Colorful folklorico dancing at Fiesta de Reyes!

Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park features a stage with live folklorico dancing!
Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park features a stage with live folklorico dancing!

Whenever I visit Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, I poke my head into Fiesta de Reyes. The Mexican-themed shops and restaurants are always lively and cheerful, but what I really hope to see is the folklorico dancing!

The colorful dancing takes place daily. Take a look at these photos and smile!

The outdoor stage is located near the Mexican-themed shops and restaurants of Fiesta de Reyes. Daily dancing is a popular attraction.
The outdoor stage is located near the Mexican-themed shops and restaurants of Fiesta de Reyes. Daily dancing is a popular attraction.
Traditional Mexican dance includes colorful dresses and big smiles.
Traditional Mexican dance includes colorful dresses and big smiles.
Outdoor benches at Fiesta de Reyes allow visitors to relax and watch the free entertainment.
Outdoor benches at Fiesta de Reyes allow visitors to relax and watch the free entertainment.
Some performers in costume wait off to the side of the stage.
Some performers in costume wait off to the side of the stage.
Colorful banners behind the stage.
Colorful banners behind the stage.
A joyful scene of traditional Mexican folk dance.
A joyful scene of traditional Mexican folk dance.
Between the stage and nearby outdoor restaurant is this stunning dancer. Art made entirely of succulents.
Between the stage and nearby outdoor restaurant is this stunning dancer. Art made entirely of succulents.
Benches facing the stage include bits of cheerful folk art.
Benches facing the stage include bits of cheerful folk art.
An image of two smiling youth, holding hands.
An image of two smiling youth, holding hands.
Fun mariachi sculptures on a wagon just inside the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.
Fun mariachi sculptures on a wagon just inside the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.
Mexican culture on a sunny San Diego day.
Mexican culture on a sunny San Diego day.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Photos of amazing model train layout in Old Town!

A jaw-dropping night scene in a huge model train layout in Old Town San Diego!
The jaw-dropping night scene of a gigantic model train layout in Old Town San Diego!

During my walk through Old Town San Diego today, I stepped through an ordinary door into a fantastic dream! Before me stretched a positively enormous model train layout!

The Old Town Model Railroad Depot is a truly amazing attraction that anyone would enjoy seeing. The gigantic layout features O-Scale model trains, and as you can see in these photos, just lots of fun buildings, landscapes, moving figures and special effects.

I must say, in my opinion this layout even beats the two awesome O-Scale layouts at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park. Now that really took some doing!

And the two guys I spoke to at the Old Town Model Railroad Depot were really friendly!  Next time I walk past, you can be sure I’ll venture inside again!

The Old Town Model Railroad Depot is a cool attraction featuring a gigantic 2500 square feet layout for O-Scale model trains!
The Old Town Model Railroad Depot is a cool attraction featuring a gigantic room full of working model trains!  It’s one of the largest O-Scale layouts in the country!
Fun gifts, artwork and items for model train hobbyists can also be purchased at San Diego's unique Old Town Model Railroad Depot.
Fun gifts, artwork and items for model train hobbyists can also be purchased at San Diego’s unique Old Town Model Railroad Depot.
A locomotive for sale among other fascinating stuff.
A locomotive for sale among other unique and fascinating stuff.
Lots of nostalgic railway artwork decorates the walls.
Lots of nostalgic historical railway posters decorate one wall.
The huge train layout has two halves--one represents daytime, the other night. Kids can stand on platforms to see--and hear--all the action.
The huge train layout has two halves–one represents daytime, the other night. Kids can stand on platforms to see–and hear–all of the exciting action.
Many model buildings populate the O-Scale train layout. It's the same scale used by classic Lionel Trains.
Many model buildings populate the O-Scale train layout. It’s the same scale used by classic Lionel Trains.
Tiny human figures and vehicles can be spotted everywhere one looks on the realistic layout.
Tiny human figures and vehicles can be spotted everywhere one looks on the realistic layout.
I really enjoyed the night side of the layout. It seemed even more realistic and dynamic. Special lighting effects include fireworks bursting over a stadium and lightning stabbing down from clouds!
I really enjoyed the night side of the layout. It seemed even more realistic and dynamic. Special lighting effects include fireworks bursting over a stadium and lightning stabbing down from clouds!
A tiny mechanic works in a tiny garage on a tiny truck.
A tiny mechanic works in a tiny garage at night on a tiny truck.
A detailed scene recreates firemen fighting a fire at night.
A detailed scene recreates firemen fighting a fire at night. I see miniature police, an ambulance, reporters and a small crowd of evacuated people!
Your kids will go crazy. You have to see it to believe it. And it's free! But leave a donation!
Your kids will go crazy. You have to see it to believe it. And it’s free! But leave a donation!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Day of the Dead characters from Justice League!

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) art rendition of Justice League heroes, including Superman and Batman.
Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) art rendition of Justice League heroes, including Superman and Batman.

A good number of pop culture fans follow Cool San Diego Sights, because every year I cover San Diego Comic-Con and post tons of cosplay photos. So here’s something I saw today during my walk through Old Town that DC Comics readers might really enjoy!

In the window of a shop called Cielito Lindo were all sorts of Day of the Dead ornaments and gifts. And among all the colorful artwork were Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and his super-dog Krypto!

Day of the Dead is a beloved Mexican holiday that is very popular here in San Diego. In Spanish it’s called Día de los Muertos. Skulls and skeletons, which abound during the Day of the Dead, traditionally represent deceased loved ones.

As you can see, Day of the Dead inspires all sort of creative, unexpected art! No subject matter escapes its decorative influence! Even the mighty Justice League!

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) art depicts DC Comics super-heroine Wonder Woman.
Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) art depicts popular DC Comics super-heroine Wonder Woman.
Fun skeleton artwork celebrating Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos). The figures are Superman, his dog Krypto, and Batman!
Fun skeleton artwork celebrating Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos). The figures are Superman, his dog Krypto, and Batman!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos–including many of Comic-Con and all sorts of cosplay–for you to share and enjoy!

History comes alive at Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day.

Folks enjoy taking a ride in an old-fashioned covered wagon in Old Town San DIego during 2017 Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day.
Folks enjoy taking a ride in an old-fashioned covered wagon in Old Town San Diego during 2017 Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day.

I’ve got lots of colorful photos! The annual Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day was held today in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. I covered this event last year, but I love history and scenes from the Old West so much that I swung by again!

San Diego’s history is remarkably diverse, considering our city is relatively new, and that it is situated in what for a long time was a thinly populated, desert-like wilderness. Many peoples and cultures have converged to help shape our dynamic city, including the original Native American Kumeyaay, missionaries from Spain, Mexicans who have called San Diego home, immigrants from Asia, an influx of Italian and Portuguese fishermen, and among many others, the Mormons.

Please enjoy these photos and click the big sign that provides a little more background about the event and the historical importance of the Mormon Battalion in San Diego. More information can also be found on my previous blog post concerning the event last year. Check the related links below!

The public was welcome to swing by the annual Mormon Battalion Commemoration in Old Town. There were many historical reenactments and costumes to see.
The public was welcome to swing by the annual Mormon Battalion Commemoration in Old Town. There were many historical reenactments and costumes to see.
One tent concerned letters home, featuring historical journals, maps and genealogy.
One tent concerned letters home, featuring historical journals, maps and genealogy.
Today we commemorate the first arrival of the U.S. Army in San Diego on January 29, 1847. This detachment was called The Mormon Battalion, recruited from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Click image to enlarge the sign if you'd like to read it.)
Today we commemorate the first arrival of the U.S. Army in San Diego on January 29, 1847. This detachment was called The Mormon Battalion, recruited from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Click image to enlarge the sign if you’d like to read it.)
Lots of interesting historical activities were being enjoyed by a large, enthusiastic crowd.
Lots of interesting historical activities were being enjoyed by a large, enthusiastic crowd.
Map shows Mormon Battalion Routes 1846 - 1847. The soldiers, recruited by the U.S. Army to fight in the Mexican-American War, undertook the longest military march in United States history.
Map shows Mormon Battalion Routes 1846 – 1847. The soldiers, recruited by the U.S. Army to fight in the Mexican-American War, undertook the longest military march in United States history.  After arriving, they helped to build early San Diego.
People draw the star and bear symbols of the California Republic.
People draw the star and bear symbols of the California Republic.
I believe these folks were making biscuits, a staple of the Old West.
I believe these families were making biscuits, a staple of the Old West.
Guys in pioneer clothing just kick back in plastic chairs and watch some dancing and musical entertainment during the event.
Guys in pioneer clothing just kick back by plastic chairs and watch some dancing and musical entertainment during the event.
Some colorful, joyful Mexican folklorico dancing on stage in Old Town San Diego!
Some colorful, joyful Mexican folklorico dancing on stage in Old Town San Diego!
This guy with the huge saw was demonstrating another aspect of life in old San Diego.
This guy with the huge saw was demonstrating another aspect of life in old San Diego.
Visitors to Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day try their hand at sawing a thick log!
Visitors to Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day try their hand at sawing a thick log!
A bunch of steampunk enthusiasts were attending the historical event!
A bunch of steampunk enthusiasts were attending the historical event!
A fez and a golden arm. These guys should be in some sort of cool adventure movie!
A fez and a golden arm. These guys should be in some sort of cool adventure movie!  Perhaps they belong in a blimp!
Like last year, a tent showed people how bricks were once made in San Diego.
Like last year, a tent showed people how bricks were once made in San Diego.
These assembled bigwigs were judging a Dutch Oven Bake-off!
These assembled bigwigs were judging a Dutch Oven Bake-off!
Scouts and other youth learn how rope was once made, using twisted fibers from native Yucca cacti.
Scouts and other youth learn how rope was once made, using twisted fibers from native Yucca cacti.
Lots of folks were in one tent learning about and making frontier dolls.
Lots of folks, old and young, were in one tent learning about and making frontier dolls.
Some mountain men were camped at the Black Hawk Livery Stable, near the Old Town blacksmith shop.
Some mountain men were camped at the Black Hawk Livery Stable, near the Old Town blacksmith shop.
A sign tells about various Western trailblazers, including Jedediah Smith, Kit Carson and Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.
A sign tells about various Western trailblazers, including Jedediah Smith, Kit Carson and Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.
Five anvils!
Five anvils!
Shaping red hot iron in the old blacksmith shop.
Shaping red hot iron in the old blacksmith shop.
These guys are keeping the ancient art of blacksmithing alive in a high tech world.
These guys are keeping the ancient art of blacksmithing alive in a high tech world.
Running out onto the wide grassy area behind Seeley Stable. Like travelling back in time.
Running out onto the wide grassy area behind Seeley Stable. Like travelling back in time.
Some beautiful quilts on display during Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day in Old Town San Diego.
Some beautiful quilts on display during Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day in Old Town San Diego.
Kids were learning how acorns were mashed by the Kumeyaay and others in San Diego's early history.
Kids were learning how acorns were mashed by the Kumeyaay and others in San Diego’s early history.
Someone poses for a photo with an old rifle.
Someone poses for a photo with an old rifle.
History, culture and period costumes. I saw many smiles in Old Town.
History, culture, bonnets and period dress. I saw many smiles in Old Town.
People in nostalgic frontier garb and a modern t-shirt with a jolting urban message pose together for an unusual photo.
People in nostalgic frontier garb and a modern t-shirt with a jolting urban message pose together for an unusual photo.
Playing old frontier music.
Playing lively old frontier music.
Playing simple, old-fashioned games.
Kids playing simple, old-fashioned games.
Another unique and memorable scene from Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day in Old Town San Diego!
Another unique and memorable scene from Mormon Battalion Commemoration Day in Old Town San Diego!

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San Diego history at Old Town’s Wells Fargo museum.

Stagecoach on display at the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Stagecoach on display at the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

I recently visited the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town. The exhibits inside concern early San Diego history. When our city was in its infancy, Wells Fargo ran a stagecoach line, and their Express Office was an essential part of local business life.

I took loads of photos in this very cool museum. Read the captions to learn much more!

The restored Colorado House in Old Town San Diego is home to a fascinating Wells Fargo museum.
The restored Colorado House in Old Town San Diego is home to a fascinating Wells Fargo museum.
The two-story, wood frame hotel called the Colorado House was built in Old Town San Diego in 1851 by Cave Couts.
The two-story, wood frame hotel called the Colorado House was built in Old Town San Diego in 1851 by Cave Couts. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1872.
The Wells Fargo History Museum in San Diego is open daily from 10-5. Admission is free!
The Wells Fargo History Museum in San Diego is open daily from 10-5. Admission is free!
Tourists in Old Town check out a red Wells Fargo stagecoach, which transported mail, gold, goods and passengers in the Old West.
Tourists in Old Town check out an iconic red Wells Fargo stagecoach, which transported mail, gold, goods and passengers in the Old West.
Old photo on video screen shows the Wells, Fargo and Co's Express Office in downtown San Diego, in 1911.
Old photo on video screen shows the Wells, Fargo and Co’s Express Office in downtown San Diego, in 1911.
Historical artifacts in a glass display case include books, bottles and a photo of Cave J. Couts.
Historical artifacts in a glass display case include books, bottles and a photo of Cave J. Couts.
In the spring of 1851 Cave Johnson Couts opened the Colorado House as San Diego's first two-story hotel. It had an elegant billiard table and fine food.
In the spring of 1851 Cave Johnson Couts opened the Colorado House as San Diego’s first two-story hotel. It had an elegant billiard table and fine food.
Old photograph shows bar in Colorado House.
Old photograph shows bar and patrons in Colorado House.
Antique telegraph key once used to send messages and money across the continent.
Antique telegraph key once used to send messages and money across the continent.
Colorful mural high on one wall shows a small town in the Old West. I believe I recognize many buildings in Old Town.
Colorful mural high on one wall shows a small town by a blue bay. I believe I recognize many buildings in Old Town.
Article from the Omaha Herald published in 1877 provides Hints for Plains Travelers. When the driver asks you to get off and walk, do it without grumbling!
Article from the Omaha Herald published in 1877 provides Hints for Plains Travelers. When the driver asks you to get off and walk, do it without grumbling!
Old plaque in the museum: Silas St. John carried the first eastbound overland mail out of San Diego, from Carrizo Creek to Fort Yuma, November 16, 1857. On September 9, 1858, in a lone-handed defense of the Butterfield-Wells Fargo Overland Stage station at Dragoon, Arizona, St. John was horribly wounded and lost his left arm. He recovered to continue in Wells Fargo service. Of his stuff the West was made.
Old plaque in the museum: Silas St. John carried the first eastbound overland mail out of San Diego, from Carrizo Creek to Fort Yuma, November 16, 1857. On September 9, 1858, in a lone-handed defense of the Butterfield-Wells Fargo Overland Stage station at Dragoon, Arizona, St. John was horribly wounded and lost his left arm. He recovered to continue in Wells Fargo service. Of his stuff the West was made.
To be a stage driver--the Whip--was to be a member of a highly skilled profession. They handled 4 to 6 horses in all kinds of weather on all kinds of roads, outwitted highwaymen, and calmed passengers.
To be a stage driver–the Whip–was to be a member of a highly skilled profession. They handled 4 to 6 horses in all kinds of weather on all kinds of roads, outwitted highwaymen, and calmed passengers.
Passengers on board the Overland Mail Company stages were allowed 40 pounds of baggage.
Passengers on board the Overland Mail Company stages were allowed 40 pounds of baggage.
Advertisement shows Ladies' and Gentlemen's traveling trunks and valises, also packing trunks of every description.
Advertisement shows Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s traveling trunks and valises, also packing trunks of every description.
Map shows the historic Butterfield Overland Mail Route. Wells Fargo's experience in Western transportation led it to finance and eventually run the Butterfield stage line's operations in the west.
Map shows the historic Butterfield Overland Mail Route. Wells Fargo’s experience in Western transportation led it to finance and eventually run the Butterfield stage line’s operations in the west. (Click image to enlarge.)
On February 23, 1875, the stage coming from the Julian mines was robbed, and the San Diego agent took action. He immediately notified the sheriff, posted a reward, and reported the robbery and his actions to the central office.
On February 23, 1875, the stage coming from the Julian mines was robbed, and the San Diego agent took action. He immediately notified the sheriff, posted a reward, and reported the robbery and his actions to the central office.
Cool display inside the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town San Diego shows how stagecoaches and their cargo was protected from bandits.
Cool display inside the Wells Fargo History Museum in Old Town San Diego shows how stagecoaches and their cargo were protected from bandits.
The most infamous stage robber was Black Bart. He left bits of poetry and called himself the
The most infamous stage robber was Black Bart. He left bits of poetry and called himself the “Po8” to distance himself from the common thief. He robbed 28 stagecoaches from 1875 to 1883. Once identified, authorities learned he was actually Charles E. Boles, a “respectable” mine owner!
A museum recreation of the Vallecito Stage Station, a stop on the Overland Mail Company's southern route, 1858-1861. Thick adobe walls provided relief from desert heat.
A museum recreation of the Vallecito Stage Station, a stop on the Overland Mail Company’s southern route, 1858-1861. Thick adobe walls provided relief from desert heat.
Table in the stage station used for rest, serving food and games of cards.
Table in the stage station used for rest, serving food and games of cards to pass the time.
Gold was discovered at Julian in San Diego's mountains, triggering a small rush into the area.
Gold was discovered at Julian in San Diego’s mountains, triggering a small rush into the area.
Miners from placer diggings on the Colorado River and hard-rock mines at Julian brought their gold dust and bars to the Wells, Fargo and Co. agency in Old Town San Diego.
Miners from placer diggings on the Colorado River and hard-rock mines at Julian brought their gold dust and bars to the Wells, Fargo and Co. agency in Old Town San Diego.
The Julian Stage Line carried miners and other passengers to this gold mining town in east San Diego County.
The Julian Stage Line carried miners and other passengers to this gold mining town in east San Diego County.
Cover of the Wells Fargo Messenger, dated July 1917.
Cover of the Wells Fargo Messenger, dated July 1917.
Wells Fargo published a monthly magazine calls the Wells Fargo Messenger between September 1912 and June 1918. Edward Hopper, an illustrator, went on to become a famous painter.
Wells Fargo published a monthly magazine calls the Wells Fargo Messenger between September 1912 and June 1918. Edward Hopper, an illustrator, went on to become a famous American realist painter.
On her travels she uses Wells Fargo Checks.
On her travels she uses Wells Fargo Checks.
Cover of the Wells Fargo Messenger, dated April 1918.
Cover of the Wells Fargo Messenger, dated April 1918.
Antique desk used by a Wells Fargo agent.
Antique desk used by a Wells Fargo agent.
During a typical day, a Wells Fargo agent saw many types of business, reflecting the Company's varied and essential services.
During a typical day, a Wells Fargo agent saw many types of business, reflecting the Company’s varied and essential services.
Nooks in this desk hold dip pens, receipts, letters and accounting ledgers.
Nooks in this desk hold dip pens, receipts, letters and accounting ledgers.
Wells Fargo agents were known for their respectability, ability, and trustworthiness. The first Old Town agent was J.F. Damon, co-editor of the San Diego Herald.
Wells Fargo agents were known for their respectability, ability, and trustworthiness. The first Old Town agent was J.F. Damon, co-editor of the San Diego Herald.
Agent William A. Biglow works in his express office which included an agent's cabinet and iron safe.
Wells Fargo agent William A. Biglow works in his express office which included an agent’s cabinet and iron safe.
A large old letterpress sits atop a cast iron safe. The safe, made by Herring, Hall, Marvin and Co. in 1885, is filled with concrete and weighs over a ton.
A large old letterpress sits atop a cast iron safe. The safe, made by Herring, Hall, Marvin and Co. in 1885, is filled with concrete and weighs over a ton.
Some art on the face of the safe door.
Some pastoral art on the face of the safe door.
The copy machine of the 19th Century. Pressure from this heavy cast-iron letterpress transferred brown ink to tissue paper.
The copy machine of the 19th Century. Pressure from this heavy cast-iron letterpress transferred brown ink to tissue paper.
A collection of old letters, certificates and small packages exhibited at the Wells Fargo History Museum in San Diego.
A collection of old letters, certificates and small packages exhibited at the Wells Fargo History Museum in San Diego.
If you ever visit Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, check out the interesting Wells Fargo History Museum in the Colorado House!
If you ever visit Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, check out the interesting Wells Fargo History Museum in the Colorado House!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to enjoy!

Native garden near Old Town San Diego’s McCoy House.

Photo of historic McCoy House in Old Town San Diego from the Native Garden. Today's garden is located in a spot once close to the San Diego River, before it was diverted to the north, through Mission Valley.
Photo of historic McCoy House in Old Town San Diego from the Native Garden. Today’s garden is located in a spot that was once very close to the San Diego River, before the river was diverted to the north, through Mission Valley.

A small, ragged but beautiful native garden can be found in the northwest corner of San Diego’s Old Town, next to the McCoy House Museum. The Native Plant Garden contains vegetation which grows naturally along the rivers of our semi-arid region.

Long before Europeans arrived in Southern California, the Native American Kumeyaay lived where Old Town was eventually established; the Kumeyaay village at the base of Presidio Hill was called KOSA’AAY, or Cosoy. Many of the plants in the garden were used by the Kumeyaay people in everyday life.

Read the photo captions to learn much more. Click the garden plans and the two signs, and those images will expand providing additional information!

Plans of the Native Plant Garden in Old Town State Historic Park. Included are species used by the Native American Kumeyaay for food, shelter and medicine. Their village Cosoy was located here.
Plans of the Native Plant Garden in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Included are species used by the Native American Kumeyaay for food, shelter and medicine. Their village Cosoy was located here.
Looking northwest from the second floor of the McCoy House Museum in Old Town San Diego. The Native Garden is a bit dry and scraggly--but that's how local vegetation naturally appears.
Looking northwest from the second floor of the McCoy House Museum in Old Town San Diego. The Native Garden beyond the fence is a bit dry and scraggly–but that’s how local vegetation naturally appears.
150 years ago the San Diego River flowed nearby, bringing explorers, settlers, boats and traders to Old Town. California native trees and shrubs have been planted that once grew along the riverbank.
150 years ago the San Diego River flowed nearby, bringing explorers, settlers, boats and traders to Old Town. California native trees and shrubs have been planted that once grew along the riverbank.
Dirt paths meander through the small Native Garden at the northwest corner of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Dirt walking paths meander through the small Native Garden at the northwest corner of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Yarrow was used by the Kumeyaay as a treatment for various medical conditions, including burns, inflammation, and pain from toothache, headache and arthritis.
Yarrow was used by the Kumeyaay as a treatment for various medical conditions, including burns, inflammation, and pain from toothache, headache and arthritis.
Tall stalk of a yucca that already flowered still juts into the sky in Old Town San Diego.
Tall stalk of a yucca that already flowered still juts into the sky in Old Town San Diego.
The Kumeyaay people have lived here for at least ten thousand years. Their innovations in managing San Diego's resources in wet winters and dry summers are still used today.
The Kumeyaay people have lived here for at least ten thousand years. Their innovations in managing San Diego’s resources in wet winters and dry summers are still used today.
A variety of native plants found naturally in coastal San Diego's semi-arid climate.
A variety of native plants found naturally in coastal San Diego’s semi-arid climate, including sages and prickly pear cactus.
Fibers from the yucca were used by the Kumeyaay to produce cords, nets, shoes and other useful items.
Fibers from the yucca were used by the Kumeyaay to produce cords, nets, shoes and other useful items.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

The oldest building in San Diego is a golf Pro Shop!

The Pro Shop at Presidio Hill Golf Course can be found inside San Diego's oldest building, La Casa de Carrillo.
The Presidio Hills Golf Course Pro Shop can be found inside San Diego’s oldest building, La Casa de Carrillo.

Believe it or not, the oldest structure that still exists in San Diego (outside of the walls of the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá) contains a golf Pro Shop!

The two-century-old Casa de Carrillo, located near the base of historic Presidio Hill, was built in 1817, according to the Save Our Heritage Organisation.  (Plaques at the location provide two different years.)  It was built by the Spanish presidio’s commander, Francisco Maria Ruiz, for Joaquin Carrillo, a relative and fellow soldier stationed in San Diego. The adobe house stood beside the Comandante’s pear garden. Today the rather simple building, which was restored in 1931, is the home of the Presidio Hills Golf Course Pro Shop!

The small Presidio Hills Golf Course has its own unique history. Occupying what was once a scrubby plot of land at the foot of Presidio Hill, just east of Old Town, the pitch-and-putt golf course was developed in the early 1930s by George Marston, a visionary San Diego businessman and philanthropist who also worked to develop Balboa Park, the San Diego Public Library, and the San Diego Historical Society. Marston created the Junipero Serra Museum which rises today just above the site of the original 1769 Spanish presidio, so-called birthplace of California.

Over the years, the Presidio Hills Golf Course has hosted several world famous golfers, most notably Phil Mickelson, a resident of San Diego. When they were kids, Phil and his sister Tina would play all day at the small golf course. I was told by the super friendly young gentleman working in the pro shop that Phil Mickelson returns to visit every few years, just for old time’s sake.

A young Tiger Woods also won two Junior World trophies at Presidio Hills Golf Course!

Read the photo captions for a bit more information . . .

Photo of the small, historic adobe across the parking lot of the Presidio Hills Golf Course. Built around 1810, it's the oldest structure that is still standing in San Diego.
A photo of the small, historic adobe taken from the parking lot of the Presidio Hills Golf Course. Casa de Carrillo is the oldest structure that is still standing in San Diego.
A portion of La Casa De Carrillo - Pear Garden House. A center of social life and romance in early Spanish days. Here lived Senorita Josefa Carrillo. One of the oldest adobe dwellings in San Diego. Built about the year 1810. Restored in October 1931.
Bronze plaque near the front door reads:  A portion of La Casa De Carrillo – Pear Garden House. A center of social life and romance in early Spanish days. Here lived Senorita Josefa Carrillo. One of the oldest adobe dwellings in San Diego. Built about the year 1810. Restored in October 1931.
Photo of La Casa de Carrillo taken from a golf green just east of the structure.
Photo of La Casa de Carrillo taken from a golf green just east of the structure.
Sign near historical marker for Casa de Carrillo points to the golf course clubhouse and first hole.
Sign near historical marker for Casa de Carrillo points to the golf course clubhouse and first hole.
Presidio Comandante Francisco Maria Ruiz built this house next to his 1808 pear garden late in 1821 for his close relative and fellow soldier, Joaquin Carrillo, and his large family.
Presidio Comandante Francisco Maria Ruiz built this house next to his 1808 pear garden late in 1821 for his close relative and fellow soldier, Joaquin Carrillo, and his large family.
The easy Presidio Hills Golf Course is a great place to learn golf--ideal for families and kids. And one gets a history lesson, too!
Enter the old adobe and you will find the Pro Shop.  The easy Presidio Hills Golf Course is a great place to learn golf–ideal for families and kids. And one gets a history lesson, too!
A look inside the restored adobe. I'm not sure which parts of the historically important building are original.
Another look inside the restored adobe. I’m not sure which parts of the historically important building are original.
An old newspaper article displayed in the pro shop includes a photo of 8-year-old Tiger Woods. He is showing off his Junior World trophy captured at Presidio Hills, where he won two titles.
An old newspaper article displayed in the pro shop includes a photo of 8-year-old Tiger Woods. He is showing off a Junior World trophy captured at Presidio Hills, where he won two titles.
San Diego Union September 1, 1931. Old Town Links Well Under Way On Marston Land.
San Diego Union September 1, 1931. Old Town Links Well Under Way On Marston Land.
Various photos of Presidio Hills Golf Course history inside the Pro Shop. Phil Mickelson and Craig Stadler are two notable golfers from San Diego.
Various photos of Presidio Hills Golf Course history inside the Pro Shop. Phil Mickelson and Craig Stadler are two notable golfers from San Diego.
Old photo shows Don and Al Abrego Presidio Hills Tiny Tots Golf School. The school has faded into history.
Another photo shows Don and Al Abrego Presidio Hills Tiny Tots Golf School. The defunct school has faded into history.
The modest Presidio Hills Golf Course is Par 3, 18 Holes. It's located at the east edge of San Diego's Old Town.
The modest Presidio Hills Golf Course is Par 3, 18 Holes. It’s located at the east edge of San Diego’s Old Town.
Another look across the small, easy golf course. The course appears to be a bit neglected. Regrettably, I saw no players out on a Sunday afternoon.
Another look across the small, easy golf course. It appears to be a bit neglected. Regrettably, I saw no players out on a Sunday afternoon.
Historical photograph in the Presidio Hills Golf Course Pro Shop. La Casa de Carillo before it was restored in 1929.
Old black-and-white photograph inside the Presidio Hills Golf Course Pro Shop shows La Casa de Carillo (note the different spelling) before it was restored in 1929.

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