William Heath Davis was the first man who attempted to build what we know today as downtown San Diego. In 1850 he began his New Town by the bay, by purchasing a shipment of pre-cut wooden houses from Portland, Maine. They were shipped around Cape Horn to San Diego Bay.
In 1867 Alonzo E. Horton and his wife Sarah, traveled to San Diego with the plan of succeeding where Davis had failed. Horton purchased 960 acres of land and a one-half interest in the Davis house. He and Sarah lived in the house while his mansion was being built. Horton opened a real estate office in San Francisco and began selling his new land. Thanks to his shrewd business skills and timing, he was able to begin the first real estate boom in San Diego.
The Davis is the only house left standing in San Diego where Horton resided.
The Davis house has been located on 3 lots during its lifetime:
- State and Market Street (erected in 1850)
- 11th and K Street (moved by horses in 1873)
- And currently, 4th and Island (moved by truck in 1984)
The house has been rumored to be haunted for years because of the many colorful characters who have resided in the house. Not only was the house a residence to many, it was also a hospital for about ten years where many deaths from consumption and tetanus have been recorded The house was also an officer’s quarters prior to the Civil War and was reported to have a WWI German spy in hiding who used the house for his purposes. He was later captured and researchers have made contact with his angry spirit.
It has always been the San Diego Ghost Hunters purpose to help preserve the history and stories of landmarks in San Diego County and across the United States.
We believe in the preservation of the William Heath Davis House history and legacy. The former occupants play an integral role in that living history.
It has been our pleasure to become acquainted with the previous occupants of the house and now we want to share that with public.
We invite you to join the San Diego Ghost Hunters for their once-a-month investigative 2-hour ghost tours and meet them for yourself.
What a wonderful house! We would like to thank the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. If you would like more information on how to join the Foundation, please visitwww.gaslampquarter.org.
Latest Update: 06.01.14 | Tour dates