Why Roseville, Rose Creek and Rose Canyon?

Have you ever wondered why there’s a Roseville in Point Loma, and a Rose Creek and Rose Canyon?

Well, during a recent walk I discovered an old plaque that provides an explanation. It stands at Liberty Station beside the boat channel. That’s it in the above photograph. In the distance is Nimitz Bridge and the North Harbor Drive bridge.

Several San Diego places were named after Louis Rose.


Louis Rose (1807-1888)

San Diego’s first Jewish settler, arrived in 1850.

He was a civic-minded businessman who developed Roseville, the oldest planned development on the Point Loma Peninsula.

Rose served as County Supervisor, City Trustee, Postmaster and School Board Member.

He was a member of San Diego’s first Grand Jury.

Rose Canyon is named in his honor.

Placed by the Louis Rose Society for the Preservation of Jewish History

Here’s a photo I once posted of an exhibit inside the Robinson-Rose Visitor Center at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park:

Louis Rose was a prominent citizen of Old Town San Diego. He was born near Hanover, Germany in 1807 and became a citizen of the United States in 1846. He moved to San Diego in 1850, becoming the first Jewish person to settle in the city. Rose was an active member of the Jewish community in San Diego. He helped to organize the first Jewish congregation, which became Congregation Beth Israel. He also hosted High Holy Day services in his house and gave 5 acres of land for a sacred burial ground in what is now Point Loma.

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Photos inside the historic Ohr Shalom building.

On Sunday I enjoyed a tour of the Ohr Shalom building in San Diego’s Bankers Hill neighborhood. The historic 1925 building, acquired by the Ohr Shalom Synagogue in 2002, was one of many sites around the city that were open to the public during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2019 OPEN HOUSE SAN DIEGO.

The Ohr Shalom building was designed by architect William H. Wheeler, who is also known for downtown’s iconic Balboa Theatre building.

According to description provided by the San Diego Architectural Foundation: “With its dominant Moorish-style dome suspended high above an octagonal sanctuary embellished with Middle Eastern decorative motifs, the Synagogue . . . is one of the foremost examples of Mediterranean Revival, an architectural style that caught momentum around the mid-1920s.”

I learned that the synagogue was originally built for Congregation Beth Israel by M. Trepte & Son. It is constructed of steel-framed concrete and hollow clay tile, which was innovative for its time. Inside the sanctuary, which features a free-standing balcony, the lines are clean and simple, and worshipers are touched by light shining through the dome and a variety of stained glass windows and panels. Illustrations in the beautiful glass include the Ten Commandments, the menorah and Star of David, and a depiction of the twelve tribes of Israel.

During our tour we were allowed to stand near the pulpit. We were privileged to view one of the Torah scrolls and hear a sample of its reading.

Here are some photos that provide a feel for what it’s like to enter the Ohr Shalom Synagogue.

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