El Granada: Vision & Reality


What a colorful scene when women wearing bulky looking, long dresses and beribboned hats, accompanied by serious, mustachioed men in three-piece suits and bowler hats, disembarked at the North Granada Station. They had come to survey what the land brochures described as a “Coney Island West” resort. Many had never seen the beach before and they came to enjoy the breathtaking train ride and the cool Coastside breezes.

In the distance, at the northern point of the half moon shaped bay, the visitors admired the spectacular sight of Pillar Point. Some said it reminded them of a snake’s head, a low, sleek and long slice of land that demanded attention.

To the south, as far as the Ocean Shore Railroad’s passengers could see, the beach was a continuous white, broad ribbon of sand, footprintless.

Remember, the passengers had come to El Granada to stroll along the beach and to learn about real estate opportunities. After the lovely beach walk, the popular realtor Charles Wagner launched into his sales pitch, lauding the finer points of real estate: 15 miles of curbing, 9 miles of cement work, 8 miles of water mains and sewer pipes, all that had already been completed, Wagner said. When the winter rains came, some 6000 trees would be planted along the concrete sidewalks.

Old photos capture the charm of the uncomfortably dressed visitors walking along a strip of concrete sidewalk with empty land on either side. The lone sidewalk is the promise of more to come and not far away stands Charles Morgan’s Hotel El Granada where weekend guests can rent a room while the more outdoorsy types can rough it out at Tent City in Moss Beach.

Already El Granada, as a blank slate, is showing signs of being a good place to live as well as a public resort.

…to be continued,,,