Until 1853 the erratic San Diego River dumped tons of
debris into the harbor or poured into False Bay, now Mission
Bay. At times it threatened to destroy Old Town San Diego.
Lieutenant George Horatio Derby, U.S. Topographical Corps,
built a dike that diverted the waters into False Bay.
This was the first effort to tame the river, and one of
the first U.S. Government projects in California. The
river was not fully harnessed until the 1950s.
First registered June 10, 1936. Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation and Squibob Chapter, E Clampus Vitus, August 4, 1990.