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If These Walls Could Talk

October 1, 2012

When last we left our little house it was 1923 and she was getting ready for her first official occupants. Let’s take a step back in time for a moment to 1916 when the lot she was built on was purchased by a Mr. J. W. Toland from Bisbee, Arizona.

It just so happens that one of the developers of the tract this house was built on was a successful businessman from the mining town of Bisbee and it is likely he did a significant amount of marketing in the area to attract folks like Toland to invest in San Diego. Preliminary research on Toland points to his involvement in the mining industry, and a few years after his purchase of the lot in San Diego, it appears he was involved in legal issues related to the famous “Bisbee Deportation” of miners.

It is important to note there was a significant event taking place in San Diego from 1915-1916 that helped to sell San Diego- it was the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park! This exposition not only gave us what turned out to be a landmark for San Diegans and visitors to treasure, but also served as the inspiration for many of the homes built around the park- including the Spanish Colonial Revival style of my house.

When Toland purchased the lot in 1916 it was in the stable economic period between the recession of 1913-1914 and the beginning of World War One in 1917. Unfortunately, the lot would remain empty until the building boom of the 1920’s began . . .

Here are some updated photos of the demolition portion of the project:

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If you are interested in purchasing or selling a home of any vintage, or need help connecting to resources, please contact me, I would love to help you.

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