The original inhabitants were the Luiseño people, who are in the Shoshonean linguistic group. One of their rancherias (villages) was Palamai, which was located near present downtown Carlsbad. Today, the Luiseño live on one of several Indian Reservations inland near Palomar Mountain.
Much of greater Carlsbad was part of Rancho Agua Hedionda (which means "Stinking Water"). This 13,311 acre ranch was granted to Don Juan María Marrón in 1842. Some of the original ranchhouses are now incorporated in modern buildings.
Carlsbad started as a whistle stop on the new California Southern Railroad. In the 1880s John Frazier, another former ship's captain, dug a fresh-water well that came to be used for thirsty locomotives. The stop became known as Frazier's Station. Frazier dug another well that produced mineral water. The water was analyzed and found equal in mineral content to one of Europe's most popular health spas--Karlsbad, Bohemia (now Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic). (Karlsbad bath salts, badesalz, available here). Later, Carlsbad was renamed "Carl" for a time because of confusion with Carlsbad, New Mexico on train schedules and because of hysteria during World War I. Popular demand restored the former name.
Carlsbad is an old village dating from the 1880s. The Carlsbad Historical Society produced a self-guiding walking tour map available at the Visitor's Center in the Old Santa Fe Train Depot (below).
Carlsbad is served by two history-based organizations:
Both of these groups are very well known, active and effective. The Society conducts school tours of Magee Park each year in May. The Friends has an extensive out-reach program throughout the school year for California history students in the fourth grade, an educational service offered free of charge in the Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista Districts.
Back to Carlsbad, California.
This website is not authorized or sponsored by any government agency. The bear fetish is the 7000-year-old Official State Prehistoric Artifact from Carlsbad. Last updated 19 April 2020.
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