I would like to present a little piece of Old Town San Diego history.
From The San Diego Weekly World, this article, reproduced below describes a party at Seeley's Place, highlighting that even after the major fire of April 1872 there was still life in Old Town San Diego.
Seeley's Place was the famous Cosmopolitan Hotel, until just a few years ago known as Casa de Bandini Restaurant. Now recently restored, the structure is known as The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant.
The Weekly World (San Diego)
September 28, 1872 pg. 3, col. 4-6
[From Thursday’s Daily.]
That Delightful Dance.
SEELEY’S PLACE A TREASURY OF DELIGHT TUESDAY NIGHT – THE BEAUTY AND FASHION OF SAN DIEGO GIVE THEMSELVES TO THE MEANDERING MESHES OF THE “MAZY.”
If there is one thing we love it is to chronicle a scene of revelry. Terpsichore has no more devoted servant than we. Seeley’s Old Town, was Wednesday night, the scene of a delightful festivity. For some time the ladies of San Diego had felt that it was exigent upon them to treat their gentlemen friends to a dance, and Tuesday night their gracious good humor took shape with unusual eclat. The co-operation of several gentlemen was early called in, with most gratifying result, as the evening festivities showed.
To a quite unusual degree the people of San Diego are indebted for a night’s unrivaled enjoyment to Mrs. T–gg–t. This lady has a true and wholesome devotion to pleasure, and her experiences in lovely old Pennsylvania have taught her how to contribute to enjoyment with tact and judgment. She is of a specially enterprising fiber, and her mother-wit is sufficient to guarantee all future ages from intellectual dearth. Macaulay takes hundreds of pages, in his matchless essay on Bacon, to analyze one man’s character, and this Pennsylvania thoroughbred has accomplished a thorough analysis in two initials, “C.W.” It is true that it might be suggested that in Bacon there was considerably more ground to go over, but we are convinced that this mistress of analysis would have improvised a short cut on Macaulay, even.
We suppose that in the mention of gentlemen’s names we are excused from the delicacy that should restrict our particularities to initials in dealing with that “one wonder yet, that crowning of creation’s birth,” the ladies. Messrs. Strauchon and Pedrorena loom up as the efficient Mercurys of the dance. To Don Miguel Pedrorena’s unrivaled taste is owing the marked glow and beauty of the hall. We happen to know that that gentleman exhausted himself, almost; in his efforts to make Seeley’s harmonize with the approaching festivities. The hall was decorated with tasteful festoons. The American flag depended in every direction, and flowers and symbols of nationality consecrated the event. The redwood floor of the hall glowed with more than the invitation of the traditional waxed oak; and, thanks to Pedrorena and Strauchon, all the accessories were perfect.
About nine o’clock the delightful affair was fairly under way. The beauties of San Diego were on hand en masse, and the dance fairly under way. A delightful concourse was there of all that was lovely and attractive in San Diego. We will venture to particularize some details of dress and personnel.
Now here comes in a difficulty. Upon our souls we don’t know whether to begin with the youthful or less youthful members of this delightful assemblage, there were none there. They were all youthful, but some of them were more so than others. We get over the difficulty in the way the great Emperor Napoleon disposed of a similar embarrassment at one of his Imperial banquets. The ladies were all holding back. None of them were willing to go forward. Bonaparte solved the difficulty in a trice. He called out for the youngest ladies to enter and they all started at once. We will get over our difficulty by paying our devoirs to the young and unmarried ladies first.
Miss H-t-gs, a brunette of an exceptionally brilliant type, was arrayed in a white underskirt and claret overskirt. The mantling deep blood dye of her dress harmonized beautifully with her complexion, and her head dress accompaniment was in perfect taste. The graces of the “light fantastic” had no truer interpreter than she.
Miss M-r-l-w is a distingue compromise between blonde and brunette, with a leaning to the latter type. She was dressed in white, with overskirt, looped up with scarlet flowers. Her toilet was in exquisite harmony with her style of beauty, and she acquitted herself with matchless grace in the dance.
Miss H-ch-n is a pronounced brunette, of whom it may be said, what a correspondent of the New York Herald said of Mrs. Gen. McClellan, that she has “a soulful face,” and a face mantling with good humor as well. She, too, wore a white dress, with overskirt looped up with scarlet. A white toilet with scarlet accompaniment is exceedingly becoming to a dark complexion, and the tout ensemble of this charming your person was perfect. The lithe grace of Miss H-ch-n was the subject of special remark.
Miss Ph-ll-ps is a young beauty whom we have often remarked in our rambles, and whose propinquity to B-y-d in a basket carriage has often excited our envy. She is an emphatic blonde, pure red and white, a charming dispensation of nature which was much assisted by her choice of costume. In color it was close approach to lavender. She is an accomplished votaress of Terpsichore, and her dancing was the subject of marked favorable comment.
Miss Hr-v-y was dressed in spotless white. Her sweet and amiable face harmonized admirably with the symbolic purity of her costume. She is a petite blonde and the exceeding attractiveness of bother her manner and person attracted marked comment.
Miss Sl-d-e was attired in modest black and her lack of pretention in dress outlined the musical sensibility and amiability that were clearly apparent in her face. Culture and command were written in every lineament of that face. The Spanish beauties realize their happiest effects in the deep black of the charming mantilla, and Miss Sl-d-‘s modest attire did not in the least detract from the distingue personnel.
The charms of the superb Miss G-u were enforced by a pleasing vesture of white. Hers is a composite face, and upon our souls we require further study to determine upon its class. It is a youthful and attractive countenance and a slight expression of hauteur does not in the least detract from its benignity.
Misses M-x-ll and W-dd-m were attractive blondes, dressed in white.
Miss W-ll-ms is a brunette with a perfect realization of the toilet demands of her style of beauty. She wore green striped barege.
A brunette of an exceptionally brilliant style was Miss M. C-th-w-te. Where personal beauty is quite pronounced it is perhaps reinforced by luxuriance. Miss C. is a perfect Hebe, whose charms were brightened by a toilet of rare elegance and taste. We should dislike to commit ourselves absolutely as to the precise color of her dress, but ruby was its prevailing tint, over which an overskirt of white was worn. Her carriage in the dance was characterized by unusual vivacity and grace.
Miss J. C-th-te wore a moreen dress which harmonized satisfactorily with her attractive face.
Miss M-ll-d and Miss L-p-z were brunettes who did honor to every recherché toilets.
Miss S-ll-r adorned an attractive white toilet, and was quite remarked for amiability and vivacity.
The Misses W-rr-n and Tw-t were quite presentable brunettes; the first in a white and the latter in a dark toilet.
The chaperon and manageress-general of the party, Mrs. T-gg-t, we should perhaps have noticed first. As a complement to our notice elsewhere, we may remark that she appeared in a charming black toilet, and that the play of her wit was of a quite phenomenal character. She filled her role to perfection, and she was the soul and life of the party.
Mrs. L-e-s is a brunette, whose costume of black brought into relief a face with decided claims to attention.
Mrs. S-l-y was another brunette who selected a black costume. Of this toilet, quite a favorite amongst the ladies last night, it may be remarked that Bulwer says that only distingue people look well in it. We rejoice in quite a number of distingue looking people in San Diego, for a wonderfully large number of ladies looked charming Tuesday night in this tint; amongst whom was Mrs. Estudillo, who varied the plain black with a white stripe, Mrs. C-thw-te, and Mrs. S. M-rr-n.
Mrs. J. M-rr-n, another brunette, and an exquisite dancer, was dressed in a handsome barege; while Mrs. H-n-t-n, a pleasing brunette, attracted admirers by a very charming white toilet.
Very efficient contributors to the amusement of the evening were Messrs. Martin and Carleton. Their violins were kept in ceaseless play, and not till well in the “wee sma” hours did they succeed in obtaining any respite.
The revelry was kept up, with an intermission of an hour for supper, until the matin hour was well on its way. Innocent gaiety and enjoyment were neve seen in more perfect shape; and when, about half past one in the morning, the affair was at end, every one felt that a bright, enjoyable and sympathetic evening had been passed. The ride home was delightful.
It would be gross injustice to omit to state that the ball owed much of its attractiveness to Dan Clark. He was an admirable Lieutenant to Pedrorena, and did his work thoroughly.