How Frank Baum Became the Wizard of Coronado
For Lyman Frank Baum, who resided in Chicago’s Humboldt Park, there may have been no place like home. But not long after the turn of the 20th Century and in the wake of this famous author’s creative breakthrough, Baum discovered his home away from home: Coronado Island, across the bay from San Diego.
Four years after publishing “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” a children’s book that would become the first in a beloved series of 14, L. Frank Baum checked into the Hotel del Coronado for a wintertime respite. He and his wife would do so every year but one until 1910, during which time he wrote three more “Oz” books and parts of another. Later, the Baums would winter at a house not far away from the hotel, on Star Park Circle. The house, like the storied Victorian hotel, still stand today. Baum passed away in 1919, but his memory and his legacy in San Diego cultural history live on.