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Coronado's Wizard Of Oz Secrets

Coronado, CA 92118
32.689208, -117.177891

Dog-Friendly: Yes   Kid-Friendly: Yes

**Make sure to check out our list of Hidden Gems in Coronado for the ultimate day trip!**

About Coronado's Wizard of Oz Secrets:

Almost everyone has either read the books or seen the classic film The Wizard of Oz.  What less people know is that the inspiration behind Oz is right in our very own backyard!  Author L. Frank Baum spent much of his time vacationing from his home in Chicago while writing the Oz series.

He spent his winters in Coronado from 1904-1910 to escape the harsh cold in his hometown. Basking in the much-appreciated sunshine, he dreamed up the magic that would one day become one of the most famous films of the century.

Baum published the following poem in the San Diego Union:

CORONADO: THE QUEEN OF FAIRYLAND

by L. Frank Baum

And mortals whisper, wondering:

“Indeed, ‘tis Fairyland!

For where is joy without allow

Enjoyment strange and grand.”

And tired eyes grow bright again,

And careworn faces smile;

And dreams are sweet and moments fleet,

And hearts are free from guild.

To this day, tiny secrets of the book/film and fragments of his past connections to this town can be found scattered around.  Let's learn some of them, shall we?

 

1. Hotel Del Coronado (1500 Orange Ave) The Hotel del Coronado is said to have been Baum's inspiration for the Emerald City. He oftentimes resided there for months at a time.  In a 1905 poem about Coronado, Baum wrote: "And every day her loveliness, shines pure, without a flaw; new charms entrance our every glance, and fill our souls with awe!"

Another fun fact though is that the Grand Crown Room's crown-shaped chandeliers were actually designed by him!

2. L. Frank Baum's historic Coronado home (1101 Star Park Circle).  This adorable yellow home was rented out by Baum while he wrote three books in his Oz Series:  “Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz,” “The Emerald City of Oz” and “The Road to Oz.”  I actually had the pleasure of speaking with the current owners who filled me in on an another amazing fact:  this home still has its original electrical wiring which was done by Alexander Graham Bell!

There are a lot of fun details decorating the front of the house:

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3.  Coronado Museum of History and Art (1100 Orange Avenue) holds three First Edition books by Baum.  The best part is this museum is free to visit!  Beyond these books you will find many historic relics that helped shape Coronado to what it is today.

4. Emerald City (1118 Orange Ave) is a surf and skate shop in the heart of Coronado's shopping district with a name inspired by Oz.

5. Coronado Public Library (640 Orange Ave) This library has 9 large glass panels created by artist Brenda Smith. Each painting depicts scenes in the movie, including Dorothy, the cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Glenda the Good Witch, Munchkins and more!

Know of any other fun Wizard of Oz secrets we should include on this page?  Please share!

 

 

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  • J. Fullerton
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    Did not know this site was available, will certainly enjoy.

    February 6, 2019

  • Anonymous
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    There is a house on C Street in Golden Hill that has an “OZ” sign and 1904 on the fence surrounding the rose garden in the front.

    Frank Baum was from my hometown, Syracuse, and I know his family home name was “Rose Lawn”. He also “discovered” the Hotel Del Coronado/ San Diego in the year 1904. Does anyone know the relation of this house though?

    September 1, 2019

  • Jamie Edmonds
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    One tidbit of this story’s history which has been lost to time, is that Baum’s original “The Wizard of Oz” story is actually an allegory for the late 19th Century political/economic battle pitting the “Populist’s, free silver” vs. “Central Bankers’ gold standard”. Once you look a bit deeper into the characters and the plot in the context of the political election of 1890, it’s impossible to unsee the connections. Here are a few tips to get you started: “What color were Dorothy’s slippers in Baum’s original book?” “Why were they the key to getting back home safely to the farm in Kansas? “Why might they have been changed from that ‘color’ to ‘ruby slippers’ for the MGM movie from 1939?” 😉
    If you’re actually interested, please do check out the book “Web of Debt”, which not only explains how Baum’s book is an allegory for the political and economic situation 130 years ago, but also why we are where we are today in relation to central bankers and global economic control.
    https://wikisummaries.org/web-of-debt/

    Happy Labor Day! 😀

    “If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nation and the world. Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!”
    ~~William Jennings Bryan, American lawyer, orator, politician, and candidate for President of the United States in 1896, 1900, and 1908.

    September 5, 2022

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