The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1999, Volume 45, Number 3
Gregg Hennessey, Editor

By Jennifer Luksic and Nik Kendziorski

Images from this article


In the cemetery of El Campo Santo in what we know today as Old Town, on the grave of Melchior an autobiographical epitaph summarizes the events of the geographic areas we know call Presidio Hill. Melchior, a Native America was born in1770 and died 1867, the Parish Priest Antonio Ubach gave him his ecclesiastical burial as noted in the Roman Catholic Book of the Dead.

My name is Melchior. I am a Roman Catholic Christian and an Indian of this locale. I was born one year after the arrival of the missionaries and soldiers. I may have been baptized by Father Serra at the Presidio, but I never knew. As a child and a young man, I heard about the murder of the Priest Father Luis Jayme at the mission. I remember the execution of four local Indian Chieftains who took part in an uprising in 1778 here in San Diego. I witnessed the coming of the Mexicans and then the Americans. I heard about the Battle of San Pasqual in 1846, and of Warner Springs Indian uprising of the early 1850s. I was in the crowd of Indians present for the execution of Indian Chieftain Antonio Garra in 1852. His grave is not far from here. In 97 years, I saw Old Town grow from a pueblo to a city. I’ve seen the happy and sad times in San Diego. I remember many things, but I am very old now, and I am very sleepy. Let me rest. Pray for me. My name is Melchior.1

In a 1942 statement George W. Marston, the builder of Presidio Park, was confident that the park and its historical significance would be realized by future generations. Yet in 1999 many visitors to Presidio Park are unaware of the significance that Presidio Hill has to San Diego and the state of California. Many visitors also confuse the park’s Junipero Serra Museum, operated by the San Diego History Center, with the Mission San Diego Alcala. Travel literature identifies Presidio Hill as the area where the first Spanish mission in California was founded, which is only a small part of Presidio Hill history. This article will attempt to identify the uses or misuses of Presidio Hill. The Presidio Hill area will be explored in the context of the land and the location it offered to the needs of those who were in power or who were attempting to gain power. Power in this context refers to the people having control over the political or economic base in what we now know as San Diego. This essay will begin with the indigenous Tipai-Kumeyaay, Yuman speaking southern San Diego group, from 1000 AD, the late prehistoric or late milling stages, and on to the Spanish conquest beginning in 1769. The later impacts of Mexican control and diversification of land and income from 1821- 1848 to the American conquest and the subsequent redistribution of lands and income production for the federal government will also be analyzed.

Landscape history, begun in the 1970s by British historians,2 will be used as a method for identifying uses of Presidio Hill by varying types of people and their cultural perspectives. The area we now call Presidio Hill was used and re-used in a number of ways, and when the area was of no use to any group it was abandoned. Use of the hill for political and economic gain places the area in a context that fluctuates, as did the people who lived near it. This article attempts to give the reader an understanding of the varied significance of the hill that they live with every day.

As one scholar has noted, “History is interpretation and the history of any place, event, or group is as much a product of the “facts” as of who is doing the telling”.3 As we interpret historic sites and events we need to interpret in ways that respect and encourage different versions of the same stories. It is important to remember that interpretation is not static. Presidio Hill is a perfect case study to represent the dynamic changes that have affected San Diego over time.

The geographic area being addressed varies with the time period under discussion. While the forty acre Presidio Park is the present extent of this area the boundaries will fluctuate. For example, Kumeyaay use included an area larger than the area used by Fort Stockton in 1848. The focus on Kumeyaay use encompasses what is known today as the Mission Valley area toward Mission Bay and the ocean. Location will be based on cultural areas rather than politics or environment. This is not to ignore the integral part that politics, economics and environment have to play on cultures themselves. The focus, however, is to create a perspective based not on geography, but rather on the use of Presidio Hill as a representation of symbolic and strategic manipulation of space.4

The physical appearance of the Presidio Hill area consists of a mesa, which developed from the then unfettered San Diego River. This created a canyon 500 feet deep and 2,000 feet wide, which separated present day Linda Vista from Mission Hills. The river carried mud and debris to the open sea, creating a delta from Point Loma to the mainland, closing off what we now know as Mission Bay or False Bay from San Diego Bay. This created a flat area at the base of Presidio Hill, an ideal location for people to live.5

Native American Use of Presidio Hill: Subsistence   1000 AD – 1769

It was upon this flat area at the base of Presidio Hill that a sizable Kumeyaay village was situated. The Tipai-Kumeyaay peoples lived in small groups or tribelets.6 Each tribelet had a specific territory, with political and economical control of that area which contained anywhere from ten to thirty square miles, including river drainage.7 The Tipai-Kumeyaay managed the land to provide food for the surrounding groups, and distributed the food by trading. This distribution allowed groups to possess benefits from every ecological zone, from the ocean to the mountains, and people had continual access to specific hunting, gathering and fishing areas.8 Tipai-Kumeyaay used slash and burn agricultural techniques. Controlled burning served two purposes, it allowed the chaparral to re-seed and produce more food, and it controlled what would be spontaneous and life threatening fires at other times. This was a sophisticated form of land management unknown to the Spanish who later came to the area. In Southern California, the Spanish saw — but failed to recognize — a viable system of harvesting, and managing the environment that was very different from that practiced in Europe…”9

They claimed that the native peoples only gathered what “nature” produced. The Kumeyaay employed their land management techniques in the foothills, the canyons and hillsides, the river bottoms, and the marshes. Although the land around Presidio Hill provided most of the needs for the Kumeyaay, they were not confined to the immediate area.

Before Spanish contact in 1769 the occupants of the Presidio Hill area lived in tules, woven grass-like homes. Extended families lived together in one tule and the villages or tribelets consisted of approximately 300 people. Tools and implements were fashion out of, stone, wood, bone, soapstone from the Channel Islands. The temperate San Diego climate meant the Kumeyaay needed only minimal clothing except during periods of cold weather when rabbit skin or willow bark robes, doubling as bedding, were used.10 The climate, combined with the resource based land management skills of the Kumeyaay, was conducive for a productive life in the region of Presidio Hill.

Colonial Uses of Presidio Hill: Spanish Expansion   1769 – 1821

The first Kumeyaay contact with European explorers began on September 28, 1542, when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay and dropped anchor near Point Loma. The Spanish had discovered Alta California and Cabrillo claimed the land for the crown naming it San Miguel. The Spanish went ashore and were greeted by Kumeyaay peoples and only remained for six days. Sixty years after Cabrillo another Spanish explorer arrived in San Diego Bay. In November 1602, Sebastian Vizcaino entered the bay and, claiming not to recognize the area as that which was described by Cabrillo, he renamed the spot San Diego de Alcala. The feast day of San Diego de Alcala was on the twelfth of November and the explorers went ashore and said mass in his honor. Vizcaino remained only a short time before he continued to explore the California coast. It would be 167 years before another Spanish explorer would set foot in Alta California.11

In 1762 Spain entered the disastrous Seven Years War on the side of France. The Peace of Paris the following year significantly altered Spain’s position in North America and forced it to reexamine its strategic plans for further colonization. In 1768 the Spanish also feared that productive Russian colonizers in northern California might venture south to claim the southern California coast. In order to deter what appeared to be possible threats to the Spanish claims, the crown ordered the establishment of settlements in Baja and Alta California in part to provide a buffer from foreign powers such as the Russians and also English ships, which were now frequenting the Pacific Ocean. In addition, the Spanish did not understand North American geography. No one knew even the approximate distance from the East Coast, where the English (Spain’s great rival) were expanding westward, to the West Coast or what topography lay in between. This lack of strategic knowledge also prompted Spain’s decision to expand northward.

Moving north, the Spanish used time proven tactics for taking over occupied lands. These were techniques they had developed over three hundred years of subjugating native peoples throughout north and South America. They choose a site of importance to the Kumeyaay, present day Presidio Hill, and enacted their ceremonies of possession. Raising a cross and celebrating a mass, followed by the military taking possession of the land for the Spanish king, the region’s new political leader. This ritual of appropriation substituted Spanish authority and power for the Kumeyaay’s. Conversion of the indigenous population to Catholicism was the initial primary goal of the Spaniards. This not only met Spain’s religious responsibilities, it was also meant to act as a control mechanism on this newly subjugated people. When this proved inadequate violence was employed. As one historian of this period has noted, “[violence] was a constant element of this [Spanish] society from the conquest forward.” Subordination of the Natives people in Southern California was accomplished quickly as previous visits by foreigners created epidemics of European diseases that reduced and weakened native populations and their ability to rebel.12

The “Sacred Expedition of 1769” arrived in San Diego by land and sea, and unlike the previous expeditions this party stayed. On July 16, 1769,Father Junipero Serra, as expected, planted a cross on Presidio Hill and said mass, dedicating the mission and presidio to San Diego de Alcala. Construction began at once on Presidio Hill. The Spaniards established a presidio or fort, residences, and a small mission church. With the building of the first European settlement in California, the Tipai-Kumeyaay-managed environment was altered forever. The first structures on Presidio Hill were wood and brush huts. Later, stronger wooden structures were built and in 1773 and 1774 adobe construction began on the hill. The site had a commanding view of the region and allowed the Spanish to see any possible intruders. More importantly for the Spanish, it provided a reminder to the Kumeyaay that the Europeans were in control. Presidio Hill was now the center of Spanish colonization efforts in Alta California and the seat for Spanish culture. Spanish Colonial practices of land management and use of resources came to dominate the region. Intensive agricultural and livestock husbandry inexorably changed the landscape surrounding Presidio Hill. European animal husbandry depleted native grasses and drove game into less accessible inland valleys.13

In 1774 when the strategic location of Presidio Hill had been secured, and the indigenous population was subdued, the mission was moved five miles north to take advantage of fertile soil and to locate amongst another Kumeyaay community. The new location provided a reliable source of water and agricultural land suitable for colonial land management practices. The original Presidio Hill site remained a strategic location and functioned as the political and civil center of San Diego.

Spanish troops guarded the mission with its crops and livestock, delivered mail and forced indigenous peoples into labor. The Spanish restricted trade with foreign countries in an attempt to reduce the influence that foreign settlers might have on the local population. The district under Spanish control stretched from Ensenada, Baja California to present day Malibu, California. In 1793 Captain George Vancouver of Britain entered San Diego harbor on a return trip from the Pacific Northwest. He noted in a letter to London how poorly the port was guarded and that it would be better defended from the Point Loma peninsula. In response, the Spanish constructed Fort Guijarros on Point Loma.14

It was not until 1800 that the first American ship, the little brig Betsy, made its way into San Diego Bay. Word of profitable trade opportunities with China and other countries in the Pacific was spreading to the East Coast of the United States. In 1803, two American fur-trading ships attempted to smuggle otter skins out of San Diego. The ships, Alexander and Lelia Byrd, were fired upon from Fort Guijarros and the Lelia Byrd returned fire. It was the only time that the guns of the fort were fired in defense of San Diego Bay. This was the beginning of an increase in foreign ships entering the Pacific Ocean and pursuing trading activities along the California coast.15

Mexican Use of Presidio Hill: Economic Buildup   1821-1848

Even as the Spanish expanded into Alta California their position as a colonial power in North America was weakening. Distant and under-populated, the far northern provinces were all but ignored by the central government in Mexico City. Growing political turmoil in Mexico City eventually led to calls for independence and by 1821 revolutionary troops overthrew the Spanish rulers. The new country included all of the present day American Southwest. Continuing political and military disorder plagued the new country and the frontier provinces were further neglected by Mexico City. During this time the church was also weakened, the mission system was abandoned, and the Franciscans left Mexico.16

On April 20, 1822, the Spanish officially relinquished the presidio, which had been under Mexican control since 1821. The buildings and fortifications on Presidio Hill were left to crumble. The new government took control of all former mission lands and of local lands held by Kumeyaay. The commander of the presidio, Captain Francisco Maria Ruiz led the move to the flat lands west of the hill and helped develop the first town of San Diego. In 1833 the Mexican government secularized the missions, with curates replacing priests, then divided the land into large rancheros for themselves and other members of the emerging ruling class. The land management practices brought to San Diego by the Spanish had evolved over the years and under Mexican rule became one dominated by cattle ranching in response to the hide trade. The Kumeyaay population, which had been assimilated into mission life, was cast out by the government.17 In their desperate search for protection and a livelihood, many of the Indians became near slaves for the wealthy Mexican Rancheros.18

Mexico encouraged foreign trade along the California coast and San Diego Bay became a prime location for the hide trade, as detailed in Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years before the Mast. Nevertheless, the fear of American invasion continued and was focused on immigrants coming overland from east. The desert terrain had provided a substantial barrier to any overland route until 1827 when Jedediah Smith became the first American to reach California from the eastern United States.

The development of San Diego at the base of Presidio Hill (known today as Old Town) and the increasing prosperity of the hide trade gave the area one of the highest revenues of any California port. Tiles and supplies from the abandon Presidio were sold off and the structure was left unprotected from the elements. San Diego was granted “Pueblo Status” in 1834 and became the center of social and political life. The Mexican social structure and land use traditionally included a central town with commerce and activity in the outlying areas.

1846 ended the Mexican era and marked the beginning of the American control of San Diego. During the Mexican-American War, Presidio Hill was used by the Americans as a strategic location. Commodore Robert Stockton was sent to San Diego to establish a garrison used to house a hundred soldiers and supplies on Presidio Hill, and named it Fort Stockton. In 1848 with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the end of the Mexican American era, a census was taken of San Diego’s population. There were 248 white residents, 483 “converted” Indians 1,550 “wild” Indians, 3 Negroes and 3 Sandwich Islanders. The Kumeyaay community, greatly reduced in numbers, fared worse under American rule. Numerous laws were passed that reduced the Indian’s civil rights.19

From 1850 through 1860 San Diego was defining its boundaries and laws. Mexican Californios were fighting legal battles to retain land rights, and under the Department of the Interior Indians were being misrepresented and moved to Indian Territories, or reservations. From the time of the first contact with foreigners to 1851, 22,000 local Native Americans had died.20 The years of 1862-1863 saw a smallpox epidemic followed by a drought in 1864-1865, which further reduced Native American numbers in San Diego.21

American influences were quickly felt in San Diego. In 1851 William Heath Davis, a San Francisco businessman, attempted to start a new town near San Diego Bay. After two years of disappointment, the town, later known as “Davis’s Folly,” was abandoned. While Davis’s entrepreneurial instincts were correct about the proper location for a commercial center, its realization was over twenty years away. The gold rush and the Civil War years came and went with minimal lasting impacts on San Diego. Yet the town at the base of Presidio Hill was becoming more American than Mexican as the economy shifted from the Rancho model to a more commercial one. In 1867 San Francisco merchant Alonzo E. Horton came to San Diego and succeeded — spectacularly — where Davis had failed. His “Horton’s Addition” a few blocks east of Davis’s failure was an instant success, and within a few short years became the official San Diego. The town at the base of Presidio Hill languished and a devastating fire in 1872 turned the once powerful regional town into a relic, as was Presidio Hill itself.

American Use of Presidio Hill: Revisionist History 1907 – 1930

George Marston, a wealthy merchant and prominent San Diegan, began to take an interest in Presidio Hill in 1907. Historian William E. Smythe suggested that the site of the first European settlement, mission and presidio on the West Coast of the United States be set aside for public use. Marston, along with Charles Kelly, John D. Spreckels, E.W. Scripps, and A.G. Spalding acquired fourteen lots on Presidio Hill to preserve the site. Little was done with the fourteen lots, until the mid-1920s, initially; Marston had attempted to interest the city in taking possession of the acreage for a memorial park, but five frustrating years later he changed tactics. He bought out the interests of his four partners and decided to pursue his plans privately.

Marston was San Diego’s leading advocate of parks and city planning. During this period he had helped pay for a master plan for the city’s massive Balboa Park, and he had commissioned an urban plan to guide the city’s growth. The future Presidio Park project offered him the opportunity to combine both planning and park buildings on his own terms. By 1925, Marston had acquired a total of 20 acres on Presidio Hill for his project.

John Nolen, a city planner and landscape architect in Cambridge, Massachusetts prepared the urban plan that Marston had commissioned in 1907. Marston consulted Nolen on the development of Presidio Hill, and in 1925, at Marston’s request, Nolen arrived in San Diego. Nolen was excited by the possibilities of Presidio Hill and encouraged Marston to increase the size of the park. Marston later wrote that Nolen considered the entire area to be a landscape unit that was a terrain of great natural beauty with opportunities of fine decorative value.22

Preservation during the early twentieth century did not mean, as it does today, the stabilization and continued effort to keep environments and landscapes as they occur in nature, but rather preservation required a manipulative beatifying of nature. American landscape use was a tradition based in northern European uses of land, recreation, and pleasure, which included manipulated gardens and manicured grasses. In the early twentieth century the accepted way to memorialize the historic significance of the Presidio Hill was to beautify it with man-made improvements. Marston and Nolen had similar views on civic planning and improvements. Their landscape plan reflected early 20th century American values, tightly tied to European standards of landscape design and a 20th century perception of beautification and interpretation of the history of Presidio Hill. The architectural motifs of the 1915 exposition, had already establish a unique cultural perspective of San Diego. Stylistic renditions of Spanish and Mediterranean environments, architecture and landscape design, in this neo-Classic Spanish style became vogue. Americans quickly associated themselves with the Spanish, rather than the Mexican or Kumeyaay periods. Mediterranean and Iberian fantasy worlds became the focus of much of the architecture and land use development in San Diego.23

Historian John Brinckerhoff Jackson provides a glimpse into the values that influenced George Marston and John Nolen’s ideas regarding park development and civic planning during the early part of the twentieth century. Jackson writes in Discovering the Vernacular Landscape,

“Once cherished by citizens as a public work of art, source of wholesome pleasure, glimpse of unspoiled nature; admired as the democratic equivalent of the royal garden, the American city park [represented in] . . . [t]he works of Strauch and Downing and Bushnell and Olmsted were essentially modern versions of the private English country estate laid out as a picturesque landscape.”

As in the English country estate correct behavior is essential. The landscaped park is formal and although called “public” it remained a socially disciplined place. When Olmsted and his contemporaries both here and abroad produced the first large city parks they naturally planned in terms of those restraints. The picturesque beauty of the composition was emphasized, the rural, almost pastoral character, carefully maintained, and a code of public demeanor strictly enforced, as it still is in many European city parks today.24

Presidio Hill with its native scrub brush and wildlife did not measure up as a picturesque and pastoral landscape. In 1835 Richard Henry Dana described San Diego and the hill containing the ruins of the presidio, as barren and desert-like. For a Bostonian, like Dana, the landscape would have appeared to be barren. Civic boosters and entrepreneurs romanticized southern California with images of lush landscapes and environments that would appeal to the East Coast. George Marston helped to create the image that was being marketed. San Diego sold the climate, and only had to create the landscape, a European landscape, to make the fantasy a reality. Historian Lucinda Eddy writes,

“Although some visions changed over time, the image of San Diego’s ideal location, situated between mountains, desert and ocean, and its near-perfect climate, remained intact. In addition, the conscious effort to transform the landscape from semi-arid desert to tropical paradise had an enormous impact on the selling of San Diego and reinforced the image that this region had been blessed with a unique environment that enabled its inhabitants to enjoy a very special lifestyle.”25

In Presidio Park, George Marston and John Nolen created and transformed Presidio Hill into a place they felt reflected the greatness of the city, a place that certain citizens and visitors could enjoy.

City Park and Archeological Use of Presidio Hill: Environmental and Educational Impacts 1930-1999

The landscape impacts that occurred during the 1920s and 1930s were a reflection of the views and beliefs of Marston and his contemporaries. George Marston wrote in a letter to city officials:

…The builders of Presidio Park have sought to preserve its inherent forms and to enhance this physical character with deeper meaning and significance…Presidio is a symbol of the great years of the discovery by Europeans of a new world…It is evident to any thoughtful person that the integrity of this great landmark, as now almost completely landscaped and improved, should be maintained.26

It is interesting to note that Marston uses the term integrity; today historic landscapes have integrity if most of the original or natural environment is left. The use of the hill by Marston and his contemporaries is an example of the perspective of the time.

The transformation of the landscape to a lush public recreation area was carried out by Roland S. Hoyt, Percy Carter, and Percy Broell, while Kate Sessions and others lent additional professional advice and guidance in planting and landscaping the park.27 Over 20,000 plants were part of the initial planting in 1929, and Kate Sessions continued to give advice to Marston on the plantings and assisted the City with plantings after the city took over the maintenance of the park. During the Depression the Works Progress Administration provided much needed help with the building of Presidio Park. Broell supervised WPA employees digging ditches, grading roads, and building what we see today as Presidio Park. Broell also conducted his own archeological excavations at the site and created a naive survey of the presidio ruins. Marston continued to involve himself in even the minutest details of the construction and landscape of the park. In a 1935 letter to Mr. Nolen, he wrote: “I think I have made a little invention for California parks and that is the use of Bermuda grass on paths in place of gravel. I wonder what you will think of it. It is not as beautiful as the grassways in English gardens, but is more durable.”28

The impacts of planting, road construction, and path construction altered the natural landscape. The intent to memorialize an era in San Diego’s history and to preserve the story of Spanish contact became a lush, green landscape with non-native species of plants, as well as paths and structures not indigenous to the hill at the time of the Spaniards” arrival. The impact of Marston’s, Broell’s, and Hoyt’s creation of a European landscape, is evident today. Persistent heavy watering has caused deterioration to the architectural elements of the Junipero Serra Museum and the remaining archeological evidence buried on Presidio Hill.

In 1929 the structure built by Marston to memorialize Father Serra became the home of the newly founded San Diego History Center. In keeping with the idealized Spanish conquest, Marston exhibited exquisite fifteenth through seventeenth century furniture purchased in Spain. The intent was to create a glorified and rich environment, as a tribute to Spanish conquest. It is unlikely that Father Junipero Serra and his missionaries would have had anything as ornate as represented in this collection. The Serra Museum, frequently confused for the Mission San Diego de Alcala, today represents a time of re-invention, a time when San Diego’s past was glorified, and a time when San Diego was trying to prove to the rest of the nation that is was a city of note.

The most recent and prominent use of Presidio Hill has been the archaeology program. For the last 34 years, the exploration and excavation of the ruins of the presidio have been used to educated San Diego about daily life. Prior to 1965, the only information available about the Spanish and Mexican periods was found in diaries left behind by the hill’s occupiers. Since then there have been five archaeological digs and they have revealed vast amounts of information on the use of Presidio Hill. Landscape, construction, and agricultural techniques can all be study by the archaeological evidence found on Presidio Hill.

Percy Broell conducted the first exploration of the ruins in the 1930s, and produced a number of drawings and sketches.29 The drawings include renderings of how the buildings may have looked. Broell indicated where he thought the chapel was located, but recent excavations show that his theory of the location of the chapel and the gateway area were incorrect.

Beginning in 1965, through 1997, a substantial archaeological program of excavations was begun. The San Diego State University Chapel/South Wing project took place from 1965 through 1976 and uncovered the chapel complex. From 1976 through 1983, Mesa Community College conducted the Gateway/West Wing project revealing the entrance to the presidio. September 1987 through May 1990 saw San Diego State University once again conducting the first methodical exploration of the north area of the presidio. Dr. Jack Williams further expanded the North area work from 1992 through 1998.30

This thirty-three year period saw extensive use of the hill through excavation and education. Dr. Brad Bartel, supervisor of the 1987-1990 San Diego State University digs, described the use of the site. “The presidio site,” he wrote, “is used as an archaeological research project and a cultural anthropology laboratory to access the cultural biases of the regional multi-ethnic population and attempt to convey modern archaeological principles and objective information about colonialism.”31

Recently the City of San Diego, the San Diego History Center and an extensive group of archeologist, conservators, and historians decided to refill the archeological dig. The site has given all the information it has to give at this time, but in the future when technology or methodology changes the site may be re-opened. Until then it is the duty of the City of San Diego and the San Diego Historical Society to disseminate the gathered information and interpret it to the public.


The use of the hill has changed with each group of people that inhabited it. Each type of impact the hill received reflected the visions and perspectives of the time and the people that used it. The hill has served as a seasonal home for the Kumeyaay, a fortress for the Spanish, and a public park for the Americans. Presidio Hill was used by the Kumeyaay and by the Americans longer than it was used by the Spanish and our interpretation must reflect this historical evidence. Presidio Park and the Junipero Serra Museum have been the center of education on the early history of San Diego for fourth grade school children for many years. The future focus of interpretation and conservation will be to provide to all visitors an understanding of Presidio Hill and its environmental, cultural, and political history and the impact it had on the development of the San Diego.



1. Grave marker located in the Old Town Cemetery, San Diego, CA.

2. James D. Newland, ‘The Americanization of the Cultural Landscape of Frontier San Diego 1846-1872.” (M.A. Thesis, San Diego State University, 1992), pp. 4-8.

3. Ned Kaufman, History Happened Here, A Plan for Saving New York’s Historically and Culturally Significant Sites, (The Municipal Art Society of New York, 1996), p. 14.

4. Henrietta L. Moore, Space, Text and Gender: An Anthropological Study of the Marakwet of Kenya. (Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 20-38

5. Iris Engstrand, San Diego: Gateway to the Pacific, (Pioneer Publications, Inc.,1992), p.2.

6. Richard L. Carrico Strangers in a Stolen Land: American Indians in San Diego (Sierra Oaks Publishing Co.,1987), p. 12.

7. Dr. Florence Connoly Shipek, Transcript, interview by Ruth Held, 16 September 1991, 6 April 1992, 18 January 1993. (San Diego History Center Oral History Program)

8. Lisbeth Haas, Conquests and Historical Identities in California 1769-1936 (Berkeley:University of California Press, 1995), p. 17.

9. Dr. Florence Connoly Shipek, “Kumeyaay Plant Husbandry: Fire, Water, and Erosion Management Systems,” in Before the Wilderness: Environmental Management by Native Californians, ed. Thomas C. Blackburn and Kat Anderson (Ballena Press Publication,1993) pp. 379-388.

10. Katharine Luomala, “Tipai – Ipai,” in Bibliography of the Indians of San Diego County: The Kumeyaay, Diegueno, Luiseno, and Cupeno, ed. Phillip M. White and Stephen D. Fitt (The Scarecrow Press, Inc.,1998), p. 265.

11. Newland, “The Americanization of the Cultural Landscape of Frontier San Diego 1846-1872,” pp. 18-35.

12. Haas, Conquests and Historical Identities, pp. 14-17.

13. Carrico, Strangers in a Stolen Land, p.14.

14. Iris H. W. Engstrand, San Diego, p.18.

15. James R. Mills, San Diego: Where California Began, 5th ed., (San Diego History Center, 1985) p. 21

16. David J. Weber, “The Spanish-Mexican Rim,” in, Clyde A. Milner, et al., eds., The Oxford History of the American West (Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 70-73.

17. John T. Doyle, “The Missions of Alta California.” The Century Magazine Vol. XLI, November 1890, Vol. XIX. The Journal of San Diego History (April 1965) pp. 389-402

18. Carrico, Strangers in a Stolen Land, p.15.

19. Ibid, pp.40-44.

20. Ibid, p. 58

21. Ibid, pp. 37-48

22. Ibid, p.104.

23. Lucinda Eddy, Visions of Paradise: The Selling of San Diego, The Journal of San Diego History 41, (Summer 1995) p.191.

24. John Brinckerhoff Jackson, Discovering the Vernacular Landscape (Yale University Press, 1984), pp.127-128.

25. Eddy, “Visions of Paradise,” p.155.

26. Mary Gilman Marston, George White Marston: A Family Chronicle, 2 vols. (The Ward Ritchie Press, 1956), 2: 158-59.

27. Ibid, p.154.

28. Ibid, p.154.

29. San Diego History Center Research Archives. MSS 73, Box 1 and 2

30. For more on the Presidio excavations see: “A Landscape of the Past,” The Journal of San Diego History (October, 1968), pp. 5-32; Ellen Gooley, “X-Rays and Artifacts at the San Diego Presidio Excavations,” Ibid., (Summer 1972), pp. 22-24; Richard Carrico, “The Identification of Two Burials at the San Diego Presidio,” Ibid.,(Fall 1973), pp. 51-55; Paul Ezell, “The Excavation Program as the San Diego Presidio,” Ibid., (Fall 1976) pp. 1-20; Diane Barbolla-Roland, “Maiolica at the San Diego Presidio Gateway Search Excavation,” Ibid.,(Summer 1983), pp.193-213.

31. Brad Bartel, Archaeological Excavation and Education at the San Diego Royal Presidio, 1987-1990, The Journal of San Diego History (Winter 1991), p. 28.


Jennifer Luksic is the Curator of Collections for the San Diego History Center, where she administrates four historic sites, including historic preservation, interpretation, collections management, and exhibitions. She holds an A.B.A. from Occidental College, and an M.A. and M-Phil (Ph.D. equivalent) from Cambridge University, England, in Social Anthropology and Museology.

Nik Kendziorski is Associate Curator for the San Diego Historical Society. He holds a B.A. from Kalamazoo College in History, and an M.A. from the University of Wyoming in American Studies. He currently oversees the operations of the Junipero Serra Museum, the Marston House, and the Villa Montezuma.