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Digital Archives

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 2/23/2024

Celebrate 10 Years of Going the Extra Mile!

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Celebrate 10 Years of Going the Extra Mile!

Coronado Historical Association
Wednesday, April 3, 2024    5pm
Nautilus Room | 1845 Strand Way, Coronado, CA 92118

This incredible event will be held on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm in the Nautilus Room, 1845 Strand Way, Coronado. Tickets are $125 each and can be purchased by clicking Register Now
We hope you will join us to make a toast and raise your paddle at the GEM Award reception and dinner to benefit CHA's historic preservation work.
Reserve early as space is limited.


posted 2/16/2024

RB Speakers Series: The Allure of the San Dieguito River Valley

Rancho Bernardo Historical Society
Saturday, March 9, 2024    11am
13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego, CA 92128
The Rancho Bernardo Historical Society Speakers Series presents Chris Khoury of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy, speaking on “The Allure of the San Dieguito River Valley.” Admission is free, 11 a.m., Saturday, March 9th, 2024 at the Rancho Bernardo History Museum in the Bernardo Winery.

If you have any questions, please call 858-775-5788 or visit rbhistory.org


posted 2/14/2024

Special Exhibit Event: The California Innovation No One Talks About: How and Why the Real Estate Industry Segregated America

Coronado Historical Association
Thursday, March 14, 2024    6pm
1100 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118

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Gene Slater Lecture, Coronado Historical Association

In conjunction with the Coronado Historical Association's latest exhibit, An Island Looks Back: Uncovering Coronado's Hidden African American History (read more here). CHA cordially invites you to join us for a special exhibit lecture, The California Innovation No One Talks About: How and Why the Real Estate Industry Segregated America. Author, Gene Slater, will delve into his path-breaking book Freedom to Discriminate: How Realtors Conspired to Segregate Housing and Divide America and the implications of this history today. 

Tickets are available now by clicking Register Now

Member ($15.00 each)

Non-Member ($20.00 each)

Important Registration Information: Capacity is limited and reservations are required. No walk-ins will be admitted.

If you have any questions, please email info@coronadohistory.org or call (619) 435-7242.


posted 2/6/2024

Online Lecture: Li Sao: 2,300-Year-Old Literary Gem Still Shines Today

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
Sunday, February 11, 2024    10am

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li sao

Our February 2024 edition of The Chinese American Experience & Beyond will take place on Sunday, February 11th at 10 a.m. PST.  Dr. San-Pao Li, who is contributing calligraphy to our upcoming exhibition, Poem "Li Sao," Qu Yuan and the Dragon Boat Festival will speak about the treasures planted by Qu Yuan in his poem, "Li Sao."

Please Click here to register.

After you enjoy our Zoom lecture, don't miss the opportunity to explore our museum with FREE admission on Second Sunday!  Join us anytime from 12 to 4 p.m. on 2/11 at our Museum in San Diego's Asian Pacific Historic District.


San Diego Storytellers: "Luck, Love, and Good Fortune"

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
Saturday, February 17, 2024    2-3pm
SDCHM Mission Garden | 404 3rd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

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Chinese Museum

On Saturday, February 17th, starting at 2 p.m., storytellers Fred Laskowski, David Schmidt, and Patti Christensen will weave tales around the concepts of luck, love, and good fortune.

Please Click here to register.


Chinese New Year Fair@the House of Pacific Relations

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
Sunday, February 18, 2024    11-4pm
House of Pacific Relations | 2191 Pan American W Rd, San Diego, CA 92101 

We will be offering CNY activities at the House of Pacific Relations in honor of the House of China's Chinese New Year Fair on Sunday, February 18th! Please join us anytime between 11 and 4 p.m.
Come see musician and SDCHM YPAC member Lu Liu play on the main stage at 4 p.m.!


San Diego Chinese New Year Fair@Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
February 24-25, 2024    10-5pm
Third Avenue and J Street, San Diego

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with us on February 24th and 25th from 10 am - 5 pm, as our neighbors at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) host their annual street fair celebrating the Chinese New Year! There will be fun and food all around Third Avenue and J Street.  Our museum is open for free to all during the fair as we join in the action, providing even more activities in our garden. 
Please check out the street fair website for more information.


February Events in Libraries

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum

Throughout the February, we are holding many workshops and presentations at libraries across the county. These are free and open to the public!  Please join us, if you are able at any of the following events:
•    February 1@4pm:          Traditions of the Chinese Lunar New Year+Lantern-making workshop@Skyline Hills Library 
•    February 3@10am:        Chinese New Year Zodiac Crafts@the University Heights Branch Library
•    February 6@5pm:          Lantern-making workshop@Malcolm X Library
•    February 7@3pm:          Chinese New Year Zodiac Crafts@Carmel Mountain Ranch Library
•    February 8@4pm:          Chinese New Year Zodiac Crafts@the Mission Hills Library
•    February 10@11am:      Chinese New Year Zodiac Crafts@the Allied Gardens / Benjamin Branch Library
•    February 12@10:30am: Paper cutting workshop@the 4s Ranch San Diego County Library Branch
•    February 13@5pm:        The Art of Chinese Calligraphy@San Ysidro Library
•    February 15@10am:      Bilingual Storytime@the Mountainview/Beckwourth Branch Library
•    February 15@4pm:        The Art of Chinese Calligraphy@the Carmel Valley Branch Library
•    February 16@2pm:        Traditions of the Chinese Lunar New Year@the San Carlos Branch Library
•    February 21@4pm:        Chinese New Year Zodiac Crafts@the Mira Mesa Library 
•    February 28@3pm:        Fan Making Workshop@San Diego County Library Vista Branch

 


posted 2/5/2024

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Ocean Beach Historical Society February

30th Anniversary Celebration Ceremony

Ocean Beach Historical Society
Thursday, February 15, 2024    7pm
Water's Edge Church | 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107

Have We Got Some Stories for You!  Please join Ocean Beach Historical Society on Thursday evening, February 15th at 7:00 pm as we celebrate our 30th year.  Teachers, writers, business owners, artists, designers, photographers, old time hippies, community activists, owners of historic homes, elves, gnomes, and similar unusual and splendid individuals – in other words, OBHS Board Members – will tell personal stories of their relationships with the little town we call home, Ocean Beach.  Experts are calling for a strong chance of FUN, and even cake!  Come on down!  The monthly OBHS lecture series is always FREE and is still held in the sanctuary of Water’s Edge Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd in Ocean Beach.  We hope to see you there!


posted 2/1/2024

The San Diego Museum Council has a special offer for you during the month of February!

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2024 Museum Month

Click here to download your Monthly Digital Pass!

Half-price tickets at over 60 museums, county wide! From Balboa Park's major cultural center of learning with the Fleet Science Center, Museum of Us, San Diego History Center, and San Diego Museum of Art, and more! These offers are extended all the way to Museum of Making Music, east to the Barona Cultural Center & Museum, south to the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center, west to the Museum of Contemporary Art, to Mid-town's Brain Observatory! New Museum Month locations for 2024 include LEGOLAND® California Resort and its SEA LIFE® Aquarium, the California Wolf Center, the Deer Park Winery & Auto Museum and WNDR Museum San Diego--there is something fascinating for everyone!

You can check out the full list by clicking here. Please enjoy the amazing educational and cultural aspects of all of San Diego! We look forward to seeing you there!


posted 1/11/2024

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Ocean Beach Historical Society Lecture Series

Travels Through Time, History, and Back to OB

Ocean Beach Historical Society
Thursday, January 18, 2024    7pm
Water's Edge Church | 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107

Please join Ocean Beach Historical Society on Thursday evening January 18th as we kick off the 30th year of our free monthly lecture series.  Ocean Beach photographer Randy Dible will present a program of his own wonderful photos mixed with the great historic photos of his grandfather, San Diego photographer Robert Thompson, from his travels around the world in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s.  This is a return engagement for Randy, and his programs are a lot of fun mixed with jaw-dropping imagery.  January 18th at 7:00 pm, Water’s Edge – 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd in Ocean Beach.  All are welcome, always FREE, tell a friend and come on down.  For more information, please visit Obhistory.org.

 

2023

posted 12/27/2023

History Alive Lecture: Lemon Grove Review 

The Lemon Grove Historical Society
Thursday, January 4, 2024    7pm
3205 Olive Street, Lemon Grove, CA 91945

Sarah Lewis and Cynthia Hughes-Doyle of the LGHS board will detail what’s happened with 50 years of editions of the Lemon Grove Review and how YOU can access this weekly chronicle of life in our town. This remarkable project involved weeks of labor by these two heroines, all so we can revisit the past, research and remember.  

This lecture is free and suitable for ages 16 and over. For more details, email our president, Laura Hook, at Laura@lghistorical.org.


posted 11/29/2023

The 45th season of free "History Alive" lectures continues in 2024

On Jan. 4 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove, Cynthia Hughes-Doyle and Sarah Lewis will describe their work to make "The Lemon Grove Review" available to the world. These ladies, in a major labor of love, listed the metadata from 10 years of this weekly chronicle of local life and shared the information with California Revealed, the organization that is tracking local newspapers in order to reveal local history and stories. Months of labor from our intrepid pair mean that fragile 1950s issues can be read online. Don't miss this important tutorial in how to access online on your computer the newspaper that revealed the way we were.

On Feb. 1 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove, Helen Ofield, who saved two historic local sites--1897 and 1928-- and turned them into the Parsonage Museum of Lemon Grove and the H. Lee House Cultural Center, will be joined by the project foreman, Gary Elbert, to describe the process of saving structures in dire condition by winning local hearts and minds (especially civic leadership), becoming an official Americorps project, and keeping a team of hardy volunteers going from 1997 to 2000. The 1897 structure was Lemon Grove's first church, while the 1928 structure is a Tudor Revival mansion built during the American Country Home Movement. These tough tasks resulted in two jewels in the local crown. People with vision all over this great country are doing the same thing. Trust them, help them, then stand back and feel terrific! You can do this.

For both events, call 619-460-4353 for more information.


posted 11/6/2023

Monsters on the Loose

Monsters on the Loose –
three unsolved murders in prohibition era San Diego, with Richard Carrico.

Ocean Beach Historical Society
Thursday, November 16, 2023  7pm
Water's Edge Church | 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107

OBHS favorite, Richard Carrico returns Thursday, November 16 at 7:00 pm to preview his new book Monsters on the Loose.  In early 1931 the city of San Diego was terrorized by the murders of three young women.  None of the crimes were witnessed, the killings seemed unrelated, and forensic criminology was still in its infancy.  Has Richard solved one of these cold cases?  Join Ocean Beach Historical Society to find out.  The monthly OBHS lecture series is always FREE and is still held in the sanctuary of Water’s Edge Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd in Ocean Beach.  Come on down! 

 

Farmers Market


posted 10/16/2023

The Isthmus

The Isthmus (1915-1916). Balboa Park’s answer to OB’s Wonderland.  

Ocean Beach Historical Society
Thursday, October 19, 2023  7pm
Water's Edge Church | 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107

Please join Ocean Beach Historical Society on Thursday evening October 19 at 7:00 pm for Jonnie Wilson’s pictorial paean to the fabulous fun zone of the Panama California Exposition, known as the Isthmus. There had been big fairs with exciting midways before, but nobody had ever seen anything to rival the Isthmus. Jonnie’s program will feature dozens of wonderful images from her extensive picture postcard collection. The monthly OBHS lecture series is always FREE and is still held in the sanctuary of Water’s Edge Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd in Ocean Beach. Come on down!


Centennial Celebration of the Building of the California Old Spanish Trail Highway

November 2 – 5, 2023

OST100 Centennial Reenactment Registration is free and open to the public, anyone loving the open road. Registration is required to ensure enough complimentary food and materials donated by generous businesses and organizations. Registration due by Friday, October 13, 2023.

For more information, click here.


History Alive Lecture: The Audience is the Star

The Lemon Grove Historical Society
Thursday, November 2, 2023   7pm
3205 Olive Street, Lemon Grove, CA 91945

Please join us on Nov. 2! Various local residents will give 3 to 5-minute anecdotes, very amusing, related to work, education, and life in general in Lemon Grove from past to present. If you have any questions please call 619-460-4353.

Christmas Open House

Annual Christmas Open HouseChristmas1

Friday December 1, 2023  4pm - 7pm
Parsonage Museum, 3185 Olive Street, Lemon Grove
H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive Street, Lemon Grove

Parsonage Museum and H. Lee House Cultural Center are both in festively decorated Treganza Heritage Park. Giant Christmas tree is a major photographic draw and children, ages one to ten, can visit San Claus on his throne next to the big tree--with a comfy chair for a parent or caregiver by Santa so your little one will not be alone with the Big Guy. The City of Lemon Grove will provide free hot chocolate, cookies, music and games, as well as pony and hay rides. This is a treasured annual event, now in its 28th year.

Christmas

 


posted 10/05/2023

Community Collecting Day

Coronado Historical Association: Community Collecting Day

October 13, 2023  11am - 3pm
1100 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118
 


posted 9/21/2023

San Diego County Archives Month

San Diego County Archives Month Open House

October 25, 2023  8:30am - 4:30pm
10144 Mission Gorge Rd, Santee, CA 92071


posted 8/29/2023

Jack Doherty

Jack Doherty: The Birth of Lemon Grove

Thursday, September 7, 2023
3205 Olive Street, Lemon Grove, CA 91945

Please join us on Sept. 7 for an eyewitness account of how Lemon Grove became California's 414th city.

 


posted 8/9/2023

San Diego Sake Festival 2023

San Diego Sake Festival 2023

Sunday, September 24, 2023
Venue 808
808 J St, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

San Diego’s largest sake celebration - San Diego Sake Club is thrilled to announce San Diego Sake Festival 2023, with our Co-supporter Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana. Join us as we guide you through the best sake from Japan and the US !

Sake FestivalGeneral Admission Entrance begins at 3PM
Tickets include:

  • 7 SAKE tasting tickets from more than 50 kinds of premium Japanese and American craft Sake (Additional Sake tasting tickets are available for purchase, $2 per ticket)
  • Tasting Japanese BEER (No tasting tickets required)
  • Meet the local sake brewers and sommeliers to learn everything about sake.
  • "Kagami Biraki" Traditional cedar sake barrel opening ceremony and tasting cedar barrel infused sake
  • Performances from local artists
  • Sake Festival Original Tasting Cup
  • 1 Food ticket

VIP Admission Entrance begins at 2PM 
(Limited availability, Selling Fast)
VIP Benefits:

  • All general admission benefits +
  • All you can taste sake and beer
  • 1hr early access to the festival 2pm-6pm 
  • 1 VIP Food ticket 
  • 1 souvenir Sake cup (Made in Japan)
  • 2 tasting tickets for super premium sakes (available at the VIP lounge) 
  • Access to Designated VIP lounge and meet Sake sommelier

*This event is for guests 21 and over*
 


posted 8/2/2023

NTC Post Card

The 100th Anniversary of The Naval Training Center

Ocean Beach Historical Society 

August 17, 2023  7:00pm
Water's Edge Church | 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107

Naval Training Center Centennial

Originally known as the Naval Training Station, NTC as it came to be known following the Second World War, is celebrating its Centennial in 2023. Please join Ocean Beach Historical Society as we take a look back at the origins and exciting history of the big base on Point Loma with presenter Eric DuVall. The population of the base reached over 40,000 during the Korean War. Scheduled for closure in 1993, the former NTC campus successfully morphed into the mixed-use facility Liberty Station. Always FREE!  Water’s Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, Ocean Beach. Come on down!

 


posted 7/3/2023

Coffee & Conversations: Historic Buildings

Coffee & Conversations: Historic Buildings

August 4, 2023

Coronado Historical Association
1100 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118

Join CHA for coffee and a casual discussion about historic buildings in town, buildings that are no longer, and what historic preservation means to you!

The event is free but RSVP is encouraged.

Wine & Lecture: Honoring American POW Heroes of The Hanoi March

Wine & Lecture: Honoring American POW Heroes of The Hanoi March

August 17, 2023

Coronado Historical Association
1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118

The Coronado Historical Association invites you to the next lecture in the Wine and Lecture series as Author Gary Foster will discuss his time in Vietnam, the writing process, and what he has learned about writing. He will give an overview of his books and discuss his latest book The Hanoi March. The Hanoi March was a propaganda event held on July 6, 1966, during which the North Vietnamese Army paraded 52 American POWs through the streets of Hanoi. North Vietnamese civilians began beating the POWs along the two miles route. The March highlighted the mistreatment of American POWs.

Member ($15.00 each)

Non-Member ($20.00 each)

Important Registration Information: Capacity is limited and reservations are required. No walk-ins will be admitted.

If you have any questions please email info@coronadohistory.org or call (619) 435-7242.

Wine & Lecture: San Diego Children and Teens During World War Two

Wine & Lecture: San Diego Children and Teens During World War Two

September 21, 2023

Coronado Historical Association
1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118


The Coronado Historical Association invites you to the next lecture in the Wine and Lecture series as historian Linda Canada gives a unique view of San Diego Children and Teens During World War Two. The young people of San Diego had an experience of World War II that was much different from their parents. Not only did many fathers leave to fight overseas, but a lot of mothers took war jobs and were often gone from home for long hours. Food, clothing, and shoes were suddenly rationed, air raid sirens abruptly sounded day or night, and even activities at school were modified to provide training to help in the war effort! Through letters, interviews, and official records you’ll learn about the actual experiences of San Diego’s children and their life on the home front during World War II. 

Member ($15.00 each)

Non-Member ($20.00 each)

Important Registration Information: Capacity is limited and reservations are required. No walk-ins will be admitted.

If you have any questions please email info@coronadohistory.org or call (619) 435-7242.

 

 

Wine & Lecture: Designing Hollywood

Wine & Lecture: Designing Hollywood: How the Studio Wardrobe Department Created the Image of Golden Age Movie Stars.

October 19, 2023

Coronado Historical Association
1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118

The Coronado Historical Association invites you to the next lecture in the Wine and Lecture series as author Christian Esquevin gives an inside look at his latest book Designing Hollywood: How the Studio Wardrobe Department Created the Image of Golden Age Movie Stars. From the earliest days of their establishment in Hollywood, movie studios found that they needed to set up wardrobe departments and hire the best costume designers they could find. Women made up a large part of the audience – and they wanted to see the newest fashions on their favorite stars. Men could be attracted to the sexy outfits on the now stylish “Hollywood line” figure. The studios geared their advertisement to promote what the top stars would be wearing in forthcoming films. The lecture will focus on Esquevin’s new book and will include a slide show featuring the biggest stars of the Golden Age in costumes designed to create their image.

Member ($15.00 each)

Non-Member ($20.00 each)

Important Registration Information: Capacity is limited and reservations are required. No walk-ins will be admitted.

If you have any questions please email info@coronadohistory.org or call (619) 435-7242.


Wine & Lecture: The Sacred Architecture of San Diego

Wine & Lecture: The Sacred Architecture of San Diego

December 14, 2023

Coronado Historical Association
1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118

The Coronado Historical Association invites you to the next lecture in the Wine and Lecture series Rev. Dr. Mark Hargreaves discusses San Diego's outstanding collection of high-quality sacred buildings. Many were built by renowned architects such as Irving J. Gill, Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, Robert Wellington Quigley, and Charles Moore. This lecture will examine these buildings and show how they reflect the major architectural movements of the twentieth century.

Member ($15.00 each)

Non-Member ($20.00 each)

Important Registration Information: Capacity is limited and reservations are required. No walk-ins will be admitted.

If you have any questions please email info@coronadohistory.org or call (619) 435-7242.

 


posted 5/8/2023

Wine & Lecture

Wine & Lecture: Vietnam Rescue: Honoring Medal of Honor Winner CDR Clyde E. Lassen, USN (Ret.)

 June 8, 2023

Coronado Historical Association
1100 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118

The Coronado Historical Association invites you to the next lecture in the Wine and Lecture series, a talk about Naval Base Coronado's (NBC) plan to erect a monument in honor of CDR Clyde E. Lassen, USN (Ret.) and his crew at the VADM James B. Stockdale, USN (Ret.) front gate. The SH-60F helicopter is painted with Clyde’s Medal of Honor scheme and is a joint venture between the USS Midway Museum and the Naval Helicopter Association Historical Society, Inc. (NHAHS). This memorial, to be situated directly across from VADM Stockdale’s memorial A-4, Skyhawk, will pay tribute to a Vietnam war hero, a Navy helicopter crew, and all the hard-working people that pass through the gate at the NBC Master Helicopter Base. Captain Bill Personius, USN (Ret.), NHAHS President, will speak about CDR Lassen and his heroic rescue along with the plans for, and challenges with mounting the aircraft – “Helicopter on a Stick” – at the NBC Front Gate.

Member ($15.00 each)

Non-Member ($18.00 each)

Important Registration Information: Capacity is limited and reservations are required. No walk-ins will be admitted.

If you have any questions please email info@coronadohistory.org or call (619) 435-7242.


posted 5/4/2023

A Return to the Cradle of Bitchin

A Return to the Cradle of Bitchin

Please join Ocean Beach Historical Society and Point Loma High Alumni Association, Thursday evening, May 18, at 7:00 pm, as we return to the Cradle of Bitchin with author A. Lee Brown and sculptor Richard Arnold.  Lee and Richard are longtime friends, and are both former Pointers, Qwiigs and OB Lifeguards.  The program will be based on Lee’s recently published book Cradle of Bitchin, A Story of Mentors, Watermen, & the Sea.  While “Cradle” explores the California beach culture’s inherited Hawaiian concepts of Kumu a’ o (mentorship of the young) and Lokahi, (the unity between the sea and humanity) it is also a memoir of a youth and adolescence in the Ocean Beach of the 1950s and 1960s.  In the words of Richard Arnold:  “My Dad died when I was five and the Ocean Beach lifeguards became my surrogate fathers.  Those fellows taught me how to harvest and respect the sea and the way of the Waterman.  As I look back to those times I realize I could never have had a more bitchin childhood.”

Water’s Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.  Always FREE, Come on down!
 


posted 4/10/2023

Lemon Grove Historical Society

 


posted 4/3/2023

The San Ysidro Library

The "Friends of the San Ysidro Library" cordially invite you to our special event: An Evening with María García, author of "We Made San Diego", Tuesday April 4th, 2023 6:00-7:00pm at The San Ysidro Library (4235 Beyer Blvd, San Ysidro, CA 92173)  Donation: $10.00

Please join us Tuesday April 4th from 6-7pm at the San Ysidro Library for an evening with Maria Garcia! Admission is $10 which will help fundraise the San Ysidro Friends of the Library. Maria Garcia is an author from North District 8 who wrote "We Made San Diego", a book about Logan Heights Neighborhood and the history of North District 8 neighborhoods in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.

 

Torrey Pines Lodge


Civil Rights: The Story Continues

The Lemon Grove Historical Society's research into the 1931 Lemon Grove Incident parallels its interest in all civil rights.

BY Helen Ofield | LEMON GROVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The Lemon Grove Historical Society

"Four Spirits," the sculpture in midtown Birmingham, commemorates the four little girls, who were killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church Klan bombing in 1963. (City of Birmingham, AL)

 

The Lemon Grove Historical Society’s long involvement with the successful 1931 Lemon Grove School Desegregation case prompts this editorial. For a fact sheet on the commemorative mural about the case, please contact ofield@lghistorical.org or visit 7963 Broadway, Lemon Grove.

A cultural folk hero becomes part of popular consciousness through bravery often in response to social injustice. A local example is the cohort of Mexican-American parents, who refused to send their children to a segregated school and won the 1931 case against the Lemon Grove School Board. Roberto Alvarez, Sr., age 12, ably represented his classmates in court as he spoke perfect English and was a U.S. citizen, born in La Mesa. His courtly presence impressed everyone and belied the school board’s assertion that the segregated children “spoke little or no English.”

We should include as folk heroes the lawyer who won the case, Fred Noon, who was raised in Nogales, spoke fluent Spanish, and had been recommended to the parents by the Mexican Consulate. Also, Superior Court Judge Claude Chambers, whose comments indicate he was appalled by the bigotry of the case. He pointed out that in 1931 it was legal to discriminate against African-Americans, Native Americans and Asian-Americans—but not Mexican-Americans, who were and are Caucasian, or “white.” Caucasian is the largest racial group on the planet.

Judge Chambers awarded victory to the parents on Mar. 11, 1931. Their children were back in the Lemon Grove Grammar School before the end of March. Roberto Alvarez. Sr. died in 2003—but he grew up to found Coast Citrus Distributors , a multinational produce company functioning today under the direction of family descendants. His son, UCSD emeritus professor of Ethnic Studies Roberto Alvarez, Jr., coined the phrase “The Lemon Grove Incident,” now in wide use.

In modern America, Mexican-Americans have achieved much in politics, government, education, science and medicine, the arts and many other fields. The Lemon Grove Historical Society seeks to celebrate the achievements of all peoples. We especially urge everyone to visit 7963 Broadway, where they can view the beautiful mural painted by artist Mario Chacon (chaconarte), celebrating the 1931 case and Lemon Grove’s agricultural history.

Students from San Altos School and Lemon Grove Academy Middle assisted Mr. Chacon. School District Superintendent Erica Balakian authorized purchase for every third grade child in the Lemon Grove School District of the remarkable book, Todos Iguales/All Equal, written and illustrated by Christy Hale and published by Lee & Low, available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Bravo and thank you, Ms. Balakian!

More good news: Award-winning author Larry Dane Brimner wrote Without Separation (Calkins Creek/Penguin Random House), illustrated by Maya Gonzalez, about the 1931 case. It builds on Brimner’s elegaic book, Birmingham Sunday, about the horrific deaths of four little girls on Sept. 16, 1963, when Klan members bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a civil rights meeting center and frequent target of bomb threats. The City of Birmingham installed a beautiful bronze sculpture near the restored church, commemorating Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, all 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 11. Addie’s little sister, Sarah, survived, but lost her right eye.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., cabled Alabama Governor George Wallace with “the blood of our little children is on your hands.” Birmingham was torn apart as thousands of whites also were stricken by the bombing. Over 8,000 attended the girls’ funeral in the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church.

Two months later, President John Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 under President Lyndon Johnson.

Brimner has written some 150 children’s books, some are amusing tales and fantasies, but many focus on real historical events—the trials of the Scottsboro Boys, the 1961 Freedom Ride, Blacklisting in Hollywood, labor strikes, the black-and-white confrontation in “Bombingham” (Rev. Shuttleworth and Bull Connor), civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, and more. No wonder Brimner’s awards keep mounting up, for these books about America’s contemporary history are written for everyone to understand, but especially generations coming up.

Christy Hale, too, has racked up dozens of awards for Todos Iguales/All Equal, with recognition coming from state and national educational organizations, and libraries.

The Lemon Grove Historical Society encourages everyone to subscribe to the weekly San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, whose motto is “A People Without a Voice Cannot Be Heard.” This 63-year-old newspaper not only showcases San Diego’s busy, accomplished African American community, it features a fascinating “Sunrise-Sunset” series of obituaries, an international section of rarely-seen, well-chosen articles, national news and plenty of color photographs by its gifted, in-house cameraman, Mike Norris.

This historic newspaper is published by the famous Dr. John Warren, a huge favorite on the speaking circuit and never more so than on the Lemon Grove Historical Society's free series, History Alive. Just go online to latanya@sdvoice.info or call 619-266-2233. A merry, kindly staff will help you subscribe. After that, you can find the paper in your online mailbox, or in your snail-mail box.

In America, civil rights are the bedrock of our democratic republic--but they need all the help they can get from decent, law-abiding citizens prepared to think, read, debate and raise up children to inherit, not the wind, but the greatness and rarity of this republic.

Link: https://patch.com/california/lemongrove/civil-rights-story-continues


posted 3/22/2023

The Historic Home Tour returns to the Island on Mother's Day, May 14, 2023!

Home to History May 14, 2023 Coronado Historical Association Annual Historic Home TourWe invite you to support the community you love, its history, and the Coronado Historical Association with someone special this Mother's Day and walk through the doors to these exclusive private homes open to ticket holders only from 11 am to 4 pm.

PRE-SALE TICKETS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE TO CORONADO HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION MEMBERS. If you are not a member, please select the New Member Special. 

Membership is confirmed with each purchase. If you are not a member of the Historical Association, purchase the New Member Special to secure your tickets, as general admission tickets will be extremely limited.

Purchase tickets here!


posted 03/10/2023

Helen Ofield of the Lemon Grove Historical Society wrote an article about a tragedy that happened in Mississippi 68 years ago for Patch:

Emmett Till, 14, was murdered on Aug. 28, 1955 in Mississippi.

Two men, denizens of a racist South, mutilated Emmett. An all-white, all-male jury of their peers found them not guilty.

Emmett Till

Jaylyn Hall as Emmett Till, the merry, confident Chicagoan, who met a gruesome death in Money, Mississippi, after repeated warnings from his mother: “It’s different down there. Be careful.” (United Artists Releasing PR image)

“Till” was released on October 1, 2022 to respectful reviews. Named one of the best films of 2022 by the National Board of Review, it has not resonated with the movie-going public. Made for a modest $20 million (not enough for marketing), it has grossed only $10 million. This well-crafted film, with its careful attention to the look of the 1950s and the “solid South,” to the Till family, especially the grief-stricken, intrepid mother of Emmett Till, places “Till” in the front rank of the 2022 releases and should win these awards:

Best Picture (Keith Beauchamp and five others, producers; United Artists)

Best Director (Chinonye Chukwu)

Best Screenplay (Michael Reilly, Keith Beauchamp, Chinonye Chukwu)

Best Performance by an Actress (Danielle Deadwyler, an Oscar nominee)

Best Supporting Performance (Jaylyn Hall as Emmett)

The film centers on Mamie Till-Mobley, who fought for justice for her son. She refused to hide the hideous photos of the slain Emmett. She would not close his casket. “This is what racism looks like,” she declared. Result: Some 50,000 sobbing mourners filed past the casket. The case prompted the Civil Rights Movement, motivated Rosa Parks to refuse to give up her seat to a white man on a public bus, and is a “name” to this day.

Here’s the story: On Aug. 21 Emmett traveled by train to visit relatives in Money, Mississippi. A week later he was dead at the hands of Roy Bryant and John Milam.

After a day in the cotton fields, where his relatives were sharecroppers, Emmett and family bought snacks at Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market where Carolyn Bryant ran the cash register. Emmett paid for items and left. Bryant, also without incident, walked outside, where he jauntily whistled at her. Relatives, aware that they were now in grave danger, hustled Emmett away.

After midnight on Aug. 28, Roy, Carolyn’s husband, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, forced their way into the relatives’ home. They found Emmett in a bedroom and ordered him to dress before kidnapping him. His great-aunt offered the men money, but they refused as his uncle begged them not to take “a child.” They held the family at gunpoint. Once outside, Carolyn identified Emmett.

The men took Emmett to a secluded building, where they beat him, gouged out an eye, shot him in the head, shackled him with barbed wire to a 75-pound cotton gin fan, and threw him in the Tallahatchie River.

Back in Chicago, Mamie learned of his kidnapping, then met with the counsel to the NAACP. He warned that her personal history and past marriages would be used against her by the defense, which would try to shred her reputation. Mamie, by the way, was a well-spoken educator and always perfectly turned out, as was her son.

Three days later, a teenager fishing in the river found Emmett’s water-logged corpse. Mamie directed that the body in a coffin be returned to Chicago. She bravely identified his grossly mutilated body on an autopsy table. His funeral prompted headlines throughout the U.S. and Europe. Bryant and Milam were charged with murder. The NAACP, with considerable insensitivity, urged Mamie to help galvanize federal support for voting rights while her fame was current.

With her father, Mamie traveled to Mount Bayou, Mississippi, for the trial. In an awful moment, they were spread-eagled against the courtroom wall and frisked for weapons. On the plus side for the NAACP, the excellent Medgar Evers, the first field secretary in Mississippi for the organization, was instrumental in getting a trial and persuading the NAACP to publicize the case. Evers was assigned to drive Mamie and her father to and from the courthouse.

Eight years later Evers was shot dead in front of his wife and children after garnering a reputation for decency, statesmanship and justice. He fought Jim Crow laws, segregation in education, and much more. Many of us remember the death of Medgar Evers in 1963 at the hands of Byron de la Beckwith, just as we recall the Plague Year, 1968, when we lost Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

In court Emmett’s Uncle Moses Wright described the boy’s kidnapping, how the family tried to prevent it, and how Milam held the family at gunpoint. Willie Reed was an eyewitness to Emmett’s killing, but was never tried as an accessory. In a riveting scene, Mamie stood up in court and identified the corpse as her son literally limb by limb. Later, Carolyn Bryant testified with a fake story of Emmett’s sexual advances. To the surprise of no one, the jury bought it. After deliberating for one hour they exonerated Bryant and Milam.

In the film’s heartbreaking closing scene, Mamie envisions her son in his jaunty hat, back home and beaming lovingly at her.

After they were acquitted, Bryant and Milam confessed to kidnapping and murder in a Look magazine article because they couldn't be retried. In 1955 there were no federal hate crime statutes, as there are now. Thus, the Till case went into the Cold Case files at the Department of Justice. The case was reopened in 2004 and 2017 to no avail. You can visit https://www.justice.gov/crt/case/emmett-till-0 to learn more about why the case was closed.

Mamie Till-Mobley, a school teacher, died at 81 in 2003. Emmett is buried in Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, a part of the Chicago metropolitan area. Two predominantly African American cemeteries are in Alsip. Notable Chicagoans are buried there including Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Dinah Washington, Jimmie Crutchfield—and Emnmett.

The Till story exists in a biography of Mamie, a book about the case, encyclopedia entries, a documentary and, now, a fine movie.

The production team had tried for years to make the picture. In the process they did not caricature whites in the town of Money, but once Emmett arrives there the tension is palpable mainly because we know how the story ends. Beauchamp and Chukwu objectively lay out the facts of the case and allow Deadwyler to carry the picture. She does and a star is born.

If you haven’t already, you owe it to yourself to see this honest film that is true to a horrendous part of America’s historical record.

Link: https://patch.com/california/lemongrove/emmett-till-14-was-murdered-aug-28-1955-mississippi

Ocean Beach Historical Society

Please consider joining Ocean Beach Historical Society for our Bi-annual fundraiser, the Wisteria Garden Party, Sunday March 19th from 1-4 pm, at 4761 Niagara Ave, Ocean Beach.  But only if you want to have a swell time nibbling niceties whilst listening to some marvelous music under the fragrant and bodacious blooms of a 110-year-old Wisteria vine.  $20 at the gate, come on down!

 


posted 03/08/2023

VISIT THE SAN DIEGO POLICE MUSEUM

San Diego Police MuseumFebruary 2023 the City Clerk Archives conducted an off-site visit to the San Diego Police Museum and met with the museums very own Director II and head archivist, Tom Giaquinto for a tour and a look at their holdings.  We heard Ronald Regan’s audio interview, mentioning his very own appointed San Diego Police officer, Gene Spurlock.  

It was a meaningful story, Tom showed us the recording and images from Reagan’s presidency.  This interview provoked thoughtful memories. Mr. Giaquinto mentioned that “Ronald Reagan (40th President) was a good guy, always putting his staff before himself, making sure they ate and would stop everything to accommodate his team – “I mean it, it’s the truth!” Tom smiles fondly, chuckling while describing his own experiences with the late president. San Diego Police Museum

The San Diego Police Museum is situated close to San Diego State University, in the heart of San Diego and centrally located off El Cajon Boluvard.  There are thousands of badges at the museum, “police surgeons” and police badges of “lifeguards” and police “nurses” and so much more.

Tom showed us the preserved newspaper articles regarding the “San Ysidro Massacre” (7/19/1984) and the mid-air collision that struck San Diego’s Northpark at 9:01 AM on that fateful September Monday morning in 1978. We also learned about the unfortunate ripple effects that were magnified in our City after these incidents.  I could tell that depending on what Mr. Giaquinto was showing us, he had a great deal of personal involvement in these specific events.

Mr. Giaquinto and the team take a great deal of pride in their repository.  Stop by and visit, you’ll be amazed just how much history is behind the walls of the San Diego Police Museum.  San Diego Police Museum

If you’re looking for something to do with the family or a treat for yourself?  You won’t want to miss this museum!  The San Diego Police Museum has been documenting San Diego’s law enforcement since 1889. Children of all ages will find it amazing and fun to see all of the great uniforms badges, and our very own history in San Diego’s law enforcement.  So many records are on display so come out and join us at the San Diego Police Museum!  

If you are local teacher and looking to take your class on a fascinating, educational and engaging field-trip, contact the San Diego Police Museum and book your reservation!

Celebrate Women’s History Month, and check out San Diego’s women in law enforcement from the 1900s at the San Diego Police Museum!

Everyone can find something to learn about America’s Finest Since 1889!

  • Address: 4710 College Ave, San Diego, CA 92115San Diego Police Museum
  • Hours: 

   Wednesday    11–3 PM
   Thursday        11–3 PM
   Friday              11–3 PM
   Saturday         10–2 PM
   Sunday            Closed
   Monday           Closed
   Tuesday           Closed

To read additional information about Officer Spurlock, please visit https://tinyurl.com/2m39e4vc

*Please note, the San Diego Police Museum is also available for private groups and tours.  For reservation, please contact the San Diego Police Museum for additional information.

 


posted 03/03/2023

Free History Alive by the Lemon Grove Historical Society

Our free History Alive series will feature historian Alexander Bevil on April 6 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove.

Remember Bevil’s white-knuckle account of the PS182 crash in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood?

Back for the third time, the historian and preservationist will detail the search for missing aviators—this time, the 1922 crash on Japacha Ridge in the Anza Borrego Desert, and the hunt for a plane crash monument in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. 

Bevil spent 20 years as a California State Parks historian. The SDSU graduate has labored to rescue historic resources in and out of our parks, especially the little-known plane crashes that dot aviation history and are soon forgotten, though loss of life, pioneering aviators and plane inventions beg for attention. Don’t miss this.

Please be in your seat by 7 pm as we start on time. Walkers, light wheelchairs and service dogs are most welcome; otherwise, no pets or motorized vehicles. Call 619-460-4353 for more information.

Our free History Alive series will feature retired U.S. Army Master Nurse, Donna Lupinacci on May 4, 2023 in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove.

Lupinacci will present "The Influenza Pandemic of 1918" in which thousands died in San Diego County, and millions worldwide (more than in WW I). Replete with photographs and stirring text, she will compare the handling of the 1918 epidemic with the modern Covid-19 catastrophe. Don't miss this insightful lecture.

Please be in your seat by 7 pm as we start on time. Walkers, light wheelchairs and service dogs are most welcome; otherwise, no pets or motorized vehicles. Plenty of adjacent parking on-street and in Treganza Heritage Park, where the Lee House is located. Call 619-460-4353 for more information.

Helen Ofield of the Lemon Grove Historical Society wrote an article discussing movie audience statistics for Patch:

What Did They Watch and Why: Notes on the Moviegoing Public

Moviegoers are subdivided into categories by age, gender, ethnicity so that movie marketers know whom to aim for (and at).

Johnny depp

Johnny Depp starred in the biggest movie franchise in history, "Pirates of the Caribbean". (Wikipedia)

When COVID-19 invaded from the People’s Republic of China, Americans meekly obeyed mandatory lock-downs, stayed home, wore masks, subjected their kids to Zoom lessons, and avoided crowded places like movie theaters. Movie marketers, long the denizens of red carpet grand openings, were stuck. How does one market a first-run, big-budget movie when nobody’s out there, munching popcorn in the dark and thrilling to life on the silver screen?

So, what do audiences like watching, we pondered. Everyone knows that DVDs and TV have made serious inroads into brick-and-mortar movie theaters. Tracking viewership of mass media bears out some long-held truths of movie marketers: The numbers don’t lie. A movie must open at $20 to $40 million in revenue if it’s going to have traction long term. There has to be a “want” established among the viewing public. A major studio film budgets a minimum of $120 million to produce and sell, with one third reserved for marketing. The targets are broken down into groups: male, female, young, old, poor, middle class, filthy rich, racial/ethnic identity.

The received word is that young males like blood, explosions, cars flying through the air, pratfalls, poop jokes, “you’re so gay” banter and sex. But not romance, old folks, family life, death, sensitivity, or, God forbid, guilt. They’re 15 - 29 and could care less.

Young females (same age group) like friendship, fashion, pop music, sarcasm, romance and sensitive boys who think with their hearts—but not sex (although they enjoy hearing the naughty girl telling her pals about it). Girls and boys both go to horror films, but the girls hate gore. Instead, you lure them by having the ingénue take her time walking down that dark hallway.

Older women like feel-good films and Nicholas Sparks-style weepies (romance, heartbreak). They are the core audience for stories of doomed love and triumphs of the human spirit. They like seeing an older woman having her pick of men, but hate seeing a child in danger. Once they reach 30, these women become the most “review-sensitive.” Much critical praise for a movie targeting older women can grow the opening weekend’s gross by five to ten million dollars (think anything with Meryl Streep*). In other words, older women are discriminating, which is why so few films are made for them.

By contrast, older men like darker films, classic genres like Westerns and war movies, men protecting their homes and women, and men behaving like idiots. Older men are easy to please, especially if a film stars Clint Eastwood and is about guys just like them. But, as women know, men are hard to motivate. Said one marketing consultant, “Guys only get off the couch twice a year, to go see Wild Hogs or 3:10 to Yuma. If all you have is older males, it’s time to take a pill, or jump, or get workman’s comp.”

Movie marketers have a few rules for making their films “relatable”: 1) Can’t we all get along? (black and white conflict is now verboten in the Age of Woke, unless the hero/aggressor is black/Hispanic). 2) If the poster shows a poster child, the movie is for kids. 3) Everybody’s a comedian (especially true for male viewers of any age). 4) If it has a title like The Squid and the Whale, it’s somebody else’s problem (if a movie doesn’t haul cash on the first weekend, an awkward title is often seen as the culprit.) 5) Always cheat death (stars can be courageous, conflicted, super charged alive, even missing, but if they’re dead, who cares?).

For many marketers their campaigns (“the science”) hinge on which old movie your new movie is like—it’s called “pre-awareness.” The top ten grossing movies of the last decade were all pre-awareness, with ties to comics—SpiderMan is case in point—TV series, or Oscar-winning directors and stars. Familiarity breeds comfort until it breeds contempt. Take Will Smith, a former A-list star. He smacked Chris Rock in front of the entire planet. Now he’s box office poison.

A “tentpole” picture like Pirates of the Caribbean holds up the entire studio and grosses enough money to hold together lesser films. Pirates began as a Disneyland theme park star and the whole world knew about it. The film became a five-picture “franchise” and grossed over $4.5 billion worldwide, the first film franchise to gross over one billion dollars, not including toys, costumes, board games and what-all. If you liked this film, you were in all of the above target groups, except Older Women, though their fondness for Johnny Depp and the fun they’d had at Disney World with the grandkids prompted millions of them to buy tickets.

The post-Covid world has changed. Life is more violent. School kids are flunking out of reading and math. Marvel comics lead the movie pack. Audiences are slowly returning, though in 2022 just 33% of viewers actually went to a movie theater. Stay tuned.

*Except The Devil Wears Prada, a title that prompted many women to assume it was a horror movie. But the film made money when audiences saw fancy wardrobes, Starbucks coffee and warmth and style in the trailers. And women viewers loved Meryl Streep’s white hair.

Link: https://patch.com/california/lemongrove/what-did-they-watch-why-notes-moviegoing-public

San Diego County Archives: Traveling Lecture program

events sheet


posted 02/02/2023

A Great Week for History

Mark your calendars for these free events presented by the Lemon Grove Historical Society.

Feb. 2 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove:

The "History Alive" series welcomes Superintendent Erica Balakian, the woman who leads the charge for education in our school district. She's bringing precious school archives, along with a discussion of the modern and historical district, which dates from 1893, making us a forever-young 130 years old!

But, wait, there's more...

Feb. 4 at 2 pm in the Lemon Grove Library, 3001 School Lane:

Color portrait of Toshiko Takaezu molding pottery at her spinning wheel.We start "The American Arts & Crafts Film Series" featuring three acclaimed documentaries by Jack Ofield, showing craft ancestors, contemporary artist-craftsmen, and a trio of remarkable folk painters. Here's the lineup:

  • Feb. 4 at 2 pm: "Inheritance," the PBS classic featuring Harvey Ward, the nation's last scoop shovel maker; Elizabeth Proper, the last of the Taconic Hills basketmakers; and John Forshee, the last hereditary tinsmith in America. Examples of work will be on display.
  • Feb. 11 at 2 pm: "With These Hands," now a cult classic (ABC-TV) featuring eight American artist-craftsmen, whose work toured the world as Objects: U.S.A. under the sponsorship of Sam Johnson of Johnson & Johnson as "Objects: U.S.A."
  • Black and white portrait photo of Queen Stovall, August 1979 Colorful painting of crowd outside a church but Queena StovallFeb. 25 at 2 pm: "Three American Folk Painters" features the charming Mario Sanchez (Key West, Florida); the dynamic Ralph Fasanella, the painter of the labor movement (New York and New England); and the insightful Queena Stovall, who painted "life's narrow space" in Lynchburg, Virginia.

 

 

 

At Ocean Beach Historical Society

February 16th at 7pm, Costal Scrub to Garden Fair lecture with Nancy Carol Carter.

After many years of debate and controversy, a formal plan for the landscaping and planting of San Diego’s City Park was adopted in 1902. Much of the original plan was shelved when preparations for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition began in earnest. When the Olmstead Brothers Landscape firm bowed out of the Exposition team, opportunity fell to two “accidental landscapers.” Balboa Park historian Nancy Carol Carter will describe how this precarious predicament resulted in the richly planted and beautifully maintained grounds of the Exposition, which won praise as a “Garden Fair.” This lively program will introduce a wide cast of interesting characters and is illustrated by numerous vintage photographs showing how the Exposition forever changed Balboa Park and influenced horticulture in all of southern California. Please plan to join Ocean Beach Historical Society Thursday February 16 at 7:00 pm for this fun and exciting program. Water’s Edge Faith Community – 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Always FREE, Come on down!

 

 


posted 02/01/2023

The San Diego Museum Council has a special offer for you during the month of February!

Museum Month 2023 Over 60 museums with half price tickets

 

Click here to download your Monthly Digital Pass!

Half-price tickets at over 60 museums, county wide! From Balboa Park's major cultural center of learning with the Fleet Museum, History of Us, San Diego History Center, and the Museum of Art to name a few!  These offers are extended all the way to Escondido's Art Museum, east to the Barona Cultural Museum, south to the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center, west to Point Loma's Visions Museum of Textile Art, to Mid-town's Brain Observatory--there is something fascinating for everyone!

You can check out the full list by clicking on the banner or here. Please enjoy the amazing educational and cultural aspects of all of San Diego! We look forward to seeing you there!


posted: 01/30/2023

Harvey Ward, the last scoop shovel maker in AmericaHarvey Ward, the last scoop shovel maker in America

The Lemon Grove Library, the Lemon Grove Historical Society and New Pacific Productions present the "American Arts & Crafts Film Series" in the Lemon Grove Library, 3001 School Lane, starting Feb. 4 at 2 pm and continuing on Feb. 11 at 2 pm and on Feb. 25 at 2 pm. The series is free and suitable for ages 15 and over. Please be in your seats by 2 pm as we start on time.

The Feb. 4 program will feature "Inheritance", the award-winning documentary by Jack Ofield, featuring ancestral, indigenous American craftsmen, Harvey Ward, the last scoop shovel maker in America; Elizabeth Proper, the last of the Taconic Hills Basket Makers; and John Forshee, the last Tinsmith in a family line. Each was filmed on location in New York State and each learned the craft from family forebears.

Examples of scoop shovels, Taconic Hills baskets and tinware will be on display. 

The series is intended to reveal the extraordinary creativity of American artist-craftsmen, from the humble, unknowns of rural towns, to the sophisticated creators in major cities.

Upcoming are the cult classic "With These Hands" and the absorbing "Three American Folk Painters."

Proper Adirfront


posted: 01/26/2023

Book Launch: The Other Side of the Fence

February 4, 2023  3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Coronado Historical Association
1100 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118

In celebration of Black History Month, the Coronado Historical Association and the San Diego History Center invite you to the book launch of Cynthia Hudgins's memoir, The Other Side of the Fence. This compelling and important work chronicles the life of Cynthia Hudgins, a woman who grew up in Coronado in the 1920s and 1930s and was raised there by her formerly enslaved grandparents, Amos and Annie Hudgins. Claire Fishback, an author and Cynthia's granddaughter, has worked diligently to transcribe Cynthia's manuscript that was left behind after her passing at the age of 93 in 2015. Kevin Ashley, who publishes the Coronado Black History Project blog was instrumental in bringing Cynthia's story to the public's attention. Both will attend the launch to share the background and process of publishing Cynthia's memoir.

This event is free to attend, but RSVP is required. RSVP by calling 619-435-7242. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Book Launch: The Other Side of the Fence


Wine & Lecture: WARBOATS, 55 Years of Naval Special Warfare

Wine & Lecture: WARBOATS, 55 Years of

Naval Special Warfare

February 16, 2023  5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Coronado Historical Association Lecture Hall
1100 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118

The Coronado Historical Association invites you to the next lecture in the Wine and Lecture series:  WARBOATS, 55 Years of Naval Special Warfare Combatant Craft History.

Boat Unit veterans and authors James Gray and Phil Garn will share stories from their new book about “The Silent Ones,” now known as Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC). They will share the story of Naval Special Warfare Boat Units -- from the Boat Support Units of the 1960s prowling the coast of North Vietnam and the waterways of the Mekong Delta to today’s Special Boat Teams in action around the world -- with some background on maritime special operations since Colonial times. 

Member ($15.00 each)

Non-Member ($18.00 each)

Important Registration Information: Attendance is restricted to vaccinated persons. Capacity is limited and reservations are required. No walk-ins will be admitted.

If you have any questions please email info@coronadohistory.org or call (619) 435-7242.

About the Speakers:

James D. GrayJames D. Gray is a retired Master Chief Petty Officer (SWCC) who served from 1969 to 1999 primarily in Naval Special Warfare commands from Boat Support Unit 1 to Special Boat Squadron 1 to Special Boat Unit 12 with combat deployments to Vietnam with MST-2 and the Persian Gulf as a Petty Officer in Charge of a 65 foot Sea Specter. He is a co-founder and contributor of the WARBOATS and PTF Nasty websites. He is the founder, first President and current Historian of the Combatant Craft Crewman Association (CCCA). A longtime Naval historian, he has written numerous articles ranging from “Ethos” to “On Target” as well as co-author of WARBOATS, 55 Years of Naval Special Warfare Combatant Craft History.

 

Phil G. Garn

Phil G. Garn served in Special Boat Units 12 and 13 as an officer in charge of Sea Fox and Sea Specter craft, division officer, reserve operations officer and officer in charge of the Tactical Operations Crew at NAB Coronado before starting a 26 year carrier in Federal law enforcement with the US Postal Inspection Service. He is a co-founder, former Secretary and current Historian for Combatant Craft Crewman Association (CCCA). With a longtime interest in Naval history and unconventional warfare, he has published a number of articles on Naval Special Warfare subjects and was co-author of WARBOATS.

 

 

 


 

 

Wine & Lecture: Kate O. Sessions: It All

Started in Coronado

April 20, 2023  5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Coronado Historical Association
1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118

The Coronado Historical Association invites you to the next lecture in the Wine and Lecture series: Kate O. Sessions: It All Started in Coronado. Horticulturist and nursery owner Kate Sessions was a pioneering businesswoman who lived unconventionally and relished her independence. Her career began in Coronado, but her name became internationally known, linked with the landscape beauty of Southern California, with Arts & Crafts landscape design, and with Balboa Park, which she helped to develop and preserve. Sessions passionately promoted horticulture as an instrument of individual and community betterment. She published hundreds of articles on plants and gardening, encouraging the use of native plants and those appropriate to the Southern California climate. Come learn more about this remarkable horticulturist and her connections to Coronado.

Member ($15.00 each)

Non-Member ($18.00 each)

Important Registration Information: Attendance is restricted to vaccinated persons. Capacity is limited and reservations are required. No walk-ins will be admitted.

If you have any questions please email info@coronadohistory.org or call (619) 435-7242.

About the Speaker:

Nancy Carol CarterNancy Carol Carter is a historian and frequent community speaker who researches the development of Balboa Park, landscape and garden history, and the life and work of Kate Sessions and other horticulturists. She has published in California Garden, Eden, Journal of San Diego History, Pacific Horticulture, and VIEW (LALH). She holds M.S., M.L.S., and J.D. degrees and is retired from the University of San Diego School of Law. She is the Associate Editor of California Garden magazine and serves on the boards of California Garden & Landscape History Society and the San Diego Floral Association. Carter is a member of Forever Balboa Park’s Horticulture Committee and Park Improvement Committee.

 

 

Wine & Lecture: Kate O. Sessions: It All Started in Coronado


Wine & Lecture: Researching your home at the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk

May 25, 2023  5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Coronado Historical Association Lecture Hall
1100 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118

Wine & Lecture: Researching your home at the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk


The Coronado Historical Association invites you to the next lecture in the Wine and Lecture series as we host the team from the San Diego County Archives for Preservation Month to talk about archival records in the County’s new state-of-the-art Archives facility in Santee. The County Archives include an estimated 65,000 recorded maps, 250 cubic ft. of historic birth, death, and marriage records, 600 cubic ft. of official records, and around 40,000 rolls of microfilm. 

Member ($15.00 each)

Non-Member ($18.00 each)

Important Registration Information: Attendance is restricted to vaccinated persons. Capacity is limited and reservations are required. No walk-ins will be admitted.

If you have any questions please email info@coronadohistory.org or call (619) 435-7242.

San Diego County Archives

San Diego County’s new state-of-the-art Archives facility in Santee. Both images are courtesy of Chipper Hatter.

 


posted: 01/23/2023

Lemon Grove Historical Society

We're back in the H. Lee House for the fabled "History Alive" lecture series--so treasured, so missed during the Covid nightmare.

On Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. we'll welcome none other than our School Superintendent, Erica Balakian, whose topic, "Our Schools Historically and Right Now", is nothing if not timely. You won't want to miss this presentation from the woman who leads the charge for education in our town. 

Like all "History Alive" lectures since 1978, this one is free and suitable for ages 14 and over. The series is made possible by the generosity of William and Shirley Kimmich and Carol Weiss. Our long-time videographer-in-residence, Robert Stuckey, will capture the lecture on videotape and add it to our collection of precious DVDs, going back to 2011.

We start on time, so please be in your seats by 7 p.m. in the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive in Treganza Heritage Park. Free parking in the south parking lot (a heartbeat from the front door) or on-street.  See you there!

 


posted: 01/19/2023

San Diego County Archives Team

 


posted: 01/11/2023

mystery post card

Ocean Beach Historical Society will begin our 2023 Lecture Series with a one-hundred-year-old cold case murder mystery!  A few years ago, Richard Carrico brought us the story of Fritzi Mann, the young San Diego “Butterfly Dancer,” whose body was found on a Del Mar Beach in 1923.  The crime was never solved.  A century later, author James Stewart believes that he has put all the pieces of the puzzle together.   Please be with us on Thursday January 19 for Mystery at the Blue Sea Cottage, A true story of murder in San Diego’s Jazz Age, with James Stewart.  OBHS lectures are at Water’s Edge Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, at 7:00 pm, and are always FREE.  Tell your friends and come on down for this fascinating program.  

2022

posted: 12/19/2022

Christmas week editions

Season’s Greetings from Ocean Beach Historical Society! Christmas week editions of The Beach News and the Ocean Beach News from 1923, 1935 and 1943 are merely a seasonal sample from our collection of 536 weekly editions of this great little OB paper.  This collection has been digitized, through the California Revealed program and can be browsed any time on the Internet Archive:

https://archive.org/details/oceanbeachhistorical

 

Cheers!

- Eric DuVall

 

 

 


posted: 11/14/2022

GLOBE FOR ALL RETURNS TO LEMON GROVE

performance of Shakespeare's Henry V

Globe For All will return to Alvarez Auditorium, 3121 School Lane (next to the Lemon Grove Library), on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 5:15 pm for a free dinner and a free performance of Shakespeare's Henry V at 6 p.m. Once again, the event is co-sponsored by the Lemon Grove Historical Society and the Lemon Grove School District.  Seating is limited, so reserve now at this link:

Free registration link: https://www.theoldglobe.org/pdp/arts-engagement/2022/globe-for-all-henry-v---lemon-grove-academy/#/calendar?startDate=2022-11-01&%3FendDate=2022-11-30

Henry V is action-packed and full of amusing characters representing all the nations of the British Isles. But it is the stalwart Henry, who carries the day with his rousing call to arms to his small, underpaid, underfed, diseased army of longbow experts, with pointed sticks driven into the ground at an angle, and no horse cavalry. A week of rain left the battlefield a sea of mud. Forsaking their bows and arrows, the peasant army won the Battle of Agincourt with hand-to-hand combat.  "Their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor" depended on it. That was Oct. 25, 1415.

If you loved Globe For All in the past, don't miss this stirring show!

 

 


posted: 10/17/2022

John Doan is Back!

John-doan-harp-guitarRemember how much fun we had last November? It was all due to John Doan's wit, charm, funny stories and fetching musicianship. It was the perfect way to launch the holiday season. John will be back with us on History Alive on Nov. 3 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove, to usher in a brand-new festive season.

Do join us in the historic, Tudor Revival H. Lee House, the perfect setting for an old-fashioned Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration. Our videographer-in-residence, Robert Stuckey, will be on hand to record the event for posterity. Our president, Laura Hook, will have a wassail bowl or two for your refreshment, and a cozy fireplace. And the delightful Deirdra Doan will be there to assist her husband's presentation. See you there!

Videotaping is made possible by a generous donation from Carol Weiss. For more information, call 619-460-4353.

 

 


posted: 10/4/2022

The Beach News Program

The beach news reporduction postcard with an image of Santa Claus.

Please join Ocean Beach Historical Society Thursday October 20 at 7:00 pm as we celebrate the 100 birthday of The Beach News, OB’s great little community newspaper. The Beach News started out as a four-page weekly and is THE primary source chronicling the development of the Ocean Beach Community.  The Beach News also carried Mission Beach and Pacific Beach news in the early days.  It was later known as The Ocean Beach News and eventually morphed into The Peninsula News in the 1950s.  Ocean Beach Historical Society is lucky enough to have 13 mostly complete volumes of The Beach News from the early ‘20s through the end of World War II. This program by Eric DuVall wilHistorical Photo Stating Rapid Transit Comes to the Beach Districts with a tram car.l be a fun and nostalgic look at some of the great features, funny old Ads and shameless boosterism that characterized the early content of The Beach News.  Water’s Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd in OB.  Always FREE, come on down!

 

 

 


posted: 10/4/2022

Review of "...Anne Frank" at the Globe

https://patch.com/california/lemongrove/what-we-talk-when-we-talk-anne-frank

The "We" is anyone Jewish in this two-hour comedic family quarrel. The Holocaust weighs on the Jewish soul despite the passage of years.

Director Barry Edelstein delivers a well-acted play written by his good friend Nathan Englander. The ensemble quartet delivers this prolonged Jewish in-joke, where every line is a one-liner. The plot centers on two couples, one orthodox, the other not. The wives grew up as close schoolmates; the husbands are meeting for the first time. None is descended from a Holocaust victim or survivor.

Mark and Lauren (the excellent Greg Hildreth and Sophie von Haselberg) live in straitened circumstances in Israel with 10 daughters. Greg is garbed as a rabbi, while Lauren (“Shoshona”) is in orthodox mufti, but for her platinum blonde wig. Phil and Debbie (the hilarious Joshua Malina and Rebecca Creskoff) live in South Florida in lavish quarters, the subject of much critical comment from Phil. They have one son, Trevor (the utterly charming Nathan Salstone).

That’s it. Played in the round on Paul Tate dePoo III’s lovely set, beneath Russell Champa’s brilliant lighting, and garbed in Katherine Roth’s spot-on costumes, the quartet argues non stop, downs two bottles of Grey Goose vodka-in-the-rocks, hilariously smokes marijuana (an appalled Trevor: “You stole my weed?”) and ranges over the Holocaust, the joys of an orthodox life (or not), to America’s current social and political turmoil.

Trevor arrives between sports practices to define his generation’s view of America: It’s the end times. To Mark’s horror, he has enrolled in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and vehemently asserts that the Nativity should be replaced with spaghetti and meatballs as nothing means anything anymore. Mark laments American education and tries to demand answers to historical questions from the boy. “He’s just a kid,” defends Debbie, ever the anxious earth mother.

Anne Frank isn’t mentioned by name until the last 15 minutes, but the child-woman symbol of the Holocaust is present throughout. Mark and Sophie ransack the humungous refrigerator for kosher snacks and return clutching, among other items, “The Dairy of Anne Frank—Six Million Flavors.” The quartet dances a Horah, the Israeli national folk dance, downs more vodka, and becomes fast friends, even the husbands.

But emerging from Phil’s ceaseless store of jokes (the apparently predominantly Jewish audience was in fits of laughter throughout) is a darker theme. Who will hide you should another Holocaust strike? Of course, this is a reference to the Frank family, which was hidden in an Amsterdam apartment by a non-Jew, Hermine Santrouschitz, and sent to the gas chambers when the Gestapo found them in 1944.

Englander goes too far in mentioning the possibility of “an American Holocaust.” This, for a country that has welcomed countless wanderers home, including some eight million Jews, now about 2.4% to 7.19% of the U.S. population, depending on who’s counting. Jews have fled ghettos, pogroms and organized slaughter to reach America largely through legal immigration and government intervention. They have evolved as the nation has evolved. For example, where the La Jolla neighborhood in San Diego was once barred to Jews, it is now a cultured Jewish enclave.

In a wrenching conclusion, the two old friends, Lauren and Debbie, ask each other whether she would “hide me.” Lauren immediately says yes. Debbie, caught up America’s uncertainty and the issues that grievously divide the nation, cannot answer. This response ends a probing, interesting production, one of the Globe’s best.

The play runs through Oct. 23 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre.

 

Helen M. Ofield, Historian to the Board

Lemon Grove Historical Society

P.O. Box 624

Lemon Grove, CA 91946

Parsonage Museum:  619-460-4353

in Treganza Heritage Park

http://www.lghistorical.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lghistorical


Peeling Back 10,000 Years of San Diego History: Recent Discoveries at the C. W Harris Archaeological Site

posted 8/29/2022

Ocean Beach Historical Society Postcard. Richard Carrico and 10,000 years of San Diego History information.

 

Forward, into the past!  More than 10,000 years ago a group of indigenous people lived along the banks of the San Dieguito River a little east of present-day Rancho Santa Fe and west of the Lake Hodge dam. Situated on a near permanent water source with a myriad of wild game and plant resources this place, known as the C. W. Harris site was occupied continuously for more than ten millennia—right up until the Spanish period. The Harris site is one of the few archaeological sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Originally excavated by Malcolm Rogers in the late 1930s, again in the 1960s and more recently by Richard Carrico and his team of archaeologists, there is no other archaeological site in San Diego County that contains such a treasure trove of data about our First People. Join Richard as he peels back the layers of soil and brings the ancient past to life. We are going to go more than nine feet deep and see artifacts and environmental evidence of cultural and natural change. What did these people eat, how did they make their stone tools, and how did they adapt to substantial environmental change? Always entertaining and informative, Richard is going to answer those questions and many more. Join us for a trip into the past, the really, really long ago past.

Please join Ocean Beach Historical Society for this wonderful free presentation with Richard Carrico.

Thursday, September 15 at 7:00 pm. Water’s Edge Church. – 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd in Ocean Beach

www.obhistory.org


History Alive Lecture Season Begins

 

posted 8/9/2022

A two story house built in 1928 in the English Tudor style, white plaster and wooden frames with a hip-gabled roof clad in cedar shingles.

The Lemon Grove Historical Society will kick off the 47th season of its FREE History Alive lecture series with Jesus Benayas, charismatic president of the House of Spain. He will discuss the case of Juan Roderigo Cabrillo, the first European explorer of the California coast. Long thought to be Portuguese, he is actually Spanish. Dr. Wendy Kramer broke the story after her exhaustive research into 16th century Spanish archives. Benayas will display her book in Spanish and English. Please be in your seat by 7 pm as we start on time. History Alive is suitable for ages 16 and over.

 

Time: Thu, Sep 1, 2022 at 7:00 PM

Location: H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove

Add to Your Calendar


Edison Lives

posted: 6/2/22

Dear Traveling Companions,

Every year in May and June, we think of Thomas Edison and his $637 Black Maria, the first motion picture studio. In a related invention he devised the Amberola, an early phonograph, in 1888. It was an instant hit. In May 1893 in Brooklyn, Edison showed films shot in the Black Maria. Later that year in August those early films were copyrighted at the Library of Congress. Jack could not resist the magic of Edison's genius, so made a little "historical divertimento" about the Black Maria and one of its earliest stars, Annabelle Whitford Moore, 17, performing her "butterfly dance."  Her coltish, youthful enthusiasm heralds the dawn of America's young movie industry.

Attached here for your viewing pleasure is "The Butterfly Dancer."

With special thanks to the Lemon Grove Historical Society, and warm regards,

Jack and Helen

_

 Butterfly Dancer

Jack and Helen Ofield

https://www.newpacificproductions.com


The Mothers of the Mothers

posted 5/9/2022

 

Forward club anniversary poster. Brown background with text and images of the red clubhouse.Dear Ones,

Greetings late on Mother's Day to all of our members and friends. We hope this special day was a happy one for you and yours.

We hearken back to 1909 and the 1920s and 1930s when our ancestral mothers led the charge in Lemon Grove as members of the Forward Club (because they were forward-thinking), a name later changed to the Women's Club when they joined the national Federation of Women's Clubs.

By 1922 the women had built and paid for their own clubhouse. You've done the math. That clubhouse is now 100. It still stands between Main and Olive Streets, Lemon Grove, on the corner of Barnell. It is part of the campus of First Baptist Church and features oodles of free parking.

We're extending Mother's Day to May 12. On that date in 1922, the ancestral mothers held their first meeting in their brand-new clubhouse. It's a 40' x 80' all-redwood wonder with a stone fireplace and a spectacular ceiling.

All 8th grade graduations were held there, along with fundraisers, social events of all kinds, meetings -- activities that made the building the heartbeat of Lemon Grove. Some of you may remember those golden days.

The Lemon Grove Historical Society will celebrate the 100th birthday of the clubhouse on May 12, 2022 at 7 pm. Please come and bring your children. It's all free and utterly fascinating. In addition to refreshments like birthday cake with 100 candles, Pastor Jeff Lettow of First Baptist Church will emcee the program, together with Laura Hook, president of the historical Society.

The excellent Sarah Lewis will present a fabulous display of Women's Club memorabilia and tell you the story of the club and how it served the town.

Best of all, local people who remember activities in the clubhouse will share them with us.

We think the mothers of the mothers would be pleased. We remember them the same way we remember our mothers now. These are the generational ties that bind the community together.

The doors open on Olive Street at 6:30 pm. We greatly look forward to seeing you at this big birthday party!

P.S. Bring your mothers, sisters, grandmas, aunts, cousins and friends!


Springtime Window

posted 5/2/2022

 

still life

Painting with interpretations of still life images by different artists. Rembrandt’s pear, Cézanne’s apple Van Gogh’s sunflowers, Renoir’s doily, O’Keefe’s peeled orange, Miro’s grapes, Zurburán’s lemon and Turner’s orange.

 

 

Dear Traveling Companions, 

 

The still life is a classic genre in art, one that springs to mind as May dawns. Jack has gathered together still beauties* by old friends like Cézanne, Zurburán, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Renoir and O’Keefe, and imagined them happily engaged in creative collaboration in a springtime window.

May your days be filled with art!

This painting has Rembrandt’s pear, Cézanne’s apple Van Gogh’s sunflowers, Renoir’s doily, O’Keefe’s peeled orange, Miro’s grapes, Zurburán’s lemon and Turner’s orange.

 

Yours,

Jack and Helen

Jack and Helen Ofield

https://www.newpacificproductions.com


Lemon Grove's 1922 Women's Clubhouse Turns 100

posted 4/20/2022

forward club anniversary flyer with images of Lemon Grove red historical society house

They did it all by themselves. Raised the money, hired the contractor(s), bought the lumber and built one of the biggest--if not biggest--redwood public building in the West (40' x 80'). Their first board meeting was held there on May 12, 2022. Who were they, these remarkable women? They had grown up before WW I and helped to drive the societal changes that led so many of them--enough to form a cohort of front runners--who became lawyers, doctors, business owners, teachers and political activists.

Among the latter was Eveleen K. Bryan, whose Civil War veteran husband, Col. Theodore Bryan, was an early citrus grower in Lemon Grove. Mrs. Bryan was the first woman in Montana to be admitted to the bar and was a founder of the "Forward Club" in 1913 (later renamed the Lemon Grove Women's Club). She was thrice president of the Forward Club (1916-19; 1922-23; 1925-26), along with a who's who of powerhouse women in Lemon Grove. Among them were Alice Fisher, a founder of the Girls Scouts of San Diego County; ex-pat Brit Mrs. William West of citrus ranch fame; Mrs. Amy Sonka Newton of the famous mercantile family; Poet Mrs. Irving Vernier for whom Vernier Drive is named; business woman, Mrs. Alicia Scheneman, of auto repair fame.

The Forward Club ("forward thinking") bought the first public trash can in town and installed trees and plants wherever they could gain permission in the fledgling downtown. They had opinions about everything, such as the mistreatment of Native Americans, a cause that led them to raise funds and endow scholarships for First Nations youth.

Most of all they raised the clubhouse to an Olympian level: School graduations, countless social events, fundraisers, concerts, book clubs, theatre performances, the latter notably run in 1934-36 as the Lemon Grove Theatre Guild helmed by the famous pediatric eye doctor Dr. Amorita Treganza and her husband Robert Turnbull III. If you didn't hold an event in the Women's Clubhouse, you hadn't arrived on Planet Earth.

But time waits for no one. By 1998 the Women's Club had largely vanished, a casualty of changing economic and social times, and deaths of various members. The remaining members gave their records to the Lemon Grove Historical Society (LGHS), which treasures them as a record of the history and folklore of a fascinating community. Enter LGHS board member Sarah Lewis, who has assembled an outstanding exhibit of club memorabilia for display at the May 12 birthday party.

That's right, it's time to party in the clubhouse! Please see the attached flyer and mark your calendars for May 12 at 7 pm. (doors open at 6:30 pm.) Lots of free parking around the famous building at Burnett and Olive Streets.  Bring your family, friends and memories of this wonderful building. Those wishing to speak will have 3 to 5 minutes to either read or talk off-off-the-cuff. We'll have a microphone, tasty treats and a big birthday cake. Your hosts will be LGHS and the clubhouse owner ("Sonshine House"), the First Baptist Church of Lemon Grove. Pastor Jeff Lettow will emcee the program. Questions: sarah@lghistorical.org or 619-460-4353. See you there!

P. S. Bring the kids...

 


National Park Service Underground Railroad Lists Site with San Diego Connection

 posted 4/4/2022

San Dismiling woman with curly brown hairegan Dolores Van Rensalier got the word on Mar. 29, 2022, from the National Park Service (NPS): The historic site she fought for had been added to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom after years of effort. Historic preservation requires endurance and dedication.

Van Rensalier's biracial personal history had led her to discover in Paterson, New Jersey, her free black grandfather, William P. Van Rensalier, who was a conductor/engineer on the Underground Railroad. He collaborated with his close white friend and employer, the abolitionist Josiah Huntoon, a wealthy coffee and spice merchant, whose mill was a haven for escaped slaves.

This biracial effort, so typical of the 19th century Abolitionist Movement, ultimately helped hundreds to gain freedom from enslavement. Thanks to descendants like Dolores Van Rensalier and her foundation, the two men are memorialized in perpetuity. To honor her remarkable ancestry, Van Rensalier formed the non-profit Huntoon-Van Rensalier Underground Railroad Foundation through which she raised $277,000 to hire famed black sculptor Edward Joseph Dwight, Jr. He was the first African American admitted to the Air Force training program for NASA astronauts in addition to his award-winning art works.

What should have been a slam dunk became no easy road to freedom. Huntoon's house was demolished and the resulting vacant lot was slated to become a parking lot or possibly home to a fast food chain. In 1994, day by agonizing day, Van Rensalier feared the lot would be sold by the Paterson city council when it was the obvious place for the monument. But by 1996 her research proved the lot's historic nature and convinced the city officials to preserve it. Many black leaders in Paterson helped. How could they resist her repeated phone calls to them (Los Angeles to Paterson), often in the wee hours? They responded with strategic suggestions like pressuring the city council to heed Van Rensalier's urgent plea. This worked.

By 2004 Van Rensalier had formed her foundation and begun the endless fundraising--and, oh, joy, one donation was a $171,000 historic preservation grant. This put the project on a trajectory to 2014 when the sacred site was completed.

What followed were years of loving foundation maintenance of the site (owned by the City of Paterson, New Jersey), and encouragement to several Paterson area historians to apply to the NPS for listing on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. That listing happened. The historic site is one of 16 new listings in the 43rd round of applications from 11 states chosen to join the existing group of some 700 sites, facilities and programs in the Network, which honor those who escaped from slavery and those who assisted them on the legendary Underground Railroad. The 700 sites are in 39 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U. S. Virgin Islands.

The stunning bronze Huntoon and Van Rensalier Historic Site honors the sheer guts and fortitude of African American slaves escaping to freedom. They are shown on sweeping wings extending on either side of the figures of the two abolitionists.

We quote Diane Miller, manager of the Network to Freedom:"...as we celebrate Harriet Tubman's 200th birthday, the freedom seekers and allies highlighted in each Network to Freedom listing remind us of what can be accomplished when people take action against injustice...we look forward to working with members to amplify the power of these places."

In her letter to Van Rensalier, Robin Krawitz Regional Managerof the National Park Service program (NTF) wrote, "Thank you for the immense work you have done to save this important historic site. Your book is in the bibliography..." That book is Bridge Street to Freedomamazon.com.

Today, Dolores Van Rensalier resides in San Diego and is married to Dr. John Warren, publisher of the equally historic  San Diego Voice & Viewpoint one of the nation's longest-running, most prestigious black newspapers. 

 In 2019 the Lemon Grove Historical Society's Remembrance Project featured Van Rensalier in a fascinating discussion of biraciality and color in the Lemon Grove Library before a packed house. We are grateful to her for her candor, love of history and intrepid spirit. Knowing she is at the helm of the Huntoon-Van Rensalier story is an inspiration.

The fabulous Huntoon Van Rensalier Historic Site lives on as part of the National Park Service and is annually viewed by thousands of visitors.

Great job, Dolores!


 

KINDER, GENTLER CREEPS

posted 3/30/2022

english style cottage white plaster brown wooden supports 2 stories

  The Lemon Grove Historical Society will continue its free, popular History Alive lecture series on April 7, 2022 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove. Helen Ofield's amusing "Where are the Great Cat Burglars" will explore crime in the 1950s and 1960s in LG when slightly kinder, gentler creeps broke into emporia, even homes, seeking spare change or maybe a donut. Invariably, they were caught hiding behind dumpsters, running down the alley, or even squished into air vents.

   Their exploits were gleefully reported in the pages of the Lemon Grove Review, the 50-year weekly chronicle of local life. Recognizing the often hysterically funny nature of these would-be crooks, Ofield began writing a column based on the Review's stories for Patch.com in which she featured assorted malfeasance, fillers ("Wisdom of the Ages"), and stories unique to the little town with the Big Lemon.

   It is no great leap to contrast crime then and now. Today we cope with shootings, muggings, car jackings, knifings, incessant graffiti, and attacks on senior citizens and youngsters. No community is safe, just as fewer courts seem capable of throwing a sufficiently severe book at often violent crooks.

   History Alive is suitable for ages 16 and over. Please be in your seats by 7 pm as the program starts promptly. The H. Lee House is in Treganza Heritage Park, where free parking abounds.


CYNTHIA HUGHES DOYLE ON THE TREGANZA STYLE

posted 3/1/2022

Brown haired woman in black glasses smiling, Cynthia Hughes Doyle.Mark your calendars for this outstanding edition of "History Alive":  Mar. 3 at 7 p.m. in the H. Lee House Cultural Center, 3205 Olive, Lemon Grove, Cynthia Hughes Doyle, great granddaughter of architect Alberto Treganza, will treat us to her latest research into Treganza’s beautiful architectural designs, many of them state and federal landmarks. Doyle’s ultimate goal is to author a book about our very own Big Lemon designer--and among the West’s finest architects, furniture designers, artists and (even) ornithologists.

The lecture accompanies the exhibit, The Treganza Family in Lemon Grove, on view now through June 30, 2022 in the Parsonage Museum, 3185 Olive, Treganza Heritage Park, Lemon Grove. Laura Hook, LGHS president, designed the informative exhibit, which features many rarely-seen photographs and gives you the lowdown on Treganza's birding exploits. He discovered the Ardea herodias treganzai in Utah in 1907. You can call this mighty bird "Treganza's Heron" or "Treganza Blue Heron" according to the Smithsonian Institution and the federal Biological Survey.

Treganza's mother wrote poetry and was an active collector of shells and fossils. His father was a horticulturist, painter and avid outdoorsman. You can see where Alberto and the whole family got their love of the outdoors, not to mention achievements in the arts and humanities. The senior Treganzas crossed the plains from Utah in 1889, a trip not for the faint of heart. In 1911 Alberto designed a charming Arts & Crafts bungalow for them on Kempf Street, Lemon Grove. That house is alive and well at age 111.

We can't wait to welcome our terrific speaker. Please be in your seat by 7 pm on March 3. Our lectures are free and suitable for ages 16 and over. See you there!


 

The Treganza Dynasty: The Family That Made History Happen

posted 02/24/2022

A large group of smiling people gathered around the Treganza Heritage Park signThey left nothing to chance. Starting in 1842 when the first "Tregensoes" (later, Treganzas) crossed the Atlantic to America and a new life, the family left the starting gate (Cornwall) with many of the things that make life worth living: Art, Writing, Music, Crafts, Agriculture, Architecture, Anthropology, Ethnography, Mining, Medicine, Research, Business, Education, International Relations, and above all, a sense of adventure and faith in the future.

The Treganzas set down roots in the Western US and Mexico, especially in tiny Lemon Grove, the town that welcomed our wanderers home. In gratitude, the scion of the family, master architect Alberto Owen Treganza, designed The Big Lemon, a 3,000-pound civic icon that has stood by the town's lifeline--the railroad that carried its award-winning lemons throughout the U. S.--since 1928.

Alberto's father, Eduardo Treganza, had horticulture in his veins. He worked with early growers, including the great Hunter Dynasty (founder of century-old Hunter's Nursery) to kickstart the town's citrus industry. He and his wife, Josephine the poet, had crossed the plains by wagon from Utah in 1889 to San Diego and thence to Lemon Grove.

Alberto's two marriages involved gifted women and many offspring. The first wife, Alma ("Soul"), died of heart disease (today she would have lived). Their two talented daughters, Eleanor and Eloise, lived into old age. They were raised by Alma's successor, the writer-adventurer Antwonet Kaufman, who lovingly raised Alma's children and her own brilliant three, Amorita, Adan and Adalaida. What followed were legions of descendants residing today in every part of America and carrying on family traditions in the arts and humanities and more.

Many came to Lemon Grove for the Oct. 9, 2021 dedication of Treganza Heritage Park. This joyous event was initiated by the Lemon Grove Historical Society (a founder was Amorita Treganza in 1978) and carried to the finish line by the City of Lemon Grove in honor of the pioneer family that influenced literally every aspect of civic life. The park is home to the Parsonage Museum of Lemon Grove and the H. Lee House, the Tudor Revival wonder built in 1928--both saved and resuscitated by the historical society with civic approval.

The historical society will continue the celebration on its History Alive series, Mar. 3 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive Street, when Treganza descendant, Cynthia Hughes Doyle, will give a terrific Powerpoint lecture, "Alberto Treganza: Master Architect." A special museum exhibit, "The Treganza Family in Lemon Grove," opens Saturday, Mar. 5 at 11 am. The latter will include a Members Only Reception on Mar. 5 from 2 - 4 pm. at the museum. If, gasp, you aren't a member, you can attend and join that day. We also look forward to welcoming members of the press.

And that, dear friends, is why the dynasty lives on and why history is our friend.

Photo credit: Mike Norris Media for LGHS


FAMED PHOTOGRAPHER MIKE NORRIS DISPLAYS WORK IN THE PARSONAGE MUSEUM

posted 01/18/2022

An image of an older black gentleman in tinted glasses with a white and gray goatee, a colorful hat, and fingers a golden pendant at his collar.   The Lemon Grove Historical Society (LGHS) will observe Black History Month with a solo show, Mike Norris: A Retrospective, on view Feb. 1 through Apr. 30 on Saturdays, 11 am to 2 pm, and weekdays by appointment for groups of six or more from 10 am to 2 pm in the Parsonage Museum, 3185 Olive Street, Treganza Heritage Park, Lemon Grove. The exhibition honors the work of a noted African American photographer, whose work is characterized by drama, movement and deep humanity.

   Modest and retiring, Norris was spotted by Oakland Tribune photographer Kenneth P. Green. "I used to do ride-alongs with Kenneth on his assignments," said Norris. "One day he said I'd make a good photographer, but I just laughed. At the time I was working as a nightclub singer and drummer."

   But Greene persisted. Intrigued, Norris began studying Greene's work, as well as that of Gordon Parks, the legendary African American photographer. It was sports photography that became Norris's ticket to ride--all the way to the Hall of Fame four times with dramatic images of Chargers' linebacker, Junior Seau (for whom Norris became the personal photographer); LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers' winning running back; Joe Morgan, the great second baseman; and Ronnie Lott, the remarkable linebacker for the San Francisco Forty-Niners.

   These indelible portraits cemented Norris's reputation as a photographer who got the story. His career includes work with Tiger Woods' golf clinics for youth, private clients, big public events, publications like San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, one of the oldest, most prestigious Black newspapers in America, and more. Norris's interpersonal skills transform stiff, nervous subjects into relaxed, personable human beings. "There is such joy in this work when a plain old photo becomes alive and vibrant, and jumps off the page," observed Norris.

   On Jan. 1, 2022 LGHS continued its practice of recognizing noted artists by appointing Norris its Photographer-in-Residence. He joins Kathleen Strzelecki, Artist-in-Residence (2000) and Robert Stuckey, Videographer-in-Residence (2010).

   "We are thrilled to have Mike on board,” said Laura Hook, LGHS president. “His reputation preceded him -- but when he brilliantly photographed our October, 2021 public events for the dedication of Treganza Heritage Park, we knew we had a winner. Thank you, Mike!”

   LGHS will celebrate the Norris one-man show with a members' reception on Feb. 5 from 2 - 4 pm at the Parsonage Museum, where libations and refreshments will greet visitors. More information: 619-460-4353.

   Mike Norris: A Retrospective is made possible by the generosity of William and Shirley Kimmich and Carol Weiss.

   (Photograph of Mike Norris by Ife Babatunde).

 


LGHS APPOINTS MIKE NORRIS PHOTOGRAPHER-IN-RESIDENCE

posted 01/04/2022

An image of an older black gentleman in tinted glasses with a white and gray goatee, a colorful hat, and fingers a golden pendant at his collar.   The Lemon Grove Historical Society (LGHS) increased its talent pool, effective Jan. 1, 2022, by appointing Mike Norris Photographer-in Residence.  Norris joins Kathleen Strzelecki, Artist-in-Residence, and Robert Stuckey, Videographer-in-Residence, both well-known for their work in portraying and documenting American history.

    “We are thrilled to have Mike on board,” said Laura Hook, LGHS president. “His reputation preceded him, of course. But when he brilliantly photographed our Oct. 8-9, 2021 ‘Treganza Extravaganza,’ the public dedication of Treganza Heritage Park, we knew we had a winner. Thank you, Mike!”

   As photographer-in-residence, Norris will cover major public events sponsored by the historical society and undertake its special photo shoots. Private and public funding underwrites the services of this important artist.

   Norris’s passion for photography is no accident. Half a century ago, he picked up a camera and never looked back. What he photographed became his ticket to ride— all the way home as a four-time Hall of Fame photographer with Joe Morgan, the great second baseman; Ronnie Lott, the superb linebacker for the San Francisco Forty-Niners; LaDainian Tomlinson, the winning running back for the San Diego Chargers; and Junior Seau (for whom Norris became the personal photographer), the legendary linebacker for the Chargers. Tiger Woods’ golf clinics for youth, social events and much more comprise the Norris oeuvre.

   Today Mike shoots for a range of news media like the historic San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, one of the oldest Black newspapers in the nation, as well as for private clients in his studio. He has amassed a portfolio of arresting images that form the basis of his one-man shows.

   But this modest man has never forgotten the close friend who recognized his talent: Kenneth P. Green, staff photographer for the Oakland Tribune. “l would do ride-alongs with Kenneth on his newspaper assignments. One day he said I would make a great photographer. I simply laughed out loud. I had no intention of being a photographer.” (At the time Norris worked as a nightclub singer and drummer.)

   Norris continues: “Whatever Kenneth saw in me was prophetic. As a top-rated photographer, I owe it all to him, as well as to inspirations like Gordon Parks whose work I studied, and to mastering various cameras, from the original film-and-darkroom cameras to the current and evolving smart phone cameras and online techniques.

   “I learned from Kenneth the importance of interpersonal skills that put people at ease, so they turn from stiff and embarrassed to relaxed and personable. This makes the difference between a plain old photo and one that jumps off the page alive and vibrant. There is great joy in this work.”

   LGHS will mount a solo exhibition of Norris’s work in the Betty Hunter Gallery of the Parsonage Museum of Lemon Grove in February. Start and end dates, and the date and time of the opening reception will be announced later this January.

   Find Mike Norris Studio, Master Photographer, at imageseed@gmail.com.

   (photo credit: Photograph by Ife Babatunde)


Happy New Year

posted 01/04/2022

Image of gears and inside a pocketwatch with curling streamers dangling from the top on a gray backgroundDear Traveling Companions,

 

  You are much on our minds as we bid farewell to a dreadful year. After the toasts and feasting with loved ones, perhaps you endured the senseless hoopla of television with its screeching, self-centered hosts, who are anathema to any genuine celebration.

  Then came today, la vraie nouvelle année. We hope there was a rebirth at breakfast at your house as symbolized here in Jack's amusing hatching at table.

  We think back to "Barry Lyndon" and that great closing line:  "It was in the reign of George II that the above-named personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equaAn image of a glass of orange juice, an egg hatching a blue baby bird, and a steaming cup of coffee.l now."

  That is true. But for us, you made a bad year better through your creativity, originality and love for each other.

  Onward to 2022!

  Jack and Helen Ofield

 

 


Six Nations' Worth of Great Short Films

posted 01/04/2022

The Lemon Grove Historical Society will launch its 2022 season with Film Night in the Lee House on Jan. 6 at 7 pm in the H. Lee House, 3205 Olive Street, Lemon Grove. This free, special edition of the "History Alive" series is suitable for ages 17 and over.

Films from six nations, rarely seen in the U.S., include the gripping "The Wave on the Shore," an Iranian documentary about smugglers on the Caspian Sea outrunning patrol boats while a village wedding is underway--filmed as it happened; "The Glassmakers of Herat," a documentary made just before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, where a 20-year-old father uses a 3,500-year-old method to make glass; "Stampede," a sweet animation from California; "The Voice of Silence," a heartbreaker from Sweden; "Uno Mas Uno Menos," a docu-drama about a girl with Downs Syndrome in Spain and her TV interviewer friend; "Rival," a comedy about dating in Uzbekistan.

Long-time historical society members, Jack and Helen Ofield, are sponsoring the program of unusual international films from their hit series, The Short List, a four-time Emmy award-winner on public broadcasting.

Popcorn and water will be available. Please be in your seat by 7 pm. 

(Production photos courtesy of the Iranian Young Cinema Society and Corning Glass.)

2021

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Packs 'Em In

posted 11/22/2021

Helen Ofield, Patch Mayor

This is the story of a little child who leads them. When Cindy Lou (the adorable Leila Manuel) of Who-ville innocently treats the evil Grinch like the decent person he basically is, his shrunken heart starts to g-r-o-w. And with it his remorse and affection for the non judgmental denizens of Who-ville.

The Grinch (Andrew Polec) and Young Max the Dog (Tommy Martinez) argue over Christmas. (Rich Soublet II for The Old Globe)Who-villeans are amusingly upholstered, sing like angels and even appear as tiny puppets on the hill in starlight—leading us to applaud the Globe's technical team, to wit: the Who-chestra led by music director Elan McMahan; John Lee Beatty, scenic design; Robert Morgan, costumes; Pat Collins, lighting; Paul Peterson, sound; Jess Slocum, stage manager; Bob Richard, additional choreography for John DeLuca's original dances; Joshua Rosenblum, vocal arrangements and artful incidental music; Sarah Daoust, editor of the wonderful program; James Vasquez, director of this Christmas confection; and Jack O'Brien, Globe patron saint, who delivered the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas 24 years ago.

All those years ago, kids sobbed in fright as the hairy green Grinch strode the stage and screen. Now, moppets are convulsed in giggles, while their parents applaud vigorously. A packed house clearly adored the tightly-constructed show running an hour and 20 minutes. Vasquez uses the entire theatre with Who folk in the aisles, fake snow falling, and a pair of fetching "dogs" (John Treacy Egan and Tommy Martinez) keeping us on message and on track.

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Let's go!

Strive though he does to thwart Christmas and maintain his rugged individuality, the Grinch (the virtuoso Andrew Polec) is persuaded bit by funny bit to admit he blew it. Along the way, Who-villeans remind us that gifts are not the message of Christmas, "It's the Thought That Counts," they warble.

Dismayed though they are when the Grinch swipes their food, gifts, even, gasp, the tree with the star on top, they press on and celebrate with their children the true meaning of the Christian, but universal, season.

We thank the Globe for ignoring political correctness and all-against-all warfare and choosing, instead, to mount a happy production that emphasizes multiculturalism and the brotherhood of man. Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) would be proud of you. The show runs through Dec. 31--get your tickets now. Merry Christmas!

 


Lemon Grove's Early Banks are Gone With the Wind

posted 11/19/2021

The building that housed Berry's Athletic Supply and, earlier, Crocker Bank bit the dust on Nov. 18, 2021.

Helen Ofield, Patch Mayor

In 1949 Lemon Grove got its first bank, First National Trust & Savings, corner of Imperial (now Lemon Grove Avenue) and Golden. For years the building was home to Union Bank, which moved half a block south about a year ago to sit next to Bank of America on Lemon Grove Avenue. The original bank building stands empty awaiting its fate.

Once the town also had San Diego Trust & Savings and Crocker National Bank, which succeeded U. S. National Bank in the familiar white building beside the post office.

Crocker hit the ground running. The stuffed "Crocker Spaniel" was given to those who opened accounts. Excitement reigned when Crocker offered automated teller machine service, prompting customers to speak to it as though it were a person ("Hello, can you help me?"). When the bank was absorbed by Wells Fargo in 1986, other businesses occupied the building. The familiar building at Broadway and Grove is gone and its history with it. (Helen Ofield)

Most recently, the venerable Berry's Athletic Supply, which bought the place in 1992, sold out and moved to 7946 Lemon Grove Avenue, the former site of Grove Office Supply. The building and large parking lot stood empty, but for a big sign heralding the future: CityMark, the developer that built the apartment building next to the two Citronicas at the entrance to town, owned the site and bulldozed it on Nov. 18, 2021.

Rising in its place will be a five-story square apartment building bounded by Lester, Grove and Broadway. This will undoubtedly help California's chronic housing shortage, but not its soaring rents. People form banks and build multi-family housing for one reason: to make money. Whatever the traffic will bear becomes the norm.

Crocker was founded by railroad baron Charles Crocker in San Francisco in the late 19th century. In the crazy-quilt life of banks, Crocker Bank was sold and resold. At one point most of its top 70 executives lost their jobs.

You remember the banking theme in the movie, "I Remember Mama," starring Irene Dunne. Worried that her children would feel insecure if there was no bank account, she would pile up coins (her husband's salary) on the kitchen table and allocate them to the butcher, the baker, the landlord—and the bank. The children grew up thinking there was a financial floor under the family stashed in a mythical bank.

When a hometown bank is sold and resold or goes out of business, or when your mortgage is sold and resold, there is a seismic shift in family security. We can't go back to a safer time, for that is as mythical as Mama's bank. All we can do is marshall our funds, save not fritter, and teach our children the value of saving for that inevitable rainy day. God bless the child who's got his own.

 


Globe For All is All-In

posted October 27, 2021

Shakespeare call and response Globe for AllThe touring arm of The Old Globe Theatre is on the road again after nearly two years of lockdown. Fans are thrilled. The Lemon Grove Historical Society, the City of Lemon Grove and the Lemon Grove School District and adjacent high schools have joined forces to welcome Globe For All to Treganza Heritage Park on Nov. 10 from 3:30 - 4:30 pm for a free, outdoor performance of Shakespeare: Call and Response.

You don't need a ticket. Just come on down to the park. Bring a folding chair or blanket if you wish. We'll have chairs for grownups and plenty of space for any physically challenged guest (walker, crutches, wheelchair, etc.). Best of all, we'll have a beguiling show directed by the multi-award-winning Patricia McGregor (Nat King Cole, A Raisin in the Sun, Winter's Tale, Hamlet, more) and starring Eddie R. Brown III, Sofia Jean Gomez, Anne Son, Christopher Michael Rivera and Miki Vale.

So, what's the "call and response"?  The show features scenes from five major Shakespeare plays performed by a virtuoso quintet adept at dance, verse, music, comedy, drama and audience participation. They call; you respond. Based on your input the troupe transforms into a variety of roles, all anchored by a DJ, who invites the crowd in while spinning hits that get you on your feet. In other words, the whole show is a fresh, original, dynamic interplay between the world's greatest writer and you, the audience.

 

Information: 619-460-4353.

 


MUSIC IN AMERICA NEXT UP ON "HISTORY ALIVE"

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 Vasquez, Girl 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:

https://patch.com/california/lemongrove/movies-you-should-see-case-you-didnt

All the best,

Helen


"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."