Monday, September 21, 2020

Field Guide to Coronado History: Ah Hah. Coronado IS an Island!

Another in a regular series of fascinating, intriguing, or thoughtful tales about people and places in Nado history — presented by your Coronado Historical Association

- Advertisement -

During the early days of Spanish and Mexican rule, San Diego Bay never was formally surveyed. Sea captains navigating its entrance and waters depended on stories passed down by others to find channels among the bay’s infamous sand bars. The first American naval vessels that entered the bay during the Mexican War even brought their own buoys to mark shallows, obstructions and bars.

Immediately after the United States gained Alta California by treaty at the end of the Mexican War, Congress directed that the U. S. Coast Survey chart California’s shores and navigable waters.

Survey ship Alert under the command of Commander James Alden carefully measured and charted every inch of San Diego Bay, Mission Bay (then named False Bay) and the San Diego and Coronado shorelines beginning in 1852. The results of this detailed survey – the first such formal mapping of San Diego waters – were published in 1857.

- Advertisement -

This first formal seaman’s chart was quite eye-opening – a Google Earth image in time. The bay proved to be extraordinarily shallow, ocean-going ships could proceed no further than the port’s quarantine anchorage at La Playa and the main channel made a sweeping “S” turn as it passed by Ballast Point.

North Island is clearly delineated as is the shoreline of early Coronado with Glorietta Bight peeking out by itself. The buildings of Old Town are distinctly indicated as is the site of “New San Diego,” but (most importantly!) on this first-ever chart, North Island and Coronado are officially and authoritatively labeled as “THE ISLAND.” (BL)

www.coronadohistory.org

- Advertisement -

Images courtesy eCoronado, NOAA

-----
Do You Value Local News?
Become a Paid Supporter

Keep it civil. Comments may be removed or closed if they violate Terms of Service.

Advertisement

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Endorsement for Stacy Keszei for Coronado Unified School Board

Submitted by Matthew GriffithPlease accept this letter as an endorsement for Stacy Keszei for Coronado Unified School Board. Having personally known Stacy and her...

Golf Course Water Recycling – Story Poles Misleading

Submitted by Ann WilsonI watched last week’s Golf Course Advisory Committee Meeting on Coronado TV with interest as city staff was presenting information about...

Strong Support for Nick Kato for Coronado School Board

Submitted by Jon Palmieri & Cara ClancyWe are writing to affirm our strong support for Nick Kato for Coronado School Board. Having lived in...

A Thank You to the Coronado Police Department

Submitted by Sebastian Taylor  Coronado Police Department; I Wish I Was Suprised, I'm Not...A few days ago, I witnessed something, something which, to many would...

NEW STORIES

Artist Profile: Dave Samara, Bagpipes (video)

The plaintive call of bagpipes, yes bagpipes, sings out on Orange Avenue most Saturday afternoons as musician Dave Samara seeks to help a local...

Voting and Ballot Drop-Off Locations for Coronado

The City of Coronado will have two locations to drop-off your ballot:Coronado Library, located at 640 Orange Avenue - do not put in...

John Duncan Dreams Big: City Council Candidate Talks Housing, Beach Pollution, Tourism and Diversity

For John Duncan--who’s running for Coronado City Council--it was all a dream.In 2006, before he lived here full-time, Duncan rented a historic home on...

COVID-19 and Flu Shot Update From Sharp Coronado Hospital

Six months after the county shut down in response the coronavirus in mid-March, Sharp Coronado CEO Susan Stone shares what the COVID-19 numbers currently...

Short Council Meeting Focused on Awards and COVID-19 Business Accommodations

For the first time in months, the City Council began its September 15 meeting with a ceremonial presentation to proclaim “Arts in Education Week”...