San Diego in the Real Estate Boom

From Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz -- Online Notes For The Book

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This Note discusses the real estate boom in San Diego during Clara Foltz's time.

General Works

For general information, see Richard F. Pourade, THE HISTORY OF SAN DIEGO: THE GLORY YEARS 242 (1964); Carey McWilliams, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COUNTRY: AN ISLAND ON THE LAND (1946). A very vivid contemporary description is THEODORE VAN DYKE, MILLIONAIRES OF A DAY: AN INSIDE HISTORY OF THE GREAT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA "BOOM" (1890). Van Dyke lived through the boom to become its Boswell. He said there had “never been its like on earth.” Perhaps there were “times of wilder excitement, when property has changed hands oftener in 24 hours and brought higher prices. But this boom lasted nearly two years, and embraced a vast area” at 1.

ELIZABETH MACPHAIL, THE STORY OF NEW SAN DIEGO AND ITS FOUNDER, ALONZO E. HORTON 89 (1969) shows pictures of the hotel at Ocean beach at the time Foltz as a real estate agent took a party there, as related in the text. See also WILLIAM E. SMYTHE, 11 HISTORY OF SAN DIEGO, 1542-1908, at 413-34 (1908) (and especially chap. 2 “Phenomena of the Great Boom”); Larry Booth, Roger Olmstead, & Richard Pourade, Portrait of a Boom Town: San Diego in the 1880’s (1977) (pamphlet published by the San Diego Historical Society, taken from an article in the California Historical Quarterly, December 1971 containing many interesting photographs of the boom and the bust).

The Rail War

GLENN S. DUMKE, THE BOOM OF THE EIGHTIES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (1944) is particularly good on describing the rail war that started the 80’s boom. THEODORE FULLER, SAN DIEGO ORIGINALS: PROFILES OF THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS OF CALIFORNIA'S FIRST COMMUNITY (1988). 145-46 (mentions Foltz as head of the Bellamy Nationalist club). Hoyt, Marketing a Booming City in 1887: San Diego in the Chicago Press, 45 J. SAN DIEGO J. HIST., Spring 1999 (containing excellent pictures, based on a long anonymous article in the Chicago Inter-Ocean about the city and its prospects). LELAND G. STANFORD, TRACKS ON THE TRAIL (1963) has much of the boom “lore,” Clara Foltz mentioned at page 37.

The Ensenada

On the Ensenada and Mrs. Burton, WILLIAM WILCOX ROBINSON, LAND IN CALIFORNIA (1979) explains the complications of Spanish titles in Mexico and California. Subsequent history of International Company and sympathetic account of Burton claim is in AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 391-407 (1890). MARIA AMPARO RUIZ, THE SQUATTER AND THE DON (1885) (Rosaura Sanchez and Beatrice Pita, eds.,) (1997) (includes biography of Burton and starting at p. 15 an account of her litigation over the Ensenada).

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