​​Historical Perspective of the Encinitas Union School District

Back in the days of early Encinitas, settlers moved in and started raising families. When the children needed a school, everyone in the community stepped in to build a school for the children.  This spirit is very much alive even today!  Encinitas has not forgotten its very first school.  Our first one room school house is now 113 years old and has been authentically restored.  It was built in 1883 and was operated by the Encinitas Union School District, which had formed one year earlier.  The land for the school was donated by John Pitcher and the school was built by Mr. E. G. Hammond.  Fifteen children, more or less, were taught together in this one-room schoolhouse with all a​ges taught by one teacher.  After much fund raising and lots of hard work, the old schoolhouse now serves as a historical center for Encinitas school children and residents.  To learn more about the history of Encinitas, visit the City of Encinitas web site.

​Encinitas Timeline

​Year ​Event
1000 BC Native Americans, Kumeyaay; Diegueño; Luiseño; La Jollan, inhabit the area.
1669​ ​Spanish explorer De Portola arrived in the area.
​1786 ​Missionaries arrived.
​1820 ​Zenith of Missions
​1842 ​Andres Ybarra awarded Mexican land grant, Rancho Los Encinitos (later misspelled as Las Encinitas).  Los Encinitos translate to "little oaks".
​1846 ​United States declares war on Mexico.
​1850 California becomes the 31st state on September 9, 1850.​
​1875 ​Nathan Eaton settles near Batiquitos Lagoon.  Hector MacKinnon homesteads near San Elijo in Cardiff.
​1881 ​Encinitas is born!  California Southern Railroad directs Thomas Rattan to lay out the town of Encinitas. Surveyor Sanford is hired.  James Elliot, railroad foreman, plants Encinitas' eucalyptus trees.  John Pitcher and Thomas Rattan are Encinitas founders.
​1882 ​Railroad comes through Encinitas for first time on August 14th.  Encinitas population: 11
​1883 ​E.G. Hammond family arrives in Encinitas and doubles town's population to 22.  Encinitas schoolhouse is built (near today's Pacific View School).
​1884 ​Flood!  Thirty miles of railroad tracks are wiped out.  Olivenhain is born!  German immigrants arrive from Colorado.
​1886 ​Olivenhain School opens in vacant house of Theodore Pinther.
​1887 ​Encinitas train station is built.
​1888 ​Olivenhain builds new one-room schoolhouse, to remain open for the next 54 years.  Encinitas experiences building boom.  Town of Merle (Leucadia) is created.
1895​ ​Olivenhain Meeting Hall is constructed.
​1911 ​Frank Cullen plans town of Cardiff.
​1913 ​Highway 101, a two-lane road, is paved.
​1915 ​Electricity lights up Encinitas.
​1922 ​Lake Hodges Dam is completed - Encinitas gets water.
​1925 ​Coast Dispatch Newspaper is founded.
​1927 ​Central School (renamed Paul Ecke Central School in 1986) opens.
​1928 ​La Paloma Theater opens.  Beginning of Paul Ecke Poinsettia Ranch.
​1929 ​Encinitas Boat Houses are built (3rd Street).
​1936 ​Self-Realization Fellowship is built.
​1937 ​Del Mar Fair Opens.  Highway 101 is widened because of traffic from the Del Mar Race Track.  San Dieguito High School (renamed San Dieguito Academy in 1996) opens.
​1946 ​Electricity comes to Olivenhain.
​1953 Pacific View Elementary School, originally named Encinitas Elementary School, opens.
​1959 ​Ocean Knoll Elementary School welcomes children.
​1960 ​Ada Harris Elementary School in Cardiff-by-the-Sea is built.
​1961 ​Olivenhain Municipal Water District - water is finally available to the valley!
​1966 ​Interstate 5 Freeway opens (Sorrento Valley north past Oceanside).
​1969 ​Capri Elementary School opens in Leucadia.
1975​ ​Park Dale Lane School opens in the Village Park area of Encinitas.
​1979 ​Flora Vista Elementary School opens.
​1986 ​Communities of Cardiff, Leucadia, Olivenhain and Encinitas become incorporated as Encinitas.
​1987 ​La Costa Heights Elementary School opens in the Rancho La Costa area of south Carlsbad.
​1990 ​Mission Estancia Elementary School opens in south Carlsbad.
​1991 ​Encinitas Union School District offices move to 101 South Rancho Santa Fe Road after 22 years beside Paul Ecke Central School.
​1994 Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School opens in south Carlsbad.
​1996 ​La Costa Canyon High School opens.
​1998 ​Encinitas population reaches 58,915.
​2000 ​El Camino Creek Elementary School opens in south Carlsbad.
​2006 ​City of Encinitas celebrates 20th anniversary of incorporation.
​​2013 ​EUSD breaks ground on its Farm Lab.


From Goat Roping and a Town Named Merle, The Story of Encinitas by retired EUSD Teacher, Kathie Jenuine.

  •