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May 31, 2024

Old Town–a few less visited sites

 As life returns to our usual routines, there has not been much to consider blog worthy.  So I decided to hop on the trolley to Old Town and visit the lesser known section of the park.

My first stop was the McCoy House and Museum.

It’s fairly impressive for a small FREE museum.  But it takes a lot of time to read the various captions on the graphics.

Some period furniture is placed as it might have been used.

Again it is a lot of reading.  I’m sure Fran would really enjoy it ;)
She’s the reader!

The only original pieces are in pieces!

The house was built in 1869 by Sheriff James McCoy who lived in this two-story house with his wife Winnifred until their deaths.

In 1995 the State park began research and excavation on the home.  In 2000 it was opened to the public.

I also wanted to visit the recently opened ‘Iipay ~ Tipay Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok (Land of the First People)’

Visitor’s may remember the brick Department of Transportation building that was on this site.  They’ve relocated across the street.  The site is now the Kumeyaay Interpretive Garden.

I saved my cell phone for some pictures and did not scan the QR Code.  But if I had it would lead me to the Walking Tour Map on the web HERE.

Without the map and its verbiage I just wandered around, taking a few pictures.

The walk follows the ‘River of Life and River of Ancient Life.

Most recently extinct would be the grizzly bear.  Although the state animal, the last known bear was killed in the 1920s.

Each of the numerous stamps in the concrete lists the animal's Kumeyaay name, its English and Spanish name.


Near the center of the garden is a large mosaic depicting how the Kumeyaay viewed the night sky.

The San Diego River once flowed just on the north side of Old Town and south of I-8.  The river is now routed north of I-8.

I decided to include the picture of the coyote, as in legend it was a two-faced animal that was not to be trusted.

Can you see the two faces of the coyote?

The old CDOT parking lot remains and would be a great location for the Kumeyaay to show off their heritage.

CDOT parking lot

Across the street is the Presidio Hills Golf Course in continuous use since 1932.

The oldest surviving adobe built in 1810, but declined over the next century until the it was restored in 1931.  It's been in continuous as the Golf Club House since.

The pear orchard was gone by this time.  Fran also took her first golf lessons on this course.  The course has also hosted the Junior World Championships, awarding titles to Tiger Woods, Lorena Ochoa, and Phil Mickleson.

This clubhouse also is of some import for the two historic names linked here.

Mr. California, Leo Carillo, is a grandson of Josefa (Bandini) Carillo.  I dedicated a blog to him that can be found HERE.

(Note: Casa de Bandini is my favorite Mexican restaurant)

I’ll let you guess the other name and please leave it in your comment.  Hint he restored and/or preserved much of early San Diego history, using his own funds.  He was a good ice skater, who played golf and really liked lilacs.


  1. There is such a thing as a "Free" museum? Typically, we are not museum people, but that one looks pretty cool. That is the era and subject matter that we find interesting. What a cool find!

    1. Thanks Jim! Although the McCoy house has been open for several years this was my first visit, I'm sure I'll be back again.

  2. Looks like such a great place! And any adventure that begins with "hop on the trolley" sounds like fun :-))))

    1. Hi Jodee!, The Trolley is pretty easy sometimes and as a senior it's a half-price! A benefit of getting old. Old town s only a couple stops away so we should use it more often!

  3. Gay and JoeJune 01, 2024

    Hi Jeff…I know, I know! That would be George Marston! What a great outing! We are not golfers, but I would love to see the old adobe house that is the club house. And Casa de Bandini is added to the list!

    1. Hi Gay!, of course I knew you'd know! Casa de Bandini is in Carlsbad not Old Town, but we'd love to join you if it works out. But then again Old Town is so close ....


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