William Heath Davis House Museum
410 Island Avenue
| +1 619-233-4692
Sun 12pm - 4pm
Tue - Sat 10am - 5pm
Gaslamp District Historical Museum in San DiegoThe William Heath Davis House, located in the Gaslamp, is also home to the Gaslamp Historical Society. This is the oldest standing structure in the Gaslamp. This house was actually built on the East coast and brought over to San Diego in 1850.
The museum entrance is found in the basement of the house, along with a little store—and that's where the self-guided tour begins. Each room contains items from the 1850s that you would find in the home of someone who was wealthy. The neat thing about this museum is that nothing is roped off—you can walk up and examine all the items up close. Walking around, you can really get a sense of another period in time.
Attached to the property is a cute pocket park with recreated cobblestones from the 19th century and statues of two dogs. One is of Bum, a dog who stowed away on a steamship from San Francisco in 1886 and became San Diego's official town pet. The little dog next to him is of Bobby, the terrier in Edinburgh, Scotland (San Diego's sister city) who became famous over there for holding vigil at his owner's grave for 14 years. In Edinburgh, there is a statue of Bum next to one of Bobby.
The Historical Society hosts a guided walking tour of the Gaslamp district every Saturday morning at 10 a.m., or you can purchase a map for $2 for a self0guided tour. It's interesting to realize that there is so much history in this part of San Diego, and that many of the original buildings still stand.