History of the Wisteria Cottage of Ocean Beach

by on March 16, 2022 · 0 comments

in History, Ocean Beach

By Eric DuVall / Pt. Loma-OB Monthly / March 15, 2022

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but any time is the perfect time for a love story. This is one love story that happens to involve several families, a cozy little beach cottage and a century-old wisteria vine.

The cottage, at 4761 Niagara Ave. in Ocean Beach, was built in 1907, making it one of OB’s oldest homes. Known as Wisteria Cottage in reference to the now-spectacular wisteria vine planted by John Clarke in 1915, the little place has been well-loved over the many seasons by the Clarke, Titlow, Black and James families.

Ocean Beach was a bustling community when John and Minnie Clarke moved to the town in 1915. Why, OB must have been home to several hundred folks by that time. The very successful streetcar line, the Point Loma Railroad, was already in its sixth year of dependable service, and the fabulous amusement park Wonderland had put once-remote Ocean Beach squarely on the map.

Such was not the case when John and Minnie first visited OB a decade earlier. Interviewed on the occasion of their 62nd wedding anniversary in 1947, Minnie recalled that “when I first saw Ocean Beach, there were only three houses.”

For the balance of this delightful article, please go here.

Wisteria Garden Party Back on Schedule – Sunday, March 20, 1-4pm.

The Titlows first opened their patio and home to the public in the early 2000s for a fundraising event to benefit the Ocean Beach Historical Society. The Wisteria Garden Party has been held every other year, on average, since then. The ideal time for the fete is the third week of March, when the wisteria is in full flower, according to OB community activists and current cottage residents Pat and Susan James.

County pandemic protocols precluded the scheduled soirée in 2021, but the event is back on the calendar this year and is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 20. All are welcome. Non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks, as well as a band, are on the menu. As the Wisteria Garden Party is the only fundraiser that the nonprofit Historical Society presents, admission will be $20 at the door. Additional information may be found at obhistory.org.

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