January 9, 2004


Working together in Del Mar to produce history

By Lynn Gaylord

In the early fall of 2003, the television studio and the historical society approached the Del Mar Foundation about an idea to do an educational video on the history of Del Mar. The project would be unique in that it would be written and performed by children in Del Mar who were in the third grade. Here is a little background:

Two or three years ago our state legislature passed a bill requiring that part of the curriculum for students in the third grade was to learn about their community. Since that time, hundreds of third graders have been led through downtown Del Mar by volunteers like Don Terwilliger, who is both an historical society member and member of our Foundation board. "This is a great age to catch young people. They are so inquisitive. They ask good questions and they are so eager to learn. It is a complete delight to have this opportunity to share our wonderful history," says Don.

The tour traditionally covers the Powerhouse which was built in 1927 and generated heat for hot water to serve the Stratford Inn. The Inn was replaced by the Hotel Del Mar and was eventually replaced by the Inn at L'Auberge. The Powerhouse is now our Community Center and adorned with wonderful old pictures from this early time in our history.

This year the tour included for the first time a stop at the Fairgrounds to see the old Alverado house which was originally located on 10th Street and built around 1885. This precious piece of history is open during the Fair for all in the county to come and take a peek. If you have never seen it, it is a must. Every year the historical society changes the photographs there with a different theme from Del Mar's past.

Also on the tour is the Del Mar Train Depot which was built in 1910 by Henry Huntington, the Del Mar Library which was the original St. James Church built about 1912, and the Stratford Square Building which use to house a food market, doctor's office, drug store, barber shop, and a restaurant. A final stop at the Stratford Court Café which was built around 1915, was a huge hit this year when Steve and Lisa Lutz gave smoothies to everyone.

Needless to say, the Del Mar Foundation agreed immediately to contribute $1,000 to the making of this 30-minute video as a teaching tool. We are very proud to be a part of this valuable opportunity to share what Del Mar was and is all about. Good luck to all the third grade students in Del Mar, the producers at DMTV, and all the volunteers at the Del Mar Historical Society. We can't wait to see the finished product!

Lynn Gaylord is president of the Del Mar Foundation. For more information about the Foundation, log onto www.DelMarFoundation.org or call (858) 404-0580.