5 Things You Didn’t Know About Point Loma History

San Diego, California at the Old Loma Point Lighthouse.
San Diego, California at the Old Loma Point Lighthouse.

Not many people take the time to learn about the town they are living in, which is a shame because there are some really interesting facts about Point Loma history that many people don’t know. To learn just five of these interesting facts, read this article!


We all know something about American history. We learn it in school and then hopefully remember some of it on the 4th of July as we celebrate our independence.


We even learn about our state’s history. Most Californian’s are well aware that the gold rush is what inspired many new settlers to relocate.


But not many of us bother to learn anything about the town or city we reside in. Which is sort of a shame because often it’s history is just as fascinating as our state and/or country’s history.


That all changes today. Keep reading to learn five things you probably never knew about Point Loma 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. Then there are the tidepools Point Loma is famous for.


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 Then Stay Forever


You may find that you love Point Loma history so much that you want to stay forever. It’s a great community with stunning views, good food, and friendly people.


You’ll probably find our lifestyle fits you like a glove. Learn more about living in Point Loma from the experts at Yarbrough Group.

Houses on the water front in Point Loma

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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