About Us - The Miramar Story
In 1875 all of what is now Miramar was a farm owned and operated by the Doulton family and devoted to the raising of barley, corn, beans, and fruit. Their home was located in the center of the grounds near the present shuffleboard courts. Farming was not too profitable and in 1887 a visiting friend from San Francisco suggested that the Doultons take in paying guests. It was obvious that the mountains in the background and the salubrious climate would attract many visitors. Guests were roomed in the old homestead; in 1889 the first guest cottage was built. As the years went by, more bedrooms were added to the second floor of the original farmhouse and more cottages constructed.
Around the turn of the century, while the railroad was being built between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, it was decided that the land near the ocean would be best suited for the railroad track location, as it was the least valuable, whereas if the tracks were located towards the present highway, they would cut across land under cultivation. The railroad was finally completed and Miramar became a flag station with its own station platform, flag signal and ticket agency. It was a custom in those days for all of the hotel personnel to shower important train guests with pink geranium petals.
The name "Miramar" was suggested by a Mrs. Felton. Its literal translation is "Behold, the sea!". Until 1936, the hotel operated on the American Plan, with its principal season during the winter -- there was very little activity during the summer. The hotel enjoyed a worldwide reputation; its old registers contain many names of royalty and famous persons. The clientele was predominantly Eastern. Just before World War I, a 400-foot-long pier (which has since been removed) was constructed so that the guests could moor their yachts in the sheltered cove off Miramar Beach.
William P. Gawzner