The early 1900ís: agriculture and land development

For those families remaining in Carlsbad, water continued to be an important issue. Many of them were dependent on the mineral well that Frazier had opened in 1884. In 1906 W. W. Borden reported in the newspaper "The Spirit of Love" that the water works ceased to function, and that Mr. Shipley, who had purchased the Samuel Church Smith home in 1896, paid to put the water works in order.

Gerhard Schutte sold his home on Carlsbad Boulevard. to the South Coast Land Company in 1906, and they immediately began using it as housing for their company employees. H. C. Young, a South Coast employee moved into the Schutte home and lived there until 1913 while he worked laying 6-inch waterline pipes. In 1913 the South Coast Land Company signed an agreement that guaranteed water delivery from the San Luis Rey Valley to Carlsbad within one year. The water would run in pipes across the Buena Vista lagoon. By 1914 the South Coast Land Company had purchased all the remaining Carlsbad Land and Water Company land and drilled six water wells in the San Luis Rey valley. Running the lines to Carlsbad infused the town with new life. With an adequate source of water there was no stopping the influx of people, particularly farmers. The first avocado grove begun by Sam Thompson in 1916 was followed by many more. Avocado Groves spawned an entirely new industry for Carlsbad. In 1922 the avocado growers began an annual Avocado Day festival downtown to introduce the public to the many ways one could prepare the fruit. By 1928 Carlsbad promoted itself as the Home of the Avocado, with 7000 people attending Avocado Day celebrations. The South Coast Land Company took advantage of this opportunity and began selling five-acre lots of "avocado" land. In addition to the avocado groves that dotted the landscape, flower fields and subtropical fruits were introduced to the area.

In 1919 the growth potential was so positive that hard working people such as Eddie and Neva Kentner risked leaving secure employment in order to move their family to Carlsbad and take over operation of the Twin Inns Restaurant. The Kentners first discovered Carlsbad when they visited Neva's sister Fern, who was married at the time to the Carlsbad railroad stationmaster. Fern later remarried and became Fern Chase.

This second attempt at developing Carlsbad, undertaken by the South Coast Land Company, was the one that stuck. By selling land in larger parcels it facilitated Carlsbad's development on a more solid foundation of agriculture. For each acre of land purchased, the company offered one share of water stock in the Oceanside Mutual Water Company, or one could purchase additional water stock as necessary. This was the water from the San Luis Rey Valley wells. The Oceanside Mutual Water Company became the Carlsbad Mutual Water Company, and by 1927 they owned and operated 25 miles of water transmission mains and distribution lines, as well as storage facilities and pumping plants. It was this stockholder owned Water Company, which provided Carlsbad with water until the 1950s, when the combined effects of increased population and water salinity forced the residents to look for another water source. Many of the support businesses needed by the farmers, such as building supplies, small hotels, blacksmiths and mercantilist, congregated near the rail lines creating a solid downtown business district. State Street, where most of the businesses were located, had the distinction of being one of only two paved streets in town, an honor it held with Lincoln that ran parallel to the coast. Most of the other roads remained unpaved and were known as "Corduroy roads", a name derived from the street grading done by tractors, which left them rippled.