Presidio Park in San Diego marks the spot of the first European settlement of the Western United States. Founded in 1769, the Presidio or military fort was established here to protect the land from invasion. Abandoned in 1835, it decayed for 75 years until local civic lead George Marston purchased the land for preservation. He donated the land to the city where a Museum to honor Mission Founder Father Junípero Serra was built. The museum is open today and provides sweeping views of the city in an idyllic setting.