History of the House
In 1883 John A Frazier chose to settle in this area and named it Frazier’s Station. He dug a well for his water supply and later analysis of the deep (over 400 feet) well water showed it to be nearly identical to the water from a famous well, in Karlsbad, Bohemia. To celebrate this fact the name of the area was changed from Frazier’s Station to Carlsbad, CA.
Promotion of Carlsbad was begun by the California Southern Railway (Sante Fe) and by the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company. A large hotel was erected near the well (where Alt Karlsbad now stands), and railway waiting rooms across the country featured posters of the new Carlsbad Spa and its miraculous waters. In 1887, the president of the land company, Gerhard Schutte who had recently moved from Columbus, Nebraska, erected a large home nearby, and one of his partners, D.D. Wadsworth, built a mirror image of the presidents house on the same block 200 feet to the north (where Starbucks is now located). The palatial Queen Anne homes were built with lumber shipped from Nebraska. The two homes, visible for miles across the coastal plain, became landmarks in the Carlsbad area.
The original Carlsbad Hotel, a giant five-story wooden structure with a rooftop gazebo, burned to the ground in 1896 and at about the turn of the century, the Carlsbad land boom was over. Within a few years the Carlsbad Land & Water company was reorganized and the Schutte Family moved to National City in 1906. The homes of its two principal officers had been leased for commercial purposes and were now renting rooms and serving meals under the name of the Twin Inns. The Carlsbad area was still being promoted, by the South Coast Land Company and was the Avocado capital of the world.
In 1918 Baron Long closed his famous Ship Café on the canal in Venice, CA. His specialty chef, Eddie Kentner, drove south seeking a likely place to relocate. Attracted to the Twin Inns, he acquired the business on November 5 1919.
Travel between Los Angeles and San Diego by automobile was arduous in the 1920’s. The Twin Inns soon became a favorite stopping place for travelers, enhanced perhaps by Mr. Kentners’s willingness to prepare meals at all hours of the night for “victims” of the automobile technology of the 1920’s. Prohibition drove many fun seekers south, as well as many Hollywood celebrities, to the historic site. There was even a “speakeasy” in the basement that adds to the allure and mystique of the home. Rumors are that it still exists today.
The incredible traffic made it necessary to enlarge the Twin Inns. The rotunda was added in 1922. In 1936 the lobby and front rooms were remodeled to provide more space. By 1950 the combination for increased business and local street widening projects had made parking a major problem. The old Wadsworth House was raised to provide parking in what is now the north lot. In April 1984, the Kentner family sold the historic Twin Inns building and all its land. The new owners changed the name from the Twin Inns to Neimans and developed the shopping area around it known as the Carlsbad Village Fair in 1985.
In 2003 Neimans closed and was renamed the Ocean House. The Ocean House was a bar and nightclub for the next 10 years. In November of 2013 Chef Robert Ruiz began creating his signature restaurant in this historic location. The Land and Water Company was reborn in this historic building with the property being returned to its roots. The former “Duke Room”, named in honor of John Wayne who frequented the restaurant, has been restored to reveal the original vaulted ceiling with hand crafted painted beams and the original stained glass window installed after the final addition to the home. Today the Land & Water Company, which pays tribute to its origins, brings extremely unique California Cuisine with French, Hawaiian and Japanese influences to North County San Diego.