Lost History

Charles Hatfield: The Rainmaker

Lost History It sounds like something straight out of a movie and in a sense it is: a man who could make it rain by mixing and burning various chemicals into the air.  His recipe was top-secret, only known by him and he took it to the grave.  This man was named Charles Hatfield and his story of being a […]

Heaven’s Gate Suicide Cult

This article is part of our Lost History section where we cover significant sites in San Diego in which all physical evidence has been erased.  There are a handful of rumored cults in San Diego, some with legends that date back many decades. I find this topic to be fascinating and have actually taken it upon myself to visit a few […]

Alpine Mud Huts

Status: Destroyed I was fortunate enough to visit the mud huts back in 2015 before they were destroyed.  At the time, the owner Joseph “Isseppi” Diliberti, was battling the county over fire prevention citations which he couldn’t afford. Places like this are so far and few in between–especially in San Diego.  The mud huts were not just an architectural work of art, they […]

Mission Cliffs Garden

In 1890, the city built a trolley railway going through University Heights. Once the railway was up and running, John D. Spreckles anticipated ways to encourage people to use it.  One of his incentives was to build a 5 acre botanical garden, free to all ticket-holding passengers.  The garden was built on the far west end of Adams ave & […]

Spalding Park

Since our original posting of the Rum Runners Cave there have been a number of comments seeking to prove it was a Prohibition-era booze smuggling center and others refuting that claim.  While it may never be known exactly what went on here during those years, the truth appears to be that what remains here are remnants of an amazing construction project undertaken […]

Crash of PSA Flight 182

Article by David Johnson The mid-air collision of a small private plane and a Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) jetliner in the skies above North Park September morning in 1978 shattered San Diego like no single incident has before or since. Wars, terrorist attacks and political assassinations have had a far greater impact on the country as a whole, but this […]

Villa Surf

Article by Allison Garton: It’s been six months since I watched a sunset from what remains of the Library at Villa Surf. In that time, I’ve moved 500 miles, taken a new job, purchased a house… and I often think of that special house and the magic it holds for me. I had the great fortune of spending a few […]

Cara Knott Murder & Memorial Garden

Article, Photos & Research by David Johnson: The Cara Knott Murder and the San Diego Crime Victims Oak Garden The 1986 murder of twenty year-old Cara Knott by California Highway Patrol Office Craig Peyer was a case that shook the San Diego region like an earthquake. It frightened women young and old, it horrified parents who wanted to believe their […]

The Grave of Kathy Fiscus

Article by David Johnson: It had all of the elements of an unspeakably wrenching tragedy. An adorable three year old girl fell into a dry, abandoned well in a Los Angeles suburb and despite the heroic efforts of an army of frantic volunteers, died in the well medium of television, and for three awful days it captivated much of the […]

Scripps’ Castle

Until the late 80’s, Scripps Ranch was considered nothing more than an out-of-the-way town with very little use or purpose. Before the suburban boom, Scripps Ranch was originally a 400 acre ranch owned by E.W. Scripps whom later expanded it to 1,200 acres. Edward Scripps was was an American newspaper publisher and founder of The E. W. Scripps Company.   […]


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