Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

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Dickinson House

The Dickinson House has unfortunately been demolished

Dog-Friendly: No    Kid-Friendly: Yes

About the Dickinson House:

Thanks to one of our readers, we were able to close in a little on the background of this magnificent property.   The building was constructed in 1924 by an unknown architect and/or builder.  SOHO believes this was once part of an elaborate garden, but I believe that it was also part of the homestead as there are multiple stone fireplaces. As you can see, this spot is clean from graffiti and we really would love it to stay that way so it will be part of our members section.

Many others have come forward and said it was once a crematorium. This could be possible considering it is right next to one of the oldest hospitals around.

Update: I had one of my followers message me this: “I retired from UC Med Center. I’ll share what I was told regarding the property you featured today. The HR office I once worked in was in the North Annex (formerly the nurses’ housing and training building way back). There were stairs that went up from the sidewalk between the white bark trees to our offices, (across the street corner from the ER.)
The HR department was under the same Admin. Jenny Steinmetz who ran the Education Department. The Dickinson rock house was occupied for a time by some of the Patient/Staff Education Department employees in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

I was told when I worked there the crematorium (furnace) was further west down Dickinson and past the office buildings, then going down the hillside a little ways, toward Mission Valley. I was told there was a laundry down the hill there also (for patient linens and I think the furnace heated the boiling water for laundry). The ‘crematorium’ or furnace is where surgical waste was disposed of. I never heard it called crematorium.
There was a Media Communications department located somewhere along the street also at one time. They had a lot of historical photos of the old buildings at one time. If you could track down that department, I am sure with an new name, they may be able to help you with some historical info. Best wishes for happy holidays and your site. CW”


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4 Reviews

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4 Reviews


  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Vintage San Diego is discussing this building site right now! Some believe this was a crematorium for unclaimed dead bodies of poor people during an epidemic in San Diego.

    May 6, 2019

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Where is this ?

    October 18, 2019

  • Annie
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    It would be great to know where this is too….!

    January 18, 2020

  • Mac
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    I first discovered this spot rather recently when poking around the construction site that now fills the entirety of Bachman pl canyon. They had just cleared the vegetation and had only begun excavating the opposite side of the canyon. On returning in June of 2022, I found the entire canyon to have been dug out to make way for foundation work. I never found what the sites original purpose was, but it certainly made a beautiful hidden garden during its last years. It’s incredibly disappointing to see UCSD pay so little respect to the city’s fading history. I hope they at least documented it first.

    July 9, 2022

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