From the monthly archives:

March 2015

Old Pink House in San Marcos

by Jacque on March 27, 2015

Old Pink House in San Marcos sits of corner of Discovery and Via Vera Cruz

An old house that sat for more than a century at the corner of Via Vera Cruz and Discovery Street in San Marcos has a new home — a few hundred yards down the road.

It’s not easy to up and move a whole house, but the city has plans for that corner and didn’t want to lose the historic structure for the sake of progress.

The two-story clapboard home — which was painted pink about 20 years ago — was moved to make way for infrastructure work on the long-planned Creek District, a 214-acre retail and residential project designed to serve as a quaint downtown. Officials quietly relocated the old home in May.

Many residents know the structure as simply “the pink house,” although folks in the know call it the Meyer-Doran house. Either way, Tanis Brown, president of the San Marcos Historical Society, is thrilled to see it survive.

“We are so happy the city has decided to incorporate this into the Creek District,” Brown said.

Just exactly when the Meyer-Doran home was built is a bit murky. Wilhelm Meyer bought a 6.5-acre plot on Vera Cruz in 1889. The San Marcos Historical Society estimates he built the home sometime between then and 1903. So it’s at least 111 years old.

Brown said the wood to build it was brought up by buggy from San Diego.

For a century-old home to be still standing on a San Marcos flood plain is notable. But what really grabs attention about the house is what happened just outside of it in 1907: a fatal shooting.

Here’s the gist: William Doran had taken out a crop mortgage on the acreage around the Meyer home. One day, Doran found himself quarreling with business partner Gus Eliason, who according to 1907 story about the shooting in the Escondido Times, “was in the habit of drinking wine while at work and was considerably under the influence of the red stuff and was somewhat abusive when Doran objected to his drinking.”

As per the newspaper, accounts varied. But the bottom line is that the two men struggled and Doran shot Eliason, who died three days later. Doran was cleared at the ensuing trial on the grounds of self-defense.

In 1912, Doran married Emma Meyer — Wilhelm Meyer’s daughter. She had inherited the home.

A decade after the shooting, in 1917, Doran was elected to the state Assembly and served two terms. When he died in 1927, his Escondido Times Advocate obituary made no mention of the shooting.

According to the Historical Society, the house changed hands in 1943, when A.E. Meador bought it and deeded it to a son, who added a bathroom. Until then, residents used an outhouse about 150 feet north of the home.

Article is from the Union Tribune August 31, 2014.

Old Pink House in San Marcos