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Community Resources

The Community Resources is a collection of content that serves to assist the public through a variety of mediums: instructional PowerPoints, trivia games, wallpaper files, education and exhibits. We also offer opportunities for the community to assist in the progress of the Digital Archives through volunteer positions in our Archives.

Upcoming Events:


posted October 18, 2021

Deirdra and John Doan The Lemon Grove Historical Society (LGHS) will continue its free signature series, History Alive, on Nov. 4, 2021 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive Street, Lemon Grove, with the musical team of John and Deirdra Doan and Steven Bissell.


The trio are veteran music-makers, who regale audiences with music, words and pictures on how people used to entertain themselves with music around the family upright piano, on harmonicas, stringed instruments of all kinds, and more. In other words, life wasn’t always TV, cell phones, movies and social media.


John Doan taught “Music in America” for 40 years at Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, as a professor of Music History, while Deirdra Doan is a painter and Bissell a multi-talented instrumentalist. 


“History Alive” is made possible by a Community Enhancement Grant from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and is generally suitable for ages 16 and over. Where possible, lectures are videotaped by our videographer-in-residence, Robert Stuckey, and stored in our archives.


Treganza Heritage Park - Let the Celebration Begin

posted October 5, 2021

The Lemon Grove Historical Society and the City of Lemon Grove present a two-day celebration of the newly named Treganza Heritage Park on Oct. 8 and 9, 2021. The entire park and its two historic sites, the Parsonage Museum(1897) and the H. Lee House(1928) will be at the center of free fun for all.

In consideration of the lingering effects of Covid 19, all events will be held outdoors.

Oct. 8 at 7 pm in the courtyard behind the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove, the popular, free "History Alive" lecture series will feature Cynthia Hughes-Doyle on the story of Alberto Treganza's superb architecture and landscape designs that grace the Western U.S. from Utah to California. She will include the 3,000-pound "Big Lemon," the roadside icon of Lemon Grove since 1928.

Complementing this lecture will be Helen Ofield's story of the Treganza family and its most famous local resident, Dr. Amorita Treganza. Both lectures will feature colorful PowerPoint visuals.

On Oct. 9 from 10 - 11:30 am in the parking lot behind the Parsonage Museum, 3185 Olive, Lemon Grove, the formal dedication of the park will feature comments by dignitaries, presentations by Lemon Grove's Mayor Raquel VasquezGirl Scout Troop 6786 presenting the colors, invocation by Dr. John Warren, songs of celebration by the Martin Luther King Junior Community Choir San Diego, winners in the 2021 Treganza History Essay Competition for Grade 3, --and the big moment-- unveiling the new signs honoring the pioneer family that arrived in the county in 1889 and fostered the visual and performing arts, science, medicine, journalism and education in Lemon Grove, San Diego County and the West.

Don't miss this program! It will be the first time in civic history that Lemon Grove has named a public park for a significant pioneer family. The mayor and council voted unanimously for this on Feb. 4, 2020. Then Covid-19 struck, and we were locked down for over a year. But now our town can celebrate its very own.

From 11:30 am to 2 pm, the park will be alive with fun. Children's lawn games and an inflatable slide; a vintage car display; displays by local groups; open house in the Parsonage Museum with its special Treganza Family exhibit, Miller Dairy exhibit and more; open house in the adjacent H. Lee House with a first-time display of the historical society's voluminous archives.

At 5:30 pm, guests with tickets will check in at the H. Lee House for the gala al fresco dinner in the courtyard, featuring sumptuous food by La Cuisine, entertainment by the Carlos Villator Flamenco Dancers and a fabulous Silent Auction. If you don't have a ticket, buy one at the door or online at www.lghistorical.org. ($60).

More information: 619-460-4353.

Photographs: Treganza Family on the porch of the Kempf Street house in 1914, and a solo image of Dr. Amorita Treganza, 1999.


Movies and Why Some Really Matter

posted August 16, 2021


Dear Movie Fan,

Please go to this link for a discussion of five wonderful contemporary films that need longer shelf life than they received:


All the best,



"History Alive" is back

posted July 12, 2021

Our free "History Alive" programs are made possible by a Community Enhancement Grant from the County of San Diego. Normally, we don't offer these programs in July and August--but we don't live in normal times! Audiences can now attend indoor events and have been begging for "History Alive" for weeks. That's why we've planned two terrific lectures for your summertime delight. We'll carry on as usual in the fall and winter on the first Thursday of the month at 7 pm just as we have since 1978. We can't wait to see you again!

THURSDAY, JULY 8 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove, we'll present "The Remarkable Story of Solo Bee" and how a Lemon Grove researcher is putting the buzz back in the garden just when you thought all was lost. LGHS board member Roberta Bulling will stand in for researcher/inventor Candace Vanderhoff and show a terrific DVD filmed by our own Rob Stuckey on site in Lemon Grove, where the solo bee havens are made. This program is suitable for ages 16 and over and will delight gardeners and non gardeners alike.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove. One of your favorites, historian Alexander Bevil, a former California State Parks historian who writes all manner of fascinating articles, returns with a PowerPoint and a great story:  Winifred Davidson was San Diego Historical Society's first historian. Between 1924-64 she identified over four dozen local historic sites, literally finding out where the bodies are buried. Alas, in the ensuing 60 years she has been all but forgotten. Enter Bevil to ensure that her legacy lives on. If you loved his lecture on the horrific crash of PSA 182 in North Park, you'll be enthralled by this one. Ages 16 and over are welcome.


More information: 619-460-4353.


"An American Family" by Kathleen Strzelecki Marks Return of Arts and Humanities

photo of Kathleen Strzelecki posted May 17, 2021

The Lemon Grove Library is reopening, albeit with limited hours, but OPEN! This beautiful Mission Revival building opened its doors on June 1, 2013 and is very dear to the Lemon Grove Historical Society. The library and the society have collaborated on history lectures, Film Night in the Library, art exhibits, Art Talks, The Remembrance Project, book signings, and Old Globe Theatre events, all of which will return in the months ahead.

Said historical society president Laura Hook, "We celebrate the reopening of both the library and the Parsonage Museum (3185 Olive, Lemon Grove) with a wonderful exhibit of 17 paintings comprising 'An American Family' by noted artist Kathleen Strzelecki."  The collection is on view through July 23, 2021 in the library’s Ernie Anastos Great Room on the following schedule:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 

10 am - 12:30 pm open

12:30 - 1:30 pm closed for sanitizing

1:30 - 4 pm open

Branch manager Danielle Gio directs all to wear masks in the library until further notice. Ghio and assistant manager René Gehr are on deck Mondays and Fridays for front-door pickup of reserved items.

Strzelecki’s work is in public and private collections throughout the United States. Among her many awards is a 2014 Governor’s Historic Preservation Award and the Congress of History Ben Dixon Award for painting the epic Lemon Grove History Mural commissioned by the historical society and on permanent display at 3308 Main Street, Lemon Grove.  She is a scholarship graduate of the Chouinard Institute and is the Artist-in-Residence at the Lemon Grove Historical Society. Her parents, Vernon and Margaret Allen, were protegés of Frank Lloyd Wright. 

photo taken at Art Talk“An American Family” spans 1957-2013 and shows a series of autobiographical portraits of the artist’s diverse family, a group touched by tragedy, joy and the mundane of everyday life in rural and urban settings. The portraits’ emotional intensity, backed by dream-like settings and subtle play of light, is heightened by the use of fabric, paper and photographic collage. In revealing the inner life of her subjects, Strzelecki avoids the merely pretty and works in a large format to create arresting portraits of real people and relationships.  In her own words, “Art is a voyage of discovery and there is no telling what one might bring home from such a journey.”

For more information, contact the library at 619-463-9819, or the historical society at 619-460-4353.


posted April 27, 2021

for immediate release

lghistorical@gmail.com / 619-462-6494

Major William Trask, WW II Hero, Hits 100

Major William TraskThe family of Major William “Bill” Trask, Lemon Grove, and the Lemon Grove Historical Society are proud to announce his 100th birthday on May 12, 2021.

This war hero flew 17 missions in WW II Europe and survived a crash in Liège, Belgium, while struggling to land without a nose wheel when his B-24 caught fire. He was promoted to major and spent 20 years in the Army Air Corps.

Major Trask’s postwar life was busy. He and his wife, Rita Francis Trask, raised two sons while Bill worked at General Dynamics before spending 24 years in security at the Timken Museum in Balboa Park. The Trasks moved to Lemon Grove in 1962 to the house he lives in today. He served on the Committee to Incorporate Lemon Grove, a success in 1977 when the little town with the Big Lemon became California’s 414th city.

Work was a Trask family tradition, for Bill didn’t retire until age 90. Born in Lambertville, New Jersey in 1921, by age 13 he was sacking potatoes for a princely eight cents an hour. When he apprenticed to a sheet metal worker the die was cast, for that led directly to his military career.

Eight Air ForceSaid Laura Hook, president of the historical society, “Not only does Major Trask share the role of being our most senior member—the other centenarian is Judy Smith—he was a pivotal mover and shaker in incorporating our town. We honor his century of achievement as a husband, father, professional in the military and security arenas, community leader, charter member of the Lemon Grove Senior Patrol, and as a war hero.“

Happy Birthday, Bill, from all of us!

LGHS Receives Remarkable WW II Memoir

posted February 3, 2021

The Lemon Grove Historical Society has received an extraordinary memoir in photographs and text by Robert Turnbull III, detailing his service in WW II, 1943-45, in the Philippines. The memoir was given to the society by his son, Robert Turnbull IV, a graduate of Helix High School, former film, television and theatre actor, and the founder of Turnbull Ministries.

Turnbull III was the former husband of Dr. Amorita Treganza of the famous Treganza clan of art, anthropology and medical accomplishments. They met and married when both were students at San Diego State College in the 1930s. Like his father before him, Turnbull III became a cameraman and Foley expert at Warner Brothers Studio. 

The memoir includes 524 black and white, 4x6 photographs accompanied by typewritten notes. Turnbull was inducted at Berkeley, California, into the 29th Engineer Base Topographic Battalion responsible for preparing maps of most of the Pacific Theater of the war, with a primary focus on the Philippines, Formosa,Saipan, islands of the Southeast Pacific, Okinawa and Japan. Training in Oregon focused on surveying, photomapping and photography under difficult conditions, such as aerial while under bombardment. 

But training also included digging foxholes and trenches, double-time runs with full field pack, drilling and drilling, practicing with bayonets and live grenades, cleaning rifles, and keeping troop quarters and gear spotless. "Naturally, it rained all the time," recalled Turnbull. "I had never fired a weapon before and had more troubles than a soap opera." Ultimately, he came down with pneumonia and laryngitis and spent two weeks in hospital before shipping out to Lexington, Virginia, to study Information and Education with an international student body eight hours a day, six days a week.

Turnbull became a multiplex expert, able to convert in 48 hours an aerial topographic map into a ground map of areas 60 miles wide by eight miles long. Between New York and again in Oregon, training continued until "we could build models in our sleep." It was the departure in a convoy of seven troop ships bound for the Philippines, and service there, that would change each man forever. As William Tecumseh Sherman said, "War is hell."

Manila, capital city of the Philippines, was a beautiful, old, Spanish Colonial city that had been bombed back to the proverbial Stone Age by the Japanese. Turnbull's photographs and notes capture the devastation. Nothing was spared, not churches, schools, hospitals, neighborhoods, bridges, farms, nothing. Residents rigged up ways to navigate through the rubble and keep their boats afloat, the latter crucial for transportation and selling produce raised in "paddies" ploughed by water buffalo. Monsoon rains, endless mud, hunger and privation were the order of the day. Turnbull makes frequent reference to the beautiful, resourceful Filipinos and their plucky children. The GIs found ways to help. Chocolate bars and chewing gum. Hiring kids to do laundry. Sharing water and hot food.

Turnbull's company survived the return of the Japanese, the rescue by the Americans, the Japanese surrender and the trial of General Yamashita of Bataan Death March fame before being mustered out. As their ship left Manila, they passed an incoming troop transport. "We cheered back and forth..." recalls Turnbull.

The Turnbull War Archive is contained in the Treganza Family Papers and may be viewed by appointment for $10 (no photography or scanning, which are priced separately). Copies are 15¢/page. Covid rules apply. Call 619-460-4353.


L. A. Public Library Hails Christy Hale's Lemon Grove Story

posted January 25, 2021

Author-illustrator and arts educator Christy Hale has received her ninth accolade for Todos Iguales/All Equal: Un Corrido de Lemon Grove/A Ballad of Lemon Grove (Lee & Low 2019), the bilingual book about Lemon Grove's 1931 school desegregation case. Alvarez v. Lemon Grove School Board of Trustees was the first Mexican-American successful school desegregation case in California and the nation. The story of the case comprises a large and expanding archive in the Lemon Grove Historical Society.

 Hale's beautiful book was designed for children and the people who love them. Hailed by Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal and The Booklist for its sensitivity, gorgeous illustrations and timely topic, the book was also included in "Best Children's Books of the Year" by the Bank Street College of Education, "Notable Children's Book" by the American Library Association. "Notable Books for a Global Society" by the International Reading Association, "Outstanding Nonfiction" by the National Council of Teachers of English, "Best Books for Kids" by the New York Public Library and, now, the 2020 Focal Award in Children's Literature from the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL).

 The attached photograph shows Hale with the book and the LAPL's signature award, a handmade puppet in the likeness of 12-year-old Roberto Alvarez, the lead plaintiff in the case. Hale observed,  "I told my publishing colleagues at Lee & Low, I always fall in love with my main character while doing research, but this is the first time I actually have an opportunity 'to have and to hold.' I love my miniature Roberto Alvarez!"

 Hale's pantheon of unique books began at Lee & Low with The East-West House: Noguchi's Childhood in Japan, a lyrical introduction to Isamu Noguchi, the biracial 20th century sculptor and designer.  It left the starting gate as a Kirkus Best Book of 2009. 

 "We could not be prouder of Christy's accomplishments," said Laura Hook, president of the Lemon Grove Historical Society. "Shedding light on tough topics and little-known historical events is what historical societies are about. We were joined in this project by the Lemon Grove Library, descendants of the original cohort of 75 children in the Alvarez case, and the enthusiasm of our board and membership."