Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New book announcement!!

When I completed my work on the Villa Montezuma (Jesse Shepard and the Villa Montezuma), aside from an occasional piece posted on this blog, I thought I was done with serious research on the Villa.

How naive of me...

I had forgotten what I stated before, "what is past is prologue."

A bonus section of several pieces from the 1890s was included in my work on the Villa. As it turns out, that bonus section will now become the backbone of an all-new upcoming work due out late this 2015 or early 2016. This work will be called "The Last Decade of Jesse Shepard in Print: 1890-1899."

To celebrate this surprising development, and in order to make my work available to the widest possible audience, my Jesse Shepard and the Villa Montezuma  (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QXTMPJQ) on Amazon.com will now be priced at @ $2.99.

To those who purchased this work at the previous price, first of all, thank you. Secondly, as a thank you, please provide me with your email address and I will send you this latest work of mine in the kindle format, free of charge.


Good day.

Monday, June 29, 2015


The "Fraternal Department" ran as a semi-regular feature in the San Diego Union in the late 19th century. The fraternal orders and associated concordant bodies were so prevalent and important a part of the lives of the people of San Diego that their meetings and events were considered newsworthy!

Interestingly, in this particular instance, there is no mention of any of the several lodges in San Diego county. Nor, with the exception of a single OES chapter, is there any notice for any of the concordant bodies as well...Must have been a slow week for them. But even without any Masonic bodies listed, there are still quite a few meetings and events reported on. Thus, in continuing my effort to make known the significance of the fraternal orders to the growth and development of San Diego, I present the following from the pages of the San Diego Union.




From The San Diego Union,

March 3, 1890, page 5




Various Grand Army Doings - Proceedings of the Foresters - Statistics of the United Workmen - Local Notes.


[Items of interest are solicited from the various orders and societies of the city and county. All matter intended for this department must be received at THE UNION office not later than 6 o'clock Sunday evening.]


Grand Army of the Republic.

The Department of Iowa has a membership of 21,000.

The State of Kansas allows $50 for the burial of any soldier or sailor whose family is too poor to afford a decent funeral .

A bill has been introduced in the House for marking the lines of battle and the positions of troops of the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg, appropriating $310,000 for the purposes.

It has been proposed that the Fort Hays Military Reservation be donated to the State of Kansas to be used for Soldier's Home purposes. A bill has been favorably reported by the Committee on Pubic Lands.

The Pension Office report for 1889 shows one pensioner of the war of the revolution still living in Maine. The person is Mrs. Susan Curtis of Topsham, the widow of Caleb Curtis, a revolutionary soldier.

The National Soldiers' Home at Milwaukee, Wis., is full. No new applicants can be admitted for the present.

The Department of Kansas, G. A. R., has within its boundaries an immense soldier population not members of the order. It seems strange that this department does not show on its rolls 50,000 members in good standing. The aggregate membership December 31, 1889, was 19,918.


Odd Fellows.

It is not generally know that a brother may be elected a member of a lodge on a visiting card in date. Such, however, is a late law, and a brother may be regularly elected by deposit of his visiting card in the same manner as governs a withdrawal card. Immediately upon the election, however, the lodge who granted the card must be officially notified of said election, and the visiting card returned to the issuing lodge, which will immediately grant a withdrawal card, and, together with all overpaid dues, forward same to the lodge of which was elected a member. In all such cases no delay should be occasioned by either lodge.

Now that it is a settled fact that the World's Fair is to be held in Chicago (the most thriving city of the West), the members of the order there should immediately build he hall so long spoken of by them, and show their visitors, who are certain to attend the exposition in large numbers, especially those from the golden shores of the Pacific, what enterprise and American push can do. There is no denying but what the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Chicago are as progressive as any in the country, and as for hospitality they have few equals.


Knights of Pythias.

In West Virginia the order has gained twelve lodges and 564 members the past year.

The Past Chancellors of Cincinnati have an association 300 strong.

There are at present about 260,000 members in the order.

The Uniform Rank has about 25,000 Sir Knights–nearly as large as the standing army of the United States.

New lodges are forming at Salinas, Hollister and San Miguel.

Red Star Lodge, No. 153, has made a wise selection in choosing S. G. Montijo and T. J. Monohon to represent her at the Grand Lodge which convenes April 14th at San Francisco.

A large delegation from Loma Lodge, National City, was present to witness the work in the Esquire's Rank at the last meeting.

Grand Chancellor Crowley will visit Red Star Lodge, officially, next Thursday night, 20th inst.

The question of working the Amplified Rank has again been resurrected and will be worked in first-class style by B. C., S. G. Montijo and assistants.

All attending Knights may be assured of the correct working of this rank on next Thursday night, as the above mentioned P. C. has added much to his store of knowledge by his recent extended travels.


Ancient Order Foresters of America.

The A. O. F. of America met in their hall Friday evening, H. Tarnow in the chair. Eleven new members were initiated and seven applications were acted upon. A communication from the High Chief was read, saying that he was visiting all the Courts in the State and was in Los Angeles and that he would like to visit the San Diego Court and that he would be here Saturday. A deputation of six member were appointed to receive him at the depot Saturday evening and conduct him to the Albemarle hotel. The Court also gave the High Chief is banquet Sunday evening at the same hotel. J. Conroy was elected as a delegate to the grand convention of the Foresters of America in Oakland in May. F. Goodendorf was elected an alternate delegate to the same place. The committee on the social held in Odd Fellow's Hall, March 12th, reported it as having been a grand success and the same committee was instructed to go ahead and finish arrangements for a grand ball to be held in the near future. The C. R. having received news of the death of his father the sympathies of the Court were tendered him in his heartfelt bereavement.


Order Eastern Star.

The regular meeting of Southern Star Chapter No. 96 will be held on Thursday evening at Masonic Hall.

The celebration of the anniversary of the institution of the Chapter will be held on the first regular meeting night in April.

The following item from he Kansas City Journal, under date of March 9th, will prove interesting to her friends in this city: "Mrs. James Snedden, E. W. Towner, C. L. Ericson, L. F. Martin, N. J. Saunders, delegates from Mendlas Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, to the General Grand Chapter of this State, will leave tomorrow for Lawrence to fulfill their duties as delegates on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Mrs. Snedden is Right Worthy Associate Grand Matron, being the next highest officer of his Order in the United Sates. She will install the grand officers on Wednesday evening of this week. There are now eighty Chapters in this State, ten of which have been formed within the present year, and the duties of the high office occupied by Mrs. Snedden have become manifold indeed."

The officers of Southern Star Chapter desiring to be in perfect working order under the new ritual, and also at the time of the official visit of the Deputy Grand Matron of this district, met for instruction and drill on Thursday evening last under the able guidance of their Worthy Matron


Order Pythian Sisters.

A pleasant meeting of Love Temple No. 3 was held at Castle Hall on Friday evening last.

A vote of thanks was extended James R. Wear by the Temple at its last meeting for the certain properties so kindly donated by him to them.

Mrs. Helen C. Bushyhead, P. C., made her first appearance at the Temple on Friday evening, having entirely recovered from her attack of la grippe.

Several of the members were unavoidably detained from the session on account of the "spelling school," particularly among whom was Dr. Gochenauer, the famous "school master."


A. O. H.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians will give a grand ball at Armory Hall tonight. Dancing will commence at 9 o'clock. Prof. Hester's orchestra has been secured for the occasion, and from the well known ability of the gentlemen composing the committee of arrangements a most enjoyable time can be anticipated.





An Exceedingly Enjoyable Banquet Tendered

to the High Chief Ranger.

It was a happy company which gathered at the Albemarle Hotel last evening to a banquet tendered by San Diego Court No. 7592 Ancient Order of Foresters of America to the visiting High Chief Ranger of California, R. B. Harmon, of Sacramento.

Chief Harmon arrived in San Diego on Saturday evening and on yesterday was driven around the city and Coronado Beach by his brethren of the order.

When the High Chief arrived on Saturday several of the boys determined to give him a banquet and accordingly notified Manager Limbrick, of the Albemarle, of their desires in the matter. He promised to do his best and the spread which was placed before the banqueters showed that none cold do better. The following was the


Blue Points on the Half Shell.

Mock Turtle Soup.

Baked Rock Cod. Oyster Sauce.

Fillet de Beef au Champignom.

Pale Sherry. Chicken Salad.

Cullets of Sweet Bread a la Jardinisre.

Pure Apple Fritiers, Garnet Sauce.

Leg of Lamb, Mint Sauce.

Stuffed Spring Chicken. Sirloin of Beef.

Zinfandel Wine.

Asparagus on Toast. Lettuce Salad.

Mashed Potatoes.

Baked Sweet Potatoes. Green Peas.

Plum Pudding, Brandy Sauce.

Lemon Merangne Pie. Strawberry Ice Cream.

Assorted Nuts. Assorted Cake.

Black Coffee.


Chief Conroy of the local court occupied the head of the table and High Chief Harmon had the set of honor at his right. The others who occupied seats were Messrs. McKay, Crowley, Welzell, Shirley, G. S. Goldthorpe, J. Goldthorpe, Glickman, Langell, Fulton, Corwin, Wallace, Ackerman, Limbrick, Lavin, Goodendorf, Appell, Kennedy and Cosgrove. The service was as excellent as was the banquet and during the time of is discussion the heal of the High Chief and the success of the Order were drank several times. When all had done ample justice to the good things before them Mr. Harmon was introduced and spoke at considerable length, his response being to the Grand Court of California. He refaced his remarks on the Order by his congratulations to the San Diego Court and its members for the beautiful city and climate in which their lot is cast. He was pleased to see a city of so great a growth and was surprised at the large number of elegant building, both residence and business. He added words of praise for Coronado Beach, for the hotel and for the excellent scenery to be found about the beautiful bay. He prophesied that San Diego would be at some time the San Francisco of the southern coast, and one of the three great cities of the whole Pacific, including Portland, Oregon, as the third. He had never been treated so nicely by the brothers whom he visited, and the banquet spread was by far the best he had had the pleasure of enjoying.

Speaking of the order he stated that its membership was increasing rapidly owing to the advantages it offered. He went on to enumerate many of those advantages, and closed by recommending the establishment of a woman's court of the order and also of a uniform rank court of the Knights of Sherwood Forest.

Chief Conroy, Dr. McKay, Mr. Crowley and others were called upon and responded briefly. A vote of thanks was extended to the Albemarle and the management, and after a few selections of instrumental and vocal music the banquet was over. High Chief Harmon will depart for the north today.



1890-0317-SDU-p5--Fraternal Department

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

II CONGRESS HALL, First Location: 1868-1874

At this point, a brief timeline of the property involving Congress Hall’s initial location in Block 426 is presented to provide a more complete understanding.


Figure 1: Detail of Couts' 1849 map of Old Town. Blue highlight covers area under discussion.


1838 January 4 – A Spanish deed recorded the purchase of property (Lots 1 and 4, Block 426) from Francisco Ruiz, Commandante of the San Diego Presidio by Juan Machado.[1] The deed stated in part:

I, Francisco Ruiz, resident of San Diego, say that I have sold a house to citizen Juan Machado in 100.00 current money, situated close to that of the retired Corporal citizen Juan Ma. Marron. Said house is composed of three pieces or divisions… the first is finished entirely, the second lacks the roof, and the third has only the foundation.

Included with the Deed Books' translation was a drawing of the lay-out of the buildings on the plot of land. (See Figures 2 and 3 below.) [2]


Figure 2: Plot lay-out of Machado land.


Figure 3: Detail of  lay-out of Machado land from General Development Plan.

Regarding Figure 3 above: There is a small notation that I dispute. Slightly to the right of the highlighted square is a numeral marked "25A." It's associated note states that it is "Congress Hall Built ? Moved 1870 - 1872 (Location) Parker Photo." On this drawing, I firmly believe that "25A" is in the wrong location. It should be a later construction on the spot where "20" "Casa de Alta" is drawn.

Using the model of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in the Visitor's Center as a guide; it shows Congress Hall in the position I think it should be - over the location of Casa de Alta.


Figure 4: Model from Visitor's Center. Detail of rear of Congress Hall.

1850 September 1 – Juan Machado entered into a 5-year lease of this property to Adolpho Savin. Savin built a two-story wood-frame structure on the lot. Savin, then, subleased the building to Lewis A. Franklin who opened the Tienda California general store in it.

1855 September 28 – After the expiration of the lease with Savin, Juan Machado and his wife, Maria Serrano de Machado (Jose Antonio’s sister?) sold the property, Lot 1 Block 426, to Eugene B. Pendleton and Matilda Kerren. Several stores operated out of the establishment.[3]

As a side note, it is unclear why Savin's lease on the property was not renewed. However, as a consequence, Franklin had to find a new location for the Tienda California.

And Lewis Franklin went big! Together with his brother, Maurice, in 1855 they purchased the Exchange Hotel, extensively remodeled the first floor and added two more stories on top of that. This made the Franklin House the first three-storied structure in San Diego.


Figure 5: Image from the Journal of San Diego History, April 1956.

1856 The ground floor was used as the new location of the Tienda California. See Figure 6 below for the announcement in the San Diego Herald.


Figure 6: From the San Diego Herald, May 17, 1856, page 5.

1857 August 14 – Matilda Kerren bought out Pendleton’s interest in the land for $1250 and became sole owner of Lots 1 and 4 Block 426.[4]

1868 After fire destroyed the original structure some time previous, James and Matilda (Kerren) Anderson leased the property to George W. Robinson. On the site, Robinson agreed to build the Magnolia Billiard Saloon.

October 10 – From the San Diego Union, page 2, column 3:


Figure 7: San Diego Union, October 10, 1868, page 2, column 3.

October 31The San Diego Union ran an advertisement announcing the “Grand Opening Ball” at Robinson’s New Saloon to be given Wednesday Evening, November 4, 1868. A. O. Wallace was listed as Floor Manager.


Figure 8: San Diego Union, October 31, 1868.

Also in this issue of the Union, a small editorial was written to all “Terpsichoreans” announcing the ball and inviting all interested to purchase tickets.


Figure 9: San Diego Union, October 31, 1868.

November 14 –The lease between James and Matilda (Kerren) Anderson and George W. Robinson was signed on this date.

November 28The San Diego Union prints an advertisement for the Magnolia Billiard Saloon with its choicest brands of wines and liquors. ( See Figure below)


Figure 10: San Diego Union, November 28, 1868.

At some point, while Robinson was owner and Wallace was Floor Manager, the establishment changed its name to “Congress Hall”. It is thought that this was done to honor Commodore Stockton and his flagship, the frigate USS Congress.

1870 February 3 – In the San Diego Union, an advertisement announced that A. O. Wallace had bought Congress Hall. See Appendix for reproduction of advertisement.


Figure 11: San Diego Union, February 3, 1870.

1872 March 10 – Wallace sold Congress Hall to Cant

April 24 – In the divorce case between William Cant and Maria Cant, Frank Czarnowsky gave testimony on this date. In part it stated that William Cant:

…bought from A. O. Wallace, what is known as “Congress Hall”, a saloon and its fixtures in Old Town. He gave said Wallace twelve hundred fifty - $1250 dollars for the said building, the saloon fixtures and the stock on hand. I had been Wallace’s clerk in the saloon before and up to the time of the sale…

After Cant purchased the saloon from Wallace, Czarnowsky stayed on for some weeks as Wallace’s clerk.[5]

1873 April 17 – The San Diego Union reported that Congress Hall was sold at tax sale auction to George Gillis. The article stated: “Improvements only on a lot known as Congress Hall, assessed to William Cant, to Geo. Gillis, for $12.10.”

1874 Detail of 1874 photograph. Congress Hall, at extreme left - seen from the rear, is still in its original location. The view of the Robinson-Rose House is no longer obscured by the “Jolly Boy”. As well, Osuna’s wood frame structure is bare on its south side. See Figure 12 below.


Figure 12: Detail of 1874 photograph

[1] Deed Book D, page 113 for translation of Spanish deed. See Appendix for translation.

[2] The original deed was established in 1838. However, the translation and accompanying drawing are from the Deed's May 1853 recording.

[3] Deed Book C, page 381.

[4] Deed Book 1, page 160.

[5] See Appendix for full text of Czarnowsky’s testimony. It revealed some of the habits of a saloon manager and provided insight as to why Cant was divorced by his wife.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Stephen King's UNDER THE DOME and Bedlam Asylum.

I have to state that up until very recently, I was not much of a Stephen King fan. Indeed, as of this writing, I have not read Under the Dome. But I have discovered in his recent works something that connects with me.

I believe in the absolute truth of the statement, "what is past is prologue," particularly in the field of the study of history and especially as it relates to modern times.

For some years now, I have harbored a deep interest in the development of Victorian insane asylums; from Britain to the U.S., from Bedlam to Danvers and more. As I read Carol Arnold's excellent work Bedlam: London and Its Mad, I came across a reference to Edwardian scholar and chaplain at Bethlehem Hospital, E. G. O'Donoghue, a frequent contributor to the hospital's magazine, "Under the Dome." I believe the magazine was titled "Under the Dome" because the new hospital, built in around 1815, was crowned with a massive central dome; a frequent, if not common, architectural feature of late-nineteenth century hospitals and asylums. Thus, it could be said that Bedlam was "under the dome."


Figure 1 Rendering of new hospital from 1828.



Figure 2 Image of cover of King's Under the Dome.


In a flash, I saw it! King's novel Under the Dome, whether intentional or not, is rooted in the very idea of Bedlam Asylum! In a sense, I believe King recreated the reality of Bethlehem Hospital...Bedlam Asylum...in this novel. This is my contention.

At this point, I am not sure if there is anything more to this idea. But I will research this thought further. If I find something noteworthy, I will post about it and share my findings. Otherwise, it was just nothing more than a weird coincidence.

But between you and me...I do not believe in coincidence.