Tag Archives: old town san diego state historic park

SNIPPETS (5-6-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Back in 1966, I stopped by a field on the way home from school and picked some flowers for my wise old grandmother. She was appreciative but also upset. She told me that if I loved the flowers, I should leave them in the field to grow and produce seeds so we’ll have more flowers. I think that was our first conversation about the birds and the bees………..lol

So I’ve never been a fan of cut flowers. However, when a flower falls off or is pulled of by, uh, a ground squirrel or rabbit, I’m not averse to picking it up and putting it in a glass of water

I bought several cactus and succulents at the Huntington Gardens plant sale last Sunday in San Marino. One had a beautiful orange flower on it. Due to high-speed Southern California driving for two hours (one has to drive with the prevailing speed), the cactus fell over and broke the flower off. Saved the flower, and it’s looked amazing for three days.

Cactus flower

SNIPPET 2

If you have never been to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Garden in San Marino, California (northeast of downtown Los Angeles, near Pasadena), I can highly recommend it. In fact, I think it should be on everyone’s Bucket List.

The property comprises 207 acres, of which 120 acres are gardens. I could spend a day wandering around the gardens. I did spend a day wandering around the gardens! My favorite plant during my visit last Sunday was the Tower of Jewels (Echium  sp.):

Tower of Jewels (Echium sp.)

SNIPPET 3

Yesterday, 25 members of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society were treated to a private tour of Western Cactus, the nation’s largest cactus grower. Wow! What an experience. Following are a couple of pictures inside two of their 50 green houses. Those are hundreds of trays full of many thousands of cactus seedlings.

Western Cactus of Vista, California

Western Cactus of Vista, California

SNIPPET 4

I accidentally stepped into a low branch of this 4-foot tall “Fat Boy” cactus yesterday. I can definitively tell you that those long spines hurt like hell. I have seven puncture wounds, and that poor ankle still is hurting.

Fat Boy cactus

SNIPPET 5

Out in the wild, only about one in a thousand cactus seeds germinates and grows into a plant. It’s tough out there. It’s only marginally better in a greenhouse simply because caretakers can’t care for each seedling individually, so there will be natural die-off. Here are seed trays containing a thousand cactus seedlings of Astrophytum myriostigma each.

Aastrophytum myriostigma seedlings about 3 weeks old.

SNIPPET 6

And here is a picture from Wikipedia of what those seedlings will grow into; vastly different. Bishop’s Cap photo by Petar43 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27717413

Bishop's Cap

SNIPPET 7

I have 50+ years of botany experience, so I know that cacti are dicots, which means that their seeds will send up two cotyledons to take care of photosynthesis while the seed grows into a little plant and then starts its own photosynthesis.

However, until yesterday, I had never seen the cotyledons of a cactus seed. I used a 90mm macro lens on my Canon 760D to get this picture of two half-inch tall cacti still growing out of their cotyledons, which seem to be quite a bit plumper than, say, sweet pea or corn cotyledons, both of which I’m very familiar with.

Cactus cotyledons

SNIPPET 8

I haven’t had a true passion since 2001 when I started my home inspection business. Sadly, due to the 1% jerk Realtors, the 1% jerk home inspectors in the trade associations, and the 1% jerk buying/selling Clients, that passion lasted only for about 3 years. Then it became just a job, a way to pay the bills, buy a new car every other year, and buy my annual membership to the San Diego Zoo.

It’s just amazing how the 1% can ruin everything for the rest of us. President Twitler and his ilk are great examples.

SNIPPET 9

Western Cactus is  wholesale only. They ship cactus to retail entities throughout the world. The smallest cactus they ship is in a 4-inch plastic pot, which retail nurseries then re-plant into larger pots (so they can charge more) or decorative pots that add perceived value.

The first picture is of cactus in their 4-inch growing trays ready to be pulled and planted in 4-inch pots. The second picture are plants that have been pulled from the growing trays and are ready to be put in 4-inch plastic pots. The third picture are plants in those 4-inch plastic pots and ready to be shipped out to your local nursery. The pictures are of three different cactus species.

Western Cactus

Western Cactus

Western Cactus

SNIPPET 10

Well isn’t Zoey the Cool Cat just a special little queen enjoying her private catio.

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 11

I seem to be noticing cacti & succulents like I’ve never noticed them before. Here’s a huge Opuntia (Prickly Pear) growing in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. I would not be surprised if this one was planted in 1827 when Casa de Estudillo, where it was located, was planted. They certainly never grew this tall in my hometown of Kingsville TX.

Opuntia in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

SNIPPET 12

I had a margarita for Cinco de Mayo. You knew that, though, right? I had it in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park where I was serenaded by a Mexican trio playing “Tequila!” Here’s the trio, surrounded by cacti & succulents, and the song:

Tequila!

SNIPPET 13

Why are we allowing for-profit companies to litter our streets with these ugly bikes? I call them “litter bikes.” One can’t move them if one wants to take a picture, and they are so ugly that one is encouraged not to take the pictures, notwithstanding how expert one might be with Photoshop.

Litter bikes

SNIPPET 14

Today’s “Still Life” by Russel Ray Photos. I might have to question the part about “clean” since this was litter.

Clean, polite, and honest

The fine for littering is $1,000. Here’s my take on the litterer’s conversation with the litter police:

Litterer: Throws litter on the ground
Litter Police: “Hey, you! I just saw you throw that on the ground!”
Litterer: “Wasn’t me.”
Litter Police: “I saw you!”
Litterer: “You can’t possibly have been watching me and only me with these thousands of people here.”
Litter Police: “I don’t have to be watching only you. I only have to have my eyes on you as you’re littering.”
Litterer: “Wasn’t me.”
Litter Police: “All you have to do is pick it up and put it in the trash and we can end this.”
Litterer: “I’m not picking it up. It’s not mine! And who knows where it’s been or how long it’s been there or what kind of germs are on it.”
Litter Police: “I’ll pick it up and put it in the trash. However, I suggest you go home now because once a litterer always a litterer, and I’m going to follow you for the rest of the time that you’re here.”

SNIPPET 15

I grew up in Kingsville, Texas, just 70 miles north of the U.S./Mexico border. Lots of dry, desert land down there, so I’m quite experienced with Opuntia cactus poking holes in my arms and legs. That was 45+ years ago, so it’s been many decades since I had growing experience with Opuntia. In my old age, I’ve been kind of out of the OUCH! stage of my life since I don’t heal as quickly as I did decades ago. Yesterday, though, I saw Opuntia quimilo at Home Depot. I call it Opuntia Wowthosearesomelongspinesii. $14.48. I had to buy it.

Opuntia quimilo

SNIPPET 16

After 24 years with AOL, I’m now ready to close that email account. Unfortunately, AOL provides no way to do that. It’s one of their free accounts.

Anyone have any ideas?

The first 100 pages of a Google search (yes, I went through 100 pages!) provided no help; everything was out of date or not relevant to the free accounts.

SNIPPET 17

In Spring 1976, I had Professor Phil Gramm for Economics 301 at Texas A&M University. He went on to become United States Senator Phil Gramm. I disliked him and his class. One thing he constantly emphasized to us, though, had nothing to do with Economics:

“All politicians lie. It’s part of the job description for getting elected and re-elected. What you have to do is determine whose lies you like the best and then vote for that person.”

Twitler and his ilk, though, have taken lying to a level never before seen. All these liars lying about the lies they told to cover up the lies about the lies. It’s like lies are becoming the norm in America. It’s amazing that I will believe a porn star before I believe the President of the United States.

SNIPPET 18

Here is my third attempt as the Newsletter Editor of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society:

May newsletter for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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San Diego Historical Landmarks—#14I: Exchange Hotel Site

San Diego Historical Landmarks

Old Town San Diego State Historic ParkWithin Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (San Diego Historical Landmark #14) are many historic buildings and rebuilds. We’ll explore nine of them since they also have been designated San Diego Historical Landmarks.

The ninth historical landmark within Old Town is the Exchange Hotel Site. Also known as “Tebbett’s Place” in the early 1850’s, its location was not known until 1951. The life story of the proprietor, George Parrish Tebbets, is well known but the building where he conducted his business is pretty much unknown since there are no photographs, drawings, or complete descriptions of the hotel.

Several sources indicate that the Exchange Hotel was located at 2729 San Diego Avenue. Other sources say 2731 San Diego Avenue. Here is a picture of 2731 and 2733 San Diego Avenue:

Old Town San Diego first San Diego Courthouse

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Both buildings are rebuilds as they were destroyed in the great Old Town Fire of 1872. A lot is known about the two-story building, the Colorado House. The one-story building is the first San Diego courthouse. Based on my own research, I’m pretty sure that the first San Diego courthouse was not at that location but I couldn’t find where it actually had been built.

So we’re still looking for the Exchange Hotel….

In 1851, the Masons scheduled a meeting at the Exchange Hotel to draw up a petition to form a masonic lodge in San Diego. The petition was granted on August 1, 1851, and the lodge became San Diego Lodge No. 35. The date is noteworthy because in 1951, in celebration of the centennial of Southern California’s oldest Masonic Lodge, people went looking for the Exchange Hotel site in order to place a marker there.

No luck with the records of San Diego Lodge No. 35 as they contain no description of the Exchange Hotel and no mention of its location.

A June 28, 1852, article in the San Diego Herald was uncovered which seems to indicate that the Exchange Hotel was at least a two-story structure next to the Colorado House, itself known to be a two-story structure:

“The procession after marching through the principal streets, halted under the gallery of the Exchange and the Colorado house, to listen to the oration by J. Judson Ames, R.A. & K.T. which occupied about a half hour. Of its merits it isn’t of course, proper to speak.”

A November 3, 1855, San Diego Herald article reveals a little more:

“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 Messers Franklin, who intend to devote it to their large and increasing business. The lower story is to be of brick, fronted by a handsome veranda which will be carried up three stories, the height of the building.”

Franklin HouseThe first three-story building, and for many years the only three-story building, in San Diego was the Franklin House. At one time it was owned by Joseph Mannasse, a member of the San Diego Lodge. Many of the Lodge’s early banquets and special events were held in the Franklin House.

Further research in 1951 indicates that the Franklin House was built where the Exchange Hotel once stood. I’m wondering if the Franklin House actually was the Exchange Hotel after “the raising and enlargement of the Exchange estate.”

Also in 1951, James Forward and George Elder of Union Title Insurance Company found a property transfer dated July 19, 1855:

“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 (measure) and known upon the plaza of said town, as part of Lot 2 in Block 30, upon which the building known as the ‘Exchange’ has been erected.”

That pretty much defined the location as 2731 San Diego Avenue.

Permission of the owners was obtained to place a bronze plaque at the site and, although that apparently was done on June 16, 1951, I could not find a plaque at the site when I was there this morning. Next time I am there I will search with a more critical eye.

The foundation of the Franklin House was uncovered in 1981 during renovation of Old Town. Sadly, though, once it was uncovered and documented, they poured sand on it and recovered it with concrete walkways and asphalt streets. I guess no one would want to look at a crumbled foundation of a destroyed house when they can reconstruct other buildings on top of it so people can buy trinkets, souvenirs, food, and, of course, margaritas!

Location of Old Town San Diego State Historic ParkOld Town San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the San Diego Historical Landmarks series, go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift? Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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San Diego Historical Landmarks—#14G: Casa de Machado y Stewart

San Diego Historical Landmarks

Old Town San Diego State Historic ParkWithin Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (San Diego Historical Landmark #14) are many historic buildings and rebuilds. We’ll explore nine of them since they also have been designated San Diego Historical Landmarks.

The seventh landmark, San Diego Historical Landmark #14G, is Casa de Machado y Stewart.

img_8738 la casa de machado y stewart stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The museum was undergoing renovations when I was there, which means two things: (1) I don’t have any good pictures, and (2) I will get to go back!

img_8739 la casa de machado y stewart stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Casa de Machado y Stewart was built around 1835 (some sources say as early as 1830) by José Manuel Machado, a retired soldier from the presidio. Its walls are sun-dried adobe bricks, and the home originally had just a bedroom and a living room.

Rosa, José’s youngest daughter, and her husband, Jack Stewart, a sailor and carpenter from Maine, moved into the home after getting married in 1845. During their residence there—it was their only home—they added rooms, lime washed the adobe walls, built a barrel clay tile roof, and added wood-paned windows and a rear piazza (columned porch) for outdoor gatherings. It should also be noted that they raised 11 children in the home.

The building was listed as a California Historic Landmark in 1932, but its historic integrity and appearance had been significantly changed by previous large-scale alterations. For example, in 1911, Frank “Pancho” Stewart, Machado’s grandson, completely remodeled the home. He built a new wooden porch, covered the exterior adobe walls with wood siding, and laid interior wood board ceilings and tongue-and-groove floors. He also added a fireplace at the building’s west end to go along with an outdoor oven. By the late 1930s, the building didn’t look anything like an adobe building:

1937 view la casa de machado y stewart

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The house was occupied by descendants of the Stewarts until 1966. The California Department of Parks and  Recreation acquired the building in 1967 and hired Coneen Construction to repair and restore it to its original appearance circa 1835-1845.

The building underwent more significant repairs in 2011 and, since I was there in December 2014, we know that it was undergoing repairs then.

Casa de Machado y Stewart is one of five adobes in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Adobe buildings require regular maintenance so it’s not unusual for such a building to appear to be undergoing constant repairs. Inspections are critical especially after San Diego’s rainy season. In fact, Mrs. Carmen Meza, the last resident of the home, was forced to leave it due to severe damage sustained in the rains of 1966.

la casa de machado y stewart

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the San Diego Historical Landmarks series, go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift? Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

San Diego Historical Landmarks—#14F: Congress Hall Site

San Diego Historical Landmarks

Old Town San Diego State Historic ParkWithin Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (San Diego Historical Landmark #14) are many historic buildings and rebuilds. We’ll explore nine of them since they also have been designated San Diego Historical Landmarks.

The sixth landmark, San Diego Historical Landmark #14F, is the Congress Hall Site.

Congress Hall was a one-story frame building built by, quoting the San Diego History Center, “George De Witt, Clinton, Washington, Robertson.” Note the punctuation. What does that mean? Are Clinton, Washington, and Robertson people? Why don’t they have first names if they are people? I believe they are names because the San Diego History Center tells us that “Robertson ran a saloon, billiard parlor and gambling house.”

A conflicting article, also at the San Diego History Center, states that Congress Hall “was a two-story board-and-batten hotel, erected in 1867 by George Dewitt Clinton Washington Robinson.”

I’m so confused.

Originally Congress Hall was located on the north side of the plaza (conflicting source says “northeast side”) in what is now Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Vincent Llucia bought the building around 1870 and had it moved to the northwest corner of the plaza. In 1884 the post office was located in the building, possibly because Vincent Llucia and his son, Vincent P. D. Llucia, both were postmasters.

One of the building’s claim to fame is that it served as a Pony Express office. One of the last Pony Express rode north from Congress Hall.

At various times, Congress Hall was also a wild west saloon, a gambling hall, a rooming house, a post office, and a bakery. A balcony over the porch provided a vantage point for bands and public speakers on occasion.

Congress Hall was destroyed in 1939.

I could find no free pictures on the Internet but the San Diego History Center has some that one can purchase, the cost of which is beyond my lowly blog…. Here are a couple of links to pictures:

Congress Hall remains, ca. 1930—Obviously a one-story building

Congress Hall, no date but obviously a two-story building

Currently, the Congress Hall site is occupied by the Barra Barra Saloon in Fiesta de Reyes.

Barra Barra Saloon in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fiesta de Reyes comprises 19 locally owned specialty shops, three restaurants and, a 10-room boutique hotel.

Barra Barra Saloon is a period saloon representing the merging of Mexico with American traditions after the Mexican-American War. Barra Barra bills itself as an “Old World Mexican dining experience with traditional Mexican fare made from recipes that span generations.”

Barra Barra’s furniture and décor includes authentic Mexican artifacts as well as reproduction collectibles, providing the ambiance of a ranch home in Old Mexico. Along with the saloon there are two indoor dining rooms and a large patio dining area with two fire pits.

Barra Barra Saloon in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Barra Barra Saloon in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Barra Barra Saloon in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Barra Barra Saloon in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the San Diego Historical Landmarks series, go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift? Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

San Diego Historical Landmarks—#14E: Casa de Machado-Silvas (de la Bandera)

San Diego Historical Landmarks

Old Town San Diego State Historic ParkWithin Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (San Diego Historical Landmark #14) are many historic buildings and rebuilds. We’ll explore nine of them since they also have been designated San Diego Historical Landmarks.

The fifth one, San Diego Historical Landmark #14E, is Casa de Machado-Silvas (de la Bandera).

Casa de Machado-Silvas (de la Bandera)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This house was built by Corporal José Manuel Machado for his daughter, Maria Antonia, and her husband, Manuel de Silvas. Sources say it was built as early as 1832 and as late as 1843. Sources also disagree on names, some saying it was Maria Antonio and José Antonio Nacasio Silvas.

Machado was a “Leather Jacket” soldier of the Spanish army and was stationed at the San Diego Presidio in 1782. Leather jacket soldiers got their name from the long, sleeveless coat made of up to seven layers of white, tanned deerskin. Carried on his left arm was a two-ply cowhide and wood shield. Protecting his legs while traveling through thick chaparral was a leather apron that fastened to the pommel of the horse’s saddle and hung down over his legs. The leather apron evolved into the chaps of the American cowboy. The leather jacket soldier was well known for his skill in using lanzas—long, steel-tipped, wooden lances—in close combat.

The house became known as the “Casa de la Bandera,” or “House of the Flag,” when the lady (I could not find out who “the lady” was but I’m presuming she was Maria) hid in it the Mexican flag that had been cut away from the Plaza pole after the Americans had reoccupied San Diego in 1846 at the beginning of the Mexican-American War.

María Antonia renovated the house in 1854, turning it into the Commercial Restaurant, later renaming it Antonia Restaurant. At various times it also served as a saloon and a community church.

Machado Memorial Chapel

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Casa de Machado-Silvas (de la Bandera) was listed as a California Historical Landmark in 1932 and a San Diego Historical Landmark in 1970. In 1975, when the Caifornia State Parks took over the property, it was renovated into a house museum.

Casa de Machado-Silvas (de la Bandera)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the San Diego Historical Landmarks series, go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift? Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

San Diego Historical Landmarks—#14D: Casa de Pedrorena

San Diego Historical Landmarks

Old Town San Diego State Historic ParkWithin Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (San Diego Historical Landmark #14) are many historic buildings and rebuilds. We’ll explore nine of them since they also have been designated San Diego Historical Landmarks.

The fourth one, San Diego Historical Landmark #14C, is Casa de Pedrorena.

Casa de Pedrorena

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Miguel de Pedrorena JrCasa de Pedrorena was built in 1869 by Miguel de Pedrorena Jr (picture ►), a wealthy stockman. His dad, a native of Madrid, Spain, living in Peru had come to San Diego as a ship’s agent, marrying into the prominent Estudillo family in 1842. Although he claimed the lot adjacent to the Estudillo home in Old Town, the historic Casa de Estudillo, he died in 1850 before he could build a home.

One online source states that the structure was built in 1850 by Miguel Sr. Since he died on March 21, 1850, I’m going to go with it being built in 1869 by Miguel Jr. I just don’t believe an adobe or framed home could be built in San Diego at that time in a mere 2½ months.

A plaque on the grounds (lower right corner of picture above) states that Casa de Pedrorena was the final adobe built in Old Town, and one online source states that its thick adobe and mud-plastered, whitewashed walls were typical of Mexican adobes in the area. However, the shingled roof, as well as the mill-sawn, wood-columned front porch, reflected American building practices.

Other online sources state categorically that Casa de Pedrorena was “one of” the first frame houses in Old Town.” Several sources state that it was “the first frame house” built in Old Town. Here is a picture taken around 1920:

Casa de Pedrorena

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I looked closely at the building exterior but could not determine whether it was a wood-frame building or an adobe. I guess I’ll just leave it at that. As my wise old grandmother said, “It is what it is.”

Miguel Sr. came from one of the best families in Madrid, being educated there and at Oxford University. He served as a captain in the United States Cavalry during the Mexican-American War. He was in the forefront of the attack against Fort Stockton when it was finally captured.

El Jupiter cannon in the Junipero Serra Museum in San DiegoDuring the early part of the war, he had buried under his house (or the patio behind it, one source says) El Jupiter (picture ►), the old bronze cannon now on display at the Junipero Serra Museum (see my post here) in order to prevent its being used against the Americans.

Miguel Sr. was a member of the California Constitutional Convention which met in Monterey, California, in 1849. He was a member of the group headed by William Heath Davis which attempted to found New Town in 1850, an attempt that failed because of the lack of fresh water.

Miguel Jr. gave Casa de Pedrorena to his sister, Isabel de Altamirano, in January 1871, a gift that joined together two pioneer California families. Isabel and her husband, José Antonio Altamirano, raised their family in the home.

Although some sources call the home “Casa de Pedrorena y Altamirano,” Altamirano also owned the little frame house next door where the San Diego Union newspaper was first published in 1868. The newspaper building is more traditionally connected with Altamirano’s name rather than Casa de Pedrorena.

Casa de Pedrorena remained a family residence until 1907, although one source says “until the 1890s.” It was restored in 1996 by California State Parks and is said to be one of five historic 19th century adobes in Old Town State Historic Park. Currently it is a gem, jewelry, and rock shop, open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There are two old railroad mining cars located on the property:

Railroad mining car at Casa de Pedrorena in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Railroad mining car at Casa de Pedrorena in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post
to San Diego’s historical landmarks,
click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the
San Diego Historical Landmarks series,
go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

San Diego Historical Landmarks—#14B: Casa de Cota site

San Diego Historical Landmarks

Old Town San Diego State Historic ParkWithin Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (San Diego Historical Landmark #14) are many historic buildings and rebuilds. We’ll explore nine of them since they also have been designated San Diego Historical Landmarks.

The second one, San Diego Historical Landmark #14B, Casa de Cota site, remind me of the song by The Eagles where they paved over paradise and put up a parking lot. Here is what the Casa de Cota site looked like a couple of days ago:

Casa de Cote site

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sadly, that’s it, and I have proof:

Casa de Cote site

Casa de Cote site

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lots of nagging questions….

The sign is a California Historical Landmark sign, indicating that the Casa de Cota site was historic enough to make it onto their list, too, at #75.

I walked around the parking lot but didn’t find a plaque to tell me more about the Casa de Cota site. So we’re left with research online, at the San Diego History Center, and at the library.

Here is what the San Diego History Center has:

“Built in the mid-1830’s by Juan or Ramón Cota, this house stood for over a century on the corner of Twiggs and Congress Streets, before being destroyed by United States Army bulldozers during World War II.”

The California Parks web site isn’t of any additional help:

“This adobe is said to have been built about 1835 by Juan or Ramon Cota.”

Hey! At least we have something to go on!

A book found online titled “San Diego in the 1930s” tells us that ca. 1937 the Casa de Cota was “a two-room fragment of an adobe house which is rapidly falling into ruin. Above an interior doorway is the date 1852, approximately the year of construction.”

I found three old pictures but, sadly, they are owned by the San Diego History Center, and since they want a minimum of $95 per picture to use them, well, that ain’t happening in this century or the next, so here are links to the three pictures:

Casa de Cota 1

Casa de Cota 2

Casa de Cota 3

I could not find any information on Juan or Ramón Cota so I don’t know if the adobe was historic because it was old or because of who Juan or Ramón Cota were.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post
to San Diego’s historical landmarks,
click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the
San Diego Historical Landmarks series,
go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post