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Whaley House
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National Parks Under Attack
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San Diego County Main Page

Whaley House

All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2008 - 2017.

The Whaley House was San Diego's first two-story brick structure, built in 1856 - 1857. It began as a granary in 1856 and the following year, the second floor was added. The building is in Greek Revival style built for Thomas Whaley for his family. The bricks were made in Whaley's brickyard and ths is the oldest brick building in Southern California. The structure was the county seat and a cultural center, other uses of the building were a school, billiard hall, ballroom, and church.

Road Trip when this place was visited.
Road Trip Article 2005
Road Trip Article 2008
Road Trip Article 2016
Thomas Whaley, originally from New York, came to California as part of the gold rush. He established a store in San Francisco but moved to San Diego after the building was destroyed in a fire. In 1853, he returned to New York to marry Anna Eloise DeLaunay and brought her back to San Diego. The first General Store in this building was not profitable and he moved the business to the Plaza. This too was destroyed by fire and the family moved to San Francisco. Thomas spent some time in Sitka, Alaska leaving the family in San Francisco. The family returned to San Diego in 1868 and established the Whaley and Crosthwaite General Store. After a time in San Francisco with the family staying behind, Thomas moved the family to New Town where he had built a new house, where he died in 1890. About 1900, eldest son, Francis, returned and restored the house. Anna died in 1913, Francis died a year later, and his sister remained until her death in 1953. In 1956, the building was saved from demolition and opened to the public.

The Whaley House is billed as the most haunted house in America. The building was constructed on land that once an execution site and its supernatural events started shortly after construction. Sightings include members of the Whaley family, and "Yankee Jim" Robinson, a boat-thief who was hanged on the site before the house was built. Other sightings include a terrier dog.

Downstairs is an early courtroom (1869-1871), Whaley and Crosthwaite General Store, Dining Room, and the kitchen along with a sitting room. Upstairs are bedrooms and San Diego's first theater. Around the building are other historic buildings which now function as restaurants and shops. Adjacent is the Whaley House Museum Gift Shop. It is State Registered Landmark Number 65.

2476 San Diego Avenue
San Diego, California 92110
(Learn more at www.SOHOsandiego.org).

Summer and special holidays: 10:00 A. M. to 9:30 P. M. daily.
Non-summer hours: 10:00 A. M. - 5:00 P. M. Sunday-Tuesday and 10:00 A. M. - 9:30 P. M. Thursday-Saturday.

Front of Whaley House. Photo date: 5-8-05.

Rail of Whaley House. Photo date: 5-8-05.
Small door and end of the gable.
Plaque on the front of the building.
Front facade. Photo date: 5-11-08.
Court Room. Photo date: 5-11-08.
Whaley House
Court Room. Photo date: 6-13-04.
Court Room Court Room
Court Room.
Court Room Court Room
Court Room.

General Store General Store
The Whaley House has been many things, including General Store.
Kitchen Kitchen
Kitchen. Originally located outside, it was later moved inside.


Dining Room.
Upstairs bedroom Upstairs bedroom
Upstairs bedroom.
Whaley House
San Diego's oldest theater. Photo date: 6-13-04.
Theater Theater
Theater. Photo date: 5-11-08.
Theater Theater
This is believed to be the first theater in San Diego County and maybe Southern California.
Upstairs bedroom
Upstairs bedroom.
Guest Chamber
Guest Chamber
Guest Chamber Guest Chamber
Guest Chamber.
Parlor viewed from Study
Parlor viewed from Study. Photo date: 6-13-04.
Study and Parlor
Study and Parlor. Photo date: 6-13-04.
Parlor Parlor
The Study is the next to last room on the tour.
Study and Parlor
Study and Parlor.
Study and Parlor
Parlor and Study.

Back buildings
Looking out the window to the back buildings.
Back buildings
Back buildings, some have been moved here.

Back buildings Back buildings
Back buildings.
In Spring of 2016, the back buildings were raised and a new foundation constructed.

The Gift Shop is in this building.

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San Diego County Main Page

This page last updated: Monday, 19-Jun-2017 01:04:08 EDT

Note:This is not the official site for any of the places shown in Places Earth. Places Earth is not responsible for accuracy of the information. Hours of operations, prices, exhibits, and sometimes locations are subject to change without notice.

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