Mormon Battalion Museum

Come experience the long march from Iowa to San Diego at the Mormon Battalion Museum Historic Site. Learn why this group of Latter-day Saint men and women joined the U.S. Army and what they accomplished during and after their march. Located in Old Town San Diego, this Historic Site steps out of the 1840s and into the multi-media world of the 21st century. Your free tour begins in a new hacienda-style courtyard reproduced in great detail to represent the 1800’s. Visitors will experience history through exciting new technologies in cinema and special effects.

The Historic Site also has many interesting artifacts on display that were hand-carried into San Diego by the Battalion. The museum also features hands-on activities for all ages including gold panning, 1800’s laundry, brick making, and dressing up in period clothing. Visitors may also pose for a free “old-time” photograph at the center which can then be emailed to any destination. Admission is FREE!

Having been driven by mobs from their homes in Illinois, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as “Mormons” sought assistance from the government for their migration to the west.  The U. S. Government responded with President James Polk requesting they assemble an army to march as part of the Army of the West during the Mexican-American War from Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas to San Diego.  This march is one of the longest in the history of the U. S. Army, totaling over 2,000 miles, and arriving in San Diego on January 29, 1847.

At the war’s end, the members of the Mormon Battalion stayed on and performed garrison duties, making friends with the Californios and bringing a community together through their service.  They fired some of the first bricks in California and used the bricks to line deeper wells, providing healthy drinking water to the Pueblo of San Diego.  The Battalion also constructed our first U. S. Courthouse, where a replica stands in Old Town today.

Mormon Battalion Historic Site
4.8
Based on 1852 reviews
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Jon Claeton
Jon Claeton
07:30 19 Jun 21
I didn’t know what to expect. I was stuck in San Diego with my mother after watching my second child graduate from Boot... Camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot.We had several hours to kill, just waiting for planes. I saw the sign underneath a rather impressive collection of architecture and history expertly arranged an built into the hills of San Diego.I knew that the tour was going to be a combination of history and religious evangelism. These wonderfully nice people still surprised me.We arrived halfway through the Spanish tour whereupon a blue eyed latter-day Saints sister recited, by script, in perfect Spanish, a preview of the tour we were about to undertake.It’s not really a tour.It is an interactive, three part,(audience, sister tour guides, and interactive historical characters in wall paintings straight out of Harry Potter) historical/spiritual message.The set dressings are surprisingly realistic given the setting. We know that these are props however, the props are REALLY good!Like “actual kit or better” good.( I’m a little bit of a history buff and I have some long years in set design)The explanations and actual physical props from the US military in that time are spot on accurate from an equipment point of view.The history side is better than expected. However, this is still a mission. So expect a spiritual side.At this point I have to tell you, it’s actually an astoundingly positive thing. I wasn’t expecting that.At the beginning of this they bring up a focusing (at least for me)themeThroughout tribulation, “We chose to be happy” outlined the Latter Day Saints contributions to both California and to the United States of America.It was nice to see people who were proud of their faith outlining exactly how that same faith helped frame the west.Thank you for an entertaining and informational afternoon.PS: There are many who look at this place as a straight on religious conversion center. You might be right.But, at least these people speak from the heart as to what they believeread more
Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
00:08 15 Jun 21
A hidden gem in Old Town San Diego. Educational and entertaining at the same time...a movie, museum, old time photo,... and gold panning. Best of all it was all free. Expect to spend at least an hour here.read more
Kyle Smith
Kyle Smith
16:16 03 Jun 21
Awesome to learn about the heritage of the Latter Day Saints as theycrossed the plains in the later 1800s. Fun place,... very interactive. Prefect among of time, just 45 to 50 minutes.read more
Lisa Ro
Lisa Ro
16:17 02 Jun 21
Our whole family had a fantastic time learning about the history of the Mormon Battalion and how their efforts paved... the way for future historical events. The kids especially liked panning for gold and taking home fools good. It was a fun hour and be sure to make a reservation.read more
Marissa Skinner
Marissa Skinner
03:54 25 May 21
Fantastic experience! Highly recommend for people of all religious backgrounds. Make reservations in advance to ensure... you get in! Super interactive tour. Our two year old even was entertained during the tour and LOVED panning for gold at the end.read more
Dave Kelly
Dave Kelly
19:16 14 May 21
Awesome and free tour! Very well done. Highly recommended. Great for kids and adults.
Lilly Cano
Lilly Cano
06:34 10 May 21
Highly recommend. If you can spare the 40 minutes tour, you will love it. Lots of valuable history information.... Everyone is welcoming and friendly.read more
Jason Blazzard
Jason Blazzard
13:40 09 May 21
way more if an experience than I expected. great for families
Denny Bird
Denny Bird
00:54 09 May 21
Loved visiting here! Very fun and interactive, and it's free!
Hector T
Hector T
05:49 07 May 21
I love this interactive museum. A favorite of our family. Well put together.
Lisbeth Sierra
Lisbeth Sierra
23:17 23 Apr 21
It was my first time going there like a year ago for girls camp and I really liked it 👍🏻
Valeria
Valeria
00:37 08 Apr 21
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS AQUARIUM! It was my first time visiting it and I had a blast. I really enjoyed seeing all the... sea animals. My favorite was the Atlantic Giant Octopus and the Kelp forest was beautiful! There is plenty of parking. They also have small tide pools where you can touch anenomies, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and SHARK EGGS! Oh and the outside view, WOW. My breath was taken away. Overall, 10/10, this place is perfect for kids and all who love the ocean.read more
Alicia Gomez
Alicia Gomez
16:52 15 Oct 20
Wonderful experience!! Even if you aren’t apart of the LDS church, it’s a great time. Lots of history and the... missionaries are just so outstanding. We go here every time we visit SD.read more
Angelina Howard
Angelina Howard
04:12 13 Oct 20
This place is awesome and is great to go visit at least once!
Chris Smith
Chris Smith
22:11 21 Jul 20
I love learning about history and I particularly enjoy history as it relates to my people whether it be US history or... the history of my faith. This is very cool and well put together. We weren't able to go inside because of the pandemic but I've been in previously and it was extremely interesting and well presented. Even from the outside, it was clear that improvements and refinements had been made since my last visit. I'm excited to go inside again the next time I get to SDread more
Yvonne Rini
Yvonne Rini
20:20 04 May 20
A fun free activity for the he whole family. It's lds, but the volunteers are not pushy and do not try to sell you on... converting, so don't let that scary you. Parking is fairly easy and I there is a lot in backread more
Sonny Hall
Sonny Hall
20:41 25 Feb 20
Such a neat experience! Very fun, interactive guided tour and was one of the highlights of our trip (10 yr old, 8 yr... old & 6 yr old)! The kids even got to pan for gold and keep their favorite piece! Highly recommend checking this out if you're in the area!read more
Dandi Wright
Dandi Wright
07:37 10 Feb 20
The tour was not only informative, but funny, entertaining and interactive. My kids 7 years to 18 years all enjoyed it.... They take a picture of your group at the end and give you a free copy too! Panning for gold was one of my kids favorite activities at the end.read more
Kevin
Kevin
13:48 08 Feb 20
Awesome place to check out!! Great place for free internment! If you are pressed for time rearrange your schedule... because there is a lot to see and do.We had heard about the Mormon Battalion from a friend of ours and they said it was great and they were totally right!!Just walking up to the entrance looking at the cool old looking building and the covered wagon out front and the beautiful statue you start to see how much time was put into the building.Next you walk in and are welcomed by friendly people and you can look around a little bit and then go right into a very well lead and interactive tour. We have 3 kids under the age of 8 and they all we able to stay interested during the tour and the gold mining at the end put the tour over the top!read more
Ray Banks
Ray Banks
00:16 08 Jan 20
Highly recommended for couples and families! Free tour through multiple rooms that is both engaging and... interactive!They have exits from every room in case you need to duck out early - and honestly we were planning to do that - but then we got so into it that we didn’t want to!At the end they even had a free photo booth that prints out the photo. The whole experience was really cool and I highly recommend it!If you stay for the whole tour it’s about 40 min.read more
Raymond Ellis
Raymond Ellis
00:49 29 Dec 19
I really enjoyed the tour of the site. This was a unique tour. It was a guided tour with two docents (one was in... training, her 1st day). The tour consisted of a number of audio visual movies in which the docents interacted with the characters to tell the story of the Mormon battalion. It's was really cool how they did it. You could really tell how enthusiastic and proud the tour guides were of the members of the Mormon battalion!read more
Malavika Hegde
Malavika Hegde
18:19 11 Dec 19
This place is so nice and entertaining, best part is... it’s FREE! Once i got there, I was asked to wait till the rest... of the group gathers. Once there were enough people, the tour began. It was highly entertaining and fun. They go into the history of the Mormon battalion using projector movies and also they have designed each room to look realistically like the place the Mormon battalion would have resided. They had real guns, clothes etc. in the end they give you a free black and white picture as souvenir. I definitely recommend this place.read more
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Contact Mormon Battalion Museum

(619) 298-3317

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