The Spanish colonised the area in 1769. The first settlment was by Hector MacKinnon in 1875. Boston developer, painter, J Frank Cullen purchased land from MacKinnon in around 1909 to build housing. In 1986, Cardiff joined with Leucadia, Olivenhain, and Encinitas to form the incorporated city of Encinitas. The last population count was in 2007, 11,533 people lived in Cardiff-by-the-sea.
Mark Gubb, on a trip to the area, told a local newspaper, San Diego Reader, that he had found Cullen's house, pictured here from around 1911.
The house today is still standing, it is reported, having been renovated in the 1960s. (article)
Cullen's wife, Esther, pursuaded him to name the community Cardiff-by-the-sea. She was a native of Cardiff, Wales, there is some speculation that had she not interviened it would have had a Spanish name. There are also streets called Birmingham, Oxford, Chesterfield, Liverpool and Manchester.
Today the area is a popular surfing destination.
Cardiff Beach Sunset
Cardiff-by-the-sea California - drone shots over head
Three recent local newspaper stories
Gary Smith, 18th May 2020