Escondido History Center

Escondido History Center Museum dedicated to collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting our community’s history. Our office is open from 10am-4pm Tuesday through Saturday.
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Our museum is open 1pm-4pm, Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday. Our office is in the city's first public library. Our museum also includes the Santa Fe Depot, railroad car, Bandy Blacksmith Shop, and the Victorian Country Home, as well as a barn, 2 windmills, tank house, and more.

Kit Carson Park 1989: girl sitting in serpent's mouth which held up the swings. The park was dedicated in 1969, named af...
01/06/2024

Kit Carson Park 1989: girl sitting in serpent's mouth which held up the swings. The park was dedicated in 1969, named after Christopher "Kit" Carson for his help in guiding Captain John C. Fremount over the Sierra Nevada in the early 1840s. Anyone remember playing on these cool structures as a kid?

Thank you to all who gave so generously to keep the Escondido History Center open and free to the public for another yea...
01/03/2024

Thank you to all who gave so generously to keep the Escondido History Center open and free to the public for another year! We couldn't do it without your help!

We hope that everyone had a wonderful and joyful Christmas and we wish you a prosperous New Year! Sound off in the comme...
12/30/2023

We hope that everyone had a wonderful and joyful Christmas and we wish you a prosperous New Year! Sound off in the comments! What was the best present y'all got for Christmas this year? 🎁

Come visit the Escondido History Center Office and Research Center now till Dec. 31st to learn about the Blizzard of Esc...
12/14/2023

Come visit the Escondido History Center Office and Research Center now till Dec. 31st to learn about the Blizzard of Escondido! Yes, it actually snowed here! Answer a few questions and get a free full sized candy cane!

We take pumpkin pie very seriously here at the Escondido History Center! Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
11/23/2023

We take pumpkin pie very seriously here at the Escondido History Center! Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Emoji puzzle: What was the name of the camp that housed the men building the Bear Valley Dam in 1894?Hint: 😈🔥🕳️From last...
11/18/2023

Emoji puzzle: What was the name of the camp that housed the men building the Bear Valley Dam in 1894?
Hint: 😈🔥🕳️

From last week: The answer is.....grapes of course! This manmade cluster was brought into Grape Day during the festival in 1922 as a weight guessing game. On the same day, 10 tons of grapes were distributed to a crowd of over 15,000 people!

Happy Veterans Day Weekend Escondido! Emoji Puzzle time...What 168lb man-made cluster was carried by several men into th...
11/11/2023

Happy Veterans Day Weekend Escondido! Emoji Puzzle time...
What 168lb man-made cluster was carried by several men into the Grape Day festival for a weight guessing contest in 1922?
🥵🟣🥵

Last Puzzle's answer: The San Diego Chargers. We miss having a football team!

Thanks to all who played last week!

Hello Escondido, we need your help! We have until December 31st to match the $40,000 that our major donor has given us t...
11/01/2023

Hello Escondido, we need your help! We have until December 31st to match the $40,000 that our major donor has given us this year! Every little bit counts, since any donation that you give to our Matching Campaign will be matched in kind and given to your community’s History Center. We hope that you will join our efforts though giving, as we continue to provide our community with school tours, events such as Grape Day Fest, and the preservation of our city’s history and our historic buildings!

And now for the boring stuff! When giving, please type ‘matching’ in the memo, and use 7584 when prompted for phone number verification. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the law. You did not receive any goods or services for your donation. Our federal tax identification number is 23-7363043. Thank you!

🎃🎃🎃Have a Happy and safe Halloween this year, from the Escondido History Center! 🦇
10/31/2023

🎃🎃🎃Have a Happy and safe Halloween this year, from the Escondido History Center! 🦇

Hello Escondido! It's time for another Emoji Puzzle! Where are my football fans at?From 1964 to 1968 which football team...
10/28/2023

Hello Escondido! It's time for another Emoji Puzzle! Where are my football fans at?
From 1964 to 1968 which football team held training camp in Escondido?
🏈⚡🔋

Last week's answer: Bond Burning Day! In order to get a greater water source for Escondido, farmers in the area became bond holders in order to build what is now known as the Lake Wohlford Dam. The water bonds were paid off in 1905 and it was a reason for celebration! Soon after, Bond Burning Day got rebranded into Grape Day, which is still celebrated!

Thanks to all who played last week!

Emoji Puzzle!What was the Grape Day Festival called before it was known as such?📜🔥📆Last week's answer: Heritage Walk is ...
10/21/2023

Emoji Puzzle!
What was the Grape Day Festival called before it was known as such?
📜🔥📆

Last week's answer: Heritage Walk is located in Grape Day Park and is the title given to the group of historic buildings that were relocated here. Heritage Walk was officially given its title in 1976, in honor of the nation's Bicentennial!

Thanks to all who played last week!

Emoji Puzzle:Where is Heritage Walk located?🍇🌄🌳(Bonus question for extra brownie points: what year was it established?)L...
10/14/2023

Emoji Puzzle:
Where is Heritage Walk located?
🍇🌄🌳
(Bonus question for extra brownie points: what year was it established?)

Last Week's Answer: The building on 102 West Grand, currently featuring a barber shop, was the Escondido National Bank back in 1890s!

Thanks to all who played last week!

Emoji Puzzle:Which building from the 1890s still stands in Escondido today? Its address, at the time, was on the corner ...
10/07/2023

Emoji Puzzle:
Which building from the 1890s still stands in Escondido today? Its address, at the time, was on the corner of Grand Ave and Lime street.
💰🏦 💳

Last Week's Answer: Rancho Rincon del Diablo

Thanks to all who played last week!

Emoji Puzzle:Before California was a part of the United States, the whole region belonged to Mexico. What was the name o...
09/30/2023

Emoji Puzzle:
Before California was a part of the United States, the whole region belonged to Mexico. What was the name of the Mexican ranch where Escondido currently sits? (The man in the picture is Judge Oliver Witherby, who bought this ranch in 1885)
😈 🤠 🤘🏽

Last puzzle's answer: October 8th, 1888
Thanks to all who played!

Hello Escondido! 👋👋👋I know that here at the Escondido History Center, we talk a lot about the Grape Day Festival. Howeve...
09/27/2023

Hello Escondido! 👋👋👋
I know that here at the Escondido History Center, we talk a lot about the Grape Day Festival. However, there are so many interesting things that happened during that celebratory day! One such occurrence happened during the very first Grape Day celebration in 1908. This picture shows as Walter Hinman, a native son of Escondido, gets his hot air balloon ready for takeoff at the Grape Day Festival. After setting up the balloon, Hinman and other local men would dig a large fire pit, which would be the source of hot air for this airship. The pit and balloon were usually placed between the east side of North Maple Street between Ohio (Valley Parkway) and Grand Avenue. This indeed was an impressive enough sight for the people of Escondido, but Hinman had one more trick up his sleeve! While the "ground crew" was keeping the balloon from floating away, Hinman attached a trapeze bar under the balloon. As he grabbed onto the bar, he shouted to his crew to let the balloon go! He then drifted into the heavens, all the while performing acrobatics for the wide-eyed onlookers below. On this occasion, Hinman reached an altitude of 700ft, drifting all the way to East 5th Avenue, doing his stunts until he and his balloon landed safely into the pine trees that lined the road. Could you imagine if we still did this for Grape Day Festival today?! While we can't have an acrobat anymore, we still like to have a giant balloon at our festival to harken back to a time when Mr. Hinman could ride around Escondido on his hot air balloon!

It's the first day of Autumn! We are saying Goodbye👋 to Summer and Hello 🤝 to Fall with this vintage picture of Grape Da...
09/23/2023

It's the first day of Autumn! We are saying Goodbye👋 to Summer and Hello 🤝 to Fall with this vintage picture of Grape Day pool in 1955! Who's ready for the cozy season? We sure are!!!

Today we congratulate our Executive Director, Robin Fox on her retirement after 26 years with the Escondido History Cent...
09/15/2023

Today we congratulate our Executive Director, Robin Fox on her retirement after 26 years with the Escondido History Center. Her dedicated service to the community has been exceptional; having lived here her entire life, Robin has always been able to answer just about any question about Escondido history and if she can’t do so on the spot, she knows just where to look to find the information. While she will certainly be missed, we wish Robin all the best as she leaves California and begins the next chapter of her life.
In a ceremony at Grape Day last Saturday, Robin was surprised with a presentation from the County Board of Supervisors acknowledging her 26 years of service, captured in the photograph.

Grape Day Fest goes til 4 PM … come for lunch, stay for the music!
09/09/2023

Grape Day Fest goes til 4 PM … come for lunch, stay for the music!

Join us! Grape Day Fest starts in an hour. Grape stomping, food, free grapes, artisan vendors and historic displays. We’...
09/09/2023

Join us! Grape Day Fest starts in an hour. Grape stomping, food, free grapes, artisan vendors and historic displays. We’re ready for you!

Help restore our Victorian! The Hoffman House here in Grape Day Park has been a staple in Heritage Walk since it was mov...
09/07/2023

Help restore our Victorian! The Hoffman House here in Grape Day Park has been a staple in Heritage Walk since it was moved here for preservation in 1980, and we would love to see it opened up again to the public for decades to come! During the Grape Day Festival on Sept. 9th, we are offering our original publication, Escondido: A Pictorial History of the Hidden Valley, for the reduced price of $49.95 from the original price of $79.95! All proceeds will go to the restoration of our beloved house! Cover artist Gloria Warren will be there from 12pm-2pm to sign your copy or print! Come on over to our tent located in front of the Hoffman Victorian, we'd love to see you!

Whose ready for the Grape Day Festival this Saturday September 9th from 10-4? Grab your sunhat and comfy walking shoes a...
09/04/2023

Whose ready for the Grape Day Festival this Saturday September 9th from 10-4?
Grab your sunhat and comfy walking shoes and join us for the return of the original old-time fun of the original festival, which started in 1908.
There will be so many activities and fun for all ages, with free admission and parking!
Just a few things that you can expect:
The Grape Stomp! Channel your inner Lucy and dip your toes in the grape stomp. Munch on some free grapes, like they did back in 1908 and soak up the old time fun throughout Grape Day Park.
There will be live music all day from our headliner, Whitney Shay, the Sunnyside Strings to Mariachi Victoria and other local performers!
Taste the wines from over 14 of North Counties best wineries and some local breweries in the wine and beer tasting area next to the train depot! Tickets can be purchased at the tasting area, 21+ only admitted.
The kiddos will have a ball in the Kids Zone, with old-fashioned games, interactive antique corn grinding and other old ways of doing things, 4-h animals to pet and see, Hollandia Dairy's milking demonstrations, the boy scouts suspended bridge, pony rides, face painting and so much more!
For everyone to eat and sip, there will be a great assortment of food vendors, from BBQ and Mexican food to Hong Kong Noodles and Crepes! Snacking options include cotton candy, kettle corn, baked goods, jerky, cold brew coffee, ice cream and so much more!
There will be local arts and crafts vendors selling their wares throughout the festival, local non-profits, history centers, the San Diego maritime museum and first responders like the SWAT vehicle and crime lab van.
The Escondido history center will have all of it's vehicles out on show and the guys in the Forge will be working and showing their blacksmith skills in the Bandy Canyon blacksmith guild.
Spend the day at the festival with us!
Just a few pointers:
Bring cash for vendors that don't accept credit cards
Carpooling is suggested or walk on over if you live close, we're expecting a great crowd.
Wear a sunhat, light clothing and comfy shoes. Its going to be a sunny warm day!
Everyone is welcome!

Emoji Puzzle: In what year was Escondido incorporated by voters into a city?8️⃣ 🛠️ 📜Let us know your guesses in the comm...
09/02/2023

Emoji Puzzle: In what year was Escondido incorporated by voters into a city?
8️⃣ 🛠️ 📜

Let us know your guesses in the comments below! ⬇️

Last week's answer: Dixon Lake. The reservoir was constructed in 1971 after a water shortage act was passed a decade before. It was built during the peak of recreational fishing in San Diego, and even today it is known for its large variety of bass.

Friday's mood. 1915. A crowd gathers at the Lime St. School, located in the present Grape Day Park, to watch as water bo...
09/01/2023

Friday's mood.

1915. A crowd gathers at the Lime St. School, located in the present Grape Day Park, to watch as water bonds are burned above their heads. Judge Turrentine oversees the event in center frame. Cheeky girl sticks togue out at camara 😆

Who likes to eat?! Here at the Grape Day Festival, there will be something for everyone to enjoy! Come on by September 9...
09/01/2023

Who likes to eat?! Here at the Grape Day Festival, there will be something for everyone to enjoy! Come on by September 9th at Grape Day Park to discover all the delights and treats that our food vendors have to offer this year!

Get ready to join us at the Escondido Grape Day Festival Sept 9th. In just nine days the Festival will be in full swing ...
08/31/2023

Get ready to join us at the Escondido Grape Day Festival Sept 9th. In just nine days the Festival will be in full swing and we can’t wait to see you there! Don’t forget to stop by the tent by the history center antique vehicles to pick up your free grapes, you can munch on them while you admire the beautiful vehicles!
This tradition goes all the way back to the first festival in 1908, and we’re proud to continue it.
A huge thank you to Jimbos Escondido for again donating the grapes, we’re so thankful for the generous donations of all of our sponsors!
So, join us for a grape time and enjoy the festivities with your friends and family.

Emoji Puzzle: After a water shortage in the 1960s, Escondido had to consider its future relationship with drinkable wate...
08/27/2023

Emoji Puzzle: After a water shortage in the 1960s, Escondido had to consider its future relationship with drinkable water. Which lake was constructed 1971 to address the water issues of its time?
🏕️ 🎣 🏞️

Let us know your guesses in the comments below! ⬇️

Last week's answer: The Escondido Hotel! Escondido Land and Town Company constructed this 100-room structure for $50,000 at the upper end of Grand Ave. The Escondido Hotel first housed persons interested in land purchases and then became a social hub of the community for gatherings and parties.

🍇🍇Escondido! We only have 2 more Saturdays until our community’s Grape Day Festival! Only 2 more Saturdays until you and...
08/26/2023

🍇🍇Escondido! We only have 2 more Saturdays until our community’s Grape Day Festival! Only 2 more Saturdays until you and your family can "get your groove on’ to the tune of our local talent!

🍇🍇🍇 The countdown continues with 3 more Saturdays until Escondido’s historic Grape Day Festival! Only three more Saturda...
08/20/2023

🍇🍇🍇 The countdown continues with 3 more Saturdays until Escondido’s historic Grape Day Festival! Only three more Saturdays until our petting zoo is open for business! More information available in bio. f

Our awesome Brothers of 6 did a great job AGAIN, cleaning up the grounds here. We sincerely thank them for their continu...
05/07/2022

Our awesome Brothers of 6 did a great job AGAIN, cleaning up the grounds here. We sincerely thank them for their continued efforts to make the Escondido History Center look the best it can!

We’re very pleased to have the assistance of the community, especially the Brothers of 6, to help us bring this cherishe...
04/17/2022

We’re very pleased to have the assistance of the community, especially the Brothers of 6, to help us bring this cherished event back!

Escondido’s century-old tradition is back this Fall. Escondido’s oldest and most famous event, the Grape Day Festival, will return on Saturday, September 10, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The festival will take place in Grape Day Park, home to the original festivals in the heart of Escondido and next City ...

Address

321 N Broadway
Escondido, CA
92025

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10am - 4pm
1pm - 4pm
Wednesday 10am - 4pm
1pm - 4pm
Thursday 10am - 4pm
1pm - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
1pm - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm
1pm - 4pm

Telephone

+17607438207

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