OCEANSIDE CELEBRATES ITS 132nd YEAR SINCE INCORPORATION
The City of Oceanside incorporated on July 3, 1888 but our history dates back years further. It was founded by
Andrew Jackson Myers, who settled in the San Luis Rey valley in the late 1870’s. Myers applied for and received a
homestead grant in 1883 and received 160 acres, which is now downtown Oceanside. In the early 1880s a railroad
line was built that connected Los Angeles to San Diego. The trains traveled directly over Myers’ new land grant
making his property very valuable.
Cave Johnson Couts, Jr. surveyed and helped to map out the townsite. John Chauncey Hayes sold the new town
lots through his land office on North Cleveland Street. Hayes served as Justice of the Peace and was the first mail
contractor between San Diego and San Bernardino. He wrote the petition for the town’s first post office, which
listed the name as two words: “Ocean Side”.
The train stopped at a simple wooden platform to unload mail and passengers. One of the first commercial blocks
contained the Hayes Land Office, the Louis Billiard Hall and Mayroffer’s Saloon.
By 1886 Oceanside had a population of 350 people and boasted of “nearly sixty houses”. Two churches were
established, the Congregational and the Christian, but the saloons outnumbered them. The Congregational Church
was built on the corner of Ditmar and First (now Seagaze) and is still standing, the oldest in Oceanside.
By 1887 a large, ornate brick building was erected at the northwest corner of Second and Hill (Mission and Coast
Highway) to house the Bank of Oceanside. The bank was organized by Col. Daniel H. Horne and Charles Morrill,
with E.S. Payne as the cashier.
Needed for a seaside resort was a substantial hotel, and in 1887 the beautiful South Pacific Hotel was built. It was
located on Third (Pier View Way) and Pacific Streets, near the present day pier. A.P. Hotaling of San Francisco was
the owner and the hotel was leased out to a proprietor. Dr. E.A. Tuttle was one of the first managers of this hotel, which faced the
railroad track, instead of the beach, to entice train passengers. In early 1888 a new Santa Fe Depot was built, located on the 100 block of North Cleveland Street. It was the center of activity for decades, bringing tourists, settlers, visiting relatives and even presidents. Oceanside’s depot was essential in shipping crops to Los Angeles and it was also a gathering spot for locals to catch up news from abroad and get the latest bulletins from the telegraph wires.