Thomas Whaley

Last updated
Thomas Whaley
Thomas Whaley.jpg
Born(1823-10-05)October 5, 1823
DiedDecember 14, 1890(1890-12-14) (aged 67)
San Diego, California, US
Resting place Mount Hope Cemetery, San Diego

Thomas Whaley (October 5, 1823 December 14, 1890) was an early settler of San Diego, California. The residence he built there in 1857 is now a public museum called Whaley House.



Whaley was born in Manhattan, New York City, 1823 to Thomas Alexander Whaley Sr. and Rachel Pye. His father died in 1832 and his will said Thomas should receive a liberal education.

Whaley left for California during the California Gold Rush, and ending up working in San Francisco stores. This became successful, but was lost after an arson fire in 1851. He was advised to go to San Diego, so he and Lewis Franklin sailed there in 1851 and opened a store called Tienda California. He studied Spanish so he could sell to the Kumeyaay native people. The next year Franklin sold out to Whaley, and Whaley had a succession of other partners.

Whaley married Anna Eloise DeLaunay in 1853 in New York. She was born March 31, 1832, in New York City to a French family. They had six children, including Anna Amelia, George Hay Ringgold, Violet Eloise, and Corinne Lillian.

Whaley was appointed President for the San Diego city Board of Trustees (informally called "Mayor") during 18581859. Whaley was a Whig, though the position was officially non-partisan. [1]

In 1857, Thomas Whaley built a house in San Diego, in the area now referred to as Old Town. It was the first brick house in San Diego. The bricks were made at Whaley's kiln in Old Town, and the walls were finished with plaster made from ground seashells. The one-story wing served as the county courthouse during 18691870, with upstairs rooms used as San Diego's first commercial theater and meeting rooms for the County Board of Supervisors and record storage. At times, part of the downstairs was a store. The Whaley Family lived in the home off and on until 1885, when they moved into a new home in New Town (now Downtown) San Diego. The brick house in Old Town is now a museum, Whaley House, at 2482 San Diego Avenue. It is thought by some to be haunted.

Whaley died in Old Town San Diego 1890. His wife Anna died February 24, 1913. They are buried at Mount Hope Cemetery.

According to the Travel Channel's "America's Most Haunted" TV show, the house was featured as the number one most haunted house in the United States.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William L. Marcy</span> American lawyer, politician, and judge (1786–1857)

William Learned Marcy was an American lawyer, politician, and judge who served as U.S. Senator, Governor of New York, U.S. Secretary of War and U.S. Secretary of State. In the latter office, he negotiated the Gadsden Purchase, the last major acquisition of land in the contiguous United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ephraim Morse</span>

Ephraim W. Morse was an early settler of the city of San Diego, and was partially responsible for many of its expansions as a city, such as attracting the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and proposing Balboa Park.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Old Town San Diego State Historic Park</span> United States historic place

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, located in the Old Town neighborhood of San Diego, California, is a state protected historical park in San Diego. It commemorates the early days of the City of San Diego and includes many historic buildings from the period 1820 to 1870. The park was established in 1968. In 2005 and 2006, California State Parks listed Old Town San Diego as the most visited state park in California.

The Boyle-Workman family relates to the pioneer interconnected Boyle and Workman families that were prominent in: the history of colonial Pueblo de Los Angeles and American Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Basin and San Gabriel Valley regions; and Southern California — from 1830 to 1930 in Mexican Alta California and the subsequent state of California.

The Department of the Pacific or Pacific Department was a major command (Department) of the United States Army from 1853 to 1858. It replaced the Pacific Division, and was itself replaced by the Department of California and the Department of Oregon.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James W. Robinson (Texas and California)</span> American politician

James W. Robinson was a politician in what became the U.S. states of Texas and California.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philip Crosthwaite</span>

Philip Crosthwaite was an early settler of San Diego, California, and Rosarito, Baja California.

Henry Hurst Whaley early settler of San Diego.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rancho Petaluma Adobe</span> Historic house in California, United States

Rancho Petaluma Adobe is a historic ranch house in Sonoma County, California. It was built from adobe bricks in 1836 by order of Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. It was the largest privately owned adobe structure built in California and is the largest example of the Monterey Colonial style of architecture in the United States. A section of the former ranch has been preserved by the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park and it is both a California Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. The Rancho Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park is located on Adobe Road on the east side of the present-day town of Petaluma, California.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Old Town, San Diego</span> Community in San Diego, California

Mount Hope Cemetery is a municipal cemetery located at 3751 Market Street, San Diego, California, and gives its name to the neighborhood of Mount Hope. The cemetery is adjacent to Greenwood Memorial Park.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philip Pearsall Carpenter</span> English minister, malacologist and conchologist

Philip Pearsall Carpenter was an English minister who emigrated to Canada, where his field work as a malacologist or conchologist is still well regarded today. A man of many talents, he wrote, published, taught, and was a volunteer explaining the growing study of shells in North America.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gibson Mansion</span> Historic house in California, United States

The Gibson House is a historic house that now serves as a museum in Woodland, California. It exemplifies several architectural styles, including Georgian Revival, Italianate and Neoclassical. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Whaley House (San Diego, California)</span> Residence, landmark, and museum in Old Town, San Diego, California, US

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Benjamin Ignatius Hayes</span> American lawyer

Benjamin Hayes, or Benjamin Ignatius Hayes, (1815–1877) was an American pioneer who was the first judge of the district court that served Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino counties in California. His seminal rulings are still cited in that state's courts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Department of California</span> Administrative department of the US Army

The Department of California was an administrative department of the United States Army. The Department was created in 1858, replacing the original Department of the Pacific, and it was ended by the reorganizations of the Henry L. Stimson Plan implemented in February 1913. As with the preceding organization, headquarters were in San Francisco. Its creation was authorized by General Orders, No. 10, of the War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, September 13, 1858.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Save Our Heritage Organisation</span> Landmark preservation organization based in California

Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) is a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation of the historic architecture and landmarks around the San Diego, California area. Founded in 1969, Save Our Heritage Organisation maintains several historic buildings including the Whaley House and the George W. Marston House. They are directly partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Samuel May House</span> Historic house in Kentucky, United States

The Samuel May House is a Federal style residence located at 690 North Lake Drive in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. It built in 1817 by Samuel May, a Kentucky state representative (1832–1834) and a Kentucky state senator (1835–1838) from Floyd County. It now serves as the Samuel May House Living History Museum. Relatives still living include Jack May, Vince May, Treasa May, Kim May, Eric May, Kevin May, Tonia May, Lisa May.

The following are reportedly haunted locations in California, in the United States. This list is sorted by county.


  1. "Whaley Family Chronology". Whaley House Museum. Archived from the original on April 23, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2013.