North Island Aviation and John D. Spreckels


                                     Photo courtesy of Patrick and Penny Matthews

In Splendid Summer, Aviator Jack Brewster explains to Grace that John D. Spreckels sold Coronado’s North Island to the government during WWI.  North Island is the country’s premiere Naval Aviation base.

Who was John D. Spreckels?  You could say that he was the Donald Trump of early San Diego and Coronado —- if Donald Trump also owned New York City’s Subway, New York City’s water company, and the New York Times!    After withstanding the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, John D. Spreckels built a mansion of stone and concrete on Glorietta Bay.  And for a treat, you can still stay in his mansion today if you book a room at Glorietta Bay Inn.  One room even includes Mrs. Spreckels’ original wall safe.

In Splendid Summer, Mrs. Spreckels offers condolences when Grace Wentworth’s uncle and guardian dies.    The Spreckels family played a dominant role in shaping San Diego and Coronado.  Grace, Jack and Tatania of Splendid Summer see the Spreckels’ mansion next to the Hotel Del Coronado everyday.  And yes, John D. Spreckels also owned the Hotel Del Coronado.

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