Unforgettable: Long Ago San Diego

An evening at Villa Montezuma; Coda

Something between a viper and vampire.

(The second in a two-part series. Part one was published March 18.) It’s after midnight, February 15, 1888. The last of the guests are finally leaving Jesse Shepard’s musicale at the Villa Montezuma. One- and ...

An evening at Villa Montezuma

A carnivorous smile among the city’s upper crust

Between 1887 and 1889, Jesse Shepard gave musicales at his Villa Montezuma. He had an international reputation as a singer/pianist. Others called him a charlatan. To bring instant culture to the pioneer town, San Diegans ...

It has been considered a poor week for killing

Unforgettable outtakes: Southern California, back in the day

ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT. John Phoenix, San Diego Herald: “Very little news will be found in the San Diego Herald this week. The fact is there never is much news in it ...

Young Keno: The marshal gets his man

Part three of three

Sylvestro Morales swore to get even with Wilson and Castillo. “I will never rest,” he shouted, “until I have squared accounts!”

Young Keno: Manhunt

Part two of three

He stayed up to give them the news. When they hadn’t come by 11:00 he went to bed. They woke him around midnight. “Murray surrendered,” Griffin told maybe two dozen men. “Gone to San Diego three hours ago.”

Young Keno

Losing kin to wanton gunfire shapes a lawman some.

Asked if the shot was fatal, Stroud replied, “It could not have been more fatal.”

San Diego’s hotel era ended in flames

Who would burn down the grand hotels of North County?

When the Hotel del Coronado opened in 1888, Oceanside already had two “grand” hotels, the St. Cloud and the South Pacific. They faced each other, just two city blocks apart, separated by the California Southern ...

“Unforgettable” Outtakes

Vignettes from San Diego history: Oceanside and Carlsbad.

From the Carlsbad Plain Truth (editor William Webster Borden, whose slogan was “Independent but not neutral”): “Charles Kelly has a remarkable hen. She disappeared on Dec. 25, 1886, leaving a brood of young chickens behind ...

The many trials of Madame Tingley, part five of five

“I saw very plainly that [Katherine Tingley] had impure intentions,” said Henry Reuthling from his seat in the witness box. “What do you mean by impure?” Reuthling: “I mean that her suggestions were of a ...

The Many Trials of Madame Tingley, part four

Lomaland, a “vile spookery”? Balderdash!

The Allegations In his later years, Harrison Gray Otis rode in an armor-plated, 1910 Franklin Model H. The headlights protruded like cannons; a bronze horn stretching across the molded, deep-green hood resembled an elephant gun. ...

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