California Pacific Exposition San Diego 1935-1936

Gold Gulch


Gold Gulch occupied a canyon between the model homes behind the Palace of Better Housing and Pepper Grove, near today’s horse stables for the San Diego Police Department. Here unpainted shacks, an iron- barred bank, a Chinese restaurant and laundry, a dance and music hall, a sign before a brown shack reading “Gold Gulch Planter – Tin Coffins Made to Order,” and a dummy suspended in midair from a hangtown tree recreated the atmosphere of a mining town in the Days of ’49. Barkers lured “drugstore cowboys” to a “shootin’ gallery,” where, if they were lucky, they could put out the lights everywhere in the Gulch by hitting the bull’s eye.