Boosters of Old Town San Diego
Supporting Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
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We extend our gratitude and acknowledgment to those who have assisted Boosters of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Thank you for the generous donation from Linda Carranza Rawlinson in Honor of Dorien Wayne Carranza



Susan Hector

Boosters of Old Town Board of Directors and Historian, San Diego Chapter DAR


Boosters of Old Town announces that we have received a National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) Historic Preservation Grant. This funding will be used for restoration of the interior walls at Casa de Estudillo. Boosters of Old Town is providing $30,000 and the NSDAR Historic Preservation Grant provides $6,000 for a total project of $36,000. The grant award date was 30 April 2021 and work must be completed within a year.


Funding for this project was made possible through the sponsorship of the San Diego Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The San Diego Chapter is supporting several important projects in Old Town at Casa de Estudillo and Casa Machado y Stewart.


Casa de Estudillo is a National Historic Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The large adobe structure was built in 1827-1829 and was one of the finest homes in Mexican California. It served as the town chapel and school from the 1830s – 1856. Don Jose Antonio Estudillo, builder of the home with his wife Maria Victoria, served as Alcalde of San Diego (1837-39) and was the first San Diego County Assessor (1850). After her husband’s death in 1852, Maria Victoria Estudillo raised a large family, managed several ranches, and was considered the matriarch of San Diego. She was known for her philanthropy and strong ethics.


By the early 20th century, the family had moved away and the adobe home was in disrepair. It was purchased by John Spreckels who hired architect Hazel Wood Waterman to restore the building, thus saving it from destruction. The restoration was completed in 1910.


The NSDAR Historic Preservation Grant project will restore the interior walls in six rooms of the building to repair significant damage to original historic material. The focus of the project is removal of inappropriate wall finishes and repair of multiple holes and cracks. In some wall areas, adobe bricks are exposed. Adobe bricks are sun-dried, not kiln fired, and if left unprotected are subject to rapid deterioration which could result in structural failure.


The first step in wall restoration is removal of latex and/or acrylic paint that was used in past attempts at repair. There are also areas where concrete was put on the walls to arrest decay; this material will also be removed. Latex paint and concrete do not allow the adobe walls to “breathe”, which is detrimental to the survival of the structure. By sealing the walls with impermeable materials such as latex paint and concrete, moisture is trapped within the adobe blocks which causes them to lose integrity and eventually fail.


After removal of inappropriate wall finishes, repairs to the structure will be made. Areas where the adobe blocks are exposed will be stabilized, and new whitewash will be applied in multiple layers to create a smooth white wall which is how the interiors would have looked when the Estudillo family lived in the home.


The park plans to keep the museum open for visitors during the restoration and repairs, with one room closed at a time. This will allow visitors to enjoy the garden and other parts of the home while construction is underway, as well as give them a look at the process involved in the upkeep of the adobe. Docents will explain what is going on to the public, creating a learning environment about restoration of historic adobe homes.

Photo caption:

Example of wall damage and exposed adobe bricks, Maria Victoria Estudillo’s bedroom. Photograph courtesy of Amy Lew



On March 5, 2020, Dr. Susan Hector accepted a donation of $2,000 from Judith Reale, Regent, and Kathleen Winchester, Historian, representing the San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The Daughters provided this funding for the Master Bedroom of Maria Victoria at Casa de Estudillo.

The funds donated by the DAR will be used to buy objects that will enhance and expand the interpretation of Maria Victoria’s life and role as a prominent Californio woman of Old Town San Diego. Amy Lew, Curator, has prepared a detailed list of objects for purchase. Thank you Judith and the Daughters for this important donation!


Boosters of Old Town has a new corporate member, NWB Environmental Services. NWB is a cultural resources management firm that conducts regulatory compliance studies throughout California. Mr. Michael Taylor, President, also made two generous donations to benefit the park. NWB donated $1,000 toward the proposed archaeology exhibit that will interpret artifacts found during scientific investigations of the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Mr. Taylor also donated $300 as a “gift to honor Dr. Susan Hector”, who is one of our board members and a local archaeologist. BOOT welcomes NWB to the family and thanks Mr. Taylor for his generosity.


BOOT Receives COVID-19 Grant from Parks California

Boosters of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (BOOT), the park’s Cooperating Association, applied for and received a grant of $300 from Parks California to address safety issues related to COVID-19. The grant is to support the reopening and safe operations of California State Park visitor centers, bookstores, museums, and gift shops that are operated by Cooperating Associations. BOOT will use the grant funds to purchase signs, hand sanitizer, and barriers for the park store in the Visitor Center, located in the Robinson-Rose building. Parks California is the new statewide nonprofit partner supporting California State Parks.

Thank you,

Parks California!


Thank you to the following businesses for joining Boosters of Old Town and supporting programs in
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.


Thank you to Dixieline Lumber Company for the generous assistance in obtaining the necessary 4x8x96 redwood planks used in the construction of new park benches to honor the memory of Jeanette Marline and Martha Rosenberg.  Providing the redwood and milling at a reduced cost was greatly appreciated. 

                              Todd                                                                                   Chuck
Thanks also to Chuck Ferrell and Bob Jones for their labor in building the new park benches and to Todd Caffo for making the brands and branding the benches.

Many thanks to Lehn Goetz and the staff at Cafe Coyote as they host our monthly Board of Directors meeting and for Lehn's numerous contributions to BOOT in support of park activities.

BOOT volunteer Chuck Ferrell built this new redwood harvest table for Deanna Turton to use in the Stewart Garden.  The table replaces the old termite invested table she and other volunteers previously used to process materials in the garden.  Thank you Chuck!


To all who made Ladies Day a great success: It has always the goal of Ladies Day to create experiences that would capture park visitors’ imagination and provide creative comparisons in the lives of women, then and now. In our high tech world, we think many park visitors really appreciate someone taking the time to talk to them in an interesting and meaningful manner.

Thank you for helping us make that dream come true.

Becky Green and Deanna Turton, Co- Chairs
Joanne England - portrait artist
San Diego Creative Weavers
Misty Ward Gourd and Basketry Guild
Pam Kay - basketry artist
Cindy Sparks - San Diego Herb Club, garden tours
Ursula Ellsworth - Historic Hair dressing
Women's History Museum
Alice White - Lace maker
Heidi Toler - Hat Contest judge
Diane Cavagnaro - Hat Contest judge
Sandra Durbin - Hat Contest judge
Bob Jones - graphics and photographic record
Fiber Arts Guild
Historic Soap Making Guild
Los Californios - Historicmusic
Las Baliadores - Historic dancing
Julia Simms Agency - publicity
Captain Fitch's Mercantile - $25 gift certificate
Cafe Coyote - gift certificates [4- $10each]
Alamo Mexican Cafe - $20 gift certificate
Rockin' Baja Restaurant - $20 gift certificate
Old Town Trolley Tours - 2 comp. tickets
Jeanne Ferrell, Coldstone Creamery - 19 gift certificates and booth participation
Denise Winter - two historic hat kits
Mormon Church - set up and take down crews on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9
Chuck Ross, Fiesta de Reyes - discount food tickets for volunteers and other event support
Cosmopolitan Restaurant - Ladies Tea
Walter Anderson Nursery - $20 gift certificate
Mission Hills Nursery - plants for event plant booth
Write Out Loud - 3 performances at the Ladies Tea
San Diego County Grant - for event enhancement
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park staff
Volunteers of Old Town SD State Historic Park


(C) Boosters of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park 2010
Status 501 (C) (3) ID number 95-3613121
4002 Wallace Street
San Diego, CA 92110