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Revisiting Lomaland


Revisiting Lomaland

Through 2018 | San Diego State University Library

One of the most fascinating San Diego stories is that of Lomaland, a vibrant community that existed from the end of the 19th century though the mid-20th century in Point Loma. The site is now occupied by Point Loma Nazarene University and, unfortunately, only a few of the original classical buildings remain. Lomaland was unconventional, to be sure, but it was an oasis of creativity that had its foundation in universalist ethics and altruistic ideals, serving as a cultural and educational center that was much talked about by the surrounding town. Now, the San Diego State University Library has mounted an engrossing exhibition about the local experiment devoted to 19th century Theosophy and New England Transcendentalism. Titled Revisiting Visionary Utopia: Katherine Tingley’s Lomaland, 1898-1942, the artifact-filled show is a visual treat for viewers. Lomaland encouraged music, art, literature, and dramatic productions. Imagine performances of Greek and Shakespearean dramas in the gorgeous Greek amphitheater, which remains today. Participants came from more than 20 countries. By 1920, the number of residents exceeded 500. Elements of antiquity, Victorian morality, and Indian spirituality coalesced in a unique community that found a great voice. 619.594.6791, library.sdsu.edu   Darlene G. Davies

One Comment

  • Timothy S. Deeds


    Hello and thank you for this. my Great Grandfather was Robert Crosbie. As a very young child, we would go down to visit the campus and fondly recall holding mothers hand while being assisted in walking atop the low thick wall in the amphitheater fronting the stage. We on occasion would attend Sunday services as well. Robert came out west after being asked by Katherine to do so in hopes of expediting the effort to build. He left a fruitful business on the east coast and sold everything to assist. Once here and learning more of the endeavor he made a choice to leave and relocate to Pasadena where there came into existence the ULT (United Lodge of Theosophists). Unlike the more hierarchical way Madam Tingley chose to develop the center at Lomaland, Robert was in line with H.P. Blavatsky and W.Q. Judge, who sought for the “impersonal” spiritual development in pursuing devotion to service. The ULT still exists today in Los Angeles. Robert wrote The Happy Philosopher – A guide to Freedom and Happiness among other books. Our Deeds family has deep roots in San Diego from the late 1800’s where first arrivals came in covered wagons to land in El Cajon with a large family. A few have been laid to rest in The National Cemetery on Point Loma and in large part our family served in the military with Fathers(Cameron S. “Scotty” Deeds) Uncles having built many base and government concrete block structures during a long career of service. Grandfather Karl Deeds graduated from San Diego High (1916?) and went on to play football at Cal Berkeley graduating with a degree in Petroleum Engineering. The Deeds and Kellogg families go way back to the early days of the Western Frontier when it was called The Northwest Territory. There before Illinois was a state did Capt. Elisha Kellogg bring his family and met The Deeds Family(formerly Dietz). GGgf John Deeds, son of Jacob and brother to partner Thomas, in the earliest days of settlement married Sophia Emeline Kellogg and began the joint paths in the move West to California. Both families represent the vast American experience encompassing the successes, failures and paths to adaptation and enlightenment in the changing times each generation has passed through.

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