New book shows history of Encinitas boathouses through family archives

Book cover
Cover of “Miles Minor Kellogg and the Encinitas Boathouses”
(Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing)

The boathouses on Third Street in Encinitas have been one of the city’s most notable landmarks for more than 90 years, with fact and fiction about their origin and architect Miles Minor Kellogg sometimes blending in local lore.

Rachel Brupbacher

In a new book that will be released on June 7, “Miles Minor Kellogg and the Encinitas Boathouses,” the architect’s great-great granddaughter and first-time author Rachel Brupbacher set out to bolster the historical record surrounding one of his hallmark achievements.

Brupbacher began by wading through family archives, including letters, photos and news clippings that had been compiled by Kellogg’s daughter Vera, as well as oral histories that had been recorded by Vera’s niece.

“When I started writing about him, I never really envisioned it was going to be a book,” said Brupbacher, adding that she initially planned on a 25-page report for her family. “That’s not what happened because there was so much information there, and this really terrific story emerged about Miles and the boathouses.”

Currently based in New Mexico, Brupbacher has been a missionary, a musician and lived all over the country before turning her attention to writing.

“I had always heard about the boathouses,” she said. “I didn’t realize how special they were to Encinitas though until I actually went there.”

The boathouses, which were never actually designed to go to sea, were listed in the National Register of Historic Places nearly two years ago. They serve as rental properties, and have been owned by the Encinitas Preservation Association since 2008. According to the Encinitas Historical Society, the boathouses are one of the prominent examples of “courtyard architecture.” The society also includes them during its walking tours of the city on Saturday mornings every two months.

“I think that one of the things that will interest readers the most about this book is some really fascinating little stories from, I think, what would be considered the most pivotal time in Encinitas history are shared here for the first time,” Brupbacher said. “From the 1910s and the 1920s is when Encinitas boomed from being a sleepy little coastal town to a bustling city, and Miles Minor Kellogg was definitely a part of that as a builder.”

She continued, “I learned a lot of the local history, but I also think that a lot of the history I can share is new to even some local historians because there’s so much detailed information, fascinating information that has not been available to the public because it was in our family for so long. And there are just lots and lots of beautiful old images from that time as well.”

After about two years of writing, the book was ready.

“I wasn’t quite sure who my audience was going to be, so it took a little longer than it probably would have,” Brupbacher said.

She added that readers will be “astonished at the rich history behind the buildings themselves and the man who built them.”

For more information on Brupbacher and “Miles Minor Kellogg and the Encinitas Boathouses,” visit The book is available at Arcadia Publishing and where books are sold, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.