Lumberjacks, bicycles and a mysterious tombstone!

Mural depicting three lumberjacks and one enormous tree on the wall of Made Lumber Supply in San Diego.
Mural depicting three lumberjacks and one enormous tree on the wall of Made Lumber Supply in San Diego.

After snapping some photos of this morning’s San Diego River Estuary cleanup (which I’ll blog about tonight), I decided to take a short stroll through a small part of the city that I’ve never thoroughly explored: the few blocks around Sherman Street, near Morena Boulevard.

When I ride to work on the trolley’s Green Line, I often gaze out at a mural of lumberjacks near the old location of the San Diego Humane Society. This morning, as I investigated the mural and surrounding area, look what else I discovered!

Underneath the trolley bridge over Friars Road. Images of animals used to be on the side of this building, Perhaps they were removed when the San Diego Humane Society moved to Gaines Street.
Underneath the trolley bridge over Friars Road. Images of animals used to be on the side of this building, Perhaps they were removed when the San Diego Humane Society moved to nearby Gaines Street.
Another photo of the lumberjack mural, just beyond some real lumber!
Another photo of the lumberjack mural, just beyond some real lumber!
A fourth lumberjack holds a long saw on the side of Made Lumber Supply.
A fourth lumberjack holds a long saw on the side of Made Lumber Supply.
Gigantic ants crawl in a line along the wall of Lloyd Pest Control.
Gigantic ants crawl in a line along the wall of Lloyd Pest Control.
A cool decorative bicycle suspended from a wall. I spotted this at the Reusable Finds resale and repurpose store , near their entrance.
A cool decorative bicycle suspended from a wall. I spotted this at the Reusable Finds resale and repurpose store, near their entrance.
Another rusty bike hanging above a trunk full of flowers.
Another old bike hanging above a trunk full of flowers.
Mural of a fashionable lady on the wall behind the Leatherock leather goods store.
Mural of a fashionable lady on the wall behind the Leatherock leather goods store.
Mysterious wooden tombstone with name of Juan Mendoza, who was shot by Cave Couts in the back with a double-barreled shotgun in Old Town San Diego, February 6, 1865.
Mysterious wooden tombstone with name of Juan Mendoza, who was shot by Cave Couts in the back with a double-barreled shotgun in Old Town San Diego, February 6, 1865.

Look what I stumbled upon at the west end of the old San Diego Humane Society’s parking lot! What appears to be a historic wooden grave marker! Is it real? Why is it here?

You might remember my recent blog post about the Wells Fargo Museum in Old Town. Cave Couts built the wood-frame hotel called the Colorado House in 1851 and became an influential resident of early San Diego. But by some accounts he was a sketchy character. On February 6, 1865 he shot a disgruntled former employee (who worked on one of Cave Couts’ ranches) in the back with a shotgun. This violated the unspoken “Code of the West”. The unfortunate victim who died was Juan Mendoza. A couple years ago I photographed a cross with Juan Mendoza’s name on it at the El Campo Santo cemetery located in Old Town, and I blogged about that here.

So why is there a mysterious wooden tombstone at this location? This marker doesn’t appear a century and a half old. Was it a prop? Is it a prank? Is Mendoza actually buried here? The spot isn’t far from Old Town.  Perhaps someone knows the full story about this completely unexpected discovery. I you do, leave a comment!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Richard Schulte

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

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