San Diego To Celebrate 250th Anniversary in 2019

San Diego

As the first European settlement on the West Coast, San Diego will commemorate its 250th anniversary in 2019.

Old Town San Diego is considered to be the birthplace of California, according to the San Diego Tourism Authority, and will take center stage in the celebrations.

Established in 1979, Alta California’s first settlement included Mission San Diego de Alcala and a neighboring presidio, originally built above the Old Town. The area later developed in San Diego’s first downtown and today brings to life the city’s Hispanic heritage from 1821 to 1872.

The Tourism Authority listed several sites as what it called “hidden gems” that tell tales of significant moments in the region’s early history.

Among these are the Old Presidio Historic Trail where Spanish soldiers and families walked two centuries ago to tend to their gardens and livestock. The Pattie Memorial was once a Spanish guardhouse and jail once holding an American named Sylvester Pattie, a fur trapper accused of being a spy. He died while imprisoned and is said to be the first American to be buried in California soil.

A trio of statues on Presidio Hill pay tribute to Kumeyaay, representing the native people; Father Janipero Serra who established 21 missions; and a Mexican Vaquero commemorating the early Mexican settlers to the region.

Also here is the Serra Cross, one of San Diego’s most prominent landmarks, built in 1913 with tiles excavated from the original mission.

Casa de Carillo is the oldest surviving house and adobe building in San Diego, and San Diego House was originally a small adobe saloon and provision store, owned by the first African Americans to settle in Old Town.

The El Camino Real bell marks the beginning of the King’s Highway that links California’s 21 missions and presidios.  The 700-mile El Camino Real runs from San Diego to Sonoma in northern California.

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