Does this sound a little like a certain board game?

The following anecdote comes from the 1908 book History of San Diego 1542-1908: Volume II, by William E. Smythe.

It’s part of an interview conducted in late 1905 with Alonzo Horton, the man known as the father of the city of San Diego. Horton was then in his late 90s. He was recalling when he and others arrived in San Diego in the late 1860s and began buying up and developing property. This particular account seems to describe a live version of a Monopoly game:

“There was a man named John Allyn, who built the Allyn Block on Fifth Street. He came down here to see San Diego and I hired him to paper this old building that I had sold to Dunnells [that’s S. S. Dunnells, who built the first hotel in what was then called Horton’s Addition]. He was four days doing the work and I gave him for it the lot on the southeast corner of Fifth and D Streets, 50×100. He took it, but said he didn’t know whether he would ever get enough for it to make it worth while to record the deed. It was only a year or two later that he sold it for $2,000 to the people who now own it, and it is now [circa 1905] worth over $100,000.”

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