In the mid-1880s Jacob Taylor sized up the scrappy brush-covered site known then as Weed, and gambled that trains would bring people to this spot on the coast of San Diego County. He envisioned an extravagant tourist destination, then built it, and awaited new arrivals. The house at 227 Tenth Street was part of Taylor's dream made manifest.
Julie Maxey encountered the sagging, slouching, peeling “old Victorian beach cottage” almost a century later and set about rehabilitating it and establishing a family home there. After a move back to New York City and then a return to Del Mar in 2004, she began investigating the history of the house and the people who had lived in it. Her memoir, Edelweiss, with its charming illustrations and photographs, illuminates what life was like in Del Mar over that first century, and introduces some of the intriguing mysteries she encountered in her research. For instance: How did the little beach cottage acquire its Swiss chalet details and the name “Edelweiss”? Why were so many of the house’s owners women? Was the house really the love nest of the famous Hollywood couple Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in the 1920s?
Enjoy a bite-size helping of history in this appealing little volume, and pick up a few tips on renovating an antique house or tracking down history from original sources.
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