The Mediterranean-like beach town of San Clemente sits hidden away on 5 miles of Pacific Coastline (halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego).
It was first inhabited in 1776 when Father Serra founded the Mission at San Juan Capistrano on the area where our city now stands.
For the next 140 years the land changed hands numerous times. Indians and Spanish settlers built villages up and down the coast along the area, but no major development encountered.
In the 1900’s on a train trip from Los Angeles to San Diego a man named Ole Hanson saw a romantic strip of land on the California Coast that caught his attention.
In 1925 Mr. Ole Hanson, the former mayor of Seattle, bought that strip of land where he envisioned
“…a place where people can live more pleasantly that any other place in America…”.
He named the area San Clemente after the nearby San Clemente Island. The Island, incidentally, was named after the patron saint of November 23 Saint Clemente by it’s discoverer Sebastian Vizcaino (who discovered it on November 23, 1602).
The city's Spanish Influence, visible even today, with the white walled buildings topped with red tile roofs is not an accident, but a vision.
Ole exclaimed, “…the architecture will be of all one type…I can see hundreds of white walled homes bonneted with red tile…” He successfully promoted his “Spanish Village By The Sea” encouraging other families to take up residency and buy property.
The community finally incorporated on February 18, 1928 and the “clean picture” of a dream city that Ole had envisioned was finally becoming a reality.
The city continued to grow slow and steady until in 1968 when a national event gave enough attention to put San Clemente on the map.
President Richard Nixon bought one of the original homes, built by Ole Hanson’s partner in the Southwest part of town. Nixon called it “Casa Pacifica” but it became know as “The Western White House”.
During his tenure the President was visited here by Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev, Mexican President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, Henry Kissinger, and Bebe Rebozo. Following his resignation, Nixon retired to San Clemente to write his memoirs.
After the 60’s the growth and notoriety of San Clemente increased dramatically, but the small town atmosphere managed to stay in tact.
Even today, it continues to be a wonderful place to raise a family, retire, or vacation.
Our Residents have a lot of local pride and love to boast (especially on their license plates) they have the “World’s Best Climate”.
During the summers the population almost doubles, as tourists and friends flock to the Beaches to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and small beach town atmosphere.
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