The Journal of San Diego History
Spring 1979, Volume 25, Number 2
Thomas L. Scharf, Managing Editor

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George White Martson

Page 137. George White Martson, San Diego businessman and philanthropist, was the founder and first president of the San Diego History Center.

Serra Museum and Presidio Park

Page 138. Serra Museum and Presidio Park were a gift to the City of San Diego from George W. Marston. The site marks the spot where Father Junípero Serra and Captain Gaspar de Portolá established the first mission and presidio in Alta California.

Artifacts on the arcade of Serra Museum

Page 139. Artifacts on the arcade of Serra Museum help to interpret San Diego past.

John Davidson

Page 140. John Davidson was the Serra Museum’s first curator and later its director for almost two decades. He and his wife Winifred together recorded and organized much of San Diego’s history that might otherwise have been lost. “We would locate an early settler,” he once recalled, “and tour around the country in our Model T Ford. I drove and Mrs. Davidson sat in the back writing down all the information our informant could give.”

Spanish chest

Page 141. A Spanish chest covered with red-lacquered leather belonged to the Alvarado family for three generations before being donated to the Historical Society.

powder flask

Page 141. This beautifully detailed powder flask was used by Leandro Osuna at the 1846 Battle of San Pasqual.

Music Room of the Villa Montezuma

Page 142. The Music Room of the Villa Montezuma contains art glass windows depicting Beethoven and Mozart. The main window is of the Greek poetess Sappho attended by cupids and on either side are panels showing Milton’s “II Penseroso” and “L’Allegra.”

wood carvings.

Page 142. A detail of the Villa’s interior wood carvings.

Villa Montezuma

Page 143. Built in 1887 by author and musician Jesse Shepard, the Villa Montezuma has been operated by the Historical Society since 1972 as a museum and community cultural center.

Gerald F. MacMullen

Page 144. Former director Gerald F. MacMullen examines one of the Society’s many artifacts.

Leroy A. Wright

Page 145. A founding member of the San Diego Historical Society, Leroy A. Wright served as its president from 1930 to 1944, the longest term of any Society president. Born in Indiana, he arrived in San Diego in 1887 and later became City Editor of the San Diego Union and a state senator in 1906.

Portrait of Jesse Shepard

Page 146. Portrait of Jesse Shepard by Mathew Geslin hangs in the Music Room of the Villa Montezuma.

Painting and hand-carved frame

Page 146. Painting and hand-carved frame from the Theosophical Institute on Point Loma is in the Society’s permanent collections.

portable writing desk

Page 146. Vargueño, or portable writing desk, from Spain is one of the finest pieces displayed at Serra Museum.

Bust of Alonzo Horton

Page 146. Bust of Alonzo Horton by Allen Hutchinson is from a growing collection of works by early San Diego artists.

Miss Mary G. Marston

Page 147. Miss Mary G. Marston.

George W. Marston House

Page 147. The George W. Marston House is being developed as an Urban History Center with the enthusiastic encouragement of Miss Mary G. Marston.

Page 148. The Society uses a city owned building in Balboa Park for a permanent archival facility.

Historical Society's Library

Page 149. The Historical Society’s Library is the finest of its genre.

Title Insurance and Trust building

Page 149. The Title Insurance and Trust building in downtown San Diego houses the magnificent San Diego Historical Society / Title Insurance and Trust Photograph Collection.