Considered a Pioneer of California, and a native of New York City, Thomas Whaley worked in the New York shipping office of George Wardle, and later, rode aboard his employer's old ship, called, The Sutton on a tedious journey, to California. They left New York on January 1st 1849,  while a crowd watched the first vessel ever to set sail to California from New York.  It was a rough ride and they were forced to stop in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for repairs that lasted three weeks. After departing from Rio, they became lost around Cape Horn (Chile),  and stopped for a week at Valparaiso (Chile).  On the 22nd of July,  they landed at the California shore by San Francisco. In the fall of 1849,  Whaley, known as a real estate broker, purchased several properties. And later, he became a coffee merchant.  In October 1851, Whaley relocated to San Diego, and along with an associate, opened Tienda San Diego,  general store. . . . read more
Whaley was successful in many aspects, but each step of success appeared to be followed by a tragedy of some kind. A San Diego house he built in 1857, is probably more well known than he ever was, due to the consistent haunted condition of the property it sits on. The Thomas Whaley House, as it is known, has been deemed The Most Haunted Place in America.