Historical Markers in
San Diego County, California

1906 Old Town Convent A San Diego Milestone Ace Roller Coaster Landmark Adobe Chapel of The Immaculate Conception Adobe Construction Agua Hedionda Lagoon Alligator Marines Amaziah Lord Knox An Incident of the Mexican War Andrew Jackson Myers Army Radio Station Army Radio Station Babcock Court Bailey House Balboa Park Balboa Theatre Baldwin Locomotive No. 3 Ballast Point Whaling Station Site Bancroft Ranch House Basilone Road Birthplace of Naval Aviation Birthplace of the San Diego Union Boundary Marker Number 258 Box Canyon Boys of '45 Bridle-Arrest "Horns" Broker's Building, 1889 Buckman Springs Bum - San Diego’s Official Town Dog / Greyfriars Bobby Buque Escuela Juan Sebastian de Elcano Butterfield Overland Mail Route C-2A Greyhound Cabrillo Landing Cabrillo’s Ships California Quadrangle Callan Hotel 1878 Camp Wright Campo Stone Store Capt. John A. Frazier Carey-Hizar House Carlin House - 1939 Carlsbad by the Sea Retirement Community Carlsbad Santa Fe Depot Carlsbad's First Firehouse Carriage Works, 1890 Carrothers Court Casa de Carrillo Casa de Lopez Casa de Pedrorena de Altamirano Casa de Thomas Addition, 1930 Centennial Park Charles I.D. Looff Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Assoc., 1911 Chinese Fishing and Shipbuilding Site Chinese Laundry, 1923 Chinese Mission Building, 1927 Christmas Tree City of Poway Veterans Park Clifton A. F. Sprague, Vice Admiral, USN Command Center, Building 200 Community Church of Poway Coronado Ferryboat Terminal Coronado Rotary Club Christmas Tree Cotheret Building, 1903 Daley Ranch David Charles Collier De Luca House De Luca Store Dearborn Memorial Park Derby Dike Derby Dike Descanso Town Hall Development of CDMA for Cellular Communications DJ Ranch Formerly: Kent Farm Don Antonio Aguirre Downtown San Diego Dragon Tree Dutch Flats Airport El Camino Real El Camino Real Bell El Camino Real Bell El Campo Santo (The Holy Field) El Desembarcadero Ellen Browning Scripps Estudillo House F.L. Blanc Rental F.L. Blanc Warehouse Father Antonio Ubach Ferryboat "Berkeley" First Bank Building - 1911 First Firehouse Site - 1892 First Holy Mass Celebrated in California First Military Flying School First Raising of U.S. Flag First San Diego Courthouse Flint Farm Forster City Fort Guijarros Site Fort Rosecrans Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery Fort Stockton Frary House Fray Junipero Serra Frey Block, 1911 George Hill Building, 1897 George White Marston Gun Platform No. 1 - 1945 Gun Platform No. 2 - 1945 Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone H-46 40 Years of Service Harbor and City Harbor Lights Hatfield – The Rainmaker Heritage Hall Historic El Cajon Hall Honoring Black Pioneers of Julian Horton Grand - Kahle Saddlery – 1886 Hoskings Rental Hotel del Coronado Hotel Robinson I.O.O.F. Building, 1882 "Imagine Tent City" In Homage to the Spanish Expedition In Memory of the Heroes of the Battle of San Pasqual In Memory of the Mormon Battalion Inaja Forest Fire Ingram Plaza J.D. & A.B. Spreckels Building J.D. Spreckels House - 1908 Jacoby Building James B. Stockdale João Rodrigues Cabrilho 1542 Johnson-Taylor Adobe Ranch House Juan Bandini Julian Julian Julian / The Eagle Gold Mine Julian Hotel Julian Jail Julian Pioneer Museum Julian Town Hall Junipero Serra Museum Kate Olivia Sessions' Nursery Site KCBQ “Top 40” Personalities Keating Building, 1890 La Asistencia de San Antonio de Pala La Casa de Estudillo La Casa de Rodriguez La Playa Trail La Playa Trail La Punta de los Muertos Labor Temple Building, 1907 Labor Temple Building, 1907 Lakeside Auto Speedway (1907) Landing of Cabríllo Lane Field Ballpark Site Las Flores Adobe Las Flores Asistencia Leo Carrillo Ranch Leonardo Cota and Jose Alipas Lester Hotel, 1906 Levi~Marks Store Little Italy Landmark Sign Lloyd T. Lowrey Plaza Los Puertecitos Lt. George H. Derby Madeleine & Vincent DePhilippis Mann House - 1926 Marston Block, 1881 Mason Street School Mercantile Building, 1894 Mexican Grant Mission Beach Roller Coaster Mission Dam and Flume Mission San Antonio de Pala Mission San Diego de Alcala Mission San Luís Rey de Francia Montgomery Memorial Montijo Building 1881 Moreton Bay Fig Mormon Battalion Mule Hill National City Depot National City Historic Railcar Plaza Naval Aviation Centennial 1911-2011 Nelson House North Chapel, Building 208 Oak Grove Stage Station Ocean Beach Municipal Pier Oceanside Pier Old Ballast Point Lighthouse, San Diego Old City Hall Old Fire Station Number Six Old La Playa Old Point Loma Lighthouse Old Town San Diego Old Town San Diego Olivenhain Meeting Hall Original Foundation Casa de Aguirre Pacifica Hotel, 1910 Palm Spring Panhe: Place by the Water Pedro Fages Trail Peg Leg Smith Pioneer Cemetery Pioneer Warehouse Point Loma Point Loma - The Early Years Point Loma Lighthouse Porter House Post Chapel, Building 213 Produce Market, 1918 Quin Building, 1930 Quong Building, 1913 Ramona Town Hall Rancho Guajome Rancho Santa Fe Relocating the Gazebo Remember Pearl Harbor Retreat Hell! Royal Pie Bakery 1884 Sacred Heart Church - 1920 San Diego Barracks San Diego Bay San Diego Lumber Company Building, 1926 San Diego Presidio Site San Diego State University San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation San Felipe San Gregorio San Pasqual San Pasqual Battlefield Santa Catarina Santa Fe Depot Santa Margarita Ranch Santa Ysabel Asistencia Site Santa Ysabel School Seavey House - 1887 Serra Palm Services of the Mormon Battalion Sheldon Block Ships Bell Simmons Hotel, 1906 Spanish Landing St. James Hotel, 1912 St. Michael's By-the-Sea Episcopal Church Stagecoach Park Star Park Stephen Tyng Mather Sterling Hardware Building, 1887 Surfer's Memorial Sylvester Pattie Templars Hall The 500 Volunteer Soldiers of the Mormon Battalion The Anza Trail The Ballad of P.B. The Bayside Trail The Buel-Town Building 1898 The Campanario The Carlsbad Theatre The Church The Civilian Conservation Corps The Discovery of California The Freedom Tree The Gravedigger of Old Town The Heart and Soul of Lighthouses The Lewis Brick Block The Lincoln Hotel 1913 The Livingston House The Magee House The Mormon Battalion at San Diego The Naked Warrior The New York Hotel, 1887 The Old Presidio Historic Trail The Old Presidio Historic Trail The Oxford The Santa Margarita Ranch House Bell The Stockdale Tribute The Twin Inns Gazebo The Twin Inns Granary The Whaley House The World's First Seaplane Flight Theophile Verlaque House Timkin Building, 1894 Torrey Pines Gliderport Torrey Pines Lodge Tuna Fleet Service, World War II (1941-1945) Twin Inns United States Aircraft Carrier Memorial United We Land US Grant Hotel USS Recruit USS Gambier Bay CVE 73 and Composite Squadron VC-10 USS Hoel * USS S. B. Roberts * USS Johnston USS San Diego Memorial Vallecito Stage Station Vallecito-Butterfield Stage Station Verlaque House (1886) Veterans Memorial Vice Admiral Edward H. Martin Walled Garden Warner Ranch House Washington to Baltimore 1844 Telegraph Message Welcome to Agua Hedionda Wheelbarrow Odometer Survey of 1894 Wilcox Building William Heath Davis House, 1850 Women of the Mormon Battalion Yamada Building, 1869 “Star of India“
The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought a huge influx of people to the state. In just two years, the population of San Francisco grew from 1,000 to 25,000. However, only a small percentage of gold-seekers actually struck it rich, and many ended up in debt or poverty.
San Diego County, located in Southern California, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Kumeyaay, who lived off the land and established a vibrant culture.

In the 16th century, Spanish explorers arrived in the area, led by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who sailed into San Diego Bay in 1542. However, it was not until 1769 that San Diego saw its first permanent European settlement with the establishment of Mission San Diego de Alcalá. The mission, along with others established by the Spanish, played a significant role in Hispanic colonization and Christianization of the native population.

San Diego County became part of Mexico after it gained independence from Spain in 1821. This era led to the development of ranchos, large land grants given to Mexican citizens, which significantly shaped the region's economy and society. However, in 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War, and San Diego County became part of the United States.

The late 19th century brought significant changes to San Diego County, thanks in part to the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885. This opened up new opportunities for trade and commerce, leading to a population boom and economic growth. Additionally, the discovery of gold in Julian in 1869 brought hundreds of fortune seekers to the area, further fueling development.

Today, San Diego County is a thriving metropolitan area with a diverse population and strong ties to its history. It remains a popular destination for tourism, known for its beautiful beaches, mild climate, and cultural attractions, while also being an important center for the military, technology, and biotechnology industries.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of San Diego County, California.

  • 1542 - Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo lands on the coast of what is now San Diego County
  • 1769 - Franciscan friars establish the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the first European settlement in San Diego
  • 1821 - Mexico gains independence from Spain and San Diego becomes part of Mexican territory
  • 1848 - The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War and San Diego becomes part of the United States
  • 1850 - San Diego becomes part of California when it becomes a state
  • 1885 - The Santa Fe Railroad connects San Diego to the rest of the country, leading to economic growth
  • 1915 - The Panama-California Exposition is held in San Diego, highlighting the city's potential as a tourist destination
  • 1919 - The San Diego Zoo is founded, becoming one of the most popular attractions in the county
  • 1942 - The U.S. Navy establishes several military bases in San Diego County during World War II
  • 1957 - The construction of Interstate 5 begins, linking San Diego to Los Angeles and facilitating travel
  • 1970 - The University of California, San Diego is founded, becoming a major educational institution in the county
  • 1984 - The first modern-day Comic-Con International is held in San Diego, becoming one of the largest comic conventions in the world
  • 2004 - Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres baseball team, opens in downtown San Diego