Historical markers at entrance to Presidio Park.

Several historical markers can be found near the northwest entrance to Presidio Park. If you’ve ever driven along Taylor Street just past Morena Boulevard and the Presidio Recreation Center, you might’ve glimpsed them. They stand beside a sidewalk that comes to an abrupt end, in a place where almost nobody walks.

The three markers were placed years ago near three sites of historical importance: the Serra Palm, Derby Dike, and the La Playa Trail.

I’ve transcribed the words on each plaque.

I was told by a park ranger who happened to be parked nearby that the Serra Palm is long gone. He said it was probably blown over in a windstorm, and pointed out a pine tree that was toppled by our most recent storms.

The Serra Palm was planted in 1769 by Padre Junípero Serra, and marked the beginning of El Camino Real.

I’ve photographed a similar La Playa Trail marker near Mission San Diego de Alcalá. To view that photo, click here.

According to Wikipedia: “In 1934, six commemorative terra cotta plaques were placed along the length of the trail by the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and other groups, based on a relief designed by sculptor Rose M. Hanks. The original six were located at Mission San Diego de Alcala; at the foot of Presidio Hill in Old Town; near the intersection of Rosecrans St. and Midway Blvd. in the Midway area; at the corner of Rosecrans and Lytton streets in Loma Portal, across from the Naval Training Center San Diego golf course; at the corner of Rosecrans and Byron streets in Roseville; and at the site of the fuel depot at Naval Base Point Loma…”

SERRA PALM

TRADITIONALLY THE EARLIEST PLANTED TREE IN
CALIFORNIA. DIRECTLY IN THE REAR, BENEATH
THE BROW OF THE HILL, LIE THE DEAD OF THE
SACRED EXPEDITION OF 1769, BURIAL PLACE OF
OUR FIRST UNKNOWN SOLDIERS.
STATE REGISTERED LANDMARK NO. 67
MARKER PLACED BY CALIFORNIA CENTENNIALS COMMISSION
IN COOPERATION WITH
SAN DIEGO COUNTY HISTORICAL MARKERS COMMITTEE
DEDICATED SEPTEMBER 2, 1950

DERBY DIKE

UNTIL 1853 THE ERRATIC SAN DIEGO RIVER DUMPED TONS
OF DEBRIS INTO THE HARBOR OR POURED INTO FALSE
BAY, NOW MISSION BAY. AT TIMES IT THREATENED TO DE-
STROY OLD TOWN SAN DIEGO. LIEUTENANT GEORGE
HORATIO DERBY, U.S. TOPOGRAPHICAL CORPS, BUILT A
DIKE THAT DIVERTED THE WATERS INTO FALSE BAY. THIS
WAS THE FIRST EFFORT TO TAME THE RIVER, AND ONE
OF THE FIRST U.S. GOVERNMENT PROJECTS IN CALIFOR-
NIA. THE RIVER WAS NOT FULLY HARNESSED UNTIL THE 1950s.
CALIFORNIA REGISTERED HISTORICAL LANDMARK NO. 244
FIRST REGISTERED JUNE 10, 1936. PLAQUE PLACED BY THE
STATE DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION IN CO-
OPERATION WITH THE SAN DIEGO DEPARTMENT OF PARKS
AND RECREATION AND SQUIBOB CHAPTER, E CLAMPUS
VITUS, AUGUST 4, 1990.

LA PLAYA TRAIL
JEDEDIAH STRONG SMITH
PATHFINDER OF THE SIERRAS
HERE COMPLETED THE FIRST TRAIL FROM
THE ATLANTIC TO THE PACIFIC JAN. 1827
ERECTED BY
SAN DIEGO CHAPTER D.A.R. 1937

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Past, present, future, together in one walk.

Every moment, in the blink of an eye, is lost forever to the past.

My walk this morning through downtown San Diego made me wonder. Without leaving the present, I saw evidence of time’s passage.

In my small field of vision I saw people turning corners.

I saw buildings old and new.

The demolition and the construction.

Things that will be forgotten.

Things that are still remembered.

Many of the things I photographed this morning we’ve observed together in the past. Perhaps a little differently.

So now I offer a few passing images, which are like moments in a dream–or in a life.

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!

Beauty and history in Carlsbad Village.

Photo of the beautiful old Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad Village. Built in 1887, it is one of the few pre-1900 stations left in the country.
Photo of the beautiful old Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad Village. Built in 1887, it is one of the few pre-1900 stations left in the country.

Last weekend I walked around Carlsbad Village. After taking photos of several historic buildings, I strolled for a bit along the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Did you know Carlsbad is named after Karlsbad in Bohemia? That’s because Carlsbad was founded after mineral springs were discovered not far from the beach in the late 19th century. The water was said to be identical in taste and chemical content to the famous healing waters in Karlsbad.

Because my walk was meandering and random, I didn’t see or photograph all of the historic buildings in Carlsbad Village. But I did learn quite a bit about this beautiful coastal community!

To learn more about Carlsbad Village, which is the downtown part of Carlsbad in north San Diego County, please read my photo captions.

Train tracks pass the Santa Fe Depot. The modern Carlsbad Village Station is located one block to the north.
Active train tracks pass the historic Santa Fe Depot. (The modern Carlsbad Village Station is located one block to the north.)
The restored Santa Fe Depot is now the home of Carlsbad's Convention and Visitors Bureau, where tourists can obtain local information.
The restored Santa Fe Depot is now the home of Carlsbad’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, where tourists can obtain local information.
The Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad also served as telegraph, Wells Fargo, Post Office and general store. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Santa Fe Depot in Carlsbad also served as telegraph station, Wells Fargo, Post Office and General Store. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A look inside Carlsbad's historic Santa Fe Depot, now a tourist information center. (Photo taken shortly before Christmas.)
A look inside Carlsbad’s historic Santa Fe Depot, now a tourist information center. (Photo taken shortly before Christmas.)
A vintage wood stove in the depot.
A vintage wood stove in the depot.
A board on the wall shows arrival times for Amtrak and the Coaster. The active Carlsbad Village train station is one block north.
A board on the wall shows arrival times for Amtrak and the Coaster. The modern Carlsbad Village train station is located one block north.
Photo of the grand Twin Inns building beyond the landmark Carlsbad sign on Carlsbad Boulevard, which is a segment of Historic Route 101.
Photo of the grand Twin Inns building beyond the landmark Carlsbad sign on Carlsbad Boulevard, which is a segment of Historic Route 101.
Twin Inns is a Victorian structure built in 1887 by Gerhard Schutte, the Father of Carlsbad, co-founder of the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company.
Twin Inns is a Victorian structure built in 1887 by Gerhard Schutte, the Father of Carlsbad, co-founder of the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company.
Alt Karlsbad, built in 1964, recreating a 12th century structure. Today it is a spa and bottling plant for its famous mineral water.
Alt Karlsbad, built in 1964, recreating a 12th century structure. Today it is a spa and bottling plant for its famous mineral water.
Statue of Captain John A. Frazier, created by sculptor Vaclav Lokvenc, of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) in the Czech Republic, sister city of Carlsbad.
Statue of Captain John A. Frazier, created by sculptor Vaclav Lokvenc, of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) in the Czech Republic, sister city of Carlsbad.
Captain John A. Frazier discovered artesian springs with mineral water on his farm in 1882. He built a hotel and spa and was co-founder of the city of Carlsbad.
Captain John A. Frazier discovered artesian springs with mineral water on his farm in 1882. He built a hotel and spa and was co-founder of the city of Carlsbad.
Someone performs a handstand in a grassy park that overlooks the beach in Carlsbad Village.
Someone performs a handstand in a grassy park that overlooks the beach at Carlsbad Village.
A view of nearby coastal scenery.
A view of nearby coastal scenery.
Sign above Carlsbad's beach bluff, describing its animals and plants, unique habitat and the cycle of life.
Sign above Carlsbad’s beach bluff, describing its animals and plants, unique habitat and the cycle of life.
A beautiful photo of Carlsbad State Beach near Carlsbad Village.
A beautiful photo of Carlsbad State Beach near Carlsbad Village.

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 for you to enjoy!

Street art and a little history in Linda Vista.

I walked through Linda Vista yesterday, up Linda Vista Road from Comstock Street to Genesee Avenue. I discovered great examples of street art and some fascinating local history!

Linda Vista is an old San Diego neighborhood whose origin is tied to World War II. According to Wikipedia: “Many of the homes in Linda Vista were built in 1940-41 as part of a government project to house aircraft workers for the war effort. A construction project that was assisted by Reuben H. Fleet beginning in October 1941 resulted in 3,001 houses built within 200 days.”

One of the first shopping malls ever built in the United States was built in this community. As I walked up Linda Vista Road past the Sieu Thi Thuan Phat Supermarket, I came upon a bronze plaque that describes that history.

Today, as you can see from my photographs, many who live in Linda Vista have an Asian heritage.

The plaque reads:

THIS SITE WAS THE LOCATION OF ONE OF
THE FIRST PLANNED SHOPPING CENTERS
IN THE UNITED STATES

The Linda Vista area was developed as a government
housing project for aircraft and shipyard defense
workers during World War II. The original shopping
center was built to serve the residents and was
dedicated in 1942 by Eleanor Roosevelt. Demolition of
the original shopping center occurred in 1972.

LINDA VISTA COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, 2009

Above is the photo of a beautiful mural by local artist Gloria Muriel, spray painted on the wall of Hot Wash Coin Laundry. Love and Respect.

There’s a tragic phenomenon in the large cities of California that I rarely photograph. In Linda Vista, as in most of San Diego, drugs and homelessness are now encountered everywhere one walks.

A heartbreaking photo.

To see what I see during my walks, follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter.

Photos of Bill Muncey Memorial and plaques.

The Bill Muncey Memorial stands on Mission Bay’s beautiful Vacation Isle, on a grassy spot just north of the Ski Beach boat launch ramp. It rises above the nearby blue water like a wing flying through the sky.

Bill Muncey is a legend in hydroplane racing. He is considered by many to be the greatest hydroplane racer in history. The gracefully curving memorial honors his contributions to the sport, and the creation of a 2.5-mile oval hydroplane racecourse in San Diego’s Mission Bay.

The memorial contains two bronze plaques. The first reads:

BILL MUNCEY UNLIMITED HYDROPLANE COURSE
PRESENTED TO THE PEOPLE OF SAN DIEGO
BY THUNDERBOATS UNLIMITED IN THE
MEMORY OF BILL MUNCEY, WORLD CHAMPION.
62 CAREER VICTORIES
4 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
7 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
8 GOLD CUP WINS

The second plaque, which depicts the smiling face of Bill Muncey, reads:

“just running and playing like all the kids I know…”
Bill Muncey 1928-1981

There is a third plaque on a nearby park bench that remembers Bernie Little, legendary owner of the famous Miss Budweiser team. It reads:

IN MEMORY OF
Bernie Little
1925-2003
“The King of Boats”
THE WINNINGEST UNLIMITED HYDROPLANE OWNER IN HISTORY
134 UNLIMITED HYDROPLANE RACES
14 APBA GOLD CUPS
22 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
“IF YOU AREN’T TRYING TO WIN…WHY WOULD YOU RACE?”

To learn more about Bill Muncey and the Bill Muncey Unlimited Hydroplane Course on Mission Bay, visit the San Diego Bayfair’s history web page here.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Flagpole and historic plaque at Marston Point.

I took a walk early yesterday morning. I headed from downtown San Diego up Sixth Avenue to Marston Point, which is located in the southwest corner of Balboa Park.

Near the south end of Marston Point, a flag flies at the center of a parking lot that overlooks the city. At the base of the 80-foot flagpole there’s an historic plaque. It reads:

ERECTED
BY THE
FREE AND ACCEPTED
MASONS
OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY

IN COMMEMORATION OF
THE ADOPTION OF THE
UNITED STATES FLAG
1777 JUNE 14TH 1927

A second, smaller plaque reads:

REDEDICATED
JUNE 15, 1947

According to what I found on the San Diego History Center website here, the Masons’ flagpole dedication was celebrated with a big parade.

Today the flag remains a landmark seen by thousands every day.

Early yesterday morning, as I arrived at the flagpole and empty parking lot, the rising sun was coloring beautiful clouds.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Photos of San Diego and Arizona Railway centennial!

People gather for the 100th Anniversary celebration of the San Diego and Arizona Railway at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo.
People gather for the 100th Anniversary celebration of the San Diego and Arizona Railway at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo.

Yesterday I attended an extraordinary event. The 100th Anniversary of the San Diego and Arizona Railway was celebrated at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo!

Hundreds came out to the museum to enjoy special attractions, historical displays and old-time entertainment. Almost everybody rode an excursion train through the nearby countryside (you can see photos of the ride here) before gathering for lunch and a gold spike ceremony that reenacted much of the original ceremony a century ago.

Please enjoy the following photographs. Read the captions if you’d like to learn a little more about the history of the San Diego and Arizona Railway. (Click the images of signs and they’ll enlarge for easier reading.)

Many signs, plaques and historical markers can be found throughout the railroad museum's grounds.
Many signs, plaques and historical markers can be found throughout the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s grounds.
In 1916 rails reached Campo on the last transcontinental railway link built in the United States. The line was completed in 1919. The line was eventually purchased by MTS to gain right-of-way for the San Diego Trolley in the city of San Diego.
In 1916 rails reached Campo on the last transcontinental railway link built in the United States. The line was completed in 1919. The line was eventually purchased by MTS to gain right-of-way for the San Diego Trolley in the city of San Diego.
Visitors wait in line at the old Campo depot to pick up tickets for a train ride during the centennial event.
Visitors wait in line at the museum’s old Campo depot to pick up tickets for a train ride during the centennial event.
Heading around the old Campo depot toward the passenger platform.
Heading around the Campo depot toward the passenger platform.
Gazing out at a few of the many old rail cars owned by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum.
Gazing out at a few of the many old rail cars owned by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum.
Visitors check out a caboose and more railroad cars to one side of the historic Campo train depot.
Visitors check out a caboose and more railroad cars to one side of the historic Campo train depot.
A simulated hobo camp and interesting sign attract the attention of one gentleman.
A simulated hobo camp and interesting sign attract the attention of one gentleman.
Hobo code used symbols made with chalk or coal to provide directions and warnings to other hobos.
Hobo code used symbols made with chalk or coal to provide directions and warnings to other hobos.
A recreated hobo encampment with campfire.
A recreated hobo encampment with campfire.
On December 14, 1906 John D. Spreckels, with his brother Adolph, announced his intent to construct a railroad from San Diego to Yuma, Arizona.
On December 14, 1906 John D. Spreckels, with his brother Adolph, announced his intent to construct a railroad from San Diego to Yuma, Arizona.
On October 2, 1916 the first passenger trains to Campo were initiated. On November 15, 1919 the Gold Spike Limited brought dignitaries to Carriso Gorge siding. The Impossible Railroad was completed!
On October 2, 1916 the first passenger trains to Campo were initiated. On November 15, 1919 the Gold Spike Limited brought dignitaries to Carriso Gorge siding. The Impossible Railroad was completed!
On February 5, 1950 the first diesel-electric locomotive pulled a freight train over the mountains, in place of a steam locomotive.
On February 5, 1950 the first diesel-electric locomotive pulled a freight train over the mountains, in place of a steam locomotive.
Checking out history at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, with its extensive collection of railroad rolling stock.
Checking out history at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, with its extensive collection of railroad rolling stock.
The Chula Vista Live Steamers were present for the event. They brought some of their 7.5 inch gauge operating steam trains.
The Chula Vista Live Steamers were present for the event. They brought some of their 7.5 inch gauge operating steam trains.
On top of one flatcar is a huge turntable that was used for turning railroad locomotives and cars.
On top of one flatcar is a huge turntable that was once used for turning railroad locomotives and cars.
A cool photo of a nearby Southern Pacific locomotive through the transported turntable.
A cool photo of a nearby Southern Pacific locomotive through the transported turntable.
A sign maps the route of the San Diego and Arizona Railway from San Diego through Mexico to El Centro.
A sign maps the route of the San Diego and Arizona Railway from San Diego through Mexico to El Centro. There are plans to use this line for freight trains once again. There is also talk that a tourist train might in the future run between Tecate, Mexico and Campo, California.
A sign describes two wooden passenger coaches built in the late 19th century. Coach 239 is one of the oldest surviving railroad passenger car artifacts in the West.
A sign describes two wooden passenger coaches built in the late 19th century. Coach 239 is one of the oldest surviving railroad passenger car artifacts in the West.
Visitors check out an enormous old freight car.
Visitors check out an enormous old freight car.
Here comes the San Diego & Arizona Eastern MW 1003 1931 Ford Model AA Rail Fire Engine.
Here comes the San Diego & Arizona Eastern MW 1003 1931 Ford Model AA Rail Fire Engine.
Visitors to the event check out a working 1902 American steam fire engine.
Visitors to the event check out a working 1902 American steam fire engine.
The American was built in 1902 by the American Fire Engine Company. It was restored with the help of the California State Firefighters' Association, and is now valued at over half a million dollars.
The American was built in 1902 by the American Fire Engine Company. It was restored with the help of the California State Firefighters’ Association, and is now valued at over half a million dollars!
People check out some of the railroad equipment on display on the museum grounds.
People check out some of the railroad equipment on display on the museum grounds.
Reading a sign by the railway Section House, where railroad workers were housed along the track.
Reading a sign by the railway Section House, where railroad workers were housed along the track.
Passengers disembark from the day's first excursion train and arrive at the outdoor venue for the gold spike event, near the museum's Display Building.
Passengers disembark from the day’s first excursion train and arrive at the outdoor venue for the gold spike event, near the museum’s Display Building.
A hay ride pulls up to the Display Building area.
A hay ride pulls up to the Display Building area.
Dr. Solar was entertaining kids with his magical Good-Time, Sunshine, Traveling Medicine Show.
Dr. Solar was entertaining kids with his magical Good-Time, Sunshine, Traveling Medicine Show.
Dr. Solar holds his applause meter.
Dr. Solar holds his applause meter.
Vintage auto enthusiasts brought their Model A and Model T Fords and Horseless Carriages.
Vintage auto enthusiasts brought their Model A and Model T Fords and Horseless Carriages.
Some cool period costumes!
Some fancy period costumes!
Vintage automobiles and vintage trains!
Vintage automobiles and vintage trains!
People were lined up for lunch near some of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum's many outdoor railroad cars.
People were lined up for lunch near some of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s many outdoor railroad cars.
Checking out a very cool old steam locomotive!
Checking out a very cool old steam locomotive!
A little switch engine of the San Diego and Arizona Railway.
A little switch engine of the San Diego and Arizona Railway.
The 100th Anniversary gold spike ceremony is about to begin. A train with red, white and blue bunting on the nearby track will be part of the historical reenactment.
The 100th Anniversary gold spike ceremony is about to begin. A train with red, white and blue bunting on the nearby track will be part of the historical reenactment.
Buffalo Soldiers representing nearby Camp Lockett are the event's color guard.
Buffalo Soldiers representing nearby Camp Lockett are the event’s color guard.
The gold spike ceremony begins.
The gold spike ceremony begins.
Standing for the National Anthem.
Standing for the National Anthem.
The master of ceremonies would introduce numerous present-day dignitaries, and many speeches would follow.
The master of ceremonies would introduce numerous present-day dignitaries, and many speeches would follow.
Native Sons of the Golden West dedicate a plaque celebrating the 100th anniversary of the San Diego and Arizona Railway's completion.
Native Sons of the Golden West dedicate a plaque celebrating the 100th anniversary of the San Diego and Arizona Railway’s completion.
Descendants of John D. Spreckels are asked to stand by Diana Hyatt, President of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association.
Descendants of John D. Spreckels are asked to stand by Diana Hyatt, President of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association.
During the centennial ceremony, the original gold spike from 100 years ago was on display in a glass case nearby.
During the centennial ceremony, the original gold spike from 100 years ago was on display in a glass case nearby.
The original gold spike used to celebrate the completion of the San Diego and Arizona Railway in 1919.
The original gold spike used to celebrate the completion of the San Diego and Arizona Railway in 1919.
The San Diego City Guard Band plays the San Diego Progress March, written for the railway's completion 100 years ago and performed then by the 1919 version of the City Guard Band.
The San Diego City Guard Band plays the San Diego Progress March, written for the railway’s completion 100 years ago and performed then by the 1919 version of the City Guard Band.
The gold spike reenactment begins. Railroad workers arrive by handcar.
The gold spike reenactment begins. Railroad workers arrive by handcar.
The railroad workers carry the last section of track to be laid.
The railroad workers carry the last section of track to be laid.
Reenactment of workers completing a transcontinental railroad route.
Reenactment of workers completing a transcontinental railroad route.
History is remembered in Campo, California.
Railroad history comes to life in Campo, California.
Here come dignitaries from 1919, including San Diego Mayor Wilde and William Kettner.
Here come dignitaries from 1919, including San Diego Mayor Wilde and William Kettner.
Politicians and dignitaries from a century ago seem to return to life during the San Diego and Arizona Railway centennial.
Politicians and dignitaries from a century ago seem to return to life during the San Diego and Arizona Railway centennial. Each would read from the original speeches.
Photographers record history from one side of the gold spike reenactment.
Photographers record today’s history from one side of the gold spike reenactment.
John D. Spreckels arrives from the Gold Spike Limited train.
John D. Spreckels arrives from the Gold Spike Limited train.
The shiny gold spike is put into place.
The shiny gold spike is put into place.
John D. Spreckels, creator of the San Diego and Arizona Railway, hammers the final spike.
John D. Spreckels, creator of the San Diego and Arizona Railway, hammers the final spike.
Those attending the big centennial celebration assemble around the John D. Spreckels reenactor for a photograph.
Those attending the big centennial celebration assemble around the John D. Spreckels reenactor for a photograph.
History is made again on a sunny November day in 2019.
History is made again on a sunny November day in 2019.

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 for you to enjoy!