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J WALK
Jacqueline Winterer | Ocean View Avenue and Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive

 

Sandpiper Archives

On Sunday November 9 a guided history walk along the south bank of the River from Jimmy Durante Blvd to the “Old Grand Avenue Bridge” was led by Jaccqueline Winterer of the Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley. Starting at the Public Works site, the group, 12 or so to begin with, could look across to the bluffs above North Beach where Del Mar Man was discovered in 1929. The remains, including a fine skull, were most recently dated as 4900 years old. (Each scientific test since Jeffrey Bada’s sensational finding in 1974 of 48,000 years, has brought him closer to us.) Old pictures from the San Diego Historical Society documented the bridge that used to cross the river from the Public Works site to the Fairgrounds and the abortive golf course. By the entrance to the Public Works site tracks were visible, remains of a railroad triangle that included the spur that once served to ship out the sugar beet crop brought across the river by barge from Solana Beach. The future extension of the Del Mar River Path will begin from a new Del Mar City parking lot, on the NCTD site of the old recycling center, and the group went from there to view the old pilings of a loading dock. Finally at the “Old Grand Avenue Bridge” they saw photos of the old airport.

Del Mar Airport 1927. Courtesy Del Mar Historical Society.
Click on image to enlarge.

 

The tour was instigated by Leana Bulay, Interpetive Ranger of the San Dieguito River Park and will be repeated soon, possibly in January. It was enhanced by the participation of two members of the Solana Beach Historical Society, Richard Moore
Del Mar Loading Dock 1915.
Courtesy Del Mar Historical Society
.Click on image to enlarge.
and James Nelson. Moore later supplied a link to a map showing the location ofthe true former Grand Avenue (now Jimmy Durante) Bridge. Howard Chang and Hamy Elwany, hydrologist and water quality expert in the great Wetlands Restoration were there too. Chang contributed much, including the story of the rain-maker Charles Mallory Hatfield, hired by the City of San Diego in 1915 in a period of drought. When the rain came, starting Jan. 6, 1916, it was the last time we had a 100-year flood. The City refused to pay the promised fee of $10,000 so as to avoid claims of legal liability for flood damage. Be careful what you p[r]ay for.


Addendum: The November Sandpiper (p. 15, “What’s Your Viewpoint?”) announced a planned City Council vote on Dec. 1 to change the name of the (Old) Grand Avenue Bridge to Del Mar River Path Pier. But Jacqueline Winterer came to the Nov. 19 meeting of the (soon to be renamed) Lagoon [Preservation] Committee with a petition signed by 24 concerned citizens opposing the renaming, and the item has been removed from the agenda.

Snippet of an early map (ca. 1940?) shows that that Grand Ave was not only what became Jimmy Durante Blvd but mainly what is now Camino Del Mar. www.historicmapworks.com.
Click on image to enlarge.

 

 

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