During the land boom of the 1880s, San Diego’s population swelled to over 30,000; yet by 1890 the population had dropped to less than half because of the economic turndown experienced nationally and locally. This recession caused bank failures, lost jobs, and numerous bankruptcies. Even Wyatt Earp left town unable make a living as a saloon owner or to sell his acquired properties.
The First Cabrillo Festival of 1892 was created to counter the economic depression of the 1890’s. In the hope of promoting San Diego by attracting visitors to its shores, the founding fathers decided to produce a festival celebrating the 350th anniversary of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s discovery of San Diego Bay in 1542. Festivities included a staged reenactment of Cabrillo landing on the California shore, races, full dress ball, banquets, literary exercises and a grand parade in the heart of downtown.
Travel back in time by reliving this grand festival and parade through vintage photos, historical newspaper archives, and artifacts.
Admission to The Mary Joralmon Gallery and the exhibit is free.
To view the historical William Heath Davis House, admission is $5.00 or $4.00 for seniors, students and military.