By Orion M. Zink
Orion M. Zink was born in Loup City, Nebraska, April 1, 1894. He attended grade schools in that city, in Denver, Colorado, Spokane, Washington, and the University of Gonzaga, in Spokane.
He saw service in France in World War I. Before and after that conflict he worked in The Engineering Department of the Ray-Con Copper Company, at Ray, Arizona. He was with that company for four years.
In 1921 Mr. Zink came to San Diego. For several years he was engaged in auto sales. Later, for 24 years, he worked in the Department of Motor Vehicles for the State of California. He retired in 1962 as a Driver Improvement Analyst.
Mr. Zink’s avocation has been free lance writing for newspapers and other publications. For eleven years he wrote a special Sunday column for the San Diego Union on “Safe Driving.”
Mr. Zink, a member of San Diego Lodge No. 35, F.&A.M., early became interested in the history of this old lodge which was founded in 1851 at Old Town, San Diego.
In 1944 be was appointed Historian of the Lodge, wrote its history, and continues to provide stories for that body’s publication, the “Master Mason.”
He is a member of the San Diego History Center, a member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Historical Site Board, and works with the Architectural Research Panel which is engaged in research work in connection with the restoration of buildings in Old Town, San Diego State Park.
During the years of 1944-45 and 46, the writer was engaged in gathering material for a history of San Diego Masonic Lodge No. 35. As part of that work, there was a need to locate the places where the Lodge met at Old Town, San Diego, during the period from 1851 to 1870.
While endeavoring to find the many homes and buildings used as lodge rooms, so much additional information was gathered, that I decided to assemble it for the benefit of others, who might engage in similar research.
My initial endeavor was to identify the buildings in three pictures I obtained, all of Old Town. Two from the San Diego History Center collection were taken in the 1860’s. The other taken in the 1870’s is from the Union Title Co.’s files.
To supplement this, Pascoe’smap of 1870 was employed to locate the places shown in the photographs, and also to mark the sites of other homes and places of interest, of which no pictures are available.
The handy reference map accompanying this manuscript, was designed by City Traffic Engineer, James E. Reading. It contains all information recorded in the original Pascoe map.
Smythe’s and McGrew’s histories provided much worthwhile information, as did the files of the San Diego Herald and the San Diego Union. Most of the information however, came from the following pioneer residents, who graciously assisted:
Albert Henry Smith, born in Old Town, October 1855. He was the son of Albert Smith, who settled in San Diego before the war with Mexico;
Pete Llucia, born in Old Town, October 18, 1873, son of Vincent Llucia, pioneer merchant, proprietor of the “French Bakery,” and postmaster at one time;
Simon Mannassee, born in Old Town, June 24, 1874, son of Moses Mannassee, a merchant who owned and operated a store opposite the San Pasqual battle field;
Sarah O’Neill Connors, born in Old Town, October 21, 1879, daughter of Patrick O’Neill, who built and operated the American Hotel which stood on the south side of the plaza. O’Neill and son peddled water from a cart;
Mary Connors Schreffler, born in Old Town, July 17 or 18, 1878, granddaughter of James W. Connors who came to San Diego in the 1850’s;
William J. Crosthwaite, born in Old Town, October 7, 1860, son of Philip Crosthwaite, who settled here before the Mexican War;
Corinne L0 Whaley, daughter of Thomas L. Whaley. She was born in San Francisco, September 4, 1864, and was a resident of Old Town from 1868. Her father was a well known, early day merchant.
I am greatly indebted to Miss Corinne L. Whaley, and Pete Llucia, who accompanied me on tours of Old Town, and pointed out many places of historic interest.
Extra effort was made to locate the sites of the old Spanish and Mexican homes, the adobe structures that greeted the first Americans. Only a handful of these buildings stand today, and unfortunately, the sites of others and the names of their owners, were unknown except in a few instances, to these second and third generation old residents who assisted me in the project.
Adobe ruins were commonplace when they were youngsters and held no special interest.
Pete Llucia remembered playing around the Old Presidio, and related how he and the other boys pushed over the crumbling adobe walls that were standing at that time.
It is regrettable that an effort was not made to gather this data when the first generation of Old Town San Diegans were still living; a wealth of information was lost with their passing.
In summing up the results achieved in this project, it is interesting to note that excellent information has been obtained of buildings erected after the American occupation and the period in particular from the 1860’s on, when lumber replaced adobe in home construction. As mentioned before, the original home owners of many historical dwellings were unknown to those who assisted me. They only remembered the people who lived in the houses when they were youngsters. For instance, William Crosthwaite knew nothing of the Carrillo home. He remembered it as the residence of A. O. Wallace, a butcher. Miss Whaley also remembered the Wallace family having lived there.
When directions are mentioned, the writer has followed the custom of calling that side of the plaza where the Casa de Machado still stands, the “south” side. that side is not true south, old residents, as shown by advertisements in the Herald and the Union, always referred to it as south, and this has been continued to avoid confusion.
The question naturally arises as to how correct the data herein assembled is. To that I can only reply that it is only as accurate as were the memories of the venerable Old Towners that provided it. When locations were disputed, and occasionally they were, then it was accepted only when two or more agreed upon it.
I only hope that you who take time to pour over these facts, and yes, perhaps fancies, will enjoy to a small degree, at least, the pleasure that was mine in collecting them.
The number that precedes the following listed places has been used uniformly throughout to identify buildings shown in the pictures, and likewise to mark the sites located on the chart.
Some of the cemeteries are not shown on the map. Information however, is provided that will assist in their location, and also the site of James W. Robinson’s and the Agüirre graves.
The name or names in parenthesis, i.e. (Whaley), indicates the source of the information.
1. COBBLESTONE JAIL
Built in 1850-51 by Agostin Haraszthy. Photo. p.262, Smythe’s. A complete picture of the building was obtained by the writer from Mabel Dunham, daughter of Columbus Dunham, early day Postmaster. Copies of picture are in Union Title Co.’s, and Historical Society’s files. (Llucia)
2. EL CAMPO SANTO,
Old Town cemetery.
3. ADOBE CHAPEL
Originally home of John Brown, San Diego’s first coroner. Bought by Don José Antonio Agüirre and given to the Catholic Church. Dedicated as Church of Immaculate Conception, November 21, 1858. Building originally was adobe. Later it was enclosed by weatherboarding. Agüirre’ s tomb is in the small right wing of the chapel. Two bells hung at one time from a scaffold outside at one end of the building. Building was completely restored in 1936. See article by Lucy Brown Wentworth, San Diego Union, August 28, 1933.
4. THOMAS WHALEY HOME AND STORE
Built of brick December 10,1856. See account San Diego Herald that date. Whaley’s brickyard was back of Bandini house. (Whaley.) Building was used as court house at one time. Still standing. See photo, Smythe p. 242.
Miss Whaley stated that she encouraged the Mexican children to believe that the Whaley House was haunted. She told them, “Hay espantos aqui con ojos grandes.” A rough translation of this is, “There are ghosts here, with big eyes.” This was all that was necessary to induce them to “skedaddle.” (Zink)
5. CASA DE ESTEBAN QUINTANO,
One story adobe.
Quintano was a caretaker at the Old Mission, and drove for Father Ubach. (Llucia)
6. JEFF GATEWOOD HOME
One story frame facing San Diego Avenue. Later, Parkinson and Freeman ran a postoffice here. (Whaley)
7. ASHER, (ASCHER) HOME
One story frame. (Whaley)
8. RUDOLPH SCHILLER’S PHOTOGRAPH STUDIO
One story adobe. (Whaley)
9. EMMET HOUSE (Original Site)
The original structure was a two-story frame, painted white with green shutters. It stood at the corner of Twiggs and Congress Streets. It was run by Mrs. Dentler as a hospital in the late 1870’s, or 80’s. Miss Whaley and Pete Llucia both stated that the building was torn down by H. M. Hall Co. and the material used to construct a one story frame which is still standing at 3921 Twiggs.
10. EMMET HOUSE
(present site) 3921 Twiggs.
11. GILA HOUSE
Built by Juan Bandini. Two-story frame, 200×50. Had verandas on three sides. See McGrew’s History p. 54, 357. Charles R. Johnson was one of the earliest proprietors. During the 1850’s, it was continuously offered for sale. Perhaps it was too far from the plaza, the business center, to prosper.
Miss Whaley stated that her mother lived at this hotel for a time. Smythe’s History erroneously states that the Gila House was destroyed by the fire that swept the south side of the plaza on April 21, 1872. Miss Whaley, Albert Smith and William Crosthwaite all declared that the hotel was torn down and the lumber salvaged.
There is no known picture of this building. However, a picture of the hotel’s kitchen, an adobe structure that stood apart, was presented to the Historical Society by Miss Whaley.
12. GEORGE A. PENDLETON HOME
Two-story frame which originally stood at 3877 Harney Street. It was moved in 1962 to its present location, next to the Whaley house. Lt. George H. Derby lived here during his stay in San Diego. Photo, p. 242, Smythe’ s.
13. CASA DE FRANCISCO LOPEZ
One story adobe, still standing. Francisco was a cousin of Bonifacio Lopez. (Crosthwaite) Photo, Smythe’s p. 260.
14. CASA DE MAGDALENA ESTUDILLO
One story adobe. See sheriff’s sale, San Diego Herald, September 9, 1855. Property described as “Dwelling house, outhouse and corral, in Block 19& 20, and intersected by Mason & Jefferson Streets. Adjoins house and lots of Cave J. Couts. Ruins can be seen in Union Title photo. 1876.
15. CAVE J. COUTS’ HOME
It is quite possible that this house belonged to Santiago E. Argüello, before Cave J. Couts acquired it. Couts offered it for sale in the 1850’s. The ad ran for a long time in the San Diego Herald. This one story adobe had several rooms, and out buildings. Years later it was used as a slaughter house. Ruins visible in Union Title photo, 1876. (Llucia – Zink)
16. CASA DE RAMON COTA
One story adobe built by Juan Cota. (Whaley)
17. D. WALLACH HOME.
One story frame. (Whaley)
18. R. E. DOYLE HOME
Also known as the Martin Trimmer place. Miss Whaley described it as, “white with blue trim.”
19. BUTCHER SHOP
One story frame. Albert Smith clerked here. (Whaley)
20. N. H. DODSON HOME
One story frame. Dodson was a lawyer. (Whaley)
21. CASA DE JOSE ANTONIO AGUIRRE
Later parsonage of Father Ubach. José Antonio Altamirano lived here in the 80′ s. Gertrude Alta, an Indian woman, supposed to be 111 years old, lived here in 1909. One story adobe. Picture, Smythe’s History. (Whaley – Llucia)
22. CASA DE JOSE ANTONIO ALTAMIRANO
One story frame. Probably built by Pedrorena, First office of the San Diego Union. was occupied by the paper, October 10, 1868. The name is a misnomer. The Altamiranos never used it as a residence. (Whaley)
23. CASA DE MIGUEL DE PEDRORENA
One story adobe built before 1850. Afterwards owned by Antonio Altamirano, about 1885. Isabella de Pedrorena married an Altamirano. (Whaley – Llucia)
24. CASA DE JOSÉ ANTONIO ESTUDILLO
One story adobe. Later the home of José Guadalupe Estudillo. After restoration it was called “Ramona’s Marriage Place.” Early day picture in Smythe’s p. 133. Many others in Historical Society’s files.
25. CASA DE JUAN BANDINI
Originally a one story adobe. Second story added by A. L. Seeley, and named the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Will Ackerman ran a store and postoffice here about 1897. Picture in Smythe’s p. 91, 150. (Llucia)
26. BLACK HAWK LIVERY STABLE
Operated by Johnny Hinton. Building owned by A. L. Seeley. Frame structure. Picture in 1876 Union Title photo. (Llucia)
27. BARN, FRAME, OWNED BY A. L. SEELEY
Here his horses and stages were kept. 1876 Union Title photo. (Llucia)
28. WALLACH’S STORE
See account of fire in San Diego Union, April 21,1872. (Albert Smith)
29. LITTLE BRICK COURT HOUSE
Built by Co. B. of the Mormon Battalion in 1847. Used by San Diego Lodge No. 35, F. & A.M. as lodge hall in 1853. Protestant church services also were held in 1853 and 1854. First mentioned by Derby in Pheonixiana, p. 204. For account of fire that destroyed it, see San Diego Union, April 21, 1872. Building site located and described by Albert Smith in 1946. His description and location agrees with newspaper account of fire. He states emphatically that the building was brick, and was located where the Ramona Cafe stands today, at 2725 San Diego Avenue.
On the courthouse site at a later date was erected a one story frame building which was used by Mr. Echols as a school. Later it was moved to 4260 Taylor, where Mary Connors Schreffler’s great-grand-mother, Mrs. Vandergrift, resided for several years. It is still standing today, and has been marked as a historical landmark.
Miss Whaley stated that the school was for boys only. Special story about the courthouse in Master Mason, August 1946 by Zink. Picture in Schiller photo.
30. COLORADO HOUSE
Two story frame. Mentioned by Derby in Phoenixiana – “A wooden structure, whereof the second story is occupied by the San Diego Herald,as a vast sign bearing that legend informed us.” In 1854, Q. A. Sneed, is mentioned as the proprietor. It burned in the fire of April 21, 1872. See San Diego Union of that date. Picture in Schiller photo. Ruins can be seen in Union Title picture of 1876. Special story in Master Mason, August 1946. (Zink)
31. THE EXCHANGE HOTEL
There is no known picture of this building. Derby, in describing the San Diego that greeted him on Ms arrival in 1853, in his Phoenixiana, pp. 204-5, he wrote: – “The Exchange, a hostelry at which we stopped. This establishment is kept by Hoof, (Philip H. Hoof) familiarly known as ” Johnny,” but whom I once christened “Cloven,” and Tibbetts, who is also called “Two bitts,” in honorable distinction from an unworthy partner he once had, who obtained unenviable notoriety as, “Picayune Smith.” –
The Tibbetts mentioned was George P. Tibbetts.
The San Diego Herald frequently mentions the hotel in ads as early as 1850. It was at the Exchange that the first meeting of Masons in San Diego was held, June 20, 1851. (See San Diego Herald, June 19, 1851.)
The building was probably two stories high, as John Judson Ames, in an article in the Herald June 28, 1852, describing a St. John’s Day celebration by Masons, stated:
“The procession after marching through the principal streets, halted under the gallery of the Exchange and the Colorado House” –
The Exchange occupied this site until it was raised in November 1855, to make alterations for the Franklin House. In the San Diego Herald, November 3, 1855, under “City Improvements” you will find this notice:
“On the plaza, and its vicinity are several operations, just completed or in progress, one of the most important of which is the raising and enlargement of the Exchange estate, by the Messrs Franklin, who intended to devote it to their large and increasing business. The lower story is to tae of brick, fronted by a handsome veranda, which will be carried up three stories, the height of the building.”
The Franklin House was destroyed by fire. See San Diego Union, April 21, 1872.
Desiring to mark the site of San Diego Lodge’ s first meeting place, the County records were searched, and in Book E, page 328, the following transfer of property is recorded:
July 19, 1855
Mumford & Phebe Eldred Jr.
Lewis Abram Franklin (Grantee)
“Conveys situate in the Town of San Diego, having a front on the Plaza or public square of 35 feet more or less, and in depth 50 varas, (Spanish measure) and known upon the plan of said town, as part of Lot 2, in Block 30, Couts’ map, upon which the building known as the “Exchange” has been erected” –
On June 16, 1951, San Diego Lodge No. 35, F. & A.M., celebrating its one hundredth anniversary, placed a bronze plaque on the building at 2731 San Diego Avenue, marking the site of the Exchange Hotel, the Lodge’s first meeting place. On October 12, 1951, the California State Chamber of Commerce, registered the “Exchange Hotel” as Landmark No. 491.
32. CASA DE JUAN RODRIGUEZ
One story adobe. See Fitch and Schiller photos. Mentioned in Smythe’s p. 133.
33. CASA DE JOSE MANUEL MACHADO
One story adobe. Still standing. Picture in Smythe’s p. 132. Also in Fitch and Schiller photos.
34. THOMAS DALEY’S MATCH FACTORY
Two-story frame. Also used as a school. Teachers were, Miss Skinner, Miss Richey, Miss Deever and Mrs. MacGillivray. (Whaley) In the 80’s, Frank Stewart had a meat market here. Upstairs, Pat O’ Neill’s help were quartered. Chinese cook had his room on the second floor. (Sarah O’Neill Connors – Llucia.) Union Title picture.
35. AMERICAN HOTEL
Two-story frame built in the 1860’s by Pat O’Neill. Hotel upstairs and a saloon on the ground floor.
Hotel was torn down about 1905. Sarah O’ Neill Connors related that when the place was razed, a man by the name of Tarbox found a sack of twenty dollar gold pieces hidden in the staircase. Mrs. Connors gave me a picture of the hotel that showed members of her family and friends posing in front. All were identified. (Connors – Llucia). Post office was located here at one time. (Whaley.) Clearly shown in Union Title picture.
36. CASA DE JUANA MACHADO,
Identified by her nephew, Albert Smith. Photo. Smythe’s p. 155. Also in Union Title and Schiller pictures.
37. MASON STREET SCHOOL
Two-story frame. Teachers in 1855 were Mr. Vein Pepper, Mr. Sullivan and Mrs. Carl. The last one named had an artificial leg. (Llucia). School was built June 7, 1873. See San Diego Union, that date. Picture in Union Title photo.
38. JOHN C. STEWART HOME
Still standing. Photo. Smythe, p. 252.
39. ALBERT B. SMITH HOME
Photo, Smythe’s p. 259.
40. ONE STORY ADOBE
Belonged originally to Juan María Marron. Later acquired by Andrés Pico. Bought by E. W. Morse when sold for taxes, and was immediately torn down. This building can tae seen in small Fitch photo., standing in the plaza almost in front of the Robinson-Rose (Railroad building)
41. ORIGINALLY A ONE STORY ADOBE,
built by James W. Robinson
In the San Diego Herald November 3, 1855, under ” City Improvements,” Ames calls it the “Railroad Block,” and stated that verandas similar to those on the Franklin building are to be added. The second story was frame.
On March 11, 1854, the Herald moved to this building, and took up quarters on the second floor. J. R. Gitchell, an attorney also had his office here. The improvements to the building were mentioned in the Herald, July 12, 1856.
After Robinson’ s death, and from 1865 to 1870, San Diego Lodge No. 35, F. & A.M., held their meetings on the second floor. During that period the building was generally referred to as the “Masonic Temple.” The Lodge rented from Robinson’s widow, and later from Louis Rose when he acquired the building.
Tom Whaley and Philip Crosthwaite ran a grocery store on the ground floor. Pictured in Union Title and Schiller photos. (Llucia – Whaley – Mannassee – Smith.)
42. ONE STORY FRAME
A Mr. Moss had a store here. (Albert Smith.) Later a Mrs. Amende conducted a real estate office in building. Her daughter, May Amende, worked at the library. (Whaley – Llucia.) A picture in Historical Society files shows the building next to Congress Hall when that building was moved to west side of plaza.
43. CONGRESS HALL.
Built and owned by George De Witt, Clinton, Washington, Robertson. It was a one story frame. It first stood on the north side of the plaza, two doors west of the Alvarado buildings. Here Robertson ran a saloon, billiard parlor and gambling house.
About 1870, Vincent Llucia bought the building and moved it to the northwest corner of the plaza, In 1884 the post office was located here, and Vincent Llucia and Ms son, Vincent P. D. Llucia, were post-masters.
The rear of the building on its original site can be seen in the Union Title picture, and a partial front view is shown in the Schiller photo after the building had been moved to the west side of the plaza. A single picture taken many years later can be seen in the Historical Society’s files. (Llucia)
44. ONE STORY ADOBE
Belonged to Rosario Aguilar. See Smythe’s p. 133. Later owned by Luis Serrano. Built before 1830. The crumbling ruins were cleared away to make room for Congress Hall, when it was moved from across the plaza by Vincent Llucia. See early picture in Fitch collection, now owned by Union Title Co. Also shown in Schiller photo.
45. JAMES McCOY HOUSE
One story frame with false front owned by James McCoy, who kept grain stored here. Shown in Union Title photo. (Mannassee)
46. ONE STORY ADOBE
One of the oldest in Old Town. It is pictured in Lt. W. H. Emory’s drawings made in 1846, and can be seen in Union Title Co.’s photo.
Judge Benjamin L Hayes had his offices here. (Whaley) James Doyle later bought it; and James McCoy bought it from Mrs. Doyle.
47. JAMES McCOY HOME
When McCoy’s widow married Murtha, the property was known as the Murtha estate.
It was a two-story frame, with about a block of ground around it, and was ornamented with many shrubs and fruit trees. Llucia said this home was considered a show place. He remembered that McCoy had two ferocious dogs. They were tied up in the day time, but were turned loose at night in the yard to guard the place. In addition to the Union Title photo there are many pictures of this ornate building, in the Historical Society’s files. (Llucia.)
48. OLD TOWN’S WATER SUPPLY
Water from this well and one located in front of the American Hotel, was peddled by Pat O’Neill’s boys, Johnny and Mike. Their two-wheel cart drawn by a white horse, “Blazes,” delivered water to New Town San Diego and to La Playa. (Llucia – Mannassee)
49. TWO STORY FRAME BUILDING
PAINTED RED; A SALOON WAS LOCATED HERE.
A cannon barrel stuck upright in the ground, in front of this place, served as a hitching post for horses, and a whipping post for Indians. (Mannassee – Llucia) Union Title photo. At one time Lyons ran a store here.
50. ONE STORY ADOBE
“Luce,” an Indian woman and her two sons lived here. (Mary Connors Schreffler.)
51. ONE STORY FRAME STORE
Jim Doyle lived here, Union Title photo. (Mannassee – Llucia)
52. TWO STORY ADOBE.
Upstairs occupied by Mr. Ellen Bush. (Whaley) Later occupied by George Neal, a court reporter. (Llucia.) Hyman Solomon ran a restaurant on the first floor. Later George Neal conducted a grocery here and still later Mr. Grebe used the first floor as a restaurant. (Whaley)
On this same site, about 1900, a two story frame was erected. It was a boarding school, and was known as the “College.” (Whaley.) Rear view of this building can be seen in Union Title picture.
53. ONE STORY FRAME
Blanchard had general merchandise store here. Building also used as a school. Mrs. Ellen Bush taught here. Used as a store about 1885. (Whaley) Peak of roof can be seen in Union Title picture.
54. CONGRESS HALL
Second site. (See 43)
55. ONE STORY ADOBE
Used as a stable by Pat O’ Neill. Here he kept his milk cows, and his famous white horse, “Blazes.” This horse was left to O’Neill by Tom Lush. “Blazes” pulled the two wheel cart that delivered water for miles around. Johnny and Mike O’Neill operated the cart. (Llucia – Sarah O’Neill Conners.)
56. CASA DE DONA TOMASA ALVARADO
This one story frame, and the one adjoining it, were acquired by Vincent Llucia, who traded sheep for the properties. (Llucia – Mannassee) Rear of building can be seen in Union Title photo.
57. CASA DE DONA TOMASA ALVARADO
One story frame. After it was acquired by Vincent Llucia, he established his bakery here. It was known as the “French Bakery.” The bakery oven can be seen at the rear of the building in the Union Title photo. Llucia also sold general merchandise here. (Llucia)
58. GUSTAVUS WITFELD’S DRUG STORE
One story adobe. Early day drug store, established in 1868. Ad in San Diego Union, October 31, 1868 announced:
“San Diego Drug Store – On North side of Plaza Old Town, San Diego. G. Wittfield, Druggist and chemist. Keeps on hand a well assorted stock of fresh drugs, chemicals and patent medicines, carefully compounded.”
The building he occupied was next door to Llucia’s “French Bakery.” Witfeld is the correct way to spell the druggist’s name.
When he moved from Old Town, Llucia bought out his stock of drugs and moved them to his store. The drug store was never occupied again and crumbled away.
Gustavus Witfeld was a pioneer druggist of both San Diego and Tucson, Arizona. On June 15, 1946, Druggists and Masons of San Diego placed a marker on his grave at Mt. Hope cemetery. (Llucia – Zink)
59. ONE STORY FRAME
Operated by Schillinger as a store, and later converted into a residence by Capt. George A. Johnson. Johnson was associated with Capt. A. H. Wilcox in running a line of packet boats. (Whaley – Llucia.) Rear view of building in Union Title picture.
60. HOME OF MRS. ALBERT B. SMITH
(Guadalupe Machado Smith) One story adobe which faced Juan Street. See Union Title photo. (Albert Smith, son)
61. TIENDA GENERAL
One story adobe. Once owned by Thomas Whaley. Albert Smith said it was next door to his mother’s home. And that it later became a saloon which was patronized by a rough element of Indians, Mexicans and Negroes. Brawls here were commonplace. See Union Title photo.
62. ONE STORY ADOBE
Owner uncertain. Joseph Mannassee ran a general merchandise store here. (Mannassee)
It might possibly have been a store known as the Tienda General, of which Thomas Whaley was the proprietor. (Whaley)
63. CAPT. HENRY D. FITCH’S STORE AND RESIDENCE
One story adobes. These buildings faced an alley back of Congress Hall at its original site. Roofs are discernible in Union Title photo. (Llucia)
64. CASA DE JOSÉ ANTONIO PICO
One story adobe. José Antonio was a brother of Andrés and Pio Pico.
In 1857, Magdalena Pico, wife of José Antonio, rented part of the building to San Diego Lodge No. 35, F. & A.M. as a lodge hall. The Lodge held meetings here for about three years. (Zink – Whaley)
65. CASA DE DONA MARIA REYES YBANES
An adobe structure later used as a barn by Estudillo. Approximate location as given by Smythe p. 131.
66. ONE STORY FRAME
Owner unknown. A saloon was located here. (Llucia) Union Title photo.
67. TWO STORY FRAME
Rafaela Serrano may have lived here. See Smythe, p. 131. In the 1870’s, John D. Barkhart lived here. Frank Whaley was born in this building. (Whaley)
About 1900, William Lyons lived here. (Llucia. Union Title photo.
68. GEORGE LYON’S BLACKSMITH SHOP
Frame building (Mannassee) Union Title photo.
69. FRAME BARN AND CORRAL
Owners, J. S. Mannassee, & M. Schiller.
70. FRAME BARN AND CORRAL
Owners, J. S. Mannassee, and M. Schiller. Union Title Picture.
71. HOME OF ISABEL BROWN, AN INDIAN WOMAN
Because of her huge size, she was called “Isabelona.” Isabel told Llucia that she was fourteen years old, and living at the Estudillo home when the Americans came to San Diego.
William Lyons bought the Brown home, a one story frame, and built a new house on the lot. The Lyons’ home was torn down to make room for the golf course. (Llucia) Union Title photo.
72. CASA DE LORENZO SOTO
This adobe home may have been built by Louis Rose. In the San Diego Herald, June 16, 1855, it was stated that an indictment against Rose, Pendleton & Co. had been dismissed. It seems that they had been charged with having built this two story building, permitting it to extend into the street.
The building jutted into Juan St. However, Rose provided proof that the ground was his.
About 1906, Rafaela Serrano acquired the property. See Smythe, p. 131.
This house stood vacant for many years, and became known as a “Haunted house.”
Undisturbed by these weird stories, Joseph P. Hazell moved into the place, and discovered that the strange noises people had been hearing originated in a leaky roof.
In the 1920’s when the street was widened, the building was removed. Union Title photo.
73. CASA DE JOSE ANTONIO SERRANO
Two-story adobe. (Whaley – Smith – Crosthwaite.) Union Title photo.
74. CASA DE JOAQUIN CARRILLO
One story adobe. Later A. O. Wallace, a butcher, lived here. That was about 1868. (Crosthwaite.)
Judge Hollister lived here in the 1870’s, and in 80’s a man by the name of Russell, a stage driver and cow puncher, resided here. (Crosthwaite)
75. THE OLD PEAR GARDENS
Also known as Rose’s gardens. This plot of ground originally belonged to Capt. Francisco María Ruiz. (Smythe, p. 131.) It was acquired by Lorenzo Soto in the 1860’s; sold to Judge Hollister about 1863, then bought by Louis Rose about 1866. (See San Diego Union, October 2, 1883.) The article stated that Mr. Rose is the owner that date.
On this site is supposed to have been erected the first house outside the presidio, an adobe built by Capt. Francisco, Maríá Ruiz, after 1800. Pete Llucia remembered an adobe hut there when he was a boy.
76. CASA DE JUAN MARIA MARRON
One story adobe. Miss Whaley remembered the place well. It was in this home that her friend, Luz Marrón, pierced her ears for ear rings. Union Title photo.
77. CASA DE BONIFACIO LOPEZ
One story adobe. Lopez was Philip Crosthwaite’s father-in-law. San Diego Lodge, No. 35, F. &A.M., met in this home from 1854 to 1856. (Crosthwaite – Llucia- Zink) Union Title photo.
78. GEORGE LYON’S HOME
79. JOHN HINTON HOME
Hinton was the proprietor of the Black Hawk Livery Stable. It was he who drove Helen Hunt Jackson about the county as she gathered material for her book “Ramona.”
80. ONE STORY FRAME AT 4260 TAYLOR STREET
It bears a tablet placed by the San Diego Historical Society, with the legend that it is the first school building. It was moved from original location on San Diego Avenue, where Mr. Echols conducted a school for boys. (See 29.) When moved to its present location, it was occupied by Mary Connors Schreffler’s great grandmother, Mrs. Vandergrift. (Mary Connors Schreffler – Whaley)
81. JAMES W. CONNORS’ HOME
Two story white frame. A picture in Historical Society’s file of the two famous palm trees at Old Town, shows the Connor home in the back-ground. Connors owned the whole block. (Mary Connors Schreffler.)
82. JAKE CHRISMAN HOME
Frame house with white fence. Chrisman was a blacksmith. (Mary Connors Schreffler.)
83. RANCH OF JOHN GRIFFIN
Union Title photo. (Llucia)
84. REDWOOD BARN
Sheltered many horses and mules at time of boom, when extensive buildings was underway. (Mary Connors Schreffler.)
85. PROTESTANT CEMETERY
LOCATED IN BLOCK 515.
Among those buried there were, Tommie Whaley, Francis Steele, Jack Hinton and Frank Ames. Miss Whaley remembered the inscription on Frank Ames’ tombstone. It read: “If honest worth, a place in Heaven may find, Poor Frank left, now without his passport signed.” (Whaley – San Diego Historical files)
86. SAN PASQUAL CEMETRY
These graves were in block 540. (Whaley – San Diego Historical files)
87. JEWISH CEMETERY
This burial ground was located in the area at or near, 2958 Fordham Street. Louis Rose was buried there. (Llucia)
88. SERRA PALM TREE
Originally, there were two palm trees at this site. Tradition has it that they were planted by the Mission priests.
Both of the trees can tae seen in a picture taken in the 1870’s. One of the trees was blown down in a wind storm. The remaining tree grew to a great height. Fearing that it would topple and injure some one, about 1960 it was removed by authorities.
89. JAMES W. ROBINSON’S GRAVE
It was located in Pueblo Lot 329, Map of City of San Diego by Clayton & Hesse.
The grave site was described by Miss Whaley as a small plot, north and west of the Naval Training Center. A low white fence enclosed this lone grave. This entire area is now covered by residences.
90. SITE OF SPANISH PRESIDIO
BUILT IN 1769
It was located about midway of the slope, below the present Serra Museum. Excavation of the old Presidio, long talked about, began in 1965.
The preliminary work is being done by students, under the direction of Dr. Paul H. Ezell, of the Department of Anthropology at San Diego State College.
91. FIRST CEMETERY ON PRESIDIO HILL
The year 1968 will have special significance to local historians, as in March of this year, the mystery of the location of San Diego’s first cemetery was solved.
The great find however, has been the graves, sixteen in all, and the most important of these was when on February 28, 1968, a coffin lid was unearthed on which was outlined with brass nails, two hearts and the letters, “H.D.F.”
Local historians are in complete agreement that this was the grave of Capt. Henry D. Fitch, who is believed to be the first American merchant to settle in San Diego.
Historical records indicate that Presidio Hill was final resting place of many Spanish soldiers, priests, civilians and Indians. But with one exception, no record has yet been found that provides the names, dates and grave location of those buried there.
The exception was the burial of Henry D. Fitch. Bancroft has recorded that he passed away, January 14, 1849, and his widow saw to it that he was buried on Presidio Hill.
One other coffin which was un-covered was marked with letters ” J.A.,” possibly the grave of a priest or a soldier. It is hoped that church records may provide further identification of this burial.
92. SECOND CEMETERY
In the ” Silver Dons” by Pourade, he states that at the time of the burial of Henry D. Fitch, a new Catholic cemetery had been in use for some time. He located it as near two palm trees at the foot of Presidio Hill, and enclosed with a paling fence.
Like the first cemetery, no permanent head stones marked the graves,, And as the years rolled by, vandals and wandering livestock erased all signs of it.
A clue to the location of this burying ground was provided the writer by Peter Llucia in 1945. In an interview with this pioneer resident at that time, Mr. Llucia stated that he worked for the street department of the City of San Diego from 1913 to 1930, and that on one occasion while operating a grader on the Presidio, his grader uncovered several human skeletons. When this happened, the bones were gathered up and reinterred in a common grave, in the County Section at Mt. Hope Cemetery.
This incident was confirmed by Simon Mannassee, who now is Old Town San Diego’s oldest resident. While visiting with Mr. Mannassee, I mentioned this happening and immediately he remembered the occurrence, and pointed out to me where the bones were found.
It was at the foot of the grade, about where the present 25 mile speed limit sign is located.