My mother had a friend in town for her birthday and we decided to go on a few adventures. And one of them was at the Whaley House Museum in Old Town, San Diego. The second I walked in I could feel the intensity of how much energy was there. It was calming though I must say. Nothing felt bad or out of the ordinary. The entire house is set up for pure preservation, so most of the rooms you couldn't walk into because they had a glass barricade to protect its current state. The host of the house was an older woman in an old fashioned dress with a corset that she made herself. She had a cameo broach on her collar and carried herself so elegantly as she wrapped herself up in a beautiful black velvet and lace shawl. We had a very strong connection to this woman and almost spoke with her the entire time we were there. I was showing her the pictures as I was taking some of them and she was blown away at the detail and clarity of the photos that she asked me to send the photos to them to use. I said DUH! I felt like I was in my element and in a familiar era. I related to everything in that entire house on a weird, metaphysical level. Like I was there in another lifetime.
History of the House
Thomas Whaley came to California in 1849 during the Gold Rush. He purchased this property in September 1855, which had been the site of the hanging of the infamous Yankee Jim Robinson in August of 1852. The adjacent two-story $10,000 Greek Revival style brick residence, designed by Whaley, commenced construction in September 1856 and was finished in 1857. The home, acclaimed as the "finest new brick block in Southern California" by the San Diego Herald, contained mahogany and rosewood furniture, damask drapes, and Brussels carpets. By 1858, Thomas and Anna Whaley had produced three children: Francis Hinton (named for a business partner), Thomas (who died at just 18 months), and Anna Amelia. In August 1858, another arson-set fire destroyed Whaley's business on the Plaza. Despondent over this loss and the death of Thomas earlier that year, the family moved to San Francisco. In San Francisco, Whaley worked as an U.S. Army Commissary Storekeeper. Three more children, George Hays Ringgold (named for a business partner), Violet Eloise, and Corinne Lillian, were born. After a major earthquake in May 1868, the Whaley couple and their five children returned to the brick house in San Diego, out of which Whaley & Crosthwaite ran a general store. From October 1868 to January 1869, the Tanner Troupe Theatre operated out of the front upstairs bedroom. The San Diego County Courthouse utilized the former granary in August 1869 and rented three upstairs rooms for records storage. On January 5, 1882, Violet Whaley and Anna Amelia Whaley married in Old San Diego, probably in this house. Anna married her first cousin, John T. Whaley, and Violet wed George T. Bertolacci, which proved unbearable. After a divorce, which caused Violet tremendous humiliation in 1884 and a period of great depression monitored by the local physician, she committed suicide at the home by shooting herself through the heart on August 18, 1885. Anna, Thomas' widow, Lillian (Corinne), then assistant at the Public Library, Francis, and George, a musician, all lived in the old dwelling in 1912. On February 24, 1913, Anna died in the house. Francis passed away in the home on November 19, 1914. Lillian continued residency in the structure until her death in 1953. Because she had spent the better part of the first half of the twentieth century in the house alone, it had fallen once again into a terrible state of disrepair.
The house became a museum in 1960 and has been open to the public for research and intrigue ever since. It is now a historical landmark and a place where psychic mediums & ghost hunting teams go to investigate to try and make contact with what people say are the spirits of the Whaley family.
If you'd like to visit the Whaley House Museum, you'll find the address and map of its surroundings to the right here! Enjoy the grace of its surroundings and embrace the energy. Its really an amazing experience. Let me know how it goes if you end up going!
XO - Chey