San Diego – First San Diego Courthouse

This is another of the buildings in the Old Town San Diego Historic Park, an area that was nearly devoid of visitors when I visited. Which had the advantage of making it feel like that I had stepped back in time to nineteenth century America, and the disadvantage that nearly everything was shut.

This is a replica building and was installed in the park in 1992, but it’s an authentic copy of the original structure which was built in 1847. It was initially designed as a town hall and it was used for that purpose until 1869, when it became the town’s courthouse.

In April 1872, it was destroyed by a fire which damaged many of the buildings in the area and it was this disaster which was the beginning of the end for the Old Town area. Alonzo Horton was starting to develop a rival settlement, in what is now downtown San Diego, which was better equipped with fresh water and other facilities. Many of the buildings here weren’t reconstructed and people started to drift away from the area.