Whaley House Museum

Whaley House Museum America's Most Haunted.
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You won't understand the mystery if you don't understand its history. Crossover and join us.

Ed Ainsworth’s 1946 historical fiction novel Eagles Fly West features several chapters set in Old Town San Diego in the ...
05/18/2020

Ed Ainsworth’s 1946 historical fiction novel Eagles Fly West features several chapters set in Old Town San Diego in the 1840s and features many real-life Old Town notables. A fictionalized Philip Crosthwaite is a major character in this work.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

This May 29, 1960 article by San Diego Union art columnist Dr. Armin Kietzmann questioned the accuracy of the then-recen...
05/17/2020

This May 29, 1960 article by San Diego Union art columnist Dr. Armin Kietzmann questioned the accuracy of the then-recent Whaley House “restoration.”

“WHEN HISTORIC houses are preserved for their age or style, for their position in local history and for the appeal they have to a wide public seeking information on the everyday life of former days one must insist that they try to show things exactly as they were and not as they should have been.

“The opening of the Whaley House in Old Town as a historical landmark will be greeted with enthusiastic sentiments, yet in the interest of authenticity a few question marks may be mentioned.”

Whaley House Collection.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

Do you ever feel like someone is watching you?Photo D. Glass.#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome #notarealghost
05/16/2020

Do you ever feel like someone is watching you?

Photo D. Glass.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome #notarealghost

Looking for a photo of the notorious James W. “Yankee Jim” Robinson? Well, look no further—you won’t find one. Robinson ...
05/15/2020

Looking for a photo of the notorious James W. “Yankee Jim” Robinson? Well, look no further—you won’t find one. Robinson was reported to be about 33 years old when executed in 1852, a time when photography was still in its infancy—the daguerreotype was introduced just 13 years earlier—and it’s very unlikely this desperado was ever photographed.

You may have encountered the James W. Robinson pictured here while perusing Internet pages about Yankee Jim or the Whaley House. This gentleman was a lawyer and politician who served as San Diego’s District Attorney at the time of the trial and execution and is commonly mistaken for Yankee Jim. Sharing the same name was merely an unfortunate coincidence that plagues this poor man to this day.

Photo Wikipedia.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

Named for 18th century botanist Sir William Watson, the Watsonia blooms in midsummer with these beautiful pink blooms, a...
05/14/2020

Named for 18th century botanist Sir William Watson, the Watsonia blooms in midsummer with these beautiful pink blooms, attracting both hummingbirds and pollinating insects.

Photo D. Glass.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

The yesterday-today-and-tomorrow (Brunfelsia spp.) looks fantastic alongside the Verna House. Its flowers bloom purple, ...
05/13/2020

The yesterday-today-and-tomorrow (Brunfelsia spp.) looks fantastic alongside the Verna House. Its flowers bloom purple, then fade to lavender and then white.

Photo D. Glass.

#whaleyhouse #garden #museumfromhome

On the Move! The historic Derby-Pendleton House being relocated onto the Whaley House grounds in 1962. In his book Ghost...
05/12/2020

On the Move! The historic Derby-Pendleton House being relocated onto the Whaley House grounds in 1962.

In his book Ghosts of the Golden West, famed paranormal investigator Dr. Hans Holzer recounted a séance at the Whaley House in which psychic Sybil Leek channeled the spirit of Thomas Whaley. It seems that Mr. Whaley, dead for three quarters of a century at the time, was angry that the house had been moved onto his property.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

This lovely Chinese lantern plant (Abutilon) in the Whaley House gardens is a popular subject of visitors’ photos. Photo...
05/11/2020

This lovely Chinese lantern plant (Abutilon) in the Whaley House gardens is a popular subject of visitors’ photos.

Photo D. Glass.

#whaleyhouse #garden #museumfromhome

View from the Theater into the front children’s bedroom.The bedroom suite is in the cottage style, popular between 1830 ...
05/10/2020

View from the Theater into the front children’s bedroom.

The bedroom suite is in the cottage style, popular between 1830 and 1890 and retains all of its original faux graining and painted decoration; the Whaleys’ 1868 furniture inventory lists a set of cottage furniture. In the corner is the family crib, used by four generations of Whaleys.

Photo by C. Pro.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

"I have possession of the Rail Road Office and have fitted the same up for a Saloon for the accommodation of the Judges,...
05/09/2020

"I have possession of the Rail Road Office and have fitted the same up for a Saloon for the accommodation of the Judges, attorneys and gentlemen attending court which will keep me pretty busy for some time to come. You need not tell this to everybody as I hope soon to get into some other kind of business more suitable for me. I believe however I shall make more money by what I am at present engaged in than Storekeeping. I shall move my goods into the back office.”—Letter from Thomas Whaley to his wife Anna who was in San Francisco at the time, October 7, 1870.

The Rail Road Office he mentions is the General Store space, which like most rooms in the Whaley House had many uses over the years. At the time, a wall with a door separated this space into two smaller rooms; the “back office” was between the General Store and the Dining Room.

Pictured in Whaley’s Liquor License. Whaley House Collection.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

“This Fall I found myself involved with a questionable character who was supposed to have been hanged in Old Town in 185...
05/08/2020

“This Fall I found myself involved with a questionable character who was supposed to have been hanged in Old Town in 1852, one hundred and thirteen years ago—’Yankee Jim’ Robinson. I had been asked to write a play about him to be produced by the Theatre Arts Guild of San Diego City College at the Whaley House this Spring. The Whaley House is, of course, the restored ‘first American house’ to be built in Old San Diego.”—Frances Bardacke, January, 1966.

Bardacke’s play, the script cover of which is pictured here, was eventually staged June-July 1966 in the Whaley House courtroom and yard. Whaley House Collection.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

Mr. Whaley has become quite curmudgeonly during quarantine, shouting “Stay off my lawn!” to anyone who dares come near. ...
05/07/2020

Mr. Whaley has become quite curmudgeonly during quarantine, shouting “Stay off my lawn!” to anyone who dares come near. On the bright side, the lawn has never looked better. (And yes, that is our cardboard cutout used for selfies and not one of the real ghosts.)
Photos by C. Pro and D. Glass.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

A note of farewell in Violet Whaley’s hand in her sister Lillian's autograph book, written just days before her wedding ...
05/06/2020

A note of farewell in Violet Whaley’s hand in her sister Lillian's autograph book, written just days before her wedding to George Bertolacci, reads:

To Lillie,
‘Remember me for I leave thee behind;
My heart is warmly bound to thee,
Close as the tenderest links can bind -
A heart as warm as hearts can be."
Your loving sister
Violet,
San Diego
Jan. 2nd 1882.

Also pictured is the illustration on the facing page of Lillian’s autograph book. This book is displayed in the Whaley House.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

Lillian Whaley attending Old Town San Diego’s Cinco de Mayo celebration in 1938, where she won the prize for "Oldest Nat...
05/05/2020

Lillian Whaley attending Old Town San Diego’s Cinco de Mayo celebration in 1938, where she won the prize for "Oldest Native American Daughter." Whaley House Collection.

According to some sources, 1938 was also the year the margarita was first created.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

The historic Derby-Pendleton House, prior to restoration in 1937—the same year George Derby biographer George R. Stewart...
05/04/2020

The historic Derby-Pendleton House, prior to restoration in 1937—the same year George Derby biographer George R. Stewart wrote: “...photographs show an atrocious square pine box.”

It stood for 111 years at 3877 Harney Street before being relocated to its current location at 4015 Harney Street in 1962.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

Like puzzles? Check out our official online collection of timed puzzles of the Whaley House. See how fast you can master...
05/03/2020
Online Jigsaw Puzzles

Like puzzles? Check out our official online collection of timed puzzles of the Whaley House. See how fast you can master each one!
With a variety of difficulty levels, they can be enjoyed by all ages.

Just click each puzzle to start.
http://whaleyhouse.org/jigsawpuzzles.htm

#WhaleyHouseMuseum #SOHOsd

The origins of jigsaw puzzles go back to the 1760s when European mapmakers pasted maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces. The dissected map has been a successful educational toy ever since. Since then, children's puzzles have moved from lessons to entertainment, showing diverse subjects like....

“The cat’s eyes, yellow and flaming...”—Lillian Whaley, undated.While we aren’t sure if this is a stray or the phantom o...
05/03/2020

“The cat’s eyes, yellow and flaming...”—Lillian Whaley, undated.

While we aren’t sure if this is a stray or the phantom of a one-time Whaley family pet, it seems to be crossing our path a lot lately.

Photo by C. Pro.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

The apparition of Mr. Whaley has reportedly appeared on the upper landing to numerous people over the years. Paranormal ...
05/02/2020

The apparition of Mr. Whaley has reportedly appeared on the upper landing to numerous people over the years.

Paranormal investigator Dr. Hans Holzer recounted in his 1968 book Ghosts of the Golden West that a museum docent described the specter as “clad in frock coat and pantaloons... He did not move. I saw him clearly, then turned my head for a second... and when I looked again, he had disappeared.”

Photo by D. Glass. Even the Thomas Whaley cardboard cutout for selfies is missing you!

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

Alexandra Holzer is a second-generation ghost hunter, author, and intuitive investigator. Her first visit to the Whaley ...
05/01/2020

Alexandra Holzer is a second-generation ghost hunter, author, and intuitive investigator. Her first visit to the Whaley House included an investigation conducted as the basis for an article in the October 14, 2019 issue of TV Guide magazine promoting the Travel Channel’s The Holzer Files.

Here Alexandra stands on the exact spot where her father, Dr. Hans Holzer was filmed hypnotizing psychic Sybil Leek more than 50 years earlier.

Photo courtesy Alexandra Holzer.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

This San Diego Union photo shoot featured models in the latest dress styles for 1968 posing at both the Whaley House and...
04/30/2020

This San Diego Union photo shoot featured models in the latest dress styles for 1968 posing at both the Whaley House and the Derby-Pendleton House, which was a museum at the time. The crepe cocktail dress is light years away from any garment Mrs. Whaley would have worn—”Please don’t lean the furniture, Lady.”—, while the other model can’t keep her hands off an antique stereoscope. What is it with these models not following museum rules?

A predecessor of the View-Master, stereoscopes were a popular entertainment in the nineteenth centure; this style of hand-held stereoscope was designed in 1861 by Oliver Wendel Holmes. Whaley House Collection.

#WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted

The Whaleys were no strangers to pandemics. Lillian, Thomas and Anna Whaley's youngest child, chronicled in her journals...
04/29/2020

The Whaleys were no strangers to pandemics. Lillian, Thomas and Anna Whaley's youngest child, chronicled in her journals of what was happening during the Influenza Pandemic of 1918.

January 13, 1919
“The influenza died out in San Diego I believe, because of the universal wearing of the face mask. It seems to be taking a small start again, if it does, masks will again be in order. They are neither comfortable nor ornamental but if they serve the purpose, and kill out the awful disease which they seem to have done, I am for them...so many young women about to become mothers or whose babies have only just arrived have died of the flu. The double strain proves too much for them. One little Old Town girl, Elizabeth O’Neil, only 16 died in that way..It is a fearsome, gruesome thing - keeps you guessing.”

Image from The San Diego Union-Tribune. #wbw #WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted #WaybackWednesday

From the San Diego Sun, February 21, 1883. #WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted
04/28/2020

From the San Diego Sun, February 21, 1883. #WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted

“My Dear Papa... I cannot make out that mule puzzle... From your dear child, Violet Whaley,"  San Diego, September 1873....
04/27/2020

“My Dear Papa
... I cannot make out that mule puzzle...
From your dear child,
Violet Whaley,"
San Diego, September 1873.
#WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted

The Golden Era, a literary publication that relocated from San Francisco to San Diego in 1887, profiled Thomas Whaley as...
04/25/2020

The Golden Era, a literary publication that relocated from San Francisco to San Diego in 1887, profiled Thomas Whaley as one of “the builders of the West” in its February 1891 issue. Anna Whaley purchased 50 copies for $12.00, one of which is currently displayed in the Whaley House study. The front cover is pictured here, along with an announcement from the March 5, 1891, edition of The San Diego Union, and the bill of sale for Anna’s purchase, dated December 1891. Whaley House Collection.

#WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted

The Verna House, seen here in its original location at 319 W. Ash Street prior to its move to Old Town in 1965, is one o...
04/24/2020

The Verna House, seen here in its original location at 319 W. Ash Street prior to its move to Old Town in 1965, is one of the few remaining examples from the nineteenth century of the French Mansard style of architecture in San Diego.

Restored to its original 1870s appearance in 2004 and now home to the Whaley House Museum Shop, the house is named for its original owners, Cesare and Maddalena Verna. Photo Courtesy Mike Reading.

#WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted

If you’ve been to the Whaley House recently, you might have noticed the new ornate hall tree in the main hallway. One of...
04/23/2020

If you’ve been to the Whaley House recently, you might have noticed the new ornate hall tree in the main hallway. One of the most recent additions, made of Walnut, it is in the Gothic Revival style and dates to the 1870s.

Hall trees offer a space to leave your umbrella or walking stick, coat, hat, and other outdoor accessories. There would often be a calling card dish here to receive guests. The base of our tree has two cast iron drip pans, that would catch the water coming off of your umbrella after a rainy outing. Hall trees also acted as a signifier of wealth if constructed with high-quality materials and in intricate designs such as this piece, making them an important first item to encounter when entering a home.
Photo by C. Pro.

#MuseumFromHome #WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted

The Whaleys were no strangers to pandemics. Lillian, Thomas and Anna Whaley's youngest child, chronicled in her journals...
04/22/2020

The Whaleys were no strangers to pandemics. Lillian, Thomas and Anna Whaley's youngest child, chronicled in her journals of what was happening during the Influenza Pandemic of 1918.

Sunday, November 10, 1918
“All day long motor trucks and autos of all descriptions are going back and forth to Camp Kearny, bringing scads of soldiers. The quarantine is off for them today. All wear masks.”

Image from #SDUT. #wbw #WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted #WaybackWednesday

“Uniforms were adopted for the first time by San Bernardino Fire Department personnel in 1879. The men with ’PE1’ on the...
04/22/2020

“Uniforms were adopted for the first time by San Bernardino Fire Department personnel in 1879. The men with ’PE1’ on their shirts are members of Pioneer Engine Company #1, while those with ‘PH1’ on their shirts are members of Pioneer Hose Company #1.”—Steven Shaw in his book San Bernardino Fire Department.

John Whaley, seated on the extreme right, was Thomas Whaley’s nephew. He married his first cousin Anna Amelia Whaley in 1882, and was the father of Mabel and Bruce Whaley. Whaley House Collection.

#whaleyhouse #museumfromhome

Happy National Volunteer Appreciation Week. We miss our wonderful group of Whaley House and Adobe Chapel docents during ...
04/22/2020

Happy National Volunteer Appreciation Week. We miss our wonderful group of Whaley House and Adobe Chapel docents during this extraordinary time, but we know you are sheltering in place as you should be!

We appreciate every hour that you donate and we know we can’t do what we do without you! MIss you!

#VolunteerAppreciationWeek2020

Old Town San Diego! Buildings pictured here include the 1850 Adobe Chapel -which SOHO manages,c 1870s when clad in wood ...
04/21/2020

Old Town San Diego! Buildings pictured here include the 1850 Adobe Chapel -which SOHO manages,c 1870s when clad in wood siding, the Whaley House, the foundation of the Immaculate Conception Church (completed in 1919), and the c.1820’s Casa de Aguirre.

Taken between 1910, when exterior renovations to the Whaley House were completed, and 1919 when the Los Angeles & San Di...
04/21/2020

Taken between 1910, when exterior renovations to the Whaley House were completed, and 1919 when the Los Angeles & San Diego Beach Railway dismantled their tracks, this photo erroneously claims the Old Whaley House was built in 1854 in Monterey rather than San Diego in 1856-57. But is a great image nonetheless
!#WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted

The Whaley House courtroom, as any official courtroom, follows a traditional layout that is structured by railings orien...
04/20/2020

The Whaley House courtroom, as any official courtroom, follows a traditional layout that is structured by railings oriented at certain places throughout the room.

These particular decorative and curved railings were originally located in the 1871 Downtown San Diego courthouse and later installed in Whaley House in 1959. The railing running almost the entire width of the room functions as a barrier between the public gallery and the officials, with two entrances on either side. The second important railing in the room is the one that surrounds the jury box, signifying jury members’ specialized spot within a courtroom setting. Immediately to the left of the jury box railing sits the witness stand, followed by the judge’s bench, a small clerk table right in front of that, and a large rectangular bar table for the counsel—each piece essential to the function of a courtroom proceeding.

The Whaley House continues to honor the history of this space by hosting the monthly Old Town Community Planning Group meetings, continuing to fill the courtroom with important dialogue, debate, and business.

Photo by M. Kcrelich. #MuseumMonday #MuseumFromHome #WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted

👍 Right back at ya kid! Right back at ya. Thanks IG user @lornadoom_ for sharing.Do you have a great fan pic at the #Wha...
04/19/2020

👍 Right back at ya kid! Right back at ya. Thanks IG user @lornadoom_ for sharing.

Do you have a great fan pic at the #WhaleyHouseMuseum? Tag us or use #WhaleyHouse and your photo may crossover on to all our social media platforms. #AmericasMostHaunted #GotGhosts

Stewart P. McMullen, San Diego Chief of Police from 1917-1919, was a crusader against prostitution and found himself at ...
04/18/2020

Stewart P. McMullen, San Diego Chief of Police from 1917-1919, was a crusader against prostitution and found himself at odds with Mayor Louis Wilde when he expressed his desire to close down all the brothels in town. Mayor Wilde, concerned about the loss of revenue from sailors on shore leave, wanted them kept open and upon his re-election, McMullen submitted his resignation.

When Lillian Whaley received this letter from Chief McMullen in 1918, she was living in the Old Town residence, and her house at 933 State Street was a rental. (The San Diego City & County Directory for 1918 indicates that a Mrs. Elizabeth Dunlap was residing there.) While Lillian saved this letter and it is now in the Whaley House archives, she made no mention of the situation or its outcome in her journal. The irony of being addressed as “Madam” in this missive would not have been lost on poor Lillian.

Whaley House Collection. #WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted

The Derby-Pendleton House was in desperate need of some TLC when this photo of the adobe section was taken in 1937. Fort...
04/17/2020

The Derby-Pendleton House was in desperate need of some TLC when this photo of the adobe section was taken in 1937. Fortunately, businessman, philanthropist and historic preservationist, E. T. (Ned) Guymon, Jr. came to the rescue, purchasing the historic structure and undertaking an extensive restoration.
Today the Derby-Pendleton serves as the offices of SOHO.

Photo courtesy Save Our Heritage Organisation.
For more information on the Derby-Pendleton House, see:
http://www.sohosandiego.org/reflections/2005-3/derby.htm
#WhaleyHouse #WhaleyHouseMuseum #GotGhosts #AmericasMostHaunted

Address

2476 San Diego Ave
San Diego, CA
92110

By 5 South: Exit (Left to) Old Town Ave, Left on San Diego Ave. Corner of San Diego Ave & Harney St. By 5 North: Exit (Right to) Old Town Ave, Left on San Diego Ave. Corner of San Diego Ave & Harney St. By 8 West: Exit (Left to) Taylor St., Right on Taylor St., Left on Juan St., Right on San Diego Ave. Corner of San Diego Ave & Harney St. By Trolley MTS: Disembark Old Town Transit Center, Proceed through Old Town State walk south towards San Diego Ave. Corner of San Diego Ave & Harney St. For bus schedule & directions go: www.sdmts.com For Trolley Tours (SD) schedule go: www.trolleytours.com

Opening Hours

Monday 18:00 - 21:30
Monday 10:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 18:00 - 21:30
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 18:00 - 21:30
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 18:00 - 21:30
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 18:00 - 21:30
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 21:30
Sunday 18:00 - 21:30
Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(619) 297-7511

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Comments

Loving these photos I have captured last year in I believe October 2019
So many fond memories of of the Whaley House...
Some photography of mine of this historical gem Visited this past January and Always have a blast in Old town.
A big thank you to The Whaley House & Marson House Museums for supporting the recent fundraiser for Assistance League of Greater San Diego. Your donation to our silent auction helped make our event a wonderful success.
Hi! Does anybody have a good photo of the spirit doggo that hangs out under the kitchen table? I heard that some people have gotten some good photos. I’d love to see! 👻 🐶
Awesome experience!!!
Whaley House
Taken on 10/26/2019, weird face peering in from behind the curtain and being cast as a shadow on the wall...
Very nice experience we had and we will definitely come back
I am so happy to be recognized as a top fan thank you 👻👻👻💗💗🖤🖤🖤
I took these pictures while visiting the Whaley house.. first picture with flash on .. others with no flash. Look in the right corner..
Pictures taken back to back.....one distorted and the other 2 are not. This was during our trip March 2018. Lots of experiences while there and we plan on being back next summer😊👻