Great Gifts- OCEAN BEACH book and 1887 OB MAP!

OBbookhandThe “Ocean Beach” book by the Ocean Beach Historical Society & Arcadia Publishing is $21.99 ea. plus tax. This fantastic book is filled O.B.’s wonderful history and images. Available at: OBHS  programs, events, Te Mana Café, Green Store, SDHC, James Gang Company, OB Books and Music, OBMA, OB People’s, OB Gifts, Olive Tree Market, Shells, Stump’s Market, Costco, and Book Star.

HISTOB-1887-Map-smORICAL 1887 OB MAP poster shows lovely calligraphy, old street names, railroad lines, beaches, rock formations, sand dunes and springs. The map’s natural aging gives it a wonderful pirate-map quality— $20 ea.  Available at: OBHS Events/Programs, The Green Store, John Baker Picture Frames, Te Mana Café, OBMA and the Newport Ave. Antique Center. Proceeds go to the OBHS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit org


Mary-Allely-2014smOBHS ARCHIVES preserve local history. We need: Historical Photos, Items, Cash & Archival Supplies, Documentation & Interviews (more info. on Archive Page) Donate gifts at OBHS programs. Archive Donations Only Contact Archivist Mary Allely (858) 550-5982. OBHS is a 501 (C) 3 Non-profit, Donations May Be Tax Deductible.  All General Info. Contact PAT JAMES, Pres. or  (619) 226-8125.

Mar. 19, 2015 Decoder—Margaret Francis

Lynn-Francis-Thurs., March 19, at 7 pm at P.L. United Methodist Church at 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., Ocean Beach Historical Society Presents: Speaker Margaret Francis worked on the decoding machines as seen in the movie “The Imitation Game”. Margaret Francis is a WWII Veteran of the WRENS (Women’s Royal Navy Service) in England. She worked on the decoding machines (the bombe) 10 miles from Bletchley Hall at Gayhurst Manor.
Margaret will talk about her experiences bringing history to life. She is an excellent storyteller remembering with vivid details some of her experiences. She is 91 years old and has lived in San Diego since the 1957.
Come join us as Margaret documents her personal experience in an important part of WWII history. This program is FREE!

“BALBOA PARK: 1915 & BEYOND” Conference

Congress of History  of San Diego & Imperial Counties present: FRI., MAR. 6 & SAT., MAR 7, 2015, “BALBOA PARK: 1915 & BEYOND”
A 2-DAY CONFERENCE, 9AM to 4 PM, Registration only $35 ($25 Seniors, $15 Students) Registration form at:
You weren’t born in time to attend the 1915 Panama-California Exposition but you can relive the excitement at the 50th Congress of History Conference! Two days of dynamic speakers with special stories about the event that made a lasting impression on San Diego. Don’t miss the fun in 2015. See the speakers, authors, and exhibitors. History comes alive in Balboa Park!

Feb. 19, 2015 Highlights of O.B.’s Historic Beach Cottages

American-Gothic-Feb.19, 2015 the OBHS presented Highlights of O.B.’s Historic Beach Cottages: History, Architectural Details and the Mills Act
Featuring members of the Ocean Beach Historical Society board Kathy Blavatt, Jane Gawronski & Tom Gawronski who were happy to present this special program about O.B.’s Historic Beach Cottages, a subject that is near-and-dear to their hearts. All three have local planning board experience and been advocates in preserving our historic structures. Tom and Jane own historic Ocean Beach homes including the famous “Red House”.
Kathy has interviewed cottage owners, collected photos and written about O.B.’s historic homes.
These presenters talked about the importance of the Mills Act , the role the cottages play in the Ocean Beach Community Plan (approved at San Diego City Council 2014), and in retaining our beach town character. Cottage owners were encouraged to talk and show photos of their houses towards the last segment of the program. We learned some great new information from the audience at the program, but what to encourage people to donate records, photos and historical information to the OBHS Archives before these are lost forever.

Also for those that want more information on the Mills Act see our Preservation page.

OBPB Votes Against Demolition of 100-Year-Old House

The OB RAG did a great job reporting on this important issue… this is very timely since the Feb. 19, 2015 OBHS program is about the importance of keeping our cottages. Excerpt: Ocean Beach Planning Board Votes Against Demolition of 100-Year-Old House, by FRANK GORMLIE on FEB. 5, 2015In a bold move that would put a smile on any preservationist, the Ocean Beach Planning Board last night voted against approving a proposed development for 4677 Niagara that included the demolition of the current house, originally built in 1915.

At their monthly meeting, after the developer’s presentation and a lengthy question and comment session, the Board voted 8-2-1 against the developer’s application for a permit to build two condos on the lot, once the lot had been cleared of the old hundred-year-old structure. Full report at:

“Tales from the Trail: SD’s Rich Outdoors History” – Thomas Leech

Thomas LeechOcean Beach Historical Society Program, Jan. 15, 2015 presented: “Tales from the Trails: San Diego’s Rich Outdoors History” by Author Thomas Leech. Leech’s program focused on stories linked to our natural environment and the early colorful characters who played key roles in shaping San Diego. How Father Junipero Serra, Kit Carson, Hatfield the Rainmaker, Ysidora Bandini, and the Cisco Kid fit in? Leech included many intriguing aspects of local history.
Thomas Leech is a long-time San Diegan and has attended the OBHS programs for years. For several years Leech was Editor for the Outdoors Forum for San Diego Magazine online. This led him to write OUTDOORS SAN DIEGO: HIKING, BIKING & CAMPING with co-author Jack Farman.

Dec. 6, 2014 OB Holiday Parade

OB Holiday Parade OB Blue 120614_95582014— Ocean Beach Historical Society members joined in the “Sea of Blue” / “Ocean Beach Community Plan supporters of the OB Community Plan (A Revised Community Plan we participated in and strongly support). ©Photos by Steve Rowell

OB Blue 120614_9559

Peace on Earth…A 100 Year Historical Wish

OBHS-Brg-Peace-purpThis holiday season the Ocean Beach Historical Society honor of the Centennial Anniversary of the San Diego Peace March of 1914. The huge downtown parade was the brain child of Madame Katherine Tingley, AKA “The Purple Mother”, leader of the Theosophical Society on Point Loma. 2,000 people, including 600 Marines led by Col. J. H. Pendleton marched down C Street on Sept. 28, 1914. The San Diego Union claimed it was “the greatest parade for universal peace held anywhere in the United States since the outbreak of the European War” (World War I).
Historic Details of marchers in the 1914 parade included: Police Chief Keno Wilson, Mayor Charles O’Neall, members of the City Council and the Board of Education, San Diego school children, students from the State Normal School in University Heights, Civil War veterans, and representatives of such diverse groups as the Holland Society of San Diego, the San Diego Scottish Social Club, the Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the Red Cross Society.

Peace Be With You This Holiday Season….1914 Reenactment Photo: Dedi Ridenour (seated), is portraying Madame Tingley, AKA “The Purple Mother,” with OBHS board members, archivist & friends of the Ocean Beach Historical Society filling in as her peace-loving followers.


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