The Sherman Doig House was built in 1887 by real estate developer John Sherman, a cousin of Senator John Sherman and the infamous Union General William Tecumseh Sherman . John Sherman also built many other homes some of which remain historically preserved including:
- Sherman Gilbert House (originally on corner of 2nd and Fir, but since relocated in Heritage Park)
- Sherman Judson House (on 1st between Fir and Grape)
- Hall Sherman House (on 1st in Hillcrest)
In 1888, Dr. John Rankin Doig (son of James & Ester (Rankin) Doig; +M112) purchased the home and his family became the first to occupy the house. The physician and his wife, Nelie Seaver, had one daughter, Ruth Doig Crowley, who remained in San Diego and was alive to see the house receive a historic designation in 1975 as California Landmark #104 for the city of San Diego.
In 1896, Dr. William Johnson and his wife Cora took ownership of the home and added a structure to the rear, which was probably the physician's office, but relocated after only 1 year at the house.
For the next 50 years, the home was owned by only two different families including Charles Thompson (a compositor) followed in 1920 by John Rens (a dairy farmer) and his wife Margaret, who occupied the house until her death in 1947, at which time their two sons (John and Elmer) were granted title.
In 1948, Betty Clutinger bought the property but never lived in the home and for about the next 30 years the house changed hands several times, essentially always being a rental property, and slowly deteriorated into disrepair.
It was not until 1975, when Theodore and Jan Krauss took ownership of the property, that with the help of the Save our Heritage Association, the house underwent a complete renovation and became registered as a California Historic Landmark for the City of San Diego.
The home continued to flourish under the ownership of Vivienne Saiko who not only took residence on the upper floors, but also ran the Victorian Rose Spa on the first two floors. In 2013 after 26 years in the home, she retired, closed the spa doors for the last time, and sold the house to the current owner.
The home is currently under stewardship of the trustee of the Bertha Stroud Family Trust and was purchased not only to establish a legacy estate for the heirs of the trust, but to share this historic landmark with locals and visitors to San Diego. After an initial period of cosmetic updates, the home opened to overnight visitors in January 2014. This property was chosen because, just like the namesake of the trust, it is eclectic, whimsical, and possesses a unconventional character that can best be described as eccentrically unique.