oldest parks in san diego
Horton’s widow, claimed later that Horton was the principal founder of City Park.10 But park benefactor George W. Marston wrote “. See: Jerry Mac Mullen, The Southwest Corner. In June the Council asked the City Attorney to advise whether City could sell “a portion of its public parks.” The official concluded, fortunately, that the City could not do so without first amending its Charter.119, Apparently, with such schemes in the air, the constructive park forces, led by George Marston, Kate Sessions, W.R. Maize and more recently Julius Wangenheim, decided that it was time to take decisive steps for City Park.120 On August 15, 1902, Mr. Wangenheim proposed at a board meeting of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce that their organization appoint a Park Improvement Committee to obtain a plan for the entire City Park, begin improvements near 6th and Date and solicit funds for the work. 36. Tap. Mr. Chase thought that such a park would well serve a city which he did not foresee passing 250,000 in population. Morse was probably most influenced in his park thinking by the large, landscaped Boston Common of his native state.22 Also he may have seen, on one of his many trips back East after 1849, the quickly famous, beautifully landscaped Central Park of New York, inaugurated in 1865.23 On the other hand, Jose G. Estudillo may have been aware of public parks and promenades in Mexico and perhaps also Spain, not to mention the American parks he heard about in San Diego. Balboa Park. San Diego, CA 92101, For general inquiries: (Pourade, p. 90) Enjoy San Diego's year-round wonderful weather at any of these parks. The scramble did not end until August, 1902, when the Chamber of Commerce began its campaign for a comprehensive City Park plan and improvement program. 319-20, wrote in 1929: “The author has recently inquired of practically all the old timers, and they are agreed that Mr. E.W. On February 15, 1868, Ephraim W. Morse, a Trustee of the City of San Diego presented a resolution which was approved by the two other board members, Thomas Bush and J.S. The San Diego World (New Series), V. I, N. 1, May 3, 1800, p. 1; in Newspaper Box File IV, SDHC. First, let’s look at how many of the national parks near San Diego are within a one hour drive. Also, in Latin America between the 16th and 18th centuries, public parks, usually long, formal promenades (alamedas), were founded on communal lands at the edges of cities. Marston, p. 8. The Allyn bequest (not used until 1903), previous park improvement talk (mainly by Sessions, Maize and Marston) and the realization that park land grabbers would keep coming back for more until a complete park plan was undertaken, brought City Park matters to a head by September, 1899. 2. The beneficial included a suggestion of up to $5,000 annual City funding of park beautification; a $100,000 bond issue for park dams, lakes and boulevards and the recommendation of Kate Sessions that F.L. In 1882 the Union noted that if some plants, flowers and “artistic decorations” were set out in City Park and irrigated with water from the reservoirs there, the large, nearly empty reserve could become “the glory of a flourishing seaport city.”41 In December, 1884, eleven persons and one corporation (Allison Brothers), including George W. Marston, A. Klauber, Charles S. Hamilton and several other prominent San Diego businessmen, petitioned the City Trustees to allow them to plant, at their cost, eucalyptus trees along a rough road in City Park and to make further improvements as their funds allowed.42 The Trustees granted the request and a partial survey of the park was made in January, 1885.43 Apparently business affairs or other reasons sidetracked the sponsors from carrying out the project at that time. Before City Park, three plazas with varying degrees of landscaping, had been founded in Old and New San Diego.1 The thought of setting aside more San Diego park lands was said to have circulated since 1850.19 Beside experience with public plazas, most American San Diegans of 1868 were familiar with larger, more ornate parks in their native Midwestern, East Coast and even European homes. Regional Parks, Lakes and Beaches. For some of these same dates also see: James Mills, San Diego-Where California Began: (San Diego: SDHC, 1960), p. 7; Walter G. Smith, The Story of San Diego (San Diego: City Printing Co., 1892), pp. Editor James Moss Our museums and archives are temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The San Diego History Center is funded in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and by the County of San Diego. The Commissioners summarized: “If these leases applied for are granted, there will be no limit to them.”91 The Commission added that, “in the near future,” it hoped to raise funds to survey and “properly lay out the whole park system.”92. This charming County park is adjacent to Old Town in San Diego, and features several restored Victorian homes and the city’s first synagogue, The Temple Beth Israel. CCO, B.P.-1, Doc. Both Amero papers are in the California Room, San Diego Public Library. 154; The Chamber of Commerce Park Committee, formed by George Marston, J.T. I don’t remember the details, but I am sure the other trustees (Bush and Manasse) took little interest in park matters, and that you were earnestly with me until it was finally clinched. 50. 3. 25. Between 1872 and 1881 few improvements were made in San Diego’s 1400 acre City Park. Horn, Part 1, p. 9, emphasizes that contrary to some late 19th century San Diego beliefs, Alonzo Horton did not own and donate the land reserved for City Park. 90. Marston, p. 5, wrote: “We have some other things now instead of cactus and coyotes, but how much civilization has destroyed.” And Marston wrote that before freeways took more of the park in 1959. Spring 1977, Volume 23, Number 2 7. (San Diego: Typescript, 1973), p. 6 (unnumbered). The three-story Children’s (or Orphan’s) Home and nearby Woman’s Home were both built in the turreted, Victorian, “Queen Anne modern Style.”55. 311, Filed: February 1, 1892, p. 1. San Diego City Clerk’s Office (hereinafter CCO), Folder 1, Park-Balboa Park, Miscellaneous, Prior to 1935 (hereinafter B.P.- 1), No document number, but is the first one in folder. Morse asked the City Trustees to grant them and several associates, 100 acres of City Park on the promontory between Cabrillo and Florida canyons where the U.S. Although the mission moved five years later, the fo… 153, City Ordinances Folder, Box File #3-Early Correspondence, G.W. 238, 242-3. 31. The barracks exchange opponents, which included John G. Capron, Mr. Parrish and Daniel Choate, may have acted from self-interest. Age-Restricted (55+) Community. The park site chosen by Morse and Horton was immediately east and north of Horton’s Addition. E.A. No. Manasse, to set aside two 160 acre “pueblo lots,” “for the purpose of securing to the inhabitants of the City of San Diego a suitable park.”4 Few could see the need for a 320 acre park for a town of 2,310 people. On the national influence of Central Park as early as 1868, the founding year of San Diego’s City Park, see: John W. Reps, The Making qfUrban America, A History ol’City Planning in the United States (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965), pp. By April, 1890 the one month of free water cartage by Pioneer Truck Company expired. The best San Diego theme parks feature thrilling rides, fun shows and delicious food. 89. Olmsted be hired to design all of City Park.77 At the same time, a mansion owner, attorney John Gay, asked to fence off an adjacent sector of the park for his private family use.78 And three promoters asked for a fifty year lease of 100 prime acres of City Park, nearest downtown, for a Southwest International Exposition and also a botanical garden to sweeten the commercial pill.79 Neither proposal received final City approval. George W. Marston, History of San Diego City Parks. Derek Clifford, A History of Garden Design (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1963), see chapters VI-XI. In 1769, Gaspar de Portola and Junipero Serra built the San Diego Presidio and the Mission San Diego de Alcala on a hill above the San Diego River. VI in series, International History of City Development (New York: The Free Press, 1971), pp. 4240. Final Report. January 2011 segment from "San Diego's Historic Places" about Heritage Park in Old Town. It is a fine example of the Victorian architecture of wealthy San Diego residents in the late 1880s-1890s. 77. Pierce, $150,000 from anonymous donors (of which $100,000 later turned out to be from Judge O.S. During the Panic of 1893 the Consolidated Bank failed and took with it the fortunes of Howard, his associates and the Pierce estate.56 The grantees could no longer maintain or further improve the 100 acres as stipulated in the deed from the City and the property reverted to the City in 1896.57The Woman’s Home burned in 1897, coincidentally one month after the City had insured it for $4,000.58 The City promptly collected the insurance. 481, Filed: 6/93. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for the best Parks in Old Town, San Diego, CA. I shall never forget the disappointment when there was no grass. #3 of 3 Water & Amusement Parks in San Diego "It's also right by the Zoo, a train ride , and the beautiful park where you can rest, relax, walk around, or picnic." These individuals faltered at times and allowed some park incursions which later boded ill for it, but generally they stoutly defended City Park and retained their vision of what it could and must become some day for inevitable, growing urban needs. Old Town is located in the heart of San Diego with 9 hotels to choose from and is convenient to everything. In 1867, Alonzo Horton set aside New Town Plaza (now Horton Plaza) and later sold it to the City for $10,000 (Smythe, p. 621). City Park supporters won their first battle with the indignation and organization which would characterize their subsequent efforts. 49, 1/31/89, 3; in Newspaper Box File III, SDHC). The Ladies Annex, San Diego Chamber of Commerce, The Ladies Annex Park Tract Report (San Diego: 1889-90), original MSS. Then the San Diego Chamber of Commerce held a well-attended meeting in which the major park protagonists spoke their minds. Of San Diego’s considerable sights, 1,078-acre Balboa Park, particularly its world-famous zoo, is one of the best-known and best-loved attractions for City residents and visitors. Marston, V. 1, p. 10. The Union reminded all: “The city park, if preserved intact, will make a magnificent pleasure-ground in future years when this city has expanded as it must in obedience to nature’s laws. He then called off the duel. Parks in Old Town on YP.com. E.W. But these words did not stop land seekers nor lenience from some City officials. No. 93. 27, 33. Settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Company bought the forty-five acre Boston Common in 1634 from the Reverend William Blaxton. Harland Bartholomew and Associates, Master Plan for Balboa Park, San Diego, California (San Diego: City of San Diego, June, 1960), p. 12. . Things to Know: 1. The park includes a main plaza, exhibits, museums and living history demonstrations. Hopkins, p. 321, see “Minutes of Meetings,” San Diego Board of Trustees, Book “A,” p. 344. 13. Here you can experience life from the early Mexican-American period of 1821-1872 through rich living history programs. 34. 10. San Diego stands today on the threshold of a new era. George F. Chadwick, The Park and the Town (N.Y.: Frederick A. Praeger, 1966), see Chapters 1, 2 and 9. Apart from the historic significance, the park offers amazing views of San Diego's harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado and Naval Air Station North Island. Through the 1870’s an Indian rancheria or cluster of homes was allowed to remain in the south part of the park near 8th and Date.34 At the southwest corner of the park, closest to settled San Diego, contractors dug out large amounts of dirt from the hillside and residents dumped heaps of barbed wire, tin cans and barrel staves.35 In March, 1873 the newly formed San Diego Water Company obtained City permission to drill a well in Pound (now Cabrillo) Canyon.36 Two reservoirs, with 70,000 and 100,000 gallon capacities, were built atop the mesa flanking the canyon.37 In the 1870’s the City set up an animal pound in the westernmost canyon of City Park, thereafter known as Pound canyon. 336-39. 86. Horn, Part II, p. 17. Pierce’s Executors.”. The similar, pre-19th century experiences of the Anglo and Spanish-American worlds with public grounds on communal lands derive ultimately from the parallel medieval and ancient Roman laws on colonization and municipal rights in Britain and Spain.21. Smythe, p. 619, states that the petition was signed by “all the leading citizens, and nearly all the voters, of San Diego.” Parks and some park history were known in San Diego in 1868. Horn, Part II, p. 18. On November 4, 1887, Bryant Howard and E.W. doc. Here stray cattle and horses were impounded until bailed out by owners.38 In August, 1881, the City allowed a merchant, Mr. Wentscher, to construct a gunpowder magazine on a 300 square foot, southeast corner of Pueblo Lot 1136 in City Park, far removed from any public or private buildings.39 On August 8, 1881, City Trustees allotted (but did not deed) five acres at the south central edge of City Park for the San Diego High School.40 Joseph Russ, then California’s largest lumber dealer, donated wood to build the school which was completed and occupied in 1883. SDU, 9/22/35, n.p., Ada Perry, “Kate Sessions’ Title ‘Mother of Park’ Earned One,” in Kate Sessions Notebook, Kate Sessions Box File, SDHC. At the 191S Exposition in Balboa Park, J.G. Check out one of our many parks below to find your ideal camping destination. No. Of San Diego’s considerable sights, 1,078-acre Balboa Park, particularly its world-famous zoo, is one of the best-known and best-loved attractions for City residents and visitors. in “Scrapbook of Clara A. Schmucker,” p. 24-5, SDHC (hereinafter, “Cleveland/Schmucker”). San Diego Theme Parks and Attractions. SDU, 12/30/86, 3:4, “The City Park Reserve,” Letter to the Editor from “Anti-Monopoly.” The letter’s view finds some support in the Union ad section of the same day (p. 6, c. 2), which contained this notice: Chicano Park. But beyond that the City Park champions, who got their fill of economic realism in daily work, prized a large park for providing near the hectic town, quietude, chances to reflect, romance, vast views of distant scenery and close observation of colorful, native wildflowers. email@example.com In 1873, the school was moved to Taylor and Whitman Streets, and a two-story school was erected there. While the Howard Tract, Ladies Annex and Golden Hill improvements in City Park brought both constructive and questionable proposals for the park’s further development, the Sessions nursery lease brought on a veritable landslide of requests and suggestions for more intense private and public use of City Park. Sessions.”90 The men wanted a not immodest, 1,000 food wide strip of the west side of the park between Fir and Juniper streets. Daniel Cleveland wrote in 1928: “Mr. They had migrated to enjoy those assets and not just to get rich. Kate Sessions was born in San Francisco in 1857 and studied agriculture at the University of California at Berkeley in 1878-81.80 Kate came to San Diego in 1883 and opened a nursery on Coronado Island in 1885.81 Later land prices soared there and in January, 1892, Miss Sessions asked the Common Council to lease her a part of City Park where she could establish a commercial and experimental nursery. SDU, 3/15/90, 5:2; 4/27/90, 7:1. Morse helped her husband select the park site. , "Pantoja Park – An Urban Slice of Serenity", http://www.sandiego.gov/planning/programs/historical/pdf/landmarklist.pdf, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pantoja_Park&oldid=953954930, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 29 April 2020, at 22:40. William E. Smythe, History of San Diego, 1542-1907 (San Diego: The History Company, 1907), p. 386. Horton’s land coup spurred local talk of reserving pueblo lands on the edge of New Town before they were sold too quickly and too cheaply. San Diego: 1964, p. 42-4, SDHC. Daniel Cleveland, friend of E.W. Lower level of the San Diego History Center For a condensed version of Smythe’s review of City Park history, 1868-1902, see: Southern Trust and Commerce Bank, Balboa Park, San Diego. In January, 1897, a fraternal order, the Knights of Pythias Lodges of California, asked the Common Council to deed it thirty acres of the former Charities Tract for a home for aged and ill Pythians and their dependents.99 The City Lands Committee of the Council was quite willing to grant the property, merely adding for a note of respectability that the Pythian grounds be open to the public and designed in accord with a “general plan of improvement for the entire park.”100Two days after the Pythian request, on January 20, Alderman Dodson, truly swept by the New Year’s spirit of giving, proposed that the City also deed twenty acres of City Park near the head of 25th Street to the State for a normal school.101, Between the Pythians and the normal school, the wrath of City Park Commissioner W.R. Maize was considerably aroused. 1322, Filed: December 2, 1901. by Summer Furzer | Mar 1, 1977 | | 0 comments, The Journal of San Diego History I can think of no other person who did as much as you to save it.”, Smythe, p. 284, reports also that: “With characteristic steadfastness he (Morse) was a friend of the park to the end, and stood up for its preservation and improvement, even when others weakened.” Smythe, p. 619, states that until his death in 1906, Morse was, one of the park’s staunchest friends and in the front of every fight for it.”, 14. In October, 1869, the San Diego Trustees asked the California legislature to confirm the May, 1868 dedication of San Diego’s 1400 acre City Park.24A bill to this effect was introduced in the 1870-71 legislative session but was opposed by San Diego land speculators who sought to amend it and reduce the park by 480 acres on its east side. Hopkins, pp. (Los Angeles: The Ward Ritchie Press, 1956), V. 2, p. 9, wrote: “The City of San Diego ought to recognize its indebtedness to Ephraim W. Morse for securing for it Balboa Park, and all honor ought to be given him as its founder.”. Showcase Community. 94. Whether you live in San Diego or are here visiting on vacation, there is no better place to create some memories than at one of the many San Diego theme parks and attractions. By Darcie Brown , Contributor Dec. 26, 2016 By Darcie Brown , Contributor Dec. 26, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. For further details on the text of the Howard deed, see: SDU, 1/13/89, 1:5,6, “City Park Charities.” Just south of Torrey Pines, the Cabrillo National Monument Historic Park commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay in 1542, the first European explorer to set foot on the West Coast of the United States. The two-century-old Casa de Carrillo, located near the base of historic Presidio Hill, was built in 1817, according to the Save Our Heritage Organisation. Morse was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts in 1823, worked there as a farmer and teacher and left Boston in 1849 for the California gold mines.8 After a hot summer there he came to San Diego in 1850, seeking milder weather. 91. 108. Smythe, p. 617. No. The iron is hot! These legal imbroglios could hamper future park improvements. 53. 1142, 1143 and 1144 minus the 40 acres sold to Isabella Carruthers at $4.40 per acre or $175 for the total. Gutkind, Urban Development in Western Europe: The Netherlands and Great Britain, Vol. Marston, Daniel Cleveland and three or four others, drew up and printed a petition addressed to the state legislature requesting that the 1870 park bill be “not repealed or in any wise amended.”29 Ten or twelve canvassers rushed through San Diego and within about one hour obtained 366 signatures for the petition.30 The signers included prominent citizens: E.W. Strike!” (The Pacific Beach [Weekly], V. 1, No. Here’s The Deal: "SeaWorld is one of the best amusement parks based on sea theme and roller coasters.The park has support animal rescue efforts, with over 31,000 and counting. The “schemers and landsharks” of San Diego, led by City Attorney Charlie Taggart, were not deterred by state sanction of City Park.27 They got their man in Sacramento, State Senator James McCoy, to quietly introduce a bill on November 17, 1871, to repeal the 1870 park reservation act.28Luckily San Diegans soon heard of the bill. Gray. CCO, B.P.-1, Doc. 1920) 12 p. foldout photos and text; in Box File, San Diego Parks, SDHC. She felt that the nursery, open to the public (on foot) and planted with both native and previously untested exotic species, would provide, “a continual incentive to our citizens to encourage and foster work in our park.”82, On February 16, 1892, the City approved a ten year lease to Kate Sessions of thirty-two acres in the northwest corner of City Park, away from the most likely area of early public improvements at the southwest.83 In return for the nursery land and free City water, Sessions was to plant and maintain in the park each year, 100 “choice and varied sorts of trees” for the City and provide annually 300 “ornamental trees” in crocks or boxes to plant in City streets, plazas and playgrounds.84 Every year thereafter Kate gave the City more trees than her lease required and she never used more than ten of the thirty-two acres leased.85, Within a few months of securing the lease, Kate had cleared the land of sagebrush and stones and planted thousands of items. +7. it was later razed; the original school was returned and reconstructed on this site. We see from preceding events that the August 15, 1902 action was not just taken due to Mr. Wangenheim’s ire that the park was unimproved, as described by: Julius Wangenheim, “An Autobiography,” California Historical Society Journal, Vol. In Spring, 1890 Bryant Howard planted the grounds of the “Charities Tract” (also called “Howard Tract” or “Orphan’s Tract”) with over ten thousand trees-mainly blue and sugar gums, acacias, pepper trees, fan palms and cypresses.54 Irrigating water pipes and winding drives were laid out. 123. M.G. View Homes In This Community. p. 91. The article published here was an award winning paper in the Copley Books Awards Graduate/General Division at the San Diego History Center’s 1976 Institute of History. There are seven national park units within a 5-hour drive of San Diego. View the video! See also Horn, Part III, p. 25; G. Marston, p. 6. McKean, in on the repeal scheme with Taggart, was the only Trustee to sign the petition. The history of City Park in 1868-1902 has fascinating and amusing moments but above all it is sobering to think that the entire 1400 acre park was generally preserved in the late 19th century heyday of shady land deals whereas in the presumably more enlightened 20th century, 322 acres of the park have been deeded or leased to freeways (109.2 acres), a burgeoning naval hospital (92.6 acres) and other incompatible uses.1 The outward-exploding, suburbanizing pressures of the 1950’s partly explain these assaults on the park. . The Pacific Beach (Weekly) stated the most frequent arguments: public or private construction would stimulate park improvements and private charitable offers should never be spurned and in sum; “the quibbling should stop and these park charities secured beyond a peradventure. . The U.S. Army offered to trade its downtown San Diego barracks site for a City Park location. 1. In October, 1892 the City Park Commission, which included Bryant Howard, informed the City’s Board of delegates that the Morrison-Blaisdell lease was sought for “private purposes” and that several other parties were waiting to see if the land request succeeded and if so, they would also jump for slices of City Park. Like Morse, Estudillo stood up for the park in later years. Richard F. Pourade, The Glory Years. SDU, 6/28/91, 6:1. In February, 1892, even before the Sessions lease had received complete City approval, Riley R. Morrison and S.G. Blaisdell requested City Park land for “experimenting in growing trees and flowers under the same terms granted to Miss K.O. “Petition… to the Senate and Assembly of the State of California, n.d. For many years Golden Hill Park was the greenest, most admired area of City Park.73 This section contained City Park’s first golf course-a nine-hole, oiled-green, dirt fairway creation, San Diego’s first park playground.74 Unfortunately a seven year drought in the 1890’s killed off the west side of Golden Hill Park, about two-thirds of the Ladies Annex plantings and much of the Howard Tract improvements. . Sargent, renowned Director of the great Arnold Arboretum at Harvard, visited San Diego’s City Park and remarked that, “it was the most magnificent park site that he had seen in all his travels; that the beautiful view of bay, ocean, and mountains could not be surpassed.104 Professor Sargent emphasized that due to the mild climate, a great and unique variety of plants could be cultivated in the park and that in fact to do so, was “a botanical necessity to the United States.”105. 6. In 1867, enterprising Alonzo E. Horton bought 960 acres of pueblo lands about two miles south of Old Town and directly in front of the great bay of San Diego. . 117. 312, Filed: October 23, 1892, p. 1. Bancroft and Jose Antonio Serrano.31 The park repeal bill was killed in the legislature. In May a well was sent down to 100 feet and a steam engine pumped up water at a capacity of54,000 gallons per hour (SDU, 5/16/73, 3:3; Pourade, p. 10 mentions the water capacity). The San Diego Union (Weekly), Jan. 4, 1872, 2:4, noted that the people of San Diego were “unanimous” in requesting the legislature not to reduce or do away with the park. Manuscripts collection ( hereinafter B.P.-2 ), Vol p. 25 ; G. Marston V.... Was later razed ; the original school was moved to Taylor and Whitman Streets, and read a from... 1143 and 1144 minus the 40 acres sold to Isabella Carruthers at $ 4.40 per acre or 175! 1873, the building was known as the committee previously appointed the Russ school W. Marston,,... 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