“Follow the Water” Celebrates a Century of the Reservoir that Nurtures our Neighborhoods
Solana Beach celebrates the Centennial of Lake Hodges, whose creation made it possible to irrigate the City’s early farms and neighborhoods, with an exhibit by local artist Kevin Anderson at Solana Beach City Hall, 635 S. Hwy. 101, Solana Beach, October 1 through November 15.
Residents and visitors are invited to an opening reception for the exhibit on Saturday, October 6, from 3 to 7 p.m. featuring two renowned locals, Kevin Anderson and jazz guitarist Peter Sprague.
Refreshments will be provided. Admission is free. A short Lake Hodges Centennial Program and recognition of Colonel Ed Fletcher and his descendants will take place at 4:00 pm.
Ed Fletcher - “Father of Waters”
The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Solana Beach City and the Solana Beach Civic & Historical Society, which has collaborated with the Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe Historical Societies in planning a series of educational and entertaining activities to mark the 100-year anniversary of the building of the Hodges Dam, completed in December,1918. Creation of what would become the 12,000-acre Santa Fe Irrigation District that year ensured that the area from Rancho Santa Fe through Solana Beach would prosper and expand. The coastline from Solana Beach to Oceanside began to be developed in the 1920s. Development accelerated when Colonel Ed Fletcher purchased 201 acres at $200 per acre from farmer George H. Jones to develop what is now Solana Beach. For his foresight in developing water systems to what is now the City of Solana Beach, as well as his water contributions to all of San Diego County, Fletcher is sometimes called the “Father of Waters.”
Solana Beach’s ﬁrst neighborhood, La Colonia de Eden Garden, was developed after water could be piped in from Lake Hodges, starting in 1919. The neighborhood originally was created to house workers for the orchards and ranches of adjacent Rancho Santa Fe and what is now Encinitas.
Beach access for Solana Beach’s early residents was also made possible by the damming of the San Dieguito River and creation of Lake Hodges. Fletcher hired a man who, for three months, sprayed water hosed from the lake’s spillway to break up the hard-packed bluﬀs and create a notch to the sea. The loose sand was scooped by steam shovel and trucked to the surf line to be washed away. The beach (Fletcher Cove) and sale of lots opened with great fanfare including horse races, on July 4th, 1924.
Follow the Water
Artist Kevin Anderson moved to Solana Beach with his family in 1968 and lived across from Fletcher Cove. “The very ﬁrst day looking out over the ocean, I knew I had found my ultimate water dream,” Anderson says. “I was in that ocean from light of morning till dark everyday.”
Anderson, locally renown for his ﬁne art depictions of our treasured landscapes and more, recently ﬁnished a massive 72-foot mural in a pedestrian tunnel in the Civita community in Mission Valley. The mural depicts the diversity of San Diego County from the desert to the ocean, including Cabrillo National Park, the Star of India, Hotel del Coronado, and hang gliders at Torrey Pines. Anderson’s public works also include the murals at Mozy Cafe on Hwy. 101 in Encinitas.
The exhibit at Solana Beach City Hall will include many of Anderson’s recent paintings of Lake Hodges and other area water features, as well as ﬁne prints.
Cardiﬀ-based jazz guitarist Peter Sprague is composer, arranger, recording engineer, producer, and life-long surfer who was recently featured in the Surfer’s Journal. He grew up in Del Mar and took up the guitar at age 12. Sprague discovered jazz at age 15 and made the music his career. Sprague has led and performed with renowned jazz bands across the around the world.
SpragueLand, his Encinitas recording studio, serves recording artists throughout the region. He performs regularly in North County with his brother Tripp and a cadre of talented area musicians and vocalists.