This fantastic photo, taken April 29, 1921, shows the celebration marking the completion of the dam at Lake Hodges, along today’s Del Dios Highway.
From the UC San Diego Library’s Ed Fletcher Papers digital collection, the photo captures the empty fields surrounding the lake covered with late-model touring cars, which brought 4,000 people to the celebration.
Notice the U.S. Navy airship also on hand for the festivities. Looking closely, it appears there are also folks in boats on the lake.
Hodges, a dam on San Dieguito Creek south of Escondido, was created in part to supply water to Rancho Santa Fe, the exclusive development to the west. The city of San Diego took over the dam in 1925.
To find out more about Lake Hodges, Del Dios Highway and Rancho Santa Fe, check out the “Roads of the Ranch” chapter in my book, Joyrides Around San Diego.