History inside the William Heath Davis House.

Gaslamp Museum at the William Heath Davis House and Park, 1850. Home of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation.
Gaslamp Museum at the William Heath Davis House and Park, 1850. Home of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation.

These photos inside the historic William Heath Davis House Museum were taken a few months ago. I toured the fascinating house during the Fall Back Festival, which is held every year in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.

Dated 1850, the William Heath Davis House, like a number of other structures in early San Diego, was built on the East Coast and shipped around Cape Horn. At the time San Diego simply didn’t have the resources and tools required to build a fine wooden house. Various rooms inside the museum show what life was like in New Town a century and a half ago. It was a much simpler time. The small museum now sits in the middle of a gigantic, bustling metropolis.

Please read the photo captions for more info, and click the signs to read them.

Photo of the William Heath Davis House Museum taken from across Island Avenue.
Photo of the William Heath Davis House Museum taken from across Island Avenue.
Tours of the historic house are available. A museum store contains fascinating gifts.
Tours of the historic house are available. A museum store contains fascinating gifts.
The William Heath Davis House is the oldest surviving structure from San Diego's New Town. It is a prefabricated salt-box style home, shipped from Portland, Maine around Cape Horn. Dated 1850.
The William Heath Davis House, built in 1850, is the oldest surviving structure from San Diego’s New Town. It is a prefabricated “salt-box” style home, shipped from Portland, Maine around Cape Horn.
The 1850 Davis-Horton House was used as a military barracks, county hospital, and was home to Alonzo Horton and several other families.
The 1850 Davis-Horton House was used as a military barracks, county hospital, and was home to New Town’s founder Alonzo Horton and several other families over the years.
Looking down the stairs from the second floor. A lady in Victorian attire welcomes visitors to the museum during the Fall Back Festival in November.
Looking down the stairs from the second floor. A lady in Victorian attire welcomes visitors to the museum during the Fall Back Festival in November.
A look at the first floor living room where family and guests would gather.
A look at the first floor living room where family and guests would gather.
A small piano, sheet music, teacup and candle. Entertainment in the olden days was simple.
A small piano, sheet music, teacup and candle. Entertainment in the olden days was simple.
The dining table is set for a grand meal in New Town San Diego.
The dining table is set for a grand meal in what was then a sparsely populated New Town San Diego.
An old sewing machine can be found by a window upstairs.
An old sewing machine can be found by a window upstairs.
The nursery, with crib and small bed.
The nursery, with crib, chest and small bed.
Three beds for the children have colorful quilts.
Three beds for the children have colorful quilts.
A desk in the study and a cabinet full of books.
A desk in the study, framed photos, and a cabinet full of books.  No internet back then!
An old-fashioned penny-farthing bicycle reminds visitors to the William Heath Davis House Museum of what life was like a century and a half ago in San Diego.
An old-fashioned penny-farthing bicycle reminds visitors to the William Heath Davis House Museum of what life was like a century and a half ago in San Diego.

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New mural painted on Union-Tribune building.

A new mural is being painted on the north side of 600 B Street, the new home of the San Diego Union Tribune. It depicts a man sitting on a wall reading a newspaper. Loose windblown pages transform into colorful butterflies.
Mural painted on the north side of 600 B Street, home of the San Diego Union Tribune. It depicts a man sitting on an actual wall reading a newspaper. Loose windblown pages transform into colorful butterflies.

A mural is being painted on the north side of the building at 600 B Street, a high-rise that is the new home of the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. The large mural overlooks a fenced park-like space that once was the playground for a downtown child care center.

I saw the colorful new mural behind scaffolding this morning while walking to a nearby trolley station. The artwork cleverly depicts a person reading a newspaper, while “sitting” on a wall that juts from the building. The man doesn’t seem to notice that windblown pages are rising skyward, transforming into butterflies.

The image is quaint, almost nostalgic, as if it were lifted from the pages of a treasured children’s book. I suppose the San Diego Union-Tribune is the inspiration for this mural. It’s a funny choice of images, considering the fact that physical newspapers are slowly vanishing. A few years from now, the hopeful image might provoke a bit of sadness.

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Cool mural in North Park remembers good old days!

A super cool street mural in North Park depicts icons from three decades: the 50s, 60s and 70s.
A very cool street mural in North Park depicts icons from three decades: the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Check out this super cool street mural in North Park, on the side of a building near the corner of 30th Street and Adams Avenue! It’s titled “Remembering… 50’s 60’s 70’s” and was painted by the artist Kerry A. Moore in 2008. The mural depicts small, iconic scenes from what many might call the good old days! I searched like crazy but could find absolutely nothing about this fun street art on the internet.

How many entertainment legends and famous people from those three decades can you spot? Among others, I recognize Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, the I Love Lucy show, the Rat Pack, Martin Luther King, Jr., Neil Armstrong, the Beatles, JFK, Easy Rider, Jimi Hendrix, the original Star Wars, The Godfather, Happy Days, John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, and, of course, Rocky Balboa. I was a kid in the 70’s and remember many good times. Movies I remember fondly include Star Wars, Rocky and Superman. But most of my best old memories are probably from the 80’s, experiencing life and this great big world as a young adult.  Wow, the years have gone by quickly.

I have a dream. Make love, not war. Happy Days. Revolutionary music, cool cars, sports heroes, and a space opera that altered entertainment forever. Bits of history and popular culture from America's past.
I have a dream. Make love, not war. Happy Days. Revolutionary music, cool cars, sports heroes, and a space opera that changed entertainment forever. Bits of history and popular culture from America’s past.  Now that is one jam-packed mural!

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Four cool murals on Fern Street in South Park.

Cool mural in San Diego's hip South Park community features Latino and Native American cultural influences.
Cool mural in San Diego’s hip South Park community features Latino and Native American cultural influences.

Here are four cool street murals that I spotted during my meandering walk yesterday. You can find them on Fern Street in San Diego’s South Park neighborhood. All four of these are north of Date Street. I’m sure there are others to the south that I missed.

Urban art on side of the Fern St. Laundromat. Litter and graffiti partially obscure a painted depiction of a vintage San Diego Fire Department vehicle, complete with fireman and dalmatian.
Urban art on side of the Fern St. Laundromat. Litter and graffiti partially obscure a painted depiction of a vintage San Diego Fire Department vehicle, complete with fireman and dalmatian.
Local graffiti artists Persue, Reyes and Steel created this cool street art on Fern Street in South Park.
Local graffiti artists Persue, Reyes and Steel created this cool street art on Fern Street in South Park.
Sepia tone mural on Fern Street in South Park features man riding an old-fashioned penny-farthing and nostalgic images from San Diego's past.
Sepia tone mural on Fern Street in South Park features man riding an old-fashioned penny-farthing and nostalgic images from San Diego’s past.

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Ace Hardware loading dock mural enlivens Hillcrest.

The Loading Dock is a large public mural painted by Linda Churchill of Muralizing. It's located on the west side of Ace Hardware, on Tenth Avenue near University in Hillcrest.
The Loading Dock is a large public mural painted by Linda Churchill of Muralizing. It’s located on the west side of the Ace Hardware building in Hillcrest.

Check out this public art!  You can find it a few steps south of University Avenue on 10th Avenue, in Hillcrest. The large mural enlivens the Ace Hardware store building and is a cool sight for those passing by.  It was painted by local artist Linda Churchill, whose work can be seen around San Diego. According to one article I found on the internet, “The Loading Dock” received an Orchid Award from the San Diego Architectural Foundation.

The Loading Dock, dedicated 1998 to the Community of Hillcrest by Joe Jeter, Bruce Reeves, Hillcrest Ace Hardware. Building our community one home at a time. Linda Churchill, muralist.
The Loading Dock, dedicated 1998 to the Community of Hillcrest by Joe Jeter, Bruce Reeves, Hillcrest Ace Hardware. Building our community one home at a time. Linda Churchill, muralist.
The cool, nostalgic trompe l'oeil painting depicts an old-fashioned hardware store loading dock, complete with realistic Ace Stores delivery truck.
The cool, nostalgic trompe l’oeil painting depicts an old-fashioned hardware store loading dock, complete with realistic Ace Stores delivery truck.
This image of yesteryear appears to include some modern hardware store products, including shiny new garbage cans and a nice big barbecue grill.
This image of yesteryear appears to include some modern hardware store products, including shiny new garbage cans and a nice big barbecue grill.
Two helpful Ace Hardware employees seem to have emerged from the past to welcome neighbors and shoppers who walk down the sidewalk in art-filled Hillcrest.
Two helpful Ace Hardware employees seem to have emerged from the past to welcome neighbors and shoppers who walk down the sidewalk in art-filled Hillcrest.

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Biggest baseball library west of Cooperstown in San Diego!

Visitor to eighth floor of San Diego's downtown public library checks out photographs in the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center.
Visitor to eighth floor of San Diego’s downtown public library checks out photographs in the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center.

Many San Diegans don’t realize that our city–our amazing new Central Library, to be exact–contains a unique and important repository of American history. The Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center, located on the eighth floor of the downtown library, is home to the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Collection. It constitutes the largest baseball library west of Cooperstown! Shelves of books, magazines, journals, scrapbooks and other historical documents, and many photographs, have recorded in detail the fascinating history of American baseball. And it’s all open to the public!

The research center is directly adjacent to the spacious, high-domed reading room. In the center of the collection is a shiny sculpture of a player swinging a bat, titled Male baseball #1, created in 2009 by artist Yoram Wolberger. On one wall among many old photos, a video screen shows scenes from baseball history. This is one super cool section of the library!

According to the website of the Society for American Baseball Research: “The Baseball Research Center opened in 2001, with an initial collection of books and microfilm donated by SABR’s Ted Williams Chapter. In the years since, it has grown to more than 3,000 publications, books, and journals, and 300 microfilm reels.”

Today, the collection is housed in museum-like grandeur, and to peruse the many photographs and titles is like taking a wonderful, nostalgic journey back through time. Anyone who is a fan of baseball in San Diego needs to check it out!

Bronze and chrome Yoram Wolberger statue of a baseball player swinging a bat.
Bronze and chrome Yoram Wolberger statue of a baseball player swinging a bat.
Many historical photographs can be enjoyed on one wall of the baseball research center.
Many historical photographs can be enjoyed on one wall of the baseball research center.
Anyone who is interested in sports, and America's Pastime in particular, should visit the SABR Collection in San Diego.
Anyone who is interested in sports, and America’s Pastime in particular, should visit the SABR Collection in San Diego.
The collection includes many books, periodicals and artifacts concerning the great sport of baseball.
The collection includes many books, periodicals and artifacts concerning the great sport of baseball.
Photo of one display case, which contains a copy of Baseball Magazine, plus various programs and record books.
Photo of one display case, which contains a copy of Baseball Magazine, plus various programs and record books.
Another exhibit, with an old newspaper, World Series Records, Sporting News publication, team photograph.
Another display case, with an old newspaper, World Series Records, Sporting News publication, team photograph.
Shelves in the library contain hundreds of baseball reference books and registers.
Shelves in the library contain hundreds of baseball reference books and registers.
One small exhibit focuses on fan photography, called Fantography.
One small exhibit focuses on fan photography, called Fantography.
Cool photo of the KGB Chicken between two Padrettes. Ted Giannoulas later became known as The Famous San Diego Chicken.
Cool photo of the KGB Chicken between two Padrettes. Ted Giannoulas later became known as The Famous San Diego Chicken.
Image of San Diego past superstar Dave Winfield in stadium greeting fans.
Image of San Diego past superstar Dave Winfield in stadium greeting fans.
Wonderful photo of San Diego Padres legendary Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn with his family out on the playing field.
Wonderful photo of San Diego Padres legendary Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn with his family out on the playing field.

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Photo mural of baseball long ago in San Diego.

Padres fans walk down 11th Avenue toward Petco Park on a game day. They pass a mural featuring photos of baseball in San Diego many years ago.
Padres fans walk down 11th Avenue toward Petco Park on a game day. They pass a mural featuring photos of baseball in San Diego many years ago.

On 11th Avenue, a few blocks north of Petco Park, anyone walking down the sidewalk can pause for a moment to enjoy a cool photo mural. Three large panels feature nostalgic old black-and-white photographs of baseball many years ago in downtown San Diego.

This public art project was created in 2004, with the help of the San Diego Padres, the Centre City Development Corporation and the San Diego Historical Society.

First panel of photo mural shows baseball teams from San Diego and Coronado in 1874. Ball field is on the block bounded by Sixth, C Street, Seventh and Broadway.
First panel of mural shows baseball teams from San Diego and Coronado in 1874. Ball field is on the block bounded by Sixth, C Street, Seventh and Broadway.
Close look at an old photograph of baseball players in San Diego nearly 150 years ago.
Close look at a cool old photograph of baseball players in San Diego nearly 150 years ago.
Second panel of photo mural shows kids in the Rose Park Playground at Eleventh and Island in 1915.
Second panel of photo mural shows kids in the Rose Park Playground at Eleventh and Island in 1915.
San Diegans loved the enduring sport of baseball a hundred years ago.
As they do today, many San Diegans loved the enduring sport of baseball a hundred years ago.
Third panel of photo mural shows a portion of San Diego's Embarcadero in 1936. Lane Field, at Broadway and Pacific Highway, is under construction.
Third panel of mural shows a portion of San Diego’s Embarcadero in 1936. Lane Field, at Broadway and Pacific Highway, is under construction.

Lane Field, which was located at the west end of Broadway right next to the bay, was the home of the San Diego Padres from 1936 to 1957. That’s back when the Pads belonged to the Pacific Coast League. A young Ted Williams played there. It’s said the longest home run ever hit in baseball history was at Lane Field. A ball flying out of the park landed in a train’s boxcar near the Santa Fe Depot, and turned up later in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the identity of the player who hit an astonishing 120 mile home run remains unknown!

These cool photographs in San Diego's East Village preserve history and reflect memories of a time long ago.
These photographs in San Diego’s East Village preserve history and reflect memories of a time long ago.

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