130 Years As A City ...

The Coronado Old Ferry Landing and steam engine train 1887. The ferry Silvergate is on the left, the ferry Benicia on the right.

December is here and along with all of the holidays to celebrate, there is an anniversary for the incorporation of the City of Coronado. December 11 will mark 130 years since our idyllic resort town become incorporated as its own city. “Coronado 130,” a new video created by the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission as a 130 Production, details the founding of Coronado as a city and the multiple attempts it took to do so.

The Coronado Beach Company first began laying the groundwork for Coronado’s incorporation in 1885 after purchasing the peninsula and submitting the first official map of Coronado at the county recorder’s office. Following this, the Coronado Beach Company was also largely responsible for creating the framework of Coronado as a fully functioning town by installing water, gas, sewers, and telegraph lines. They also set about designing the town’s layout, including its streets, trees, and the street car and railroad line that once ran through the town, and of course, the construction of their beachside resort – the Hotel del Coronado.

In 1887, as construction of the Del was well underway, a Citizen’s Committee was formed to begin exploring the idea of incorporation. The measure would fail twice before meeting with success. In September of 1888 incorporation was first put up to a vote but lost by 91 votes (68 for, 159 against). A few months later in January of 1889 a group of Coronado citizen created “Coronado Reasons,” a document outlining the benefits of becoming incorporated and independent. The San Diego Board of Supervisors denied a second attempt. Two years later on Dec. 6 of 1890, a vote on incorporation was once again brought up and this time, it passed with a resounding 133 votes for to 73 against. Five days later on Dec. 11, 1890, Coronado officially became the City of Coronado.

The Coronado Cultural Arts Commission video goes on to mention how the city has evolved since then, the various committees and city positions that work to provide citizens with the services they need and which have helped shape who and where we are today. From fire and police services, to golf course and a recreation department, the public library, and more, it details the things we enjoy in our day -to-day lives 130 years later, all evolving from that historic moment that set the course for Coronado.

Though the city has undergone many changes since 1890, the spirit, perhaps, remains similar to the original vision Coronado residents had when first determining the island’s path to incorporation. While we have faced a strange year full of uncertainty and hardship, Coronado remains a welcoming community and a beautiful beach resort town that celebrates the gifts it has to offer its residents and visitors. We are a city that perseveres and continues to grow through our ties to each other and to the island itself.

“Coronado 130” includes beautiful footage as well as historic images and information gathered from a variety of sources including the Coronado Historical Association, Coronado Public Library, Coronado Eagle & Journal, City of Coronado and more. The video can be viewed on the CoronadoARTS YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcuEy4JtrPy1hfXaSrOWZLg.

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