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Historic Bancroft Rock House Gets Makeover

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rock house

November 17, 2010

Come and get a glimpse of what life was like for San Diego pioneers in the 1800s.  Today County Supervisor Dianne Jacob and the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation officially opened the newly-restored Bancroft Rock House in Spring Valley. 

The improvements to the historic rock house include a new roof, floor, front porch, fencing, entry gate, fire-rated wood shingles and parking improvements. The restoration project also includes access for persons with disabilities, interpretive signage and solar-powered security cameras.

Video: Rock House Re-opens

“The County’s renovations to the Bancroft Rock House will give park visitors a visual example of communities in the 1800s,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob.  “What better way for children to learn about the history of San Diego than to see it up close,” Jacob noted during the ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Built between 1885 and 1888, the Bancroft Rock House is named for Hubert Howe Bancroft, a wealthy writer, editor and publisher of history books. The rock house was used as a school house, a guest house, and a fire-safe storage building for part of Bancroft’s extensive transcripts and book collection. The Bancroft Rock House is currently listed as a County of San Diego Historic Landmark.

The Bancroft Rock House restoration project is an exemplary historic preservation project.  Special engineering and innovative building techniques were used during the project.

“The Department of Parks and Recreation is very proud of the restoration project at the Bancroft Rock House,” said Brian Albright, Director of Parks and Recreation. “We took great care to preserve the historic look of the house and the integrity of the historic site.”

The park renovations were paid for with county funds, Murray-Hayden grant funds and California Cultural and Historical Endowment funds. 

For more information on the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation visit

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