Villa Montezuma Introductory Video by the FOVM and City TV (Click above to see the 9-minute introduction to the museum, created by the FOVM and City TV.)

The Friends of the Villa Montezuma, Inc. (FOVM) is a 501-c-3 organization solely devoted to the magnificent Villa Montezuma, San Diego’s amazing Queen Anne Victorian house museum and cultural center. The Villa is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is owned by the City of San Diego.

Art Exhibit - The HeART & Soul of Ukraine: The Villa is a palace of art, music, and literature. From January 27 through April 2 we’re delighted to showcase a special art event of contemporary Ukrainian and Ukrainian-American artists. There will be art on tapestries from various ethnic groups from Ukraine as well as paintings on canvas. Some art will be for sale. Tour times are on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 1:00, 2:15, and 3:30. Thanks to the show sponsors, admission is only $5 per person (please bring cash). Tours are filling up. Please make your reservation by texting 619-233-8833 with your name, date and desired tour time, and how many people in your group. We’ll confirm or suggest an open tour time.

Click here for the exhibit info.

50 Years as a Museum: In November 1972 the Villa Montezuma Museum opened to the public. On November 12, 2022 we celebrated this milestone achievement and we thanked Senator Ben Hueso for his amazing achievement in securing State funds for our building restoration. We are very grateful.

Thank You Senator Ben Hueso: Thanks to his leadership, the State of California has allocated $5,000,000 for the restoration of the magnificent Villa Montezuma Museum. The funds will go to the owner of the Villa, the City of San Diego. The FOVM looks forward to working with the City to make the Villa’s exterior gorgeous again. Restoration is expected to begin around late spring. See more about the State funding here.

PoeFest: The nonprofit Write Out Loud brings literature to life. Thank you for an excellent 2022 program! See you next year!

VILLA MONTEZUMA MUSEUM TOURS: You can see the entire magnificent, mysterious Villa Montezuma Museum! Tours are on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tour times are at 1:00, 2:15, and 3:30 p.m. Admission costs per person:

  1. -Adults: $15

  2. -Active Duty Military, Seniors 65+, and students with ID: $12

  3. -Children 12 and under: free with a paid adult

  4. -Group rates for groups of six or more adults: $10

School groups: contact us for special education rates

Your admission fee helps us create events at the Villa Montezuma Museum!

Reserve your spot now!

1) Please reserve your time slot via texting us at 619-233-8833.

2) Museum location: 1925 K Street, corner of 20th & K, in the Sherman Heights Historic District of San Diego, just east of downtown and the East Village. There is plenty of no-cost parking near the Villa in the neighborhood in the daytime.

3) Please bring cash to pay for your admission. Please, no bills over $20. We don’t take credit cards or other forms of payment.

There is no eating, drinking, or photography allowed inside this historic site. Please, no sharp heels to protect the historic floors. Any strollers or rolling suitcases or large bags of any kind will need to remain in the front lobby.

We’re not haunted, we’re enchanted! We’re a beautiful historic site. We do not do paranormal investigations.

One Man, Two Names

The Villa Montezuma is the Historic Jesse Shepard/”Francis Grierson” House.  It was built in 1887 as the home of world famous pianist, author, and Spiritualist Jesse Shepard. Jesse began a writing career in San Diego and took the pen name “Francis Grierson,” a name that he used in life as well as for his writing. 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. Learn more by scheduling a walking tour for your group of 10 or more guests.

Ongoing Restoration

In 2015 the restoration of the foundation, roof, and chimneys was completed thanks to a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). However, there is still work to be done. The FOVM is working with the City of San Diego and the State of California to restore the museum exterior. Your admission fee helps us toward our restoration goals.

You’re invited to join the FOVM to make a difference in the Villa’s future.

The FOVM mailing address:

657 20th Street

San Diego, CA 92102-2810

Physical location of the museum (do not mail to the museum):

corner of 20th & K Streets

Sherman Heights Historic District

San Diego, CA 92102

Questions? Text us: 619-233-8833.

“HeART of Ukraine” opens Jan. 27
Special exhbit: The “HeART and Soul of Ukraine” will be at the Villa from Jan. 27-April 2. Tours will be on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays at 1:00, 2:15, & 3:30 p.m. $5 admission for this special event. RESERVE your tour via text at 619-233-8833. Note: no public restroom (antique plumbing), no sharp heels, no inside photos or recording. Questions? Text us. For next-day response FOVM@VillaMontezumaMuseum.orgmailto:FOVM@VillaMontezumaMuseum.orgshapeimage_3_link_0
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“It’s not haunted, it’s  enchanted.”

Books by

Francis Grierson (Jesse Shepard)


Read more about it!Jesse Shepard wrote metaphysical essays and books under the name Francis Grierson. His only “novel” was a look back at his boyhood growing up on the Illinois prairie, “The Valley of Shadows.” This work is his most famous.


Modern Mysticism and Other Essays


The Celtic Temperament and Other Essays


The Valley of Shadows: Recollections of the Lincoln Country, 1858-63


Parisian Portraits


La Vie and Les Hommes


The Humour of the Underman


The Invincible Alliance


Illusions and Realities of the War


Abraham Lincoln: The Practical Mystic


Psycho-Phone Messages

Note: British mystery writer Francis D. Grierson (who wrote from the 1920s to 1940s) is NOT our Francis Grierson.