I love this little time capsule situated in the middle of the Gaslamp revival. The house’s 170 year history is so diverse, and the artifacts really illustrate how much San Diego has grown since its early beginnings as New Town and the better known Stingaree.
The Moonlight Tour was a unique experience for my thirteen year old daughter and me. We loved that our tour guide, Jamie, was dressed in period clothing, and we were impressed with her knowledge of the house, its contents, and former residents.
This tour is a must-do! Well worth the time and (surprisingly low!) cost.
I was in the neighborhood hours before an event with some time to kill when I came across this house. I headed inside since I’m a big fan of being indoors. I paid 5 bucks to just walk around vs. the 10 dollars for the audio tour that takes 30 minutes. I had the place to myself on a Wednesday afternoon. I found out when I was leaving it’s supposedly haunted. If you pay to go in somewhere thinking “ghosts are here” I think you’ll imagine some stuff. I don’t know about you but I don’t think ghosts are nocturnal. I didn’t see any orbs or feel lightheaded. I did see the arm of one of the old dresses move like someone was tugging on it repeatedly. I watched it for a bit longer but it never happened again and there didn’t seem to be any breeze. Was it just a random draft or is there an other worldly explanation? You decide.
Just looking at this as a ghost-free historic house, I’d compare this to the lightkeeper’s house at Cabrillo. That house is just how the one family lived and you can’t walk into any of the rooms. That’s fine since honestly the Cabrillo Lighthouse has way more going for itself in terms of location and stuff to do besides the one house walkthrough. Being in the Gaslamp the Davis-Horton House is limited, but you do get access to a few of rooms so that’s a plus. Some room setups and belongings represent a different owner of the home. You’ve got Alonzo Horton’s bedroom, a generic children’s room, a generic Victorian bathroom, a hospital room from the 1800’s run by Ana Scheper, an old-timey kitchen, a Victorian dining room, and a Victorian parlor circa 1870-1901. I won’t tell you the details but that’s only because you say one thing and the whole brochure section on that room is finished maybe get the audio tour for more detail. The big negative is there are too many signs on the furniture saying “don’t touch” and “don’t sit” which ruin the look of the piece. I worry about people who need the signs telling them not to plop down on antique furniture in a museum or not to touch oil paintings. There’s also a note in the brochure to not use the victorian display bathroom as an actual bathroom. They’ve had some issues with that I’m sure. WHO RAISED YOU PEOPLE?
I enjoyed walking through the kitchen because I have a thing for old stoves and a nice pie safe. I also liked the story behind the Lohman-Deyo study, the wide wood planks in the 2nd floor hallway, and Alonzo Horton’s belongings in the bedroom. There’s also a nice little shaded park next to the home with dog statues (San Diego’s first and only Town Dog, Bum) and plenty of benches. I paid, I saw, I killed some time, and got some okay pictures. Great for tourists who are looking for something besides day drinking and trinket shopping in the Gaslamp! Locals might not be so interested, unless you’re a believer in the paranormal or just local history. It is the oldest wooden structure Downtown and it’s nice to see a building the way it was vs just the plaques on the converted buildings saying what they were.