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.

Artists Salon at the Villa on August 28, September 3 and 10, 2023, 8:00 p.m.: This special live event showcasesd the art of the theatre in four acts. Guests saw the 1916 one-act play “Overtones” by Alice Gerstenberg, learned about the art of costume design, experienced the inspiration of the poet, and trilled to the stagecraft of a sword fight! Thank you to all who attended this unique event and to all the talented people who participated! We hope to do more in the future. Thanks to Kaivan Mohsenzadah for creating this event!

PoeFest: The nonprofit Write Out Loud brings literature to life. PoeFest will take a break in 2023, but return in 2024. In October 2023 visit us for Dia de los Muertos and take our “Permanent Victorians” walk of Mount Hope Cemetery. Details to come and will be posted here so guests can reserve.

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 2024. See more about the State funding here.

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. Regular 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 eight 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/recording 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

Thank you to our former State Senator Ben Hueso for getting restoration funding for the City of San Diego in the FY23 State budget. Your museum admission fee helps the Friends of the Villa Montezuma produce educational events and achieve our maintenance 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 (for GPS, use 1925 K Street)

Sherman Heights Historic District

San Diego, CA 92102

Questions? Text us or call us: 619-233-8833.

Visit the Villa Montezuma Museum!
See San Diego’s magnificent house museum. Tours are on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 1:00, 2:15, & 3:30 p.m. $15 for adults, $12 for students, seniors, and military. Age 12 and under free. RESERVE via text at 619-233-8833. Note: no public restroom, no inside photos or recording. Text us for fastest response. For next day: 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.