By Catalina Preskill
For 30 years, the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House has served the Historic Gaslamp Quarter well. The house was built by William Heath Davis in 1850 to establish New Town and is the oldest surviving structure Downtown.
When Alonzo Horton came to San Diego, he resided in the house for about two years while he developed what is now modern San Diego.
The Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation has been telling this story about early San Diego, and many others, to visitors, locals and school groups with educational programming such as our walking tours, lectures, newsletters, articles in San Diego Downtown News and our Fall Back Children’s Historical Street Faire.
Over 30,000 people visited the museum or attended events last year.
All this has been paid for the most part by the ShamROCK Block Party each St. Patrick’s Day. That revenue, however, has been decreasing over the last few years due to competing venues in the Gaslamp, increased expense of such an event and yes, even in San Diego, rain!
Now the Gaslamp Museum is facing significant budget cuts and could use your help.
Residents of Downtown care about the preservation of our history. The larger San Diego community deserves this unique museum that houses tales of our cultural heritage. Visitors to the Gaslamp Quarter are seeking a richer experience that only an organization such as ours can provide. We must not allow this all to slip away nor allow our wonderful museum and park to slide into disrepair.
If you love history and architecture, San Diego and living Downtown, then please join us now and invite your friends to do the same.
The basic level of membership is only $35, but it goes a long way in showing us your support. We would also welcome your help as a volunteer. You might like to greet visitors and assist in admissions and the museum gift shop or become a tour guide or work on special projects. We could even use gardening and office help. Membership, donations and volunteer opportunities can be found at gaslampfoundation.org in the “Support Us” section, or by calling us at 619-233-4692.
For the best experience of all, come down to the museum on the corner of Fourth and Island avenues, across from the Horton Grand, and take one of our tours. We promise you that you will learn something about San Diego you didn’t know before!
—Catalina Preskill is the executive director of the Gaslamp Museum. For more information, visit gaslampfoundation.org.