Escondido History Center

Escondido History Center Visit us in Grape Day Park! Established in 1956, the Escondido History Center strives to provide valuable resources and educate the community about our rich heritage.
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Operating as usual

Ten local high school seniors were acknowledged for academic, sports, arts, and community service excellence by our Esco...
04/27/2021
Legends Scholarships | EscondidoHistory

Ten local high school seniors were acknowledged for academic, sports, arts, and community service excellence by our Escondido History Center Second Annual Legends Scholarship Program. To learn more about them and the program, visit https://www.escondidohistory.org/legends-program

The Second Annual Escondido History Center Legends Scholarship Program recently announced ten winners, each with a connection to a legendary person in Escondido’s history. Every senior student acknowledged attends a high school in Escondido and has received an honorarium of $1,000 for particip.....

We are very pleased to have honored Escondido Legends and presented honoraria to ten local high school seniors.
04/27/2021
Escondido Legends award four scholarships | Escondido Times-Advocate

We are very pleased to have honored Escondido Legends and presented honoraria to ten local high school seniors.

The Escondido History Center's Escondido Legends committee last week announced, after delays due to the pandemic, the first four of ten outstanding seniors from high schools in Escondido that wer

Our Office and Research Center in the city's first Library Complex here at Grape Day Park is open again,  10:00-4:00 pm ...
04/01/2021

Our Office and Research Center in the city's first Library Complex here at Grape Day Park is open again, 10:00-4:00 pm Tuesday - Saturday. Stop in to see our World War I/Spanish Flu Pandemic or buy one of our recently published pictorial books. Due to limited staffing, we recommend call 760-743-8207 to make sure we'll be there if you're planning a visit.

Our Office and Research Center in the city's first Library Complex here at Grape Day Park is open again, 10:00-4:00 pm Tuesday - Saturday. Stop in to see our World War I/Spanish Flu Pandemic or buy one of our recently published pictorial books. Due to limited staffing, we recommend call 760-743-8207 to make sure we'll be there if you're planning a visit.

We're happy to announce that the Santa Fe Depot here in our History Center Complex at Grape Day Park, will finally be op...
04/01/2021

We're happy to announce that the Santa Fe Depot here in our History Center Complex at Grape Day Park, will finally be open to the public again this Saturday from 1:00-4:00 pm. Masks required, limited entry; household groups are asked to stay together once inside. See railroad artifacts and memorabilia as well as items from Escondido's distant past. As always, we do not charge admission but donations are gratefully accepted.

Our handsome 2021 Wall Calendars are now ON SALE for just $5 each!  With January behind us (How did that happen so fast!...
02/08/2021

Our handsome 2021 Wall Calendars are now ON SALE for just $5 each! With January behind us (How did that happen so fast!), we're discounting our terrific wall calendars. Enjoy this BARGAIN price because they still have 11-1/2 great months for tracking all the stuff you have coming up. The beautiful photos, some in black and while and some in color, were taken by respected local photojournalist Dan Rios over the course of 30 years; something to enjoy forever. You can purchase your calendar at the History Center in Grape Day Park (call 760-743-8207 to schedule an appointment) or Rosemary-Duff Florist, El Plantio Nursery, Owens Automotive, or the Urban Barn. Photo is featured for August, a past shot of one of the trains that still come to Escondido regularly.

Our handsome 2021 Wall Calendars are now ON SALE for just $5 each! With January behind us (How did that happen so fast!), we're discounting our terrific wall calendars. Enjoy this BARGAIN price because they still have 11-1/2 great months for tracking all the stuff you have coming up. The beautiful photos, some in black and while and some in color, were taken by respected local photojournalist Dan Rios over the course of 30 years; something to enjoy forever. You can purchase your calendar at the History Center in Grape Day Park (call 760-743-8207 to schedule an appointment) or Rosemary-Duff Florist, El Plantio Nursery, Owens Automotive, or the Urban Barn. Photo is featured for August, a past shot of one of the trains that still come to Escondido regularly.

Our beautiful new books - Escondido, A Pictorial History - are flying out the door, thanks to a nice recent article in t...
02/08/2021
New book out on Escondido history

Our beautiful new books - Escondido, A Pictorial History - are flying out the door, thanks to a nice recent article in the San Diego Union Tribune. We look forward to selling more of them, to help more members of our community renew memories and learn more about our local history, as well as to help pay for our ongoing operations expenses. Instructions for buying copies can be found in the comments. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/north-county-community-news/story/2021-01-06/new-book-out-on-escondido-history

Rarely seen photos featured in newly published Escondido pictorial history book put out by the Escondido History Center, titled “Escondido, a Pictorial History of the Hidden Valley.”

We’re at the Farmers Market right now, selling our Great wall calendars and books.   Come by and say hello!  If you can’...
01/05/2021

We’re at the Farmers Market right now, selling our Great wall calendars and books. Come by and say hello! If you can’t make it today, we plan to be here next Tuesday, too. Corner of Grand and Juniper in Heritage Park.

Happy New Year!  Here's a free online jigsaw puzzle for you to assemble of the January photograph from our attractive ne...
01/02/2021
CCAE Construction, Rios Photo - jigsaw puzzle (108 pieces)

Happy New Year! Here's a free online jigsaw puzzle for you to assemble of the January photograph from our attractive new wall calendar, which features historic photos of Escondido taken by respected photojournalist Dan Rios. This photograph shows interesting perspective as a welder works on the California Center for the Arts, Escondido in August of 1994. Rios was assigned coverage of the Center's construction for the Times-Advocate and he took more than 8,000 photos of the site, from beginning to end. Visit www.escondidohistory.org to buy a calendar or our new book. https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=30b8d77201cc

Free online jigsaw puzzle game

2021 Wall Calendars are still available!  These handsome calendars, featuring historic photos of Escondido, can be purch...
12/22/2020

2021 Wall Calendars are still available! These handsome calendars, featuring historic photos of Escondido, can be purchased online at the link or in person. They're now available at the Urban Barn, 404 E. Grand, as well as at Rosemary-Duff Florist, 101 W. 2nd; Owens Automotive, 302 N. Juniper; and El Plantio Nursery, 1322 San Pasqual Valley Rd., so that you can combine stops while you're out. They're nice gifts to others - and to yourself, too - don't start the New Year without one!

The lights are on and we’re in the train depot at Grape Day Park for the Northern Lights event. We’re handing out candy ...
12/19/2020

The lights are on and we’re in the train depot at Grape Day Park for the Northern Lights event. We’re handing out candy canes and selling our new calendars and books. The authors of the history book are here signing copies, too. Come by and see us tonight and tomorrow night, 6 - 9:00.

Enjoy the free light display at the Center for the Arts and Grape Day Park this evening - and do some Christmas shopping...
12/11/2020

Enjoy the free light display at the Center for the Arts and Grape Day Park this evening - and do some Christmas shopping at the same time! We'll be selling our new calendars and books from 6 - 9:00 pm. at the train depot. Stop by and say hello!

We are extremely pleased to announce that our latest book is now available for sale.  This attractive 248-page book, "Es...
12/11/2020

We are extremely pleased to announce that our latest book is now available for sale. This attractive 248-page book, "Escondido, A Pictorial History of the Hidden Valley," features hundreds of full-color and black-and-white historical photos. Written by History Center Director Robin Fox and local historian Carol Rea, this book is certain to be enjoyed for years to come. Call 760-743-8207 to schedule a time to pick up your copy at the History Center office in Grape Day Park or order through our website, www.escondidohistory.org when our ordering process is ready.

Our train depot is so nicely decorated as part of the Center for the Arts “Northern Lights” event that we added some ver...
12/06/2020

Our train depot is so nicely decorated as part of the Center for the Arts “Northern Lights” event that we added some very merry lights to our office/research center, the city’s first library, too. Many thanks to the Brothers of 6 for putting up the lights that were provided by an anonymous donor today.

A big thank you to the Escondido Times-Advocate for helping us get the word out about our new calendar, too.  Local phot...
12/02/2020
History Center releases 2021 Calendar | Escondido Times-Advocate

A big thank you to the Escondido Times-Advocate for helping us get the word out about our new calendar, too. Local photojournalist Dan Rios did a wonderful job capturing everyday life moments in Escondido and we are honored to share a few with our community. https://www.times-advocate.com/articles/history-center-releases-2021-calendar/

During a career that began in 1968 and spanned more than three decades, photojournalist Dan Rios documented North San Diego County life in a significant number of photographs for the Times-Advocate

We appreciate the Union Tribune for the great article about our very special calendar featuring historic local photos. T...
12/02/2020
U-T North County

We appreciate the Union Tribune for the great article about our very special calendar featuring historic local photos. They’re selling well - have you purchased yours yet?

Retired newspaper photographer's images featured in Escondido History Center's 2021 calendar: https://bit.ly/3qfwacd

12/01/2020

Today is Giving Tuesday and we’re getting close to reaching our goal for this year’s Matching Campaign. Please help us reach our goal so that we can continue to preserve and share our community history!

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are appreciating this special day, thinking of all the things that you can be thankful f...
11/26/2020

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are appreciating this special day, thinking of all the things that you can be thankful for in these difficult times. We are truly grateful to the community for supporting us to ensure that we are able to preserve Escondido's past for the future. And, turkeys! This photograph is from 1910 in what is now the Old Escondido Historic District.

Appropriate for the coming holiday, we're counting our blessings this week and a big one happened last Wednesday.  The C...
11/24/2020

Appropriate for the coming holiday, we're counting our blessings this week and a big one happened last Wednesday. The City Council approved grant funds that will go toward making urgent repairs on the Hoffman Victorian House! Those funds, along with the $15,000 a very generous friend donated specifically toward replacing the roof, will mean that we have a shot at stopping the leaks that are damaging the interior. We're optimistic that the poor old building will begin to look better, or at least be better protected within 3-4. months. Funds were also allocated by the city to put a new roof on the barn, which was also sorely needed. Things are definitely looking up for the Escondido History Center complex!

It’s been a good week for the Escondido History Center.  Today the Brothers of 6 came out to help us a lot!  In addition...
11/21/2020

It’s been a good week for the Escondido History Center. Today the Brothers of 6 came out to help us a lot! In addition to freshening up the grounds, which meant filling 7 bags with leaves and trash, they cleaned out the charred debris from between the office and Victorian House, hauling it with a small cart and trash cans to a distant dumpster. They also moved out a very heavy display case and other items to make it possible to move a carriage into the Train Depot. We owe a great deal to these dedicated and enthusiastic historic preservationists!

How do you get a carriage through a narrow entry door?  You take the wheels off! Our Bandy blacksmiths and wheelwrights ...
11/21/2020

How do you get a carriage through a narrow entry door? You take the wheels off! Our Bandy blacksmiths and wheelwrights built this bright yellow carriage based on historic designs from scratch about three years ago and it’s been stored in the barn, unseen by the public most of its lifetime. This morning, it moved into the Train Depot lobby, where it will be seen more often – once we’re allowed to open again.

Beautiful 2021 wall calendars with historic photographs now on sale! The Escondido History Center is raising needed fund...
11/17/2020

Beautiful 2021 wall calendars with historic photographs now on sale! The Escondido History Center is raising needed funds by selling this "must have" calendar. "Escondido Remembers" features 12 photographs from Escondido's past by prolific local photojournalist Dan Rios. Priced at only $15 each, it's a treasure to give as a gift or buy for yourself! Visit https://www.escondidohistory.org/product-page to order online or pick one up at one of the following locations:
-Escondido History Center in Grape Day Park
-Rosemary Duff Florist, 101 W. 2nd Ave.
-Grangetto’s Farm & Garden Supply, 1105 W. Mission Ave.
-El Plantio Nursery & Landscaping, 1322 San Pasqual Valley Rd.
-Owens Automotive, 302 N. Juniper St.
-Hair Station, 240 W. Crest St., Ste. C

Quite a scare at the History Center today – the original Bandy Blacksmith outhouse burned, catching the large bay tree n...
10/15/2020

Quite a scare at the History Center today – the original Bandy Blacksmith outhouse burned, catching the large bay tree next to it on fire and damaging a small windmill. While flames reached more than 25 feet into the air and the small wood structure was totally destroyed, quick action by the fire department meant that the nearby tank house, Victorian House, and Library office were not significantly damaged. Fire investigators determined the fire to be of suspicious nature and the investigation continues; please contact the Escondido Police Department if you have any information regarding who might have started it.

Museum collections can include incredibly diverse artifacts, each with varying degrees of significance. The story behind...
09/11/2020

Museum collections can include incredibly diverse artifacts, each with varying degrees of significance. The story behind this simple window washer’s tool is compelling and a fine reminder of an event we must never forget - 9-11.

On September 11, 2001, this squeegee handle helped save the lives of six people.

When a hijacked airplane struck the north tower of the World Trade Center, six men, including Polish immigrant window washer Jan Demczur, found themselves trapped in an express elevator near the 50th floor.

Though they were able to stop the elevator from falling, the group was trapped between floors and could smell smoke. Together, they pried open the elevator doors and began to cut through the drywall of the elevator shaft, first with a pocketnife, then with handle of Demczur's squeegee. Eventually, they were able to punch a hole through the wall. The group fled downstairs and out into the street, escaping just minutes before tower fell.

After learning about the group's harrowing escape, museum curator David Shayt contacted Demczur. Here's how he described what happened next:

"I called Jan in December. . .met with him and asked him the big question: Did you hang onto the handle, do you still have that squeegee handle? He left the room and came back with something wrapped in a red handkerchief. Turned out to be the handle. He had kept the handle without realizing it. In his blind escape, he had somehow stuffed it in his pocket rather than put it in the bucket that he dropped later. His wife found it, rolled up in his dirty uniform, weeks later." Demczur agreed to donate the handle to the museum, along with the uniform and shoes he wore to work that morning.

Reflecting on the donation in 2002, Shayt told the Washington Post: "It's collected not as a squeegee handle itself. . .but as evidence of life's affirmation."

Our awesome friends, the Brothers of 6, came by to help spruce up the grounds again last Saturday. They raked, swept, an...
08/18/2020

Our awesome friends, the Brothers of 6, came by to help spruce up the grounds again last Saturday. They raked, swept, and handled other tasks to make our complex look better for visitors to Grape Day Park. Thanks, guys!

07/27/2020
AmazonSmile: You shop. Amazon gives.

Do you shop with Amazon? Did you know that a percentage of what you spend can benefit the History Center without raising the cost of what you buy? It's easy to set up and, once you do,
AmazonSmile will automatically donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon purchases to benefit our organization.

Support the Escondido History Center by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com today! For more information, click on the link. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/homepage/ref=smi_chpf_redirect?ie=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0

Shop at smile.amazon.com and we’ll donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to your favorite charitable organization—no fees, no extra cost.

We're proud to have been a big part of its restoration.  Thank you, SOHO for protecting this significant piece of local ...
07/04/2020

We're proud to have been a big part of its restoration. Thank you, SOHO for protecting this significant piece of local history!

San Diego's Centennial Cannon was first fired at the Fourth of July celebration in 1876. Missing for decades, it was located and restored to working condition by SOHO and today resides in the Whaley House Courtroom.

Happy Independence Day! Celebrate this special day in a fun way but safely, like this band parading down Grand Avenue on...
07/04/2020

Happy Independence Day! Celebrate this special day in a fun way but safely, like this band parading down Grand Avenue on July 9, 1909. This is just one of the thousands of photographs in our collection; to view more than a thousand online, visit https://www.escondidohistory.org/photographs-collection

Even though we won't be be able to provide our regular guided walking tour this Saturday, you can still explore the Old ...
06/10/2020
Tours | EscondidoHistory

Even though we won't be be able to provide our regular guided walking tour this Saturday, you can still explore the Old Escondido Neighborhood on your own, at your own convenience. Two downloadable maps, one for the east side and the other for the west, with directions and information about the historic homes, can be found at https://www.escondidohistory.org/tours. Happy walking and stay healthy!

Held in conjunction with the “Second Saturday” Arts and Museums events, the 90-minute tours take place on the second Saturday of every month, beginning at 10:00 a.m., on the southeast corner of Broadway and Grand. No reservations needed.

We're very pleased that museums have finally been approved to open at the end of this week - with specific conditions we...
06/08/2020

We're very pleased that museums have finally been approved to open at the end of this week - with specific conditions we will need to prepare for. We look forward to opening the buildings within our complex to the public again, but with many of our current volunteer docents in the greater risk groups, our opening will probably be slightly delayed and limited initially. If YOU would like to help out - even one Saturday each month, 1:00-4:00, contact us and let us know! We'll provide training and you'll make a difference in the community by sharing Escondido's heritage with visitors of all ages. Email [email protected] or call 760-743-8207 for more information.

Address

321 N Broadway
Escondido, CA
92025

Opening Hours

Tuesday 13:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 13:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 13:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 13:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 13:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(760) 743-8207

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Our Story

The Escondido History Center museum complex is located in Grape Day Park on North Broadway. The office, located in the city’s first public library, is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. The History Center museums, including the Santa Fe Depot, Pullman Railroad Car, Bandy Blacksmith Shop, the Victorian Country Home, and Penner Barn, are open Tuesday - Thursday and Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The Escondido History Center is a mostly volunteer organization and hours are subject to change; calling ahead is recommended to avoid disappointment.

The Escondido History Center was first organized and incorporated in in 1956 as the Escondido Historical Society. In 1971, the City’s first library building was moved to Grape Day Park and “Heritage Walk” became California’s first Bicentennial project. In 1975, the barn, windmill, wagon, and small blacksmith shop were added to the complex. In 2006, the Society celebrated its 50th anniversary with a new name, the Escondido History Center.

A self-guided tour of the History Center Complex is available by downloading the Explore Escondido app to your smartphone or tablet.

Nearby museums


Comments

Local issues matter we also need to let our local officials know what we would like to be done. Wow potentially a community run winery! Like the blacksmith guild at Grapeday park... Historical attraction to bring more wine tourism to our area. Las cosas locales a veces nos impactan en forma directa, tenemos voz local para decidir sobre los espacios comunitarios... Que tal una vinícola como las tradicional de este valle caluroso donde vivimos...
I have a 3 wooden typeset drawers. One has actual typeset in it. On the back on one it says "Lindsay&Miller" Escondido, Calif Anyone have any ideas if this was a print shop in Escondido. Probably in the 30's or 40"s ?????