Sandee Wilhoit is the historian for the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Many San Diegans don’t know that the first “zookeeper” in San Diego was a colorful businessman and barkeep in the Downtown Gaslamp District.
The Nesmith-Greely Building now houses apartments and the street level storefront is for lease.
On Dec. 23,1869, John D. Backesto purchased lots A – L of Block 95/88 from Alonzo Horton for $300.
Samuel Fuchs, a 17-year-old Hungarian, arrived in New York City in 1879 with less than $5 to his name and only two English words in his vocabulary: “yes” and “no.”
To say that the Hotel Lester building has an ethnically-varied and colorful past would be a major understatement. Like all property in the Gaslamp, the original owner of the lots from 1301-1319 H St. (now 401-417 Market St.) was Alonzo E. Horton.
By Sandee Wilhoit
When tourists view the stately brick structure with the twin spires that graces Fifth Avenue, their immediate question is, “Why is it called the Yuma Building when it is in San Diego?”
By Sandee Wilhoit It’s the holiday season! Time for feasting, caroling and yes, shopping. For our Victorian ancestors, buying a gift for a special loved one was also a part of the holiday season, although shopping was not done on such an elaborate or commercialized scale as it is now.
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.
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.”