Posts Tagged ‘Miguel de Pedrorena’

4th May
written by Richard

We arrived at San Diego very tired at ½ past 7. Did not know where to go or what to do. It was dark. A serious time. At length, Walter, Keane, and self were taken in at the Dragoon Quarters and the rest got a tent. Our supper was coffee and crumbs of biscuit. –H.M.T. Powell, December 3, 1849

The diary of a tired traveler from Illinois provides a rare, colorful account of early San Diego. Of an estimated 80,000 gold-seekers who found their way to California in 1849, relatively few stopped in San Diego. Fewer still left recorded narratives of their time here. The journal of H.M.T. Powell, published in 1931 as The Santa Fe Trail to California, 1849-1852, is considered by historians to be one of the most important accounts of the Gold Rush era.

An eyewitness view of Old Town San Diego in 1849: H.M.T. Powell and San Diego

4th January
written by Richard

William Heath Davis

Of the new town of San Diego, now the city of San Diego, I can say that I was its founder. –William Heath Davis, interview with San Diego Sun, December 1887.

Often forgotten in San Diego history is the pioneer some historians regard as the true founder of the City of San Diego.  William Heath Davis certainly believed he deserved credit for his attempt of 1850, an effort that failed but paved the way for a later city builder named Alonzo E. Horton.

Read the story of San Diego’s founding: The Davis Folly.