The Journal of San Diego History
October 1958, Volume 4, Number 4
Jerry MacMullen, Editor

DON MANUEL FERRER gave to San Diego the little park down at Columbia and F Streets, and why it is named Pantoja Park instead of Ferrer Park is a question which no one can answer. A question which should be answerable, however, is the date of Don Manuel’s death; the information is needed for the Biographical Files at Serra Museum. The solution appeared to be within reach a few months ago when it was learned that he was buried in the old cemetery out on Washington Place. A search through the welter of weeds and beer cans which embellish that cemetery, however, revealed only that the headstone had been stolen. And that, plus the fact that Vital Statistics could find no record of his death, put matters right back to where they were. It is believed that he died some time around World War I, and any definite information will be appreciated.

ORIZABA VILLA stood alone at the edge of the hills overlooking the San Diego Bay, somewhere in what now is Mission Hills. It was a fine old house, with a veranda around three sides, latticework from the ground to porch level, and, out behind it, a small building which housed its own acetylene gas generating plant. Around the turn of the century it was occupied by William B. Davis, a mining engineer, and his family. It is said that the house is still standing, but no one seems to know just where. Can anyone supply the answer?

A BIG PINK MILL-STONE should be hard to lose – but someone seems to have done so. At any rate, the stone was from Joshua Sloane’s wind-powered grist-mill — probably San Diego’s first one – which was located on Presidio Hill a century ago. Information about the whereabouts of this stone, as well as any other data on the old mill, will fill in a gap in our local history.

A SEVENTY-FIVE ROUND FIGHT was quite an event, even in the 1880s, and as such, its history should be preserved. All that has been learned so far is that the fight was held in the Tijuana River bottom, the more conservative citizens of San Diego having protested loudly when it was scheduled for the old D Street Theater. An old-time resident quotes the late E. F. Parmelee, Business Manager of the Union, as saying that he and Walter (Baldy) Blake, editor of the Tribune, had the honor of riding from the end of the railroad over to Tijuana in a buggy with the referee – who was none other than Wyatt Earp. But what was the date of the fight? Who were the contestants? Did it actually go to 75 rounds? Who was the promoter? All too little is known of early pugilism in San Diego, and any details on that epic affair of fisticuffs; will be welcomed for our files on sports.

IN AN ERA WHEN SPRING-WATER, electric belts, vapor caps and bear-grease salve could cure anything, the fame of Coronado Waukesha Water (which was served on the dining-tables at the Hotel del Coronado) was spread far and wide. Back in 1889, tourists visited Coronado to take the “cure” promised by this water, which came from a well in the vicinity of Imperial Beach. As late as around 1914, the tumble-down buildings of the bottling-works were still hanging together by their rusty nails, on the sand bluffs overlooking the Coronado Strand. Information is sought on the history of this cure-all water and its period of distribution to the sick and weary.