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

Free 90-minute walking tour of Old Escondido this Saturday, August 14, at 10:00 am, beginning at the southeast corner of...
08/09/2021

Free 90-minute walking tour of Old Escondido this Saturday, August 14, at 10:00 am, beginning at the southeast corner of Broadway and Grand. Bring sunscreen and water! This will be local historian Carol Rea's "farewell tour" before she moves out of state; join her as she shares the history and architecture of the neighborhood she's called home for the last 20 years.

Free 90-minute walking tour of Old Escondido this Saturday, August 14, at 10:00 am, beginning at the southeast corner of Broadway and Grand. Bring sunscreen and water! This will be local historian Carol Rea's "farewell tour" before she moves out of state; join her as she shares the history and architecture of the neighborhood she's called home for the last 20 years.

The Brothers of 6 did another AWESOME job sprucing up the History Center museum complex yesterday. Armed with multiple w...
08/08/2021

The Brothers of 6 did another AWESOME job sprucing up the History Center museum complex yesterday. Armed with multiple w**d whackers and rakes, they greatly improved the area around the Victorian House and Office/Research building. Thank you, our red-shirted heroes, for making a huge difference in Grape Day Park!

07/09/2021

Our walking tours are back! Join us tomorrow, July 10 for a free 90-minute tour of the Old Escondido Historic District west of Broadway. It will be a warm one, so bring water, sunscreen, and a hat! Meet at the southeast corner of Grand and Broadway at 10:00 am.

Happy Independence Day!  If you’ll be enjoying the fireworks show at Grape Day Park tonight, you’ll probably notice that...
07/04/2021

Happy Independence Day! If you’ll be enjoying the fireworks show at Grape Day Park tonight, you’ll probably notice that something is going on with our Victorian Country Home - it’s getting a new roof! Thanks to a generous donor and a grant obtained by the city, the work has started!

Happy Independence Day! If you’ll be enjoying the fireworks show at Grape Day Park tonight, you’ll probably notice that something is going on with our Victorian Country Home - it’s getting a new roof! Thanks to a generous donor and a grant obtained by the city, the work has started!

Speaking of heroes on this Memorial Day, here are some fascinating “now and then” photos, many showing wartime scenes. H...
05/31/2021

Speaking of heroes on this Memorial Day, here are some fascinating “now and then” photos, many showing wartime scenes. History is all around us, no matter where we are.

Hoping you're having a meaningful Memorial Day, keeping in mind the ultimate sacrifices made by members of our armed for...
05/31/2021

Hoping you're having a meaningful Memorial Day, keeping in mind the ultimate sacrifices made by members of our armed forces throughout our country's history. We invite you to learn more about one conflict, World War I, that helped create a previous pandemic, the Spanish flu, by visiting our most recent exhibit in the Office and Research Center at Grape Day Park. "Escondido Endures a War and a Pandemic" includes military artifacts and photographs as well as a simulated trench along with photos of local men and a woman who served at the time. You can see the exhibit during business hours, Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 am until 4:00. Due to limited staffing, it's best to call first to make sure that we're open. 760-743-8207.

Hoping you're having a meaningful Memorial Day, keeping in mind the ultimate sacrifices made by members of our armed forces throughout our country's history. We invite you to learn more about one conflict, World War I, that helped create a previous pandemic, the Spanish flu, by visiting our most recent exhibit in the Office and Research Center at Grape Day Park. "Escondido Endures a War and a Pandemic" includes military artifacts and photographs as well as a simulated trench along with photos of local men and a woman who served at the time. You can see the exhibit during business hours, Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 am until 4:00. Due to limited staffing, it's best to call first to make sure that we're open. 760-743-8207.

We’re extremely grateful to this group of dedicated adobe home enthusiasts who donate the proceeds from this extraordina...
05/19/2021

We’re extremely grateful to this group of dedicated adobe home enthusiasts who donate the proceeds from this extraordinary event to the History Center to assist us in fulfilling our commitment to preserve Escondido’s unique history. Mark your calendar and buy your ticket - you won’t be disappointed!

It's Historic Preservation Month!  We were honored to provide a new exhibit for the City Council Chambers lobby display ...
05/13/2021

It's Historic Preservation Month! We were honored to provide a new exhibit for the City Council Chambers lobby display case and it was completed yesterday, prior to the return of City Council Members to their chambers for their meeting last night. Each of the cabinet's three sections shares the history of a previous City Hall building and features photographs and artifacts from that site. The lobby isn't open unless a public meeting is being held, but we look forward to providing better photos - without the glare on the glass! - in the near future.

It's Historic Preservation Month! We were honored to provide a new exhibit for the City Council Chambers lobby display case and it was completed yesterday, prior to the return of City Council Members to their chambers for their meeting last night. Each of the cabinet's three sections shares the history of a previous City Hall building and features photographs and artifacts from that site. The lobby isn't open unless a public meeting is being held, but we look forward to providing better photos - without the glare on the glass! - in the near future.

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.

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

(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 ?????