Local history excavated, displayed at Petco Park.

A cool exhibit in Petco Park shows the History of the Ballpark Neighborhood, San Diego, California.
An exhibit in Petco Park shows the History of the Ballpark Neighborhood, San Diego, California.

There’s a small but very cool exhibit at Petco Park that depicts the early history of East Village and nearby blocks in downtown San Diego. During the baseball stadium’s construction, a number of fascinating artifacts were recovered by archaeologists. Each object was carefully recorded in order to preserve aspects of our city’s diverse history.

Here are some of the old photographs and artifacts that are on public display. You can find this exhibit near the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame, just to the right of the north entrance to the Padres Team Store. I learned this exhibit used to be on the third floor of the Western Metal Supply building, at the top of the escalators. But the area was rather dark and so it was moved to its present location.

Please read the captions to learn more about what was unearthed during the grading of the ballpark, and what everyday life was like in San Diego over a century ago.

Photo taken during construction of Petco Park baseball stadium in East Village. Archaeologists excavate a feature discovered during grading activities at the ballpark.
Photo taken during construction of Petco Park baseball stadium in East Village. Archaeologists excavate a feature discovered during grading activities at the ballpark.
The grading of the future ballpark was researched and environmentally monitored. Artifacts recovered reveal everyday life in San Diego's past.
After researching the immediate area’s history, the grading of the future ballpark was environmentally monitored. Artifacts that were recovered reveal everyday life in San Diego’s past.
Excavated objects include jars, bottles, glass stoppers and a bone toothbrush handle. Names of medical remedies include Hamlin's Wizard Oil and Dr. J.H. McLean's Volcanic Oil.
Excavated objects include jars, bottles, glass stoppers and a bone toothbrush handle. Names of medical remedies on bottles include Hamlin’s Wizard Oil and Dr. J.H. McLean’s Volcanic Oil.
1906 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map depicting Blocks 136 and 137, part of the footprint of today's Petco Park.
1906 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map depicting Blocks 136 and 137, part of the footprint of today’s Petco Park, home of the baseball Padres.
From the late 1800s to the 1930s, most residents of East Village appear to have been of moderate to lower economic status, employed at blue collar jobs downtown.
From the late 1800s to the 1930s, most residents of East Village appear to have been of moderate to lower economic status, employed at blue collar jobs downtown.
Other artifacts recovered during Petco Park's construction include dolls, toys, marbles and keys.
Other artifacts recovered during Petco Park’s construction include dolls, toys, marbles and keys.
Old photo shows East Village as it was in 1914, looking west from the 10th Street terminal.
Old photograph shows East Village as it was in 1914, looking west from the 10th Street terminal.
Looking south down 5th Street (now Fifth Avenue) from the roof of the 1st National Bank, circa 1910. The area is heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Looking south down 5th Street (now Fifth Avenue) from the roof of the 1st National Bank, circa 1910. The area is heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Two historical photos. To the left, Pacific Coast Steamship warehouse, circa 1913. To the right, looking north up 5th Street circa 1910.
Two historical photos. To the left: Pacific Coast Steamship warehouse, circa 1913. To the right: looking north up 5th Street circa 1910.
Old photo of Western Metal Supply building and foundry sometime prior to 1919. The preserved brick building is now a unique part Petco Park's structure.
Old photo of Western Metal Supply building and foundry sometime prior to 1919. The preserved brick building is now a unique part Petco Park’s structure.
Fragments of earthenware jars and Chinese and Japanese ceramic tableware show Asian culture that thrived in the neighborhood's past.
Fragments of earthenware jars and Chinese and Japanese ceramic tableware show Asian culture thrived in the neighborhood’s past.

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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.

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