Every visit to San Diego has included a walk around Old Town San Diego, which is considered the "birthplace" of California.
It was here in 1769 that Father Junipero Serra came to establish the very first mission in a chain of 21 missions that were to be the cornerstone of California’s colonization.
In 1846, the American flag was raised in the Old Town San Diego Plaza (oldtownsan diego.org).
In 1849, Cave Johnson Couts, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army dragoons, arrived in San Diego, charged with providing protection for the Boundary Commission, which would shortly establish a U.S.-Mexican border from Texas to the Pacific Coast.
Couts soon lost interest in the Colorado House and leased it in 1854. Over the next 12 years, the building was renovated and subdivided to provide office space for the San Diego Herald, a surgeon, jeweler, hairdresser and other businesses.
The building burned in the 1872 fire. Reconstructed in 1992, it now houses the Wells Fargo History Museum.
The Historic San Diego House (below) is now a gourmet coffee and tea shop.
Then in the fall of 1869, the grand opening of The Cosmopolitan Hotel took place. A second level had been added to the adobe structure. The hotel’s main attraction was its grand balcony that wrapped around the second story, where guests to San Diego enjoyed seeing the crowd and activities in the town square below.
In 1928, Cave J. Couts Jr. took over the property and turned the broken-down building into a hotel and restaurant.