Images From the Whaley House

April 1, 1960

The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
April 1960, Volume 6, Number 2
SPECIAL ISSUE

Thomas Whaley.
Thomas Whaley, pioneer merchant and civic leader.

Whaley House in 1865.
Dirt streets and barren hills; the Whaley House as it appeared in 1865.

Ad in San Diego Herald.
Great-grandfather of the supermarket, as advertised in the San Diego Herald.

[October 31 1857] WHALEY PAPERS.

1905.
By 1905, deterioration had been speeded by vibrations of the railroad trains in front of the house.

WHALEY PAPERS

The Brick House.
“The Brick House” was as good enough address for the first theater in San Diego.

WHALEY PAPERS.

Whaley house.
By 1918, the facade was strengthened by replacing two of the five windows with solid masonry.

WHALEY PAPERS.

invitation
Mass production of invitations reduced work and expense in the San Diego of 1872.

1954.
Demolition was imminent, window-smashing hoodlums were active, when the house was rescued in 1954.

Whaley House in 1960.  

[Whaley House in 1960.]

Sketch of the damage by earthquake.
In a letter to Thomas Whaley, “Squire” Ensworth sketched the damage by earthquake.

WHALEY PAPERS.

Re-enactment.
In 1960, members of the Historical Shrine Foundation (and a County Supervisor) re-enact the night-time removal of the Court House records.

M. J. O’HARA

For sale.
With “New Town” already booming four miles away, Thomas Whaley bows to Progress.

WHALEY PAPERS

theater.
Bertram B. Moore, chairman of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee on restoration, stands in the one-time “theater” of the Tanner Troupe.

HISTORICAL COLLECTION, UNION TITLE INSURANCE CO.

.
Court sessions were dull and dry in 1870 — until Thomas Whaley came to the rescue!

WHALEY PAPERS

.
A chain-link fence gave security against vandals, as the job of restoration got underway.

HISTORICAL COLLECTION, UNION TITLE INSURANCE CO.

interior
Broken windows and crumbling plaster of the living-room, before restoration began; the electric light was a World War I addition.

HISTORICAL COLLECTION, UNION TITLE INSURANCE CO.

the living-room in 1960.
Happy ending to the story in the preceding photo; the living-room in 1960.

M. J. O’HARA

Thomas Whaley's study, as restored in 1960.
Re-created for posterity; Thomas Whaley’s study, as restored in 1960.

B.L. SHANKLAND

Railroad ran in front of house.
THE VILLAIN OF THE PIECE?

In case you are wondering what a locomotive has to do with the story of the Whaley House, it is possible that it had more than a little to do with it. About the time of Thomas Whaley’s death, trains of the San Diego & Pacific Beach Railway – later the San Diego, Pacific Beach & La Jolla and finally the Los Angeles & San Diego Beach Railway — began running right in front of the house.

With those trains pounding along on their light rails, almost on the front porch of the house, there was quite a bit of vibration. It is not established that this did the tottering brick structure any harm, but it is unlikely that it did it any good, either. Perhaps this was what caused The walls to sag and the cracks to widen, to the point where the original rows of five windows had to be replaced by rows of three, with a lot of added brickwork for strength.

At any rate, it is an interesting theory.
HISTORICAL COLLECTION, UNION TITLE INSURANCE CO.