History of Magee House

This craftsman's style home was originally built by Samuel Church Smith, one of the founders of the Carlsbad Land and Water Company in 1887. Smith along with Gerhard Schutte, D.D. Wadsworth, and Henry Nelson organized the Carlsbad Land and Water Company by capitalizing on John Frazier's discovery of mineral and artesian water along the coast. They purchased that land and developed it into a seaside community.

The Smith Family remained in this home until the 1890's when the California land bust forced them into selling their Carlsbad real estate holdings and relocating to National City. Alexander Shipley, a retired foreign service diplomat , searching for a temperate climate to recuperate from numerous illnesses, purchased the home in the 1890's, relocated his wife Julia and daughter Florence from their Calistoga, California and of "Rockwood."

The Shipley Family, descendants of the Wilmington Delaware Shipley's, were ardent supporters of St. Michaels Episcopal Church. In 1912, Florence married Hugh Magee, a descendant of an original California Estudillo Family, and moved to Condor's Nest in Pala. She returned to Carlsbad in the 1940's after the death of her father and husband. As sole inheritor of her parent's estate and having no children of her own, Florence left Magee house to the City of Carlsbad as a Historic and recreational park upon her death in the 1970's.