Monday, August 16, 2010


In 1894 The Capistrano Train Depot was build. It is the oldest Spanish Colonial Revival station in Southern California.

It was converted to a restaurant in 1975 and still functions as an Amtrak stop.

Of course this building is now said to be Haunted. Many people who have eaten at the restaurant claimed they saw faces and bodies of ghost that show up in their pictures. Sounds have been reported coming from the restrooms even though no one is in there.

Staff have reported being touched, called to and pushed but when they turn around, no one is there.

This was the actual jail cell from 1860. It is said to also be haunted. Many prisoners died in here as they waited for their release. Several committed suicide.

The cell is said to open and close on it's own, even though the doors are pretty heavy. Also, sounds of talking has been heard, yet when you get closer to the cell, it stops.

I can't help but think about all the people who spent time in this cell. What were their crimes? Did they receive a fair trial back in those days?

This is a picture of Polonia Montanez, who was the mid wife and also known as the Rain Maker, that I wrote about in yesterdays post.

This is the old adobe, where she lived. It was built in 1794 and is now open to the public for tours. Be sure to read my post from yesterday to learn more.

It's very interesting inside. As I walked through I couldn't help but think about old lady Montanez and what her life inside here may have been.

There are no windows anywhere in this house. Just three doors and two rooms. No kitchen and no bathroom.

In the one main room you would have found the living quarters. Here is where guest would have been greeted. Meals would have been eaten, clothes would have been washed and meals eaten.

I wonder how many meals she ate alone. Was she a happy woman or was she lonely? It is known she was a woman of God and spent a lot of days and nights in prayer and teaching the children about God and how to pray.

There is a bed in the main room though back when Montanez lived there it wouldn't have been. It would have been in the 2nd room, the sleeping quarters.

The 2nd room is now being used as a display area with photos and stories of the old adobe and Montanez live.

Look how thick the walls are. They help to keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There is no fireplace to warm up when it got cold and other then opening the doors there was no way to cool the place down on the long hot summer days.

I love the old wooden doors.

While I have heard many ghost stories about this adobe home, I did not hear or see anything. I can tell you that I felt a strange feeling of sadness while I was in here though.

This is the original outhouse that was built for the adobe. No, I did not open the door to go inside.

This house is now the O'Neill Museum.

The house was originally constructed as a four room house with no bath or kitchen. About 1895 a bath was created in the back bedroom, closets were made from space in the front bedroom and other alterations were made. In 1920 the kitchen was added although it still did not include a stove.

In 1976 the house was donated to the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society and it is now open for self guided tours.

The Society restored the house and furnished it with period furniture.

I do not believe any of the furniture or items belonged to any of the family members who ever lived in the house.

However, there are many wonderful items of historical value in the house. Like this piano.

I love the old wood floors and the old sewing machine. Look at the three old sewing baskets.

The chest is also a wonderful item.

The bedroom has a beautiful bed with old hats and the closet is full of clothes that are over 100 years old.

I love the lamp that is on the side table next to the bed.

While all of these items are from different places they are authentic pieces with stories behind each item.

The kitchen has a newer feel to it. Since it was built 50 years later then the rest of the house it seems more modern.

However, there is still no stove or oven and no refrigerator.

One thing I did notice about the house is there was no fireplace. I wonder how they kept warm in the cold winter days.

I love the old bath tub and the toilet with the chain handle and the tank hung high. There is no shower here.

While I know this house is said to be haunted and many people have been scared away from here, I didn't feel anything but warmth and happiness here.

Perhaps it's because this house reminds me of the house I grew up in. It wasn't as old as this one but it was an old wooden house with hard wood floors and a big porch.

The funny thing is, growing up I hated that house. I wanted to live in a newer stucco house.

Kids, what do they know?



Kristen said...

What a fascinating post! I love visiting old houses, museums and seeing antiques in their original environment. It's so much fun to imagine what the people who lived there were like.

Michelle said...

Oh I MISS San Juan Capistrano!! I used to go to the mission at least once a month to walk was always such a peaceful feeling. Your historical pictures brought back memories. I always thought to myself if I moved back to Orange County, I would move to San Juan Capistrano. :) There is the most awesome chapel in the mission...have you seen it? Very colorful inside!!

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Diane Irvine Armitage said...

What fun! I love haunted San Juan Capistrano! I could feel the vibe the minute I first came to town - it is one of the most haunted places I know of. I think you are a member of the ghost hunters that did an investigation of my little house on La Calera a few years back. Love your blog!

Anita Diaz said...

What a wonderful tour and history lesson! Fascinating place, I have never been there! I'm going to keep reading...