The stories and history of San Diego

Old Town Dots: About San Diego

Small dots can be found on the sidewalk or in the street along San Diego Avenue

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Picture a busy sidewalk in Old Town San Diego with lots of people walking or seeing the sights. 

    Most of them don’t know what’s right under their feet.

    Old Town Dots

    [DGO] Old Town Dots
    A little known fact "About San Diego". Small dots on a street in Old Town tell a surprising story!

    Unless you have a really sharp eye, you would likely miss this little-known fact About San Diego.

    Small dots can be found on the sidewalk or in the street along San Diego Avenue.

    If you think about it and look around, the dots make a little more sense.

    Just past the sidewalk, over the wall, is an old San Diego graveyard called The Holy Field or “El Campo Santo.”

    The cemetery dates back to 1849 and some of the earliest San Diego residents are buried there.

    One gravestone marks the resting place for Thomas Wrightington, who supposedly fell off a horse and died in El Cajon in 1853.

    There’s also Edward Greene who came to San Diego from Calavaras County for his health only to die a few months later in 1873.

    The graveyard used to be bigger. Before cars and tourists came, it stretched out to areas that are now covered by cars and black top.

    Almost a century and a half later in the 1990s, using ground-penetrating radar, scientists found the graves of maybe 20 men, women and children under the busiest parts of Old town and they marked the spots with little dots.

    So the next time you’re walking in the 2400-block of San Diego Avenue, you may look for them.

    Time has lost track of exactly who they were and how they died but they rest in peace beneath tiny markers barely noticed by people today.