Whaley House Museum - California State Historic Landmark #65
Over 100,000 people visit the Whaley House annually, with guests traveling from across the globe to experience this world-renowned museum. The Whaley House stands today as a classic example of mid-nineteenth century Greek Revival architecture, designed by Thomas Whaley himself and constructed in 1857. It was the first two-story brick edifice in San Diego, and was built from bricks made in Thomas Whaley's own brickyard. Few houses in San Diego are as historically important as the Whaley House. In addition to being the Whaley Family home, it housed a granary, the County Court House, San Diego's first commercial theater, various businesses including Thomas Whaley's own general store, a ballroom, a billiard hall, school, and polling place.
Significant events, such as the seizure of the court documents and records in 1871, and the suicide of Violet Whaley in 1885 profoundly affected Thomas and Anna Whaley. These events, as well as the hangings which occurred on the property before the house was constructed, have suffused the Whaley House with an air of mystery.
According to the Travel Channel's America's Most Haunted, the house is the number one most haunted house in the United States. The alleged hauntings of the Whaley House have been reported on numerous other television programs and been written up in countless publications and books since the house first opened as a museum in 1960. Although we cannot state positively that the Whaley House is really haunted, the voluminous documentation of paranormal occurences at the site makes a compelling case.
Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) manages and operates the Whaley House for the county of San Diego. SOHO, a non-profit advocacy organization, has led the community as a powerful catalyst for historic preservation by raising awareness and appreciation of our region's architectural and cultural heritage since 1969.