La Jolla has a fascinating and colorful history. The lands that are known as La Jolla today were incorporated into San Diego County in 1850; in the 1890s, the railroad was extended all the way into the Village, enabling the small suburb to grow. Around this time, real estate developers began to take an interest in the coastal portions of La Jolla, constructing resorts to attract visitors from downtown San Diego.
It was during these years that La Jolla’s dedication to the arts and sciences was born. One of La Jolla’s residents, Miss Anna Held, established her famous “Green Dragon Colony” in 1894, where she allowed painters, writers, and other artists to live and work for free. The Scripps Research Institute’s first building was erected in 1909, and La Jolla’s very first newspaper (known as The La Jolla Breakers) was founded in 1906. By the 1930s, La Jolla’s luxurious resorts and stunning vistas was beginning to attract some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Initially, celebrities came to La Jolla for rest and rejuvenation, but by the ‘40s and ‘50s, some of them vegan creating and producing their own plays at The Summer Playhouse – the world-renowned theater we know today as the La Jolla Playhouse.
Today, La Jolla boasts a population of more than 38,000, and continues to host renowned research institutions, beautiful beaches, distinguished art galleries, and world-class restaurants. Though we may not fully know the origin of the name of our coastal town (some say La Jolla means ‘the jewel,’ while others believe the name comes from the Kumeyaay, when they inhabited the land and called it ‘the land of holes’), we do know that it’s one of the most beautiful places in all of California.
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