A registered National Historic Place, the Horton Grand Hotel in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is a true architectural treasure. It’s ornate Italianate Victorian facade is based on the famous Innsbruck Inn in Vienna, Austria.
Today’s boutique hotel is a modern restoration of two historic buildings, the Grand Horton, built in 1887, and the Brooklyn Kahle Saddlery. The latter was the residence of Wyatt Earp during the years he lived in San Diego.
The Horton Grand has another interesting distinction. Room 309 is said to be haunted by the ghost of Roger Whitaker, a gambler who was shot dead by a man he cheated in a game of poker. Many guests who’ve stayed in this room have reported objects changing position when they are asleep!
Is that strange, glaring, long-bearded figure in the corner of this photo a vengeful ghost? I hope he didn’t follow me home!
I live very close to the historic Ginty House on Cortez Hill. I noticed today they’ve put holiday red, white and blue bunting on their porch rails, to celebrate Labor Day.
The beautiful old Victorian house, in the Stick Eastlake style, was built in 1886 by businessman John Ginty at the very highest point on affluent Cortez Hill. In 1999 the house was saved from demolition and moved to its present location. Registered as an official Historical Landmark, it was recently named one of the top ten “Dream Homes” by San Diego Magazine.
Cool features include the “Fairhead Stone” horse carriage step jutting up beside the sidewalk, a four-way fireplace, and a two-car garage with a hydraulic lift!
UPDATE! I took this pic on Memorial Day 2014…
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Here’s the oft-photographed figurehead of San Diego’s famous tall ship Star of India. I learned from a Maritime Museum of San Diego docent that the figurehead represents Euterpe, one of the Muses from Greek mythology. Euterpe was the muse of music. Euterpe was also the original name of the Star of India, when it was built at Ramsey in the Isle of Man in 1863. Her name was changed from Euterpe to Star of India in 1906 by the Alaska Packers’ Association, which had purchased the ship in 1901.
During today’s morning walk I took a couple other photographs which I will share. Here’s a pic of San Diego’s beloved tall ship Star of India! Many visitors don’t realize that this iron-hulled three-masted bark is the oldest active sailing ship in the entire world! If you ever swing by America’s Finest City, you can go onboard and enjoy a memorable glimpse of maritime history.
With clouds of white sails fluttering in the breeze, she remains the queen of The Big Bay! She’s 150 years old and still appears to be in great condition!
Here’s another pic taken in downtown San Diego this morning while I strolled along the Embarcadero. The intricate masts, yards and rigging projecting into the early morning sky belong to tall ships that will be participating in the 2013 Festival of Sail. I like how mysterious these ships can appear just after sunrise, as if they’re nautical ghosts visiting from the past! I wouldn’t have been surprised to glimpse Captain Ahab or The Ancient Mariner striding toward me along the bayside sidewalk!
It’s a year later, and visiting tall ships have begun to arrive a couple days before the 2014 Festival of Sail. Here’s a pic I took early in the morning! This year I’ll make it a point to attend the big Labor Day weekend event and take loads of photos!
This photograph was taken early this morning when I walked through downtown to catch the trolley for work. I strolled a short distance along the Embarcadero near the County Administration Building and was pleased to see many tall ships had already arrived to take part in the 2013 Festival of Sail this Labor Day weekend.
In addition to the San Diego Maritime Museum’s venerable Star of India, HMS Surprise and Californian, numerous high-masted sailing vessels will participate in the historic event. And simulated cannon battles will take place on San Diego Bay! Lots of excited people will be touring these beautiful ships!
Here’s a bonus pic from the following morning:
It’s a year later! I checked out the 2014 Festival of Sail early Friday morning before the event began and took a few pics from behind the fence! Here they are! (I will be attending the event on Sunday, so look for many more detailed ship photos on the Cool San Diego Sights blog!)
The runner with the flag led a bunch of lustily singing Navy personnel on a run right next to the festival venue!