Encinitas Preservation Association

Together we preserve our history
Bus Tours
Encinitas Preservation Association presents the Fall Historical Bus Tour - Featuring the historic 1886 Bumann Ranch and 60+ Historical Points of Interest throughout Encinitas.

All proceeds support the preservation of Encinitas’ most iconic historical buildings, the Boathouses.

Upcoming Bus Tour on Saturday, August 7 @ 9am
Tickets only $65
Visit Bumann Ranch
Expert tour guides
See the iconic 1883 one-room schoolhouse
Support preservation of Encinitas
The "Diani Beach"
60+ historical sites

Boat Houses

Two boathouses viewed from the streetBlack and white photo of two boathouses, viewed from the streetTwo boathouses viewed from the street at an angle

Saving the Boat Houses

One of Encinitas’ most prized historic landmarks are the Encinitas boathouses, the S.S. Encinitas and the S.S. Moonlight.  Built by architect Miles Kellogg, the boathouses were constructed from salvaged lumber sourced from the old Moonlight Beach bathhouse and a hotel that failed to survive the Prohibition’s dry years.

The boathouses exemplify what has come to be known as early California “courtyard architecture” as well as the kind of vernacular design associated with Historic Highway 101.  Each house is 15 feet tall by 20 feet long and have a breathtaking stature when face to face with them.  They are quite possibly one of the most photographed attractions in Encinitas.

In order to protect this downtown gem, a partnership was forged with the Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association and the Encinitas Historical Society to purchase the boathouses in 2008 with a $1.55 million loan.  The entire purchase included the boathouses, along with a four-unit apartment complex on the property.  The additional four-unit complex is part of the City of Encinitas’ low-income housing program.

With the help of donations, rent and community partners, the EPA has since poured thousands of dollars into restoring the boathouses.  The association was also able to put the boathouses on the map by including it on the National Registry of Historic Places in 2019.  This step has allowed the association to ensure the protection of the boathouses for generations to come.

If you have any questions regarding the boathouses, please call the Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association at (760) 943-1950 or email info@encinitas101.com.


Encinitas California sits on the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. To the north of Encinitas, there is Batiquitos Lagoon and the San Elijo Lagoon to the south. The first people living in the area of modern Encinitas, CA were Native Americans tribes, the San Dieguitos, the La Jollans, and the Dieguenos. Diegueno’s group were mission converts who wanted to build the Spanish Missions. In the year 1669, the Governor of Baja California, Gaspar de Portola, was traveling throughout the San Diego and Monterey in California area. His plan was to build so-called presidios, where the population could learn and attend religious service. De Portola and his expedition were traversing across our land and he named this area Encina Canada, Spanish for “Hills of live oak”, later shortened to Encinitas.

Encinitas was governed by Mexico after the year 1800, and the Mexican government issued land grants to ranchers who would be willing to be under Mexico’s rule.

In 1881, Jabez Pitcher came to Encinitas and many people consider him to be the father of the town. Pitcher came to San Diego and filed a claim for 160 acres on a mesa near the railroad tracks where the today Encinitas Civic Center is now located. In the year 1870, north of the railroad tracks, English spiritualists named their settlement Leucadia. The name means “Isle of Paradise” or “Place of Shelter” and is based upon Greek Island The five-acre tracts were named after Greek gods and myths.

The modern history of “Cardiff” started in the year 1875 when the McKinnon family populated the north shore of the San Elijo Lagoon. In the year 1909, J. Frank Cullen bought a big part in San Elijo, had it surveyed, and established streets and lots. He named his town in 1914, and called it “Cardiff-by-the-Sea,” after Cardiff, Wales, the part of United Kingdom. The “Olivenhain” portion of Encinitas was established as a community in 1884 by a small group of immigrants that came from Germany. The old Olivenhain Meeting Hall is still used today for social events and meetings.

The City of Encinitas California was founded around 100 years ago and today consists of five communities that take pride in their own distinct personalities. “Historic Encinitas” occupies the Highway 101 Corridor that parallels the beautiful beaches and ocean. “New Encinitas” centers on El Camino Real. “Cardiff-by-the-Sea” is made up of quaint homes dotting the hillsides overlooking the sea. “Leucadia” is famous for its giant eucalyptus trees that line the main thoroughfare on the Coast Highway. “Olivenhain” (which means “olive grove” in German) boasts plenty of open horse country, pastures, and a rural way of life.

A man on a cart pulled by two horses, harvesting barley.
Harvest time. June 9th, 1935. Herman Bumann cutting barley with 1899 or 1900 McCormick Daisy Reaper.

If you’re a fan of early Encinitas history, and if you take advantage of the upcoming chance to travel back in time over 100 years, you will discover a visit to the Bumann Ranch off Lone Jack Road in Olivenhain will give you an unprecedented live view through a window into the past. The Bumann Ranch is special because it has been preserved and unchanged by time making it truly unique to all of North County San Diego as a living tribute like no other, to the earliest days of our Encinitas heritage. Continue reading this story and you’ll learn how you can make this visit.

Today the Bumann Ranch is the home of Richard and Adeline Bumann, but the story begins in October of 1884 when the original Olivenhain Colony founders purchased a 4,431 acre former Mexican Ranch called Rancho Las Encinitas. One month later the first colonists arrived including Herman Bumann, his father Fredrick, and his uncle John Bumann. Herman remained with the colony for about one year, but due to problems within the colony, which caused it’s quick demise, and with the support of his new friend Adam Wiegand, and with the encouragement of his uncle John Bumann, Herman negotiated the purchase of a 160 acre homestead claim close by for $50.

Herman supported himself in those early years doing work for other nearby ranches, and as far off as Rancho Guejito located 20 miles to the northeast on the eastern edge of Escondido. He would return to the homestead on weekends to make improvements, living in a 10×12 foot shanty that he built. His shanty is still intact on the property today.One of the biggest challenges for ranching and farming in the area was access to water. Fortunately for Herman, Escondido Creek bisected the property. Though it took several years of non-stop hard work and improvements, the homestead became increasingly self-sustaining. Herman built a 14×20 foot barn, cleared, plowed and planted crop fields, purchased two work horses and several cows

Learn More About Bumann Ranch

Historic Sites

Tranquil garden scene with a pond.

Self-Realization Fellowship Te

Founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda to disseminate the universal teachings of Kriya Yoga.
Come meditate
Old brown building with children and a dog standing in front.

Colony Olivenhain Meeting Hall

Colony Olivenhain was established in 1884 by a group of German-speaking immigrants.
Visit the hall
Several dozen people inside Cap'n Keno's bar, drinking, eating, and talking.

Cap’n Keno’s

Generous plates of traditional American fare & cocktails are served at this no-frills institution.
Have a drink
Wide sandy beach with a play structure and a parking lot to the right of it.

Moonlight Beach

Beach with a play structure, palm trees, and a parking lot, viewed from above.
Go swimming
White building with blue trim and a plaque on the front.

1883 Encinitas One Room School

Walk across the original wood floor and imagine yourself back in 1883, when the one-room schoolhouse was built for all eight children in town.
Explore 1883 Encinitas One Room School
Movie theatre store front with Isle of Dogs, RGB, The Rider, and Wizard of Oz on the sign.

La Paloma Theatre

See a show at the historic Spanish Colonial Revival style movie theater in downtown Encinitas.
Go See a Show
Poinsettia plants in rows inside a greenhouse.

Paul Ecke Poinsettia Ranch

Come inside the ranch, where more than 75% of U.S. and 50% of worldwide poinsettia plants get their start.
Visit the ranch.
Old yellow building with white trim and pannikin sign in front.

Pannikin Coffee & Tea

Built in 1888 the Pannikin is located in this historic Santa Fe Railroad Station on historic Coast Highway 101.
Drink some coffee

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818 S Coast Highway 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 436-2320


Freeway exit from Interstate 5 - Take Encinitas Boulevard exit, then go west on Encinitas Boulevard to South Coast Highway 101. Turn left onto South Coast Highway 101.

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