Where California & San Diego Began
The beginning of California happened after Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, the first European Explorer, representing Spain, sailed into what is now the San Diego Bay in 1542 to find a safe harbor to stay and chart the area. There he met the pleasant and welcoming members of the Kumeyaay Nation and decided to establish a base in the area along the banks of the San Diego River. Later, during the Spanish Invasion of 1769 began the forced removal of the Kumeyaay of their ancestral lands and eventually onto a 500,000 acre reservation in California.
During the invasion period, Father Junipero Serra along with the assistance of Spanish Soldiers built the first permanent Spanish settlement. This marked the beginning of Old Town.
Eventually, Old Town became the spot where the first residents of San Diego made their homes before Horton bought land in what is now the Gaslamp District and started to build a new town in a place almost everyone in the old town considered a waste land. Today, the town is home to nearly 100 restaurants, shops, and historical sights.