Costa Mesa has a diverse history. It is the site of one of the most important native villages south of Ventura, the home to second oldest building in Orange County, and the site of a huge army training center in World War II. It was even an important part of the SoCal punk scene.
The Costa Mesa Historical Society is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1966. The society is not a city department. It is, rather, a 100% volunteer organization staffed by private citizens dedicated to fulfilling the society’s mission: preserving and promoting the history of Costa Mesa.
The society accomplishes its mission through regular public events, community collaborations, and its collection at two museums. The collection comprises over 70,000 items, including 1,500 books, 30,000 photos, and 100 GB of newspapers, as well as countless personal archives, maps, oral histories, digital media, textiles, and more.
The society shares its collection with a broad audience through permanent and temporary exhibits. Exhibits are meant to engage and excite the public about the historical society’s collection by highlighting representative or unique objects on a particular topic. Exhibits don’t have to be in a museum. Metro Car Wash, for instance, displays some fifty pictures from the society’s collection. The society’s books, newsletter, and website are other “venues” for the collection.
If you care about local history and want to share your love with others, consider volunteering or becoming a member today. We'd love to have you.