streetcar Station at Lower Hermosa was in operation until 1940, when the railway closed. It is now the La Jolla Methodist Church
Charles Lindbergh supposedly ate his last meal at his favorite seafood restaurant, Bird Rock Inn, before departing for his famous transatlantic flight. Lindbergh, who the San Diego Airport is named, is recognized for completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The restaurant had been built from stones collected from the shores, and is now a private waterfront residence.
Bird Rock Coastal Defense and Anti-Aircraft Training Center
GunPoint was the site of the Bird Rock Coastal Defense and Anti-Aircraft Training Center during the early 1940's. Students of the academy were sent to GunPoint for live fire practice along the top of the cliffs. This area is now known as "False Point" and is one of the few surf access points through the residential community.
Bird Rock Elementary
Due to population boom, Bird Rock Elementary opens in 1951-52
When the war was over, Bird Rock
experienced a population boom. Always a wonderful place to raise children, the neighborhood grew significantly enough to open its own elementary school in 1951. Today, the neighborhood houses about 1,500 families and Bird Rock Elementary
has approximately 450 students.