by Ann Kantor
It is with great pleasure that the San Diego History Center presents this special centennial issue of The Journal of San Diego History dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Villa Montezuma. A tragic fire last year almost destroyed this priceless example of San Diego’s “Boom of the 1880s” Victorian architecture. Happily, through the combined efforts of the City of San Diego, the San Diego Fire Department, contractors Luth & Turley and a score of volunteers, restoration experts, and many Historical Society members, the house today is perhaps more glorious than at any other time in its history — except of course when its original owner, Jesse Shepard, lived there.
The two authors of the following articles on the Villa deserve many thanks as well. Dr. Clare Crane first wrote on the history of the house and Jesse Shepard in Summer 1970 issue of The Journal — shortly before it was acquired by the City of San Diego and operated by the San Diego History Center. Dr. Crane has taken this writing and research and brought it up-to-date for this special issue for which we are extremely grateful. Lucinda Eddy has used her recent knowledge of Villa restoration activities to tell that exciting story along with a Chronology of Events.
We hope you will enjoy this history of one of San Diego’s most important historic landmarks as well as visiting the house often. Happy 100th Birthday Villa Montezuma!
Acting Executive Director