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. 

NEXT TOURS/Soft Reopening: We are finally able to reopen so you can see the entire magnificent, mysterious Villa Montezuma Museum! Our soft reopening continues on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 15-17. Tours are on the hour. The first tour begins at 1:00 p.m. and the last tour begins at 4:00 p.m. Admission costs per person:

  1. -Adults: $15

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

  3. -Children age 6 -12: $7

  4. -Children 5 and under: free with a paid adult

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

School groups: contact us for special education rates

Your admission fee helps us raise funds for further restoration at the Villa Montezuma Museum!

Special Exhibit: A World in Mourning: Bereavement in the Victorian Age. See this fascinating exhibit that explains how Victorians coped with death. This includes period clothing and jewelry that you’ll want to see!

Reserve your spot now!

1) Due to the ongoing pandemic, 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.

3) For the soft reopening, as we get all processes in place, please bring cash to pay for your admission (we will soon be able to take your credit cards).

4) In California any unvaccinated person should wear a mask. Our docents have all been vaccinated.

There is no eating, drinking, or photography allowed inside this historic site.

“Permanent Victorians” Walk of Mount Hope Cemetery: Our special no-cost historical walk of Mount Hope Cemetery will be on October 23, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.! Space is limited so please reserve ASAP. Text your name and number of people in your group to 619-233-8833. We’ll confirm your reservations. Donations gratefully accepted and go toward the continued restoration of the Villa Montezuma Museum. Your guide, Charles Spratley, will have his book available. “Piercing the Veil: Examining San Diego’s Haunted History.”

Dia de los Muertos in Sherman Heights: See our spectacular altars honoring departed loved ones and special causes at the Sherman Heights Community Center in late October. Details to follow. We’ll have our big altar dedicated to Jesse Shepard/ Francis Grierson at the Community Center as well as have a smaller altar at the museum dedicated to our dads.

PoeFest: Enjoy this year’s PoeFest in our magnificent Palace of the Arts! The nonprofit Write Out Loud will dazzle you with superb enactments of ghostly literature, all within the setting of this 1887 mansion. Event parking with paid admission is a block away. More info at or call 619-297-8953.

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, this is still work to be done. The FOVM is working with the City of San Diego 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.

Soft Reopening interior tours on October 15,16, and 17!
 Tour the magnificent Villa Montezuma Museum and view the special Victorian mourning exhibit. Tours at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 & 4:00! Doors open on the hour. RSVP via text. Admission costs are below. Book PoeFest tickets via Write Out Loud!
or text us at 619-233-8833.mailto: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 fictionalization of 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 1040s) is NOT our Francis Grierson.