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San Diego County, California Points of Interest

Map of California State Historical Marker Locations in San Diego

San Diego County Historical Markers

San Diego County Churches
Adobe Chapel Of The Immaculate Conception
Originally built as the home of San Diego's John Brown. In 1850, the house was converted to a church by Don José Aguirre in 1858. Father Antoni... [click for more]

Chapel Of Santa Ysabel (site Of)
The first mass at a site nearby was celebrated September 20, 1818 by Father Fernando Martin. By 1822, Santa Ysabel was an asistencia, or mission outpo... [click for more]

Mission Dam and Flume
After many attempts dated back to 1774 to provide a reliable source of water for crops and livestock for Mission San Diego de Alcala, a dam and flume ... [click for more]

Mission San Diego De Alcala
On Sunday, July 16, 1769, Fathers Junípero Serra, Juan Vizcaino, and Fernando Parrón raised and blessed a cross to establish Alta California's ... [click for more]

Mission San Luís Rey De Francia
Founded June 12, 1798 by Father Lasuén, then president of the California missions, and administered by Father Peyrí, Mission San Lu&iacu... [click for more]

San Diego County Schools
First Military Flying School In America
The flat lands beyond have been a part of aviation history since Glenn Curtiss founded the first military flying school in America here on January 17,... [click for more]

First Publicly Owned School Building
The first public schoolhouse in this county, the Mason Street School-District 1, was erected at this site in 1865, when San Diego County covered an ar... [click for more]

San Diego State College, Site Of First Doctorate Degree Granted By The California State College System
Under the Master Plan for Higher Education adopted in 1960, the colleges in the newly established California College System were given degrees with th... [click for more]

San Diego County Cemeteries
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
A burial ground before 1847, this graveyard became an Army post cemetery in the 1860s. It is the final resting place for most who fell at San Pasqual ... [click for more]

San Diego County Historic Homes & Houses
Bancroft Ranch House
Adobe built about 1863 by A. S. Ensworth. Home of Capt. Rufus K. Porter and family. Curved timbers brought from the Clarissa Andrews, famed coaling hu... [click for more]

Historic Planned Community Of Rancho Santa Fe
Rancho Santa Fe began as Rancho San Dieguito, a land grant of nearly 9,000 acres made to Juan María Osuna in 1845. The Santa Fe Railway Company... [click for more]

La Cañada De Los Coches Rancho
Commemorating Cañada de Los Coches Rancho, smallest Mexican grant in California, granted in 1843 to Apolinaria Lorenzana by Governor Manuel Micheltore... [click for more]

Leo Carrillo Ranch (Rancho De Los Kiotes)
Between 1937 and 1940, these adobe and wood buildings were built by actor Leo Carrillo as a retreat, working ranch, and tribute to old California cult... [click for more]

Old Point Loma Lighthouse
This lighthouse, built in 1854, was one of the first eight lighthouses on the Pacific Coast. It continued in use until 1891, when the new Pelican Poin... [click for more]

Rancho Guajome
Formerly attached to Mission San Luís Rey, this 2,219-acre ranch was briefly owned by two mission Indians and then came into the hands of Don A... [click for more]

Santa Margarita Ranch House
In July 1769, the Portola Expedition named this area for St. Margaret of Antioch. The Mission San Luis Rey 1827 Inventories list a small building in t... [click for more]

The Whaley House
This house, in which the San Diego County Court met for about 20 years, was the first brick building to be erected in San Diego County. The bricks wer... [click for more]

San Diego County - General Interest
Asistencia San Antonio De Pala
Notable for its bell tower, or campanile, the chapel vas built by Father Peyrí in 1816. Almost destroyed by earthquake and storm, it was later ... [click for more]

Ballast Point Whaling Station Site
Late in 1857, the three Johnson brothers and the twin Packard brothers came to this site to survey possibilities for a station to 'try out' or extract... [click for more]

Box Canyon
The old road, known as the Sonora, Colorado River, or Southern Emigrant Trail and later as the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, traversed Box Canyon j... [click for more]

Butterfield Overland Mail Route
This pass, Puerta, between the desert and the cooler valleys to the north, was used by the Mormon Battalion, Kearny's Army of the West, the Butterfiel... [click for more]

Cabrillo Landing Site
Seeking the mythical Strait of Anián (the Northwest Passage) for Spain, on September 28, 1542, Iberian navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo... [click for more]

Camp Wright
Camp Wright, named for Brigadier General George Wright, United States Army, who commanded the Pacific Department and California District from 1861 to ... [click for more]

Campo Stone Store
The pioneer Gaskill brothers of 1868 built a frame store which was raided on December 4, 1875 by border bandits. This fort-like replacement of summer ... [click for more]

Casa De Bandini
This adobe house was constructed about 1827 by José and Juan Bandini. As headquarters of Commodore Robert F. Stockton in 1846, it was the place... [click for more]

Casa De Carrillo
Presidio Comandante Francisco María Ruiz built this house next to his 1808 pear garden lake in 1821 for his close relative and fellow soldier, ... [click for more]

Casa De Lopez
Built about 1835 by Juan Francisco Lopez, one of San Diego's early Spanish settlers, the Casa Larga, or Long House, was among the first substantial ho... [click for more]

Casa De Machado
This adobe house, constructed about 1832 by José Manuel Machado, pioneer leatherjacket soldier of the Spanish Army who arrived at San Diego Pre... [click for more]

Casa De Pedrorena
This was the home of Miguel de Pedrorena, who arrived in San Diego Viejo in 1838. Don Miguel was a member of the Constitutional Convention at Monterey... [click for more]

Casa De Stewart
Adobe house constructed by José Manuel Machado in 1830s for his daughter Rosa, wife of John C. Stewart. Stewart was a shipmate of Richard Henry... [click for more]

Casa de Estudillo
Three generations of Don José María Estudillo's family made their home in Casa de Estudillo. Rich in historical background, the casa is ... [click for more]

Congress Hall Site
This building was originally a two-story public house built by George Dewitt Clinton Washington Robinson about 1867. From this building one of the las... [click for more]

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 dest... [click for more]

El Camino Real (as Father Serra Knew It And Helped Blaze It)
This plaque was placed on the 250th anniversary of the birth of California's apostle, Padre Junípero Serra, OFM, to mark El Camino Real as he k... [click for more]

El Campo Santo
El Campo Santo once included the adobe chapel on Conde Street, in which were buried José Antonio Aguirre, María Victoria Domíngue... [click for more]

El Vado
This route was opened by Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Father Francisco Garcés in 1774. Anza's expedition of 1775, a group of 240 soldiers ... [click for more]

Ferryboat Berkeley
The steam ferryboat Berkeley was the first successful West Coast-built and operated ferry to be driven by a screw propeller as opposed to sid... [click for more]

Fort Rosecrans
President Millard Fillmore's executive order of 1852 created a U.S. Preserve on Point Loma. From 1870 to 1873 the coast artillery corpsmen evicted wha... [click for more]

Fort Stockton
Fortified briefly by Carlos Carrillo in 1828, this site became Fort Dupont (July-November 1846) after American forces took Old Town during the Mexican... [click for more]

Giant Dipper Roller Coaster
The 1925 Giant Dipper Roller Coaster (or “Earthquake”) is a large wooden roller coaster, and its highest “hills” reach a heigh... [click for more]

Hotel Del Coronado
This Victorian hotel, built in 1887, is one of America's largest wooden buildings. Few seaside resort hotels of this significant architectural style r... [click for more]

Following the discovery of gold nearby during the winter of 1869-70, this valley became the commercial and social center of a thriving mining district... [click for more]

La Christianita
Near this spring, the first Christian baptism in Alta California was performed by Padre Francisco Gómez, a member of the Portolá Expedition, in... [click for more]

La Punta De Los Muertos
Sailors and marines were buried here in 1782, when San Diego Bay was surveyed and charted by Don Juan Pantoja y Arriaga, pilot, and Don José To... [click for more]

Las Flores Asistencia
From 1823 to the 1840s, the tile-roofed adobe chapel and hostel at Las Flores, built by Father Antonio Peyrí, served as the asistencia to Missi... [click for more]

Los Puertecitos
Juan Bautista de Anza's expedition marched through this little pass December 19, 1775 on its way to strengthen Spanish colonization in California. Man... [click for more]

Montgomery Memorial
At Otay Mesa, in 1883, John Joseph Montgomery made the first flight in a heavier-than-air craft 20 years before the Wrights. Montgomery made many more... [click for more]

Mule Hill
On December 7, 1846, the day following the Battle of San Pasqual fought five miles east of here, General Stephen Kearny's command, on its way to San D... [click for more]

National City Depot Transcontinental Railroad
This National City California Southern Railroad depot built in 1882 served as the first Pacific Coast terminus station of the Santa Fe Railway system’... [click for more]

Oak Grove Stage Station
Oak Grove is one of the few remaining stations on the Butterfield Overland Mail route, which operated between San Francisco and two eastern terminals-... [click for more]

Old La Playa
From 1770 to 1870, this was San Diego's port. Over the Brookline hide house, Americans unofficially raised a U.S. flag in 1829. At that time La Playa ... [click for more]

Old Landing, Site Of El Desembarcadero
El Desembarcadero was one of the first landmarks designated during the first year of the landmark program. The site was recognized as the landing plac... [click for more]

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Settled by pensioned soldiers from the presidio and their families, Old Town grew into a cluster of adobe houses and garden plots in the early 1800s. ... [click for more]

Palm Springs
Here Mexican pioneers coming to California between 1862 and 1866 rested among the palms, here, too, came mountain men, the Army of the West, the Mormo... [click for more]

Pedro Fages Trail
On October 29, 1772, headed east from San Diego in search of army deserters, Colonel Pedro Fages made the first entry by a European into Oriflamme Can... [click for more]

Peg Leg Smith Monument
Thomas L. Smith, better known as 'Peg Leg,' 1801-1866, was a mountain man, prospector, and spinner of tall tales. Legends regarding his lost gold mine... [click for more]

Plaza, San Diego Viejo (Washington Square)
This plaza was established as the center of the Mexican Pueblo of San Diego which elected its first ajuntamiento in 1834. On July 29, 1846, at 4 p.m.,... [click for more]

San Diego Barracks
New San Diego was established as a quartermaster depot by Captain Nathaniel Lyon, 2nd U.S. Infantry, in 1850-51 to supply military establishments in S... [click for more]

San Diego Presidio Site
Soldiers, sailors, Indians, and Franciscan missionaries from New Spain occupied the land at Presidio Hill on May 17, 1769 as a military outpost. Two m... [click for more]

San Felipe Valley and Stage Station
Here the southern trail of explorers, trappers, soldiers, and emigrants crossed ancient trade routes of Kamia, Cahuilla, Diegueno, and Luiseño Indians... [click for more]

San Gregorio
Somewhere in this narrow valley, perhaps on this very spot, the Anza Expeditions of 1774 and 1775 made their camps. Water for the 240 people and over ... [click for more]

San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park
While marching to the conquest and occupation of California during the Mexican War, a detachment of 1st U.S. Dragoons under the command of Brigadier G... [click for more]

Santa Catarina
This spring was named by Captain Juan Bautista de Anza when his overland exploration party camped here on March 14, 1774, on the journey that opened t... [click for more]

Serra Palm (site)
Site of the palm planted in 1769 by Padre Junípero Serra when he arrived at San Diego. Here the four divisions of the Portolá Expedition... [click for more]

Site Of Casa De Cota
This adobe is said to have been built about 1835 by Juan or Ramon Cota. ... [click for more]

Site Of Fort Guijarros
An outpost of Spain's far-flung empire at its greatest extent, this fort was completed before 1800 from plans drawn by Alberto de Córdoba in 1795. Its... [click for more]

Site Of The Kate O. Sessions Nursery
This plaque commemorates the life and influence of a woman who envisioned a beautiful San Diego. On this site she operated a nursery and gained world ... [click for more]

Spanish Landing
Near this point, sea and land parties of the Portolá-Serra expedition met in 1769. Two ships, the San Antonio and San Carlos, anchored on May 4... [click for more]

Star Of India
The “Star of India,” a three-masted bark, is the oldest iron-hulled merchant ship afloat. Built on the Isle of Man, Great Britain, she was... [click for more]

The Exchange Hotel
This tablet marks the site of the Exchange Hotel. Here, on June 29,1851, Masons met for the first time in San Diego and organized the lodge which beca... [click for more]

Vallecito Stage Depot (station)
A reconstruction (1934) of Vallecito Stage Station built in 1852 at the edge of the Great Colorado Desert. It was an important stop on the first offic... [click for more]

Warner’s Ranch
In 1844, Governor Manuel Micheltorena granted 44,322 acres to Juan José Warner, who built this house. General Kearny passed here in 1846, and t... [click for more]

This page last updated: 11/11/2009