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.) This is a lovely way to see why the FOVM is dedicated to this extraordinarily beautiful historic site!)
The Friends of the Villa Montezuma, Inc. (FOVM) is a 501-c-3 organization solely devoted to the magnificent Villa Montezuma. We welcome you to San Diego’s most 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.  We hope the museum can be open full time in 2021. 
Remembering our Friend, Kay Porter

Kay Porter and FOVM President Louise Torio
It is with great sadness that we share that our dear Friend and mentor Kay Porter has passed (November 26, 1917 - September 15, 2020). There would be no Villa Montezuma Museum without Kay. She was an amazing person and will always be in our hearts.

We created our Dia de los Muertos altar at the Sherman Heights Community Center in honor of Kay. See text below for info on making a donation in memory of Kay. The FOVM is grateful for all donations.
The FOVM is a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization. If making a donation, please tell us how you knew Kay. Checks can be made out to FOVM, Inc., and sent to our mailing address:
FOVM, Inc.
Attn: Louise Torio
657 20th St.
San Diego, CA 92102-2810

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we cannot have tours. We hope for tours to resume as soon as deemed safe for us to gather.
2021 Tour Dates are TBD.
At this time the museum is not available for tours. When available, registration for the quarterly free tours will be through the City’s event website at and will open about one month before each tour date. While waiting for the next tour, you can set up your free account. When the next tours are posted you would then search for “Villa,” NOT “Villa Montezuma.” You’ll see tour times on the half hour from 9:00 am through noon. Pick your tour time, then before “check out” (there is no cost) you can add to your tour the other family members or friends you added to your account. Those with reservations will be taken first. If you walk up without a reservation, we will take walk-ups but you’ll have to fill out the City’s liability waiver. We’ll get you on the next available tour with space. Remember, there is no eating, drinking, or photography allowed inside this historic site.

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.
Restoration Thanks to CDBG Funding & the City
In 2015 the restoration of the foundation, roof, and chimneys was completed thanks to a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Because of this federal grant, the museum must be open four times each year at no charge to the public. The FOVM conducts these historic tours on behalf of the City of San Diego, owner of the museum. The FOVM is working with the City of San Diego to restore the museum exterior.
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
Sherman Heights Historic District
San Diego, CA 92102

Questions? Text us: 619-233-8833.
No Museum Tours
due to the ongoing pandemic
 Because of Covid-19, the FOVM is unable to give tours of the magnificent Villa Montezuma Museum or to give walking tours of Jesse Shepard’s neighborhood, the Sherman Heights Historic District. Stay posted for updates.
or text us at 619-233-8833.

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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 fictionalization of 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 1040s) is NOT our Francis Grierson.