A little known monument stands in a remote corner of San Diego’s Presidio Park. It remembers a white deer that once lived there.
From an article in the PRESIDIO PARK RANGER REPORT, QUARTERLY: SEPTEMBER 2006-NOVEMBER 2006…
This female white fallow deer roamed the hills of Mission Valley, Mission Hills, and Presidio Park. This doe escaped from the San Diego Zoo around 1965 and wandered free in Presidio Park for the next ten years.
The deer was spotted attempting to cross the I-8 freeway, and some locals reported seeing the deer get hit by a vehicle. Tragically, in the effort to catch the deer, Animal Control used a tranquilizer dart, which ultimately led to the deer’s death in December, 1975.
This treasured deer had been something of a community mascot. This incident led to an outpouring of community grief.
As a result, a citizen’s committee was formed to promote a suitable memorial for the gravesite. In 1976, a monument was placed at the top of the hill at Inspiration Point for the most cherished White deer named “Lucy”. A free standing monument of three native stones designed by San Diego Artist Charles Faust, sits on the hill top for all to remember the White Deer.
Margaret Price (1911-) a local artist involved in converting Spanish Village in Balboa Park to an artists enclave, truly worked diligently to establish the monument for the White deer. Many community members wrote to Price, hoping to have their poem or saying put onto the monument.
A bronze plaque beside the three standing stones reads: Bliss in solitude beneath this tree, formless, silent, spirit free. A Friend
To see this simple but very beautiful monument, turn up the steep driveway off Taylor Street, just east of Presidio Park’s main entrance. The driveway leads to the Inspiration Point parking lot.
Then walk up the nearby hill.
This monument is very close to some homes in Mission Hills, so be quiet and respectful.
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