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About Silver Strand State Beach
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History of Silver Strand State Beach
It is believed that humans first came to the San Diego coast as far back as 20,000 years, and to inland areas about 12,000 years ago. The native people were known by many names, some bestowed by the Europeans, who called them Diegueños or Mission Indians. The names preferred by the people themselves included Kumeyaay (the inland group), Ipai (the northern group), and Tipai (the southern group). These groups were hunter-gatherers who also processed acorns from several species of oaks for nourishment. They obtained some foods and obsidian by trading with native groups to the east, and the Tipai people quickly learned to incorporate Spanish crops, livestock and tools into their way of life.
The arrival of Europeans and Americans ended the native people’s way of life. Access to traditional lands and sources of food was soon restricted or totally lost to them. Over ensuing years some Indians were “relocated” to several inland reservations established around 1875, but thousands more died from European-introduced diseases to which they had no immunity. Today’s Kumeyaay Nation — extending from San Diego and Imperial Counties to 60 miles south of the California-Mexico border — shares their ancestral heritage through community outreach and education.
The Spanish and Mexicans in San Diego had little interest in the narrow strip of sand between what they called “San Diego Island” (Coronado Island) and the mainland, and in 1846 Pedro C. Carrillo received it as part of a land grant. In 1885 its resort potential was first noted. E.S. Babcock and H.L. Story bought the land, established the Coronado Beach Company, and built a road and a rail line over the peninsula. Three years later, Babcock and Story sold the land to John D. and Adolph B. Spreckels.
In 1931 the Spreckels holding companies presented 42 acres of the peninsula between the U.S. Naval Amphibian Base and the U.S. Naval Communication Station to the State Park Commission, establishing Silver Strand Beach State Park (now Silver Strand State Beach).