Coronado is a resort city located in San Diego County, California, USA, across the San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego. It was founded in the 1880s and incorporated in 1890. Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census, up from 24,100 at the 2000 census.
Coronado is a tied island connected to the mainland by a thin strip of land called the Silver Strand. The explorer Sebastian Vizcaino gave Coronado its name and drew its first map in 1602.
Coronado is Spanish term for “crowned one,” and thus it is nicknamed The Crown City. Its name is derived from the four off-shore islands, Los Guatro Martires Coronados (Spanish for “The Four Crowned Martyrs”). Three ships of the United States Navy have been named after the city, including USS Coronado.
Coronado was incorporated as a town on December 11, 1890. The community’s first post office predates Coronado’s incorporation, established on February 8, 1887, with Norbert Moser assigned as the first postmaster. The land was purchased by Elisha Spurr Babcock, along with Hampton L. Story, and Jacob Gruendike. Their intention was to create a resort community, and in 1886, the Coronado Beach Company was organized. By 1888, they had built the Hotel del Coronado and the city became a major resort destination. They also built a schoolhouse, and formed athletic, boating, and baseball clubs.
Amusement Park, Tent City
In 1900, a tourist/vacation area just south of the Hotel del Coronado was established by John D. Spreckels and named Tent City. Spreckels also became the Hotel’s Owner. Over the years the tents gave way to cottages, the last of which was torn down in late 1940 or early 1941.
In the 1910s, Coronado had streetcars running on Orange Avenue. These streetcars became a fixture of the city until their retirement in 1939.