Trades That Shaped the West live on in Old Town.

A ship's purser greets the friendly wheelwright in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during Stagecoach Days: Trades That Shaped the West.
A merchant ship’s purser greets a wheelwright in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during Stagecoach Days: Trades That Shaped the West.

This afternoon I took a short easy stroll through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. My trusty little camera captured some interesting photos of history come to life!

During summer Saturdays, Old Town hosts a cool event called Stagecoach Days. Each weekend there’s a different theme. Today it was Trades That Shaped the West.

As you might imagine, I witnessed historical reenactments of working life in San Diego when the town was a small outpost of civilization surrounded by mostly undeveloped wilderness. In those days life was often difficult, but the people were from hardy stock. Let’s see a small sample of what 19th century San Diego might have been like…

Stagecoach Days, Celebrating the West on the Move, is open free to the public. The weekly event is held on summer Saturdays in Old Town's historic central plaza.
Stagecoach Days, Celebrating the West on the Move, is open free to the public. The weekly event is held on summer Saturdays in Old Town’s historic central plaza.
Preparing an old Stanhope Park Phaeton, parked with other buggies and carriages in front of the Robinson-Rose House Visitor Information Center.
Preparing an old Stanhope Park Phaeton, parked with other buggies and carriages in front of the Robinson-Rose House Visitor Information Center.
A ladies basket trap carriage, circa 1900. This simple horse-drawn vehicle was often used for comfortable country travel, complete with wicker basket seat.
A ladies basket trap carriage, circa 1900. This simple horse-drawn vehicle was often used for comfortable country travel, complete with wicker basket seat.
The wheelwright had many tools on display and explained how wheels in the 19th century were skillfully created of wood and iron.
The wheelwright had many tools on display and explained how wheels in the 19th century were skillfully created of wood and iron.
A welded ring of bent iron would be expanded with heat, then placed around the wheel's ash wood circumference.
A welded ring of bent iron would be expanded with heat, then placed around the wheel’s ash wood circumference.
A cool woodworker demonstrates and provides the names of his many tools to the delight of watching kids.
A cool woodworker demonstrates and provides the names of his many tools to the delight of watching kids.
A sneaky peek into the blacksmith shop behind Seeley Stable Museum before the event officially begins outside in the plaza.
A sneak peek into the blacksmith shop behind Seeley Stable Museum before the event officially begins outside in the plaza.
A patient blacksmith bangs away on some hot metal as he fashions a thin, pointed nail.
A blacksmith bangs away on some hot metal as he fashions a thin, pointed nail.
This sliver of red hot iron with some hammering will be turned into a nail with a flat head, ready to be used for 19th century construction.
This sliver of red hot iron with some hammering will be turned into a nail with a flat head, ready to be used for 19th century construction.
These folks in historical costume are busily preparing some biscuits, a common food in the early days of San Diego.
These folks in historical costume are busily preparing some biscuits, a common food in the early days of San Diego.
A smiling someone is tending the campfire. What's cooking?
A smiling someone is tending the campfire. What’s cooking?
Looks like a bubbling stew!
Looks like a bubbling stew!
Printing press demonstration underway at the San Diego Union Museum print shop in Old Town.
Printing press demonstration underway at the San Diego Union Museum print shop in Old Town.
Wells Fargo employee, from the agent’s office museum in the Colorado House, helps Old Town visitors into a stagecoach for a photograph.
Wells Fargo employee, from the agent’s office museum in the Colorado House, helps people into a stagecoach for a photograph.
Of course, a good historical reenactment of the Old West requires lively music and enthusiastic dancing.
Of course, a good historical reenactment of the Old West requires lively music and enthusiastic dancing.
Two ladies prepare to dance the polka.
Two ladies prepare to dance the polka.

Enjoy photos of cool events and random stuff! Join me on Facebook or Twitter.

Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

4 thoughts on “Trades That Shaped the West live on in Old Town.”

  1. Richard, these photos are so lovely. You really captured the feeling of history and these people who took part in the reenactment are great. They succeeded in portraying our history. The photo of the printing press also shows how our forefathers had to hang up the leaves of paper for the ink to dry after the news was printed. These “actors” really went to the “nth” degree. Wonderful. Loved the “trap” and forms of transportation, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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