15 15 George Marston purchased the presi- dio land to protect it from future de- velopment and commissioned master architect William Templeton Johnson to build a monument fitting to the city’s history and which became the home to the San Diego Historical Society, he then gifted the land and building to the city for perpetuity which still serves today to honor the remarkable legacy of Presidio Hill. Beginning in Mexico, the El Camino Real, a centuries-old Native American trail that extends to northern Cali- fornia connecting all 21 Missions, through Old Town and passes directly in front of the Ruiz-Carrillo Adobe (c.1817-23), the first house built beyond the Presidio. San Diego became a pueblo in 1835, coinciding with the break up of the Missions system and the brief establishment of the Rancho period until 1848, when San Diego becomes part of the United States. Today a large portion of the original pueblo makes up the Old Town State Historic Park. Old Town was then and is today a thriving multi-cultural community. Settled by Spanish soldiers and Padres, the town was populated by Native Americans, Mexicans, Span- iards, Europeans, African-Ameri- can, Catholics, Jews and gentiles. San Diego will soon celebrate 250 years of diverse history spotlighted by its nationally significant histori- cal landmarks, and the stories they tell of the people and events who have brought us this far. San Diego’s 250th Anniversary af- fords each of us the opportunity to discover and appreciate the national importantance and historic signifi- cance of Old Town, as we remem- ber and celebrate one of the oldest settlements in the United States. Amie Hayes is a Historic Resources Spe- cialist with Save Our Heritage Organisa- tion, SOHO, San Diego counties historic preservation advocacy group, headquar- tered in Old Town at the historic Derby- Pendleton and Whaley House complex. Prior to 19th Century • The Kumeyaay tribes are the indigenous peoples in the area from as far back as 12,000 years ago. • 1542 – Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sails the San Salvador into San Diego harbor and is the first European contact. • 1602 – Second contact, Sebastián Viz- caíno arrives with flagship “San Diego” and names San Diego bay. • 1769 – The first settlement of Alta Cali- fornia is the El Presidio Reál de San Diego (Royal Presidio of San Diego) is established by Gasper de Portola and the Mission San Diego de Alcala. • 1774 – Mission San Diego de Alcala is relocated 6 miles east. 19th Century • 1821 – Mexico gains independence from Spain; San Diego becomes part of Alta Cali- fornia under Mexican rule. • 1834 – Missions are secularized and lands are granted to the Californios (those of Spanish or Mexican heritage born in Cali- fornia) and San Diego becomes a pueblo. • 1847 - The Mormon Battalion arrives in San Diego from Utah, joining forces with the US in the war with Mexico. The Battalion is the only religiously based unit in United States Military history. The Battalions 2000 mile march also opened a southern wagon route to California playing a significant role in America's westward expansion in California and the west. • 1848 –Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo trans- fers San Diego to the US; gold is discov- ered! • 1850 – California is granted statehood and San Diego is named the county seat of San Diego County. • 1851 – The San Diego Herald publishes its first edition. • 1871 – City and County records removed forcibly from the Whaley House in Old Town to New Town. (Now Downtown) • 1884 – Helen Hunt Jackson’s “Ramona” is published featuring the Old Adobe Chapel and the Casa de Estudillo in Old Town, and becomes a national bestseller. 20th Century • 1907 – Presidio Park development begins with George Marston, Spreckles, Scripps, and other philanthropist purchase the prop- erty to protect and preserve it by creating the park to commemorate the historic site. • 1915 – Panama California Exposition in Balboa Park opens under chief architect Bertram Goodhue. Creating an architectur- al movement called Spanish Revival, that still defines Southern California today. • 1928 – San Diego Historical Society founded by George Marston. • 1929 – Serra Museum and Presidio Park opening, dedicated as a gift to the City by historic preservationist, and philanthropist George Marston. • 1935 – California-Pacific International Exposition opens in Balboa Park under chief architect Richard Requa. • 1960 – The Whaley House (2476 San Diego Avenue) opens as a historic house museum. • 1965 – Archeology begins at original Mission San Diego de Alcala atop Presidio Hill. This work still continues as one of the most historic sites on the West Coast of the United States. • 1969 – A large portion of Old Town is established as a state historic park, com- memorating 200 years of history. • 1969 – Heritage Park is established by the County of San Diego, through the saving of the Sherman Gilbert House from demolition, at the same time this establishes what is now the oldest historic preservation advocacy group in California, Save Our Heritage Organisation, SOHO, headquartered in Old Town is sharing their 50th anniversary along with San Diego's 250th. • 2018 – San Diego becomes the eighth largest city in the United States and the second largest in California. The city is the seat of San Diego County and is the eco- nomic center of the region as well as the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan area. TimelineofSomeImportantDates1769-2019