La Jolla Historical Society

La Jolla Historical Society The La Jolla Historical Society inspires and empowers the community to make La Jolla's diverse past a relevant part of contemporary life.
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Office: 7846 Eads Avenue Open 10am to 4pm Monday - Friday Gallery: 780 Prospect Street Open Noon to 4pm Thursday – Sunday Free Admission!

La Jolla Secret Garden Tour (May 16) and Friday Night Candlelight Garden Soirée (May 15) tickets are now on sale! (see l...
02/10/2020

La Jolla Secret Garden Tour (May 16) and Friday Night Candlelight Garden Soirée (May 15) tickets are now on sale! (see link below)
- Friday Night Candlelight Garden Soirée tickets $75
- SGT Tickets $50 or $40 for LJHS Members*
- Platinum Tour Tickets with exclusive 7th garden + brunch with transportation to gardens & docents $150 or $140 for LJHS Members*.
- Discount Combo Ticket bundles Friday Night AND Saturday Platinum Tour at a discounted price of $215!
https://nightout.com/events/secret-garden-tour-of-la-jolla-2020/tickets?utm_campaign=ljhs-social&utm_source=LJHS+Social&utm_medium=Custom+Tracking+Link
* Members were sent email Feb 10th w/ discount code.

We had a record breaking opening last night for our new exhibit Tijuana 1964: The Photography of Harry Crosby. It was wo...
02/08/2020

We had a record breaking opening last night for our new exhibit Tijuana 1964: The Photography of Harry Crosby. It was wonderful to see (former La Jolla High School science teacher) Harry and everyone who turned out to see his amazing photos. The exhibit runs Feb 8 - May 17 and it's one you won't want to miss. The show includes a companion exhibition from young photographers with Outside The Lens. Special thanks to curator Melanie Showalter, sponsors Sandy and Dave Erickson, Margie and John H. Warner Jr., the Florence Riford Fund of The San Diego Foundation, ArtWorks San Diego, and supporters Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura (IMAC), Muhti - Museo de Historia de Tijuana, Archivo Histórico De Tijuana, UC San Diego, and Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias at San Diego State University. Read about the exhibit: https://lajollahistory.org/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/

In honor of Black History Month we take a look at some of the African American pioneers in the early days of La Jolla. D...
02/07/2020
La Jolla's Black Pioneers, Part 1: The brief rise of the town’s African-American community

In honor of Black History Month we take a look at some of the African American pioneers in the early days of La Jolla. Detailed below is an excerpt of a 4 part series published in 2017 by La Jolla Light called La Jolla’s Black Pioneers.

Thomas Debose was an African-American born during the time of slavery who was the first black person to buy land in La Jolla, according to all accounts. It was 1904 when DeBose purchased two lots on the corner of what was then Thompson Avenue and Draper Avenue. The first African-American female to settle in La Jolla was Henrietta VanHorn, who came from New York to serve a wealthy family. VanHorn married DeBose upon the death of his first wife, becoming VanHorn-DeBose, and bought and sold property, ending up owning a large portion of Draper Avenue and a hand-laundry business. According to “Ebony on the Seashore: Blacks in La Jolla, 1925-1950”, “Henrietta DeBose was a well-respected woman who owned a great deal of property in La Jolla, many years a local resident, she had many friends here. She was a woman of fine character and excellent influence on the lives with which she came in contact.”

Ed Coleman moved to La Jolla in 1917, and lived there the rest of his life, working as a gardener, a janitor and a realtor. Coleman made a business of moving cottages from where they weren’t needed anymore into the “Black Quarters,” as they were known, for other African-Americans to buy or rent. "Wherever somebody was trying to build in the early 1920s, like the La Valencia Hotel, he moved those cottages from up there onto the Draper empty lots". Coleman also helped lead other African-Americans to La Jolla in the early ’20s.

Charles Wood arrived in La Jolla in 1919 with his wife, Adeline, who was the niece of the wealthiest African-American woman in town: Henrietta VanHorn-DeBose. One of 27 siblings, he only completed his education up to the fourth grade and went on to become a successful landlord and a figurehead in the community. Henrietta taught Adeline everything in the hand laundry business: costumer relations, management and how to handle the employees, and Adeline became so efficient at running it that (the business) grew out of control. "Everybody knew Charlie Wood. His house was called ‘The Ranch’ because it was on a big area, and he had a big porch so people would come by and just sit on the porch, and talk to him."

To learn more about African American pioneers in La Jolla, you can read the four part series here: https://www.lajollalight.com/news/sd-black-pioneers-part-one-20170131-story.html

Editor’s Note: Each issue in February will contain a story from this four-part series on the life and times of those African-Americans who made La Jolla their home in the Village’s early days.

Have you ever thought about how different life was in La Jolla 100 years ago? You probably would have started your day w...
02/03/2020

Have you ever thought about how different life was in La Jolla 100 years ago? You probably would have started your day with the San Diego Union. We took a look at some the ads from February 5, 1920 and found some interesting items. You could book a ride on a Curtiss bi-plane, buy a Studebaker Series 20 for $2250, boys "Natty Suits" for $2.85 at Marston, purchase a phonograph for $110, catch a Mary Pickford movie at the Cabrillo for 25 cents, or snap up a beautiful 2 story home in La Jolla for $5000! Wow!

It is nice to be included in this La Jolla Light article https://www.lajollalight.com/art/story/2020-01-29/home-is-where...
01/30/2020

It is nice to be included in this La Jolla Light article https://www.lajollalight.com/art/story/2020-01-29/home-is-where-the-art-is-masterpieces-you-can-see-in-la-jolla-right-now for our Venturi Pergola and Garden, a public garden located at the La Jolla Historical Society on the lower terrace of the Wisteria Cottage property. If you haven't visited our Venturi Pergola and Garden yet, you can read more about it here https://lajollahistory.org/historic-la-jolla/venturi-pergola-and-garden/ and plan a visit next time you're in the neighborhood.

Volunteer opportunities for Open House San Diego! OH! San Diego returns Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8 with hidden g...
01/29/2020

Volunteer opportunities for Open House San Diego! OH! San Diego returns Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8 with hidden gems and architectural treasures located in La Jolla and San Diego. La Jolla Historical Society will be the "hub" for the La Jolla locations and we have volunteer opportunities from 10am-4pm both days in 3 hour time slots. Volunteers will help answer questions and provide handouts to the public. There will be an on-site orientation as the event gets closer. For more info about OH! visit http://sdarchitecture.org/program/openhouse/ and to sign up to volunteer https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b4dafaf29a1fe3-ohsan10

This is the last week for the Julius Shulman: Modern La Jolla exhibit (closing January 19th). The world-renowned archite...
01/15/2020

This is the last week for the Julius Shulman: Modern La Jolla exhibit (closing January 19th). The world-renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman (1910 – 2009) shot over 200 projects in San Diego. His clients were architects, designers, newspapers, book and magazine publishers, and construction companies as well as developers, and included notable San Diego architects Lloyd Ruocco, Sim Bruce Richards, Henry Hester, and Frederick Liebhardt.
This unprecedented exhibition, showcasing both vintage and contemporary prints of his photography, will introduce audiences to Julius Shulman’s projects in La Jolla alongside ephemera that contextualize this historically significant work.
The exhibit is free and open to the public Noon to 4pm, Wed – Sun.

Calling all car buffs and historians! We recently had some photos donated to the Society and we don't know when or where...
01/09/2020

Calling all car buffs and historians! We recently had some photos donated to the Society and we don't know when or where these were taken. Does anyone recognize the cars, people or neighborhood?

Snow in La Jolla? We've posted previously about the day it snowed in La Jolla (December 13 1967) and we just received a ...
12/28/2019

Snow in La Jolla? We've posted previously about the day it snowed in La Jolla (December 13 1967) and we just received a donation of images that show snow falling at General Atomics (located just east of the Torrey Pines Golf Course). If you were here on that day, what do you remember?

Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holiday!
12/24/2019

Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holiday!

From all of us at La Jolla Historical Society wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
12/24/2019

From all of us at La Jolla Historical Society wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Today we take a look back at some of our favorite pictures from years past of the La Jolla Christmas Parade.
12/08/2019

Today we take a look back at some of our favorite pictures from years past of the La Jolla Christmas Parade.

Giving Tuesday celebrates the generosity and kindness of giving to nonprofit organizations and marks the beginning of th...
12/03/2019

Giving Tuesday celebrates the generosity and kindness of giving to nonprofit organizations and marks the beginning of the holiday season of philanthropy. This year, make a philanthropic investment in the La Jolla Historical Society. Our goal is that you will feel a sense of history as part of community identity, and that the rich past of La Jolla will inform and inspire the decisions that shape its future. This ambition is fueled by the generosity of our members and supporters, and on this Giving Tuesday, we invite your participation. Giving is easy: click the link below and help make history today! Thank you!
https://lajollahistory.org/support/donating/

Join us Wednesday Dec 4th 5-7pm at J.McLaughlin, 7880 Girard Ave for festive sips, light bites and holiday shopping bene...
11/27/2019

Join us Wednesday Dec 4th 5-7pm at J.McLaughlin, 7880 Girard Ave for festive sips, light bites and holiday shopping benefitting La Jolla Historical Society. J.McLaughlin will generously donate 15% of all event sales to the Society. RSVP not required. See you there for a fun evening and holiday shopping!

Donations from our members are a wonderful to gain insights on La Jolla history. Barbara Benoit Baron donated these phot...
11/16/2019

Donations from our members are a wonderful to gain insights on La Jolla history. Barbara Benoit Baron donated these photos and the story of her father who was stationed at Camp Callan from 1941-1943. His name was Major Joseph Benoit and he helped to establish the Military Police unit at Camp Callan. Barbara’s collection contains photographs of her father Joseph, mother Sylvia and herself as well as newspaper clippings. The images shown here include Barbara at The Balmer School (now Wisteria Cottage) in 1943 with her 2nd grade class finger painting. The next two images are of a menu from Camp Callan’s Thanksgiving dinner in 1941.

The Del Mar Antiques + Art + Design show is open at the Del Mar Fairgrounds this weekend and we are so pleased to be the...
11/15/2019

The Del Mar Antiques + Art + Design show is open at the Del Mar Fairgrounds this weekend and we are so pleased to be the beneficiary of their Inaugural event! We hope to see you there!

The Del Mar Antiques Art Design Show is Now Open! Cheers!

Equestrian training, including dressage in proper boots and riding jacket, was considered part of the curriculum in the ...
11/06/2019

Equestrian training, including dressage in proper boots and riding jacket, was considered part of the curriculum in the early days of The Bishop's School. This photo c. 1920s shows a young woman formally photographed with her mount in front of the Bishop’s School Stables and La Jolla Riding Academy. Besides Bishop’s students learning the finer points of riding, people on horseback along the beaches and galloping through nearby hills and canyons were a common site into the early 1940s. Several riding schools existed with horses stabled toward the south end of town near Pearl Street and around Del Charro in La Jolla Shores. The developer William Black added to the equine culture during the Mid-Century years with the development of a breeding stables for racehorses in the La Jolla Farms area – now part of the UCSD - University of California San Diego campus. As late as the 1960s, homes were marketed in the upper Muirlands for their proximity to bridle paths and riding trails. What are your memories of horseback riding in La Jolla?

Thank you Dolphin Promotions for naming La Jolla Historical Society the beneficiary of their Inaugural Del Mar Antiques ...
11/03/2019

Thank you Dolphin Promotions for naming La Jolla Historical Society the beneficiary of their Inaugural Del Mar Antiques Art Design Show! The show will be open Nov 15th - Nov 17th at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.We hope to see you there!

Looking for something fun to do next weekend? Check out What's Out There Weekend San Diego Oct 26 to Oct 27 for free, ex...
10/20/2019

Looking for something fun to do next weekend? Check out What's Out There Weekend San Diego Oct 26 to Oct 27 for free, expert-led tours that reveal the history and cultural heritage of our city. There is a great line up including Sat 9-10:30 AM: Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Park, Wisteria Cottage and Children’s Pool | La Jolla Historical Society's Heath Fox, Patrick Ahern (Berkshire Hathaway) & Ann Dynes (La Jolla Parks & Beaches). Space is limited. For more info & to register https://tclf.org/whats-out-there-weekend-san-diego

LAST CALL! Ticket sales for Ellen Browning Scripps Luncheon ends Oct 18. Join us Saturday Nov 2nd 11:30am for a presenta...
10/15/2019

LAST CALL! Ticket sales for Ellen Browning Scripps Luncheon ends Oct 18. Join us Saturday Nov 2nd 11:30am for a presentation by Keith York, architectural historian and curator of the LJHS exhibition Julius Shulman: Modern La Jolla. Enjoy a delightful lunch with friends at La Jolla Country Club and engage in La Jolla's midcentury past! To purchase tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ellen-browning-scripps-luncheon-tickets-72395636297

Legends of La Jolla: Dorothy “Dodo” Bundy Cheney. La Jolla has been home to many talented and interesting people, includ...
10/12/2019

Legends of La Jolla: Dorothy “Dodo” Bundy Cheney. La Jolla has been home to many talented and interesting people, including the “First Lady of Tennis”, “Dodo” Bundy Cheney September 1, 1916 – November 23, 2014. Known as “Dodo” since childhood when her brothers couldn’t pronounce Dorothy, Cheney started playing tennis as a young girl growing up in Santa Monica in a family with tennis in its blood. “I just grew to love the game,” said Cheney. Her father, Tom Bundy, was a national doubles champion from 1912 to 1914. Her mother, Mary Sutton Bundy, was a world champion, winning twice at Wimbledon – the first American to win the singles title there.
Cheney’s talent and determination made her a force on courts worldwide. She won numerous singles and doubles titles in the United States, becoming the third-ranked American player in 1937, 1938 and 1941. She reached international stardom in 1938 when she became the first American woman to win the Australian Open and was ranked a career-high sixth in the world in 1946. She set a record for sixteen top trophies in a single year. Ever the competitor and ambassador for the sport, Cheney, in 1990 at age 74, played a match against a ten-year-old phenom and future five-time Wimbledon champion – Venus Williams.
She competed in tournaments into her nineties, holding the record for the most United States Tennis Association senior titles (more than 340). In 2004, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. For years, Cheney’s petite figure and short blonde hair were a familiar presence on La Jolla tennis courts. Residing near the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, she played there and at the La Jolla Recreation Center often. “I was most fortunate and found a darling little cottage there a half minute from the beach,” she recalls. “I loved living in La Jolla.” Cheney raised three children and had numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

We had a wonderful time at our members opening reception of   the Julius Shulman: Modern La Jolla exhibit last week! Ope...
10/02/2019

We had a wonderful time at our members opening reception of the Julius Shulman: Modern La Jolla exhibit last week! Open through January 19, 2020, the exhibit features photos and supporting materials from world-renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman (1910 – 2009) who shot over 200 projects in San Diego. Come see us this weekend and check it out. https://lajollahistory.org/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/

Thanks to La Jolla Light for the great preview of our upcoming exhibit: Julius Shulman: Modern La Jolla which runs Sept....
09/20/2019
Through the Lens of Julius Shulman: La Jolla Historical Society showcases work by architectural photographer

Thanks to La Jolla Light for the great preview of our upcoming exhibit: Julius Shulman: Modern La Jolla which runs Sept. 28th to Jan. 19th. Our members reception and grand opening is Friday, September 27th 5:00 - 7:00pm at Wisteria Cottage - we look forward to seeing all our members next Friday! https://www.lajollalight.com/art/story/2019-09-18/through-the-lens-of-julius-shulman-la-jolla-historical-society-showcases-work-by-architectural-photographer

In the wake of the Great Depression and World War II, America was in a place for architectural revival.

GIRARD & WALL: The Anatomy of a Corner. As the 20th century dawned you could stand on this corner and enjoy an ocean vie...
09/18/2019

GIRARD & WALL: The Anatomy of a Corner. As the 20th century dawned you could stand on this corner and enjoy an ocean view of blue sky meeting blue ocean over a barren landscape for the most part devoid of buildings except for a small Victorian cottage called the Reading Room filled with volumes of Huxley and other progressive thinkers. By 1925 you could watch silent films to organ accompaniment in an ornate movie palace inspired by Moorish motifs, admission 25 cents. By Mid-Century, the movies were gone and the corner offered, successively through the mid-1980s, clothing and accessories from three department stores: Illers, Stevensons and Walker Scott. Then, in 1986 a giant wrecking ball came along and knocked everything down. A new building went up called Wall Street Plaza. Soon you could party all night at a restaurant and club known as Jack’s. Building foreclosures and an embezzlement fracas eventually ended that. New investors came along, spent millions of dollars, and re-purposed the corner now called La Plaza, and the corner has morphed into “lifestyle retail” – a place about beauty, health, fitness and food.

The first building to go up on the corner was built by W.C. Sheppard, a La Jolla investor transplanted from Iowa, in 1913. It housed a 500-seat movie theater called the Orient, later renamed the Garden. The Garden met the wrecking ball in 1924 when another investor decided to build a bigger and better theater with William H. Wheeler as the architect. Acknowledging the popular Spanish Revival architecture of the time, Wheeler designed a structure featuring Moorish motifs aptly named the Granada Building. The main tenant was the Granada, itself, a movie/vaudeville house seating over 700 with a grand entrance on Girard beneath a minaret-infused marquee. The U.S. National Bank occupied the Wall Street side of the building when it was first constructed but after a remodel from a design by architect Carleton Winslow in 1934, this space was leased to Iller’s department store which remained a major tenant for over a decade with an entrance on the Wall Street side.

Late during Iller’s tenancy and before the Granada theater finally shuttered forever in 1952, architects Robert Mosher and Roy Drew were hired to design more modern facades for the exterior facades on both Girard and Wall sides as well as upgrades for the interiors of both the theater and department store. After the Granada theater closed and Iller’s changed to Stevenson’s Department Store, owner Gordon Gray continued to keep a close eye on what was going on in his Granada Building. In a letter to owner Paul Stevenson in 1955, he noted that the ladies’ “toilet room is very shoddy” and that if Mrs. Gray had to look in the “ghastly and most unbecoming” mirror in the ladies’ dressing room very often she would commit suicide.” Needless to say, Stevenson’s days were numbered and a new department store tenant branching out from its main location in downtown San Diego moved in. This was Walker-Scott, becoming a landmark on the corner and occupying former spaces of the old theater and previous department stores, until the entire building was demolished in the mid-1980s.

The Postmodern bug had bit La Jolla by this time with a new design for the museum by Robert Venturi and Robert Stern’s office and retail building at the entrance to Prospect Street’s commercial core so the corner of Girard and Wall turned Postmodern, too. The Sorrento Valley architectural firm of Austin, Hansen, Feldman fitted a large pink and aqua two story (with below street level access) building to the corner complete with arches (the Irving Gill reference) and a clock tower (saluting horology and the squares of old Europe). Despite the Postmodern toneyness, retail never loved this building or, maybe, the building with its somewhat hidden nooks and up-and-downstairs augmented by an elevator never suited retail. The Jack’s restaurant became the only memorable tenant, a memory that ended badly with shady business. Now, once again resurrected – this time as La Plaza – the corner of Girard and Wall today looks new and all cleaned up, open and airy, and, hopefully, ready for yet another future.

Address

780 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA
92037

Opening Hours

Thursday 12:00 - 16:00
Friday 12:00 - 16:00
Saturday 12:00 - 16:00
Sunday 12:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(858) 459-5335

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The La Jolla Historical Society is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire and empower the community to make La Jolla’s diverse past a relevant part of contemporary life, encouraging exploration of the past in ways that inform the present and shape the future. The Society preserves and shares La Jolla’s distinctive sense of place, and serves as a community resource and gathering place where residents and visitors explore history, art, ideas and culture.

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On Sunday, we went to see the Harry Crosby exhibit at the La Jolla Historical Society. I always love going there. Most folks don’t remember that it was Coles Book Store, back when I was growing up. I would often take the walk from my home, down on Coast Blvd. to Coles, as a change from the Unicorn, where I spent most of my free time, reading, for free, anything I wanted. I spent many, many hours draped over one of the sofas or chairs littered everywhere. It was better than arguing with my mother all afternoon. Anyway, Crosby was one of the teachers at La Jolla High School, and I knew him there. I also grew up with his kids. (Some of you locals might recall that Robinn Crosby was in the rock band Ratt, and he subsequently died of an overdose.) ANYWAY, Crosby was famous for his travels throughout Baja, and his photography of both Tijuana and his travels. His exhibition at the Society is of his TJ work in 1964, and it is exquisite. It is definitely worth a trip. Isaac was there, along with part of his family, and also Caro Olten, who was the film critic at the Union Tribune, back when it was still a real newspaper. (Conservative, but still a real one.) Go see thevshow.
Happy 4th of July La Jolla. Don and Bob Okey mid 1920s.
#ljsgt2019
#ljsgt2019
We are the Allisons from La Jolla! Lots of photos from the 1920s and 30s to share.
The Allison Family in La Jolla, 1926
Hi. I worked at the Mobile Gas Station (Owned by Harold Kramer and then "Steve") on the corner of Fay and Prospect in 1976 and 1977 while I was attending SDSU. While working there, I found old automobile license plate frames that read: "British Motors - La Jolla". Do you have any information on that automobile dealership? My internet search came up empty. I have one of the frames.
i wonder if you have anything on the mithras bookstore and unicorn theater.
I am Soo-Ling Quon Chan..the eldest daughter of King Quon who owned Quon Manes. it was touching to read these stories of my families business and it brought back fond memories. As children we used to play in the store, and as teens we worked in the shop. The apartment behind the shop was decorated as a showroom for the shops antiques. Dad had customers from all over the US. J Edgar Hoover would come in with his Body Guard Clyde Tolson and buy a years supply of Mumtaz incense. Dr Salks wife purchased a Japanese Chest. Architect Frank Lloyd Wrights son and wife visited the shop when in town. My Dad also owned a Restaurant on Silverado Avenue called King Quon plus a bamboo Shop on Prospect. He had 3 businesses to raise 5 children. As a teen, I worked in the Restaurant and served J Edgar Hoover. He gave me a $9 tip. He heard I had a stamp collection and from then on...he would send me letters and stamps from all over the world. I discovered a Menu he autographed to my Dad thanking him for the special dinners he cooked. J Edgar would vacation every summer in La Jolla at the Del Charro Hotel. 1975 my sister Shar-ling died of cancer, 1977, we lost my father to cancer, and 1998 we lost my mother from a stroke. Prior to that she tried to maintain the love of our shop where she could keep in touch with all the shops friends, but it was too much responsibility at her age. I moved after college, married and now live in Palo Alto for over 45 years. The store has always been in my blood. I went to my 60th LJHS Reunion Class of 1955, (our last 2012) and would always do a nostalgic tour where QM used to be. Sadly...My brother died in the family home in Mt Soledad in Dec 2017. Us 3 surviving sisters had to clear the home of my Mom and Dads treasures...many from the store after closing. My Dad had an eye for fine Chinese Art. I now cherish some of his artistic talents in my home. I surely appreciate those who wrote their memories of QM. I would love to hear more of your stories. Thank you, Soo-Ling Quon Chan [email protected]
Join us this Tuesday for a sneak peek at this elegant Tom Shepherd gem in La Jolla Shores!