September 2014: Villa Montezuma Museum Phase 2 - roof repair begins!

Phase 1 restoration fixed the collapsed sewer line in May 2013. Phase 2 restoration, funded by a federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), started in April 2014 and will fix the foundation, the roof, and stabilize the chimneys. City Engineering and Platt/Whitelaw Architects will oversee the work. This is wonderful news that the FOVM has worked so hard for over the past eight years. This phase of work is expected to be finished in November 2014. The FOVM is now working to find funding sources for Phase 3 -- repainting the museum exterior.

Thank you to the City of San Diego Engineering and Park & Rec Departments, and to Council member David Alvarez and his staff for caring so much about the museum. Thanks for FOVM members for all you’ve done to support our work to fund, restore, and reopen the museum! Above: the City Team at work!

Museum Location

The Villa is located in the Sherman Heights Historic District of downtown San Diego, CA, at the corner of 20th & K Streets.  The Sherman Heights Historic District is the largest historic district within San Diego; it has almost 400 contributing historic structures.

FOVM Mailing Address

Please do not mail anything to the physical location of the museum. Send any correspondence to the Friends of the Villa Montezuma, inc. (FOVM) to 657 20th Street, San Diego, CA 92102-2810. The fastest way to reach us: send an e-mail to

Mt. Hope Walk Oct. 18
Our walk last year to visit the final resting places of San Diego’s “permanent Victorians” was very popular, so we’re again offering this historic, respectful, City-approved 2+-hour cemetery walk starting at 12:30. NO COST, but donations accepted. Flyer to be posted soon. RSVP required. Join us! 


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Click photo above to read the

Journal of SD History

Journal of San Diego History, Vol. 59, No.3

Thank you to Dr. Molly McClain and Dr. Iris Engstrand for asking us to contribute to the Journal of San Diego History with an article about the Villa Montezuma Museum at 125 years old.  We were pleased to record our long history of support and friendship with the San Diego Historical Society (now San Diego History Center) and we’re grateful to all the FOVM members who contributed to this article. More good things are to come for the Villa Montezuma Museum!  Old photos? Tell us!

Why the “Jesse Shepard/Francis Grierson” House? One man with

two names!

The Villa Montezuma was the home Jesse Shepard, who was also know by his pen name of Francis Grierson. Jesse began a writing career in

San Diego and took the pen name “Francis Grierson,” a name that he used from that point forward in his real life as well as for his metaphysical books. (Note: the English mystery writer Francis D. Grierson, writing mostly from the 1920s to the 1940s, is NOT our Francis Grierson of “Valley of Shadows” fame.)