Last week I had the opportunity to go to San Diego to judge a UIL journalism contest. During some free time, I drove around town and ran across this building which is undergoing renovations. For sometime I have been under the assumption that this was the first courthouse of Duval County, but frankly I do not recall how I formed that opinion.
On December 11, 1876 the newly elected commissioners court appointed Precinct 1 Commissioner Frank R. Gravis as a committee of one to work with N. G. Collins to approach Manuel Ancira of San Diego to rent his building to use for a courthouse for 12 months. I’m not sure where this building was located.
In an 1885 Sanborn Fire Map of San Diego, the building pictured above is located next to a Grocery, dry goods and hardware store and warehouse on the corner of Victoria and Theodore. As a boy I remember that Toribio Guerra had a small store down the street on Theodore. I wonder if the warehouse was owned Guerra, who in 1884 built a large two-story stone dwelling, which may be the building above.
If anyone has any information on this building, it would be greatly appreciated. I would like to either confirm or disprove that this was the original courthouse.