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La Jolla’s Historic Beach Cottages

Mar 10, 2015

Imagine renting a La Jolla beach cottage for $9 a month – the cost of a Starbucks run. Prior to paved streets, running water and elegant hotels, La Jolla was a town full of beach cottages that clung to the cliffs and nestled in the canyons.

At the turn of the century, Walter Lieber wrote “I arrived in La Jolla April 3, 1904. The town then had about a hundred cottages. I rented a cottage at nine dollars a month from Mrs. Mills. La Jolla had cow paths in lieu of streets, and candle lanterns to lead one along the cow paths at night.”

Just before the great depression and the Second World War there was an estimated 450 cottages. Mostly of the cottages were craftsman style, single wall construction with a porch and wide windows.

(content courtesy of the La Jolla Historical Society)

But not all of them looked the same. There were Victorian Designs, clustered bungalows and Asian motifs. Since there were no streets or street numbers to navigate, the cottages had clever names like Bumble Bee, Dew Drop Inn, Fire Fly,  Green Dragon, Honey Bug, Jack O’Lantern, Orioles Nest, Periwinkle, Red Raven, Tarry-a-while, Tuck Away and Witching Waters

Locals and tourists alike know the view of the cove from the Brockton Villa restaurant is to die for.  But not everyone knows that it’s an historical landmark built in the 1890’s as a beach retreat by Joseph Rodes.  To check out the Brockton Villa and other historical cottages you can go on a self guided driving tour set up by the La Jolla Historical Society.

If you want to drive by these sites here is the map you can follow. Or go on the Historical Society’s website

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