Whaley House Museum
The Whaley House Museum in Old Town is the only one I had visited previously, but that visit was during a school field trip and all I remembered were the ghost stories. While the Whaley House certainly has its sad stories, it also has a lot of important San Diego history as well.
|Old Town San Diego's Whaley House Museum.|
|San Diego's early courthouse and first commercial theater.|
Gaslamp Museum at the William Heath Davis House
The Gaslamp Museum at the William Heath Davis House in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego, historically New Town, is the only remaining house in San Diego where Alonzo E. Horton, one of the founders of San Diego, lived. The home was originally built in 1850 by William Heath Davis, who was the first to attempt building a New Town San Diego. However, Davis returned to San Francisco in 1851 when a huge fire in San Francisco destroyed the majority of his wealth.
|William Heath Davis House, the oldest wooden structure in downtown San Diego.|
|The parlor furnished as it would have been when the Hortons lived in the house.|
Marston House Museum & Gardens
According to our guide, the Marston House Museum & Gardens in Balboa Park is one of the top 25 Arts and Crafts movement homes in the country and one of only 10 open to the public. The home was built in 1905 for George W. Marston, who came from Wisconsin and first worked for Horton.
|Marston House & Gardens|
The Marston House was designed by Irving Gill who previously worked with Frank Lloyd Wright. Unlike many of the ornate homes being built at the time, Gill wanted his homes to reflect stark beauty. Rooms lacked the ornate moldings and cornices, but instead were trimmed in plain old growth redwood so the furnishings stood out. The Marston House contains a number of important paintings and pieces of furniture, including some very rare Stickley pieces. There is also a room containing some very rare San Diego made furniture.
|Marston House interior including some Stickley chairs.|
Being a tourist in your own town is something I highly recommend. It was fascinating to visit these San Diego house museums I didn’t even know existed and gain a better knowledge of my home town through these homes of individuals important to the creation of the city I know today. If traveling to San Diego in the month of February, be sure to pick up one of the San Diego Museum Council’s museum passes at Macy’s, and no matter when you visit, tour these house museums.