5 Things You Didn’t Know About Point Loma History



Not many people take the time to learn the history of the town they are visiting – or even living in!


The truth is, Point Loma has a rich history that many people don’t know about. Even the name “Point Loma” has historical significance, not to mention the naval base and the lighthouses.


Keep reading to discover 5 new facts that you probably didn’t know about Point Loma’s history!


Point Loma History Name


Point Loma was discovered on September 28, 1542, when a Portuguese navigator named Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo left Mexico to lead an expedition to explore the west coast in the name of the Spanish crown.


Cabrillo described San Diego’s bay as a “very good enclosed port”. His expedition was the first time anyone from Europe had landed in the area. As a result, many people consider Point Loma to be the place where modern-day California began.


Point Loma’s original name was “La Punta de la Loma de San Diego” which translates to Hill Point of San Diego.


Point Loma University


Point Loma Nazarene University was founded on July 29, 1902, with 41 co-ed students and $4,000 worth of pledges. It’s founder, Dr. Phineas F. Bresee was responding to what he felt was a growing need for a Christian college in the Los Angeles area.


His dream was to found a liberal arts institution. While it began in Pasadena, the university was moved to Point Loma in 1973.


Point Loma Beach


It’s worth heading to a Point Loma beach because of its stunning views of the ships, ocean, and sunsets. While you’re there, make sure to check out the famous Point Loma tidepools, which teem with marine life and make for a fun and educational beach day!


Come in the fall and winter when low tide is during the day. You’ll be able to spot amazing marine animals such as anemones, sea hares, sea stars, and urchins.


Point Loma Naval Base


Since 1852, the military has been an important part of Point Loma history but the U.S. significantly made its presence known in 1901 when it established the Navy Coaling Station here.


In 1923, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot was commissioned and the San Diego Naval Training Center set up shop in 1923. The training center closed in 1997.


During World War II, the southern part of Point Loma’s peninsula was closed to the public for military purposes. Today, there are now Navy commands, a submarine base, and a Naval Electronics Laboratory which are all now part of Naval Base Point Loma.


Point Loma Lighthouse


While Point Loma isn’t a huge city, there are still two lighthouses. And for good reason.


The first Point Loma lighthouse was built in 1851, a year after California entered the Union. On November 15, 1855, its keeper lit the oil lamp for the first time to guide ships safely into the harbor.


The problem was that fog and low clouds often obscured its light from the sailors it was trying to help. For that reason, on March 23, 1891, the keeper extinguished the lamp and moved his family to the new lighthouse at the bottom of the hill about 100 yards south of the original lighthouse.


Come for a Visit, Stay Forever


You may find that you love the atmosphere and the rich history of Point Loma so much that you want to stay forever. If that’s you – you’re not alone! Point Loma has a lot to admire with it’s a great community, stunning views, good food, and friendly people.


You’ll probably find our lifestyle fits you like a glove. Want to learn more about living in Point Loma? Check out some of our available properties!


View Our Point Loma Properties


The Yarbrough Group is the top-producing real estate team within Pacific Sotheby’s in Point Loma, and our specialty is helping people buy and sell property in Point Loma, Liberty Station, and Ocean Beach.


CONTACT US today for all our Point Loma and Liberty Station Real Estate needs! 


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