Friends of Famosa Slough
           Home             Map             Geology                History                Animals                  Plants            

Related websites and books:
For information about the history of Point Loma visit:
Cabrillo National Monument Lomaland

Chapter 6: People on Point Loma: History of Human Impacts;
Cabrillo National Monument Foundation:
"Understanding the Life of Point Loma"

Sunset Cliffs History

Throughout the centuries, the native American Kumeyaay Indians traveled seasonally to Sunset Cliffs to harvest seafood from the intertidal area, gather food from indigenous plants, and enjoy the beauty of the cliffs and ocean.

The Linear Section was developed by Albert Spalding, the sporting goods magnate, in time for the 1915 Panama California Exposition. Spalding spent 2 million dollars to hire a Japanese architect and build paths, picturesque bridges, cobblestone stairways to the ocean, benches and thatched shelters. A saltwater swimming pool was carved into the natural rock. Ten years later, John Mills owned the property and spent another 1 million dollars to restore these features. Mills then let the City use the unique coastal strip for a city park. The special Spalding features eventually deteriorated, and were removed after being deemed unsafe.

In the late 19 th century, the Hillside Section became part of Lomaland, the Theosophical Institute established by Madame Tingley and her followers. The Theosophists planted fruit trees and vegetables gathered from around the world. Cattle grazed on the coastal terrace. During World War II the property was used by the Army, and was subsequently part of university campuses (Balboa College of Law, California Western, and United States International University (USIU) ). In 1973 USIU sold the hillside section of their property to the City of San Diego as “one of the very few stretches of undeveloped coast left in San Diego”. The City of San Diego and federal government each contributed 50% for this $2.22 million purchase. During the l970s, additional private parcels were purchased by the city to complete the 50 acre Hillside Section. The Hillside Section was formally dedicated by the City of San Diego in 1983. Recognizing the environmental significance of Sunset Cliffs, the City designated the Hillside Section as a Multiple Habitat Preservation Area (MHPA).

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council

In December of 1988 the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Recreation Council was chartered by the San Diego Park and Recreation Board as the officially recognized advisory group for Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. The name of the advisory council was later changed to Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council (SCNPC). The SCNPC follows the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council Bylaws which include the requirements of the San Diego Park and Recreation Department's Standard Operating Procedures and the California Brown Act. The SCNPC holds regular meetings from 6:45-8 p.m. on the first Monday of each month (except for holidays) at the Cabrillo Recreation Center, 3051 Canon St., San Diego, CA 92106. The public is welcome.

For information: SCNP information