April 30th, I explored parts of Presidio Park and the Serra Museum. The museum wasn’t open so I walked around it, taking pictures of it. I found out later that it is only open on the weekends right now. I hope you enjoy these photos!
In 1769, a Spanish Franciscan missionary, along with a group of soldiers led by Gaspa de Portola established Alta California, at this site. This was the first mission and fort (Presidio) established in CA and is considered the site where San Diego began. I also read reports that stated it was the first site to establish California. The mission was moved in 1773 to another site east of here, as it had a more ready access to water. Presidio park consists of 40 acres.
This land was originally the home of the Kumeyaay Indians, who strongly resisted Christianity. They gave up their land and the mission and fort were built. There was a battalion of Mormons who arrived in San Diego, in 1847, to help the military. They brought with them irrigation knowledge and brick making knowledge and helped create more friendly relations with the Indians and other indigenous cultures.
In 1928-1929, the Serra Museum was built to house and showcase the collections of the San Diego History Center. William Templeton Johnson, the architect, chose the Spanish revival architecture to align with the buildings designed in Balboa Park for the Panama-California exposition. The History Center was started by George Marston, a local business owner and philanthropist, who built the museum and donated it and the land to the city. In 1982 the San Diego History Center moved to Balboa park and now the Serra Museum is used as an auxiliary museum and educational center. The museum is also rented out for various events.
The park and the museum have a history of paranormal activity and hauntings and this interesting site has some links to that information:
Here are some pictures of the museum:
The east side, the north side, and the long view of the southwest and west side looking north:
View west from the museum (ocean in the distance), and the view of the west side of the museum.
Here’s an old wine press, and a view of the walkway on the west with views to the northeast:
Here’s a plaque about the museum, on the west side, and one at the entrance, recognizing George Marston:
This is a cross commemorating Father Junipero Serra with the date 7/16/1769:
And two lovely sculptures made by Arthur Putnam, The Padre, which is close to the parking lot and another sculpture that is on the north side of Presidio Drive as you drive up toward the museum:
As you drive further up, there is an area that commemorates the men and women of the Mormon Battalion:
As I hiked up the hill from the parking lot and lower two statues, toward the Mormon area, I spied 3 rabbits and this beautiful Eucalyptus tree:
All in all, even though I didn’t get into the museum, it was a lovely walk, with hills to climb. I’ve heard that the hiking/walking trails in the area are wonderful, too, and there are picnic tables in some areas, plus lots of grass to lay down on for rest and reading.
So come check it out!!!