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Gaslamp Landmarks

The Sun Café: from corpses to cantina

Posted: November 3rd, 2017 | Columnists, Featured, Gaslamp Landmarks | No Comments

By Sandee Wilhoit

The early history of Lot A/Block 082/95, where the Sun Cafe currently sits, is a most circuitous one. On March 18, 1869, Alonzo Horton sold the property to Mary C. Smith, who promptly sold it to E.P. Figg, who then returned it to Mrs. Smith, who resold it to Mr. Horton.

Mr. Horton then relinquished his interest in the property to William S. McNealy and James McCoy on Nov. 11, 1872, for $1,000 in gold coin. Both of these gentlemen were very active in early San Diego civic and business affairs.

‘Reuben the guide’ and his historic haunts

Posted: October 6th, 2017 | Columnists, Featured, Gaslamp Landmarks | No Comments

By Sandee Wilhoit | Gaslamp Landmarks

As lead tour guide and historian for the Davis-Horton House Museum, I often wondered how the tour guide business got started. I inadvertently found the answer while researching something entirely different.

Not all Gaslamp “landmarks” are buildings. San Diego’s first tour guide, known coast-to-coast, was Reuben Williams, or as he was simply called, “Reuben the guide.”

From hotel to hospital to hotel

Posted: September 1st, 2017 | Columnists, Featured, Gaslamp Landmarks | 2 Comments

By Sandee Wilhoit | Gaslamp Landmarks

On June 15, 1850, all portions of the city of San Diego Pueblo Lot 1156, were sold to Thomas Sweeney, Thomas Matsell, Daniel P. Clark and Joseph T. Sweet. They were respectively, a one-armed U.S. Army officer, a gentleman who would immediately become the County Recorder, a soldier who served in the Mexican-American War, and a relative of the other purchasers.

The many homes of Alonzo Horton

Posted: August 4th, 2017 | Columnists, Featured, Gaslamp Landmarks | No Comments

By Sandee Wilhoit | Gaslamp Landmarks When Alonzo Horton arrived in San Diego in 1867, he did what any newcomer would do — he looked for a place to live. Fortunately for Horton, there were three houses and the barracks left from William Heath Davis’s earlier attempt to establish a seaport in the area.

Back-esto in time

Posted: July 7th, 2017 | Columnists, Featured, Gaslamp Landmarks | No Comments

By Sandee Wilhoit | Gaslamp Landmarks On Dec. 23, 1867, Dr. John Pierre Backesto bought himself a Christmas present: a large portion of Block 88 belonging to Alonzo Horton. The property was located at Fifth Avenue and H Street (now Market Street), and also bordered parts of Fourth Avenue and G Street. It was subdivided into […]