Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Old Town San Diego-December 10
Before touring old town we first stopped at the mission San Diego De Alcala,California's first church founded in 1769. It is also know as Mother of the Missions,as it is the first in a chain of 21 missions which stretch northward along the coast of California. This mission has been through a lot,was moved once and reconstructed several times. It went through an Indian attack as well as an earthquake and military occupation during the American-Mexican War. In 1962 President Lincoln gave it back to the Catholic church. It is now quite a beautiful complex,complete with gardens and religious statues,as you may note here. After touring the mission we drove to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. In 1872 a fire started in the courthouse and destroyed most of the business section of San Diego. In the 1990s,after years of studying how this area once looked,it was reconstructed and developed into an historic park. After wandering through the many homes and businesses(some of which are museums now)we certainly felt that we had an idea of what life was like in San Diego in the 18OOs! The collection of stagecoaches and other forms of early transportation is quite impressive in the Steely Stable Museum. There is also a Wells Fargo Museum which explains the gold rush history. I have read Helen Hunt Jackson's novel "Ramona",so touring the La Casa de Estundillo was fun. One of the home's rooms was used for filming the movie in 1908. This home was made of adobe and so it did not burn in the fire of 1872. There is also a very unique shopping district outside of the park. All the shops are decorated festively(I have a picture of the entrance to one here)and are filled with many colorful gift,craft items and apparel from Mexico,America and beyond.