Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bathhouse to Boathouse

I saved this image quite some time ago … simply because it made me smile. I have enjoyed the pleasure that accompanies imagined scenarios attached to it each time I see it. I have envisioned all sorts of possible commentary and conversation, offered by an endless supply of conjured characters, encountering this far-out-of-the-ordinary pair of structures. The “Boat houses of Encinitas” have entertained me a great deal … but I had to find out the story behind their existence. And I share that story with you now.

It seems that there once was a most frugal and creative individual incorporated in the person of one Mister Miles Minor Kellogg, of Encinitas, California. In the period encompassing the 1920’s and 1930’s Mister Kellogg was energetically involved in what is, in this twenty first century, popularly known as 'recycling.' He had an acute eye for bargain-priced, pre-used materials that his skills as a versatile builder and enterprising businessman could transform into some new creation to satisfy an envisioned need.

This was demonstrated when his hotel building became infested with bats. Mister Kellogg solved that problem by removing the top floor of the building. Then, with a supply of perfectly usable lumber liberated from the hotel, he set about constructing a silent movie theatre next door to that same hotel.


So it was not surprising that our Mister Kellogg saw the demolition of the Moonlight Beach Bathhouse in 1925, as the source of a fresh supply of right-priced building materials. But timbers used in the construction of the low-ceilinged bathhouse were not suited for use in a traditional building with requirements for higher ceilings.

Mister Kellogg’s lingering interest in the sea coupled with his recollection the time spent working on low-ceilinged ships on Lake Michigan gave birth to inspiration. There you go then! The obvious destiny for the bathhouse lumber was a resurrection as a boat … or boats. Hence his creation (with the after-school assistance of his young son, Miles Justin Kellogg) of the SS Moonlight, and the SS Encinitas … or what we now know fondly as “The Boat Houses of Encinitas.” Both were “launched” with their sterns to, and a block away from, the sea in 1928 and are, to this day, the most photographed scene in the Encinitas area.


A lovely (and fun) example of what can be done with the materials that Life gives us.


IMAGE through the gracious courtesy of Jon Sullivan, PDPhoto.org

8 comments:

jillie said...

What unique taste! You know Encinitas is about a 20 min drive for me. I just may have to go up there. I even lived there for a few months. Quite a beautiful area. But then, what coastal community isn't.

Thanks for sharing such a fun picture and have a fantabulous day!

John-Michael said...

Hi there Precious Soul! I am so pleased that I could offer a pleasure to you, Sweet Jillie, for, unbeknownst to you, each time that I reflect on the Person who I have come to know as YOU, enjoy a pleasant moment of quiet appreciation and admiration.

I do, indeed, love You!

Jules~ said...

Wow! I didn't know about this wonderful creation. Thank you for sharing it and the story behind the inspiration.

CrazyCath said...

I love 'em! I want one! What a great way to recycle! What a vision that man had.

These are beautiful. And obviously "fit in" with the area too.

That has sure brightened my (already bright) day! Thanks.

xox

nitebyrd said...

I admire all those people that make lemonade out of life's lemons.

Very cool house(s)!

John-Michael said...

Isn't that just the Neatest story, though, Jules~?

Those rare people of that sort have always fascinated me. I have, forever, wanted to give them some of the recognition that they so rightfully deserve.

And, Sweet Friend, 'tis an all-to-rare treat that you are to my Soul! I do love You!

John-Michael said...

This is developing into quite a "visual", my Precious. Let's see now ... a boathouse, surrounded by a luscious garden ... with a riding arena and grazing fields for your horses ... Oh Yes! I can see your town council having quite a moment dealing with this addition to the community!

Your enthusiasm and joyful Spirit enliven and enrichen my Life, Dear Cath-Daughter. How grateful I am for You!

I love You!

John-Michael said...

Don't they just "sweeten" our life-experience, Darling NiteByrd? I am forever open-eyed, in hope that I will discover, yet another, of them.

And our 'discovery' of each other, I treasure as well. I do love You!

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