History Roundtable Lecture Series

The La Mesa Historical Society is proud to host Manhattan College history professor and San Diego native Adam Arenson for our next History Roundtable Lecture. Dr. Arenson will speak on his new book about the Millard Sheets’ Studios designs and artwork for Howard Ahmanson’s Home Savings and Loan buildings.

Event Details

Hats from the Past

Join us at the McKinney House April-Summer on the second and fourth Saturdays (1-4 pm) for our special exhibit! We will be featuring men's and women's hats from the late 1800's to 1950's from our archives, as well as some styles from generous LMHS members.

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Open Hours

McKinney House Museum Open 2nd and 4th Saturdays
1 - 4 pm

Research Archives
Open Saturdays 1 - 4pm
CLOSED holiday weekends

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Business and Commerce

Today's downtown Village is the historic core of long-standing businesses. Re-discover our commercial heritage.

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From parades to Easter Sunrise services, La Mesa has a great tradition of community-wide events and celebrations. Re-live the memories.

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People and Families

Artist poet Mary Garfield, with family c. 1925, penned city's motto "Jewel of the Hills. Learn more about noted La Mesa families and residents.

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Neighborhood Histories

La Mesa's neighborhoods and surrounding communities, from century-old tracts to Post-War suburbs, has a story to tell. Come learn about them.

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Pioneering Heritage

Ground-breaking Flying A motion picture company made La Mesa its home from August 1911 to June 1912. Find out about other "surprising" La Mesa stories.

Welcome to the La Mesa Historical Society!

Where the past meets the present

From its agricultural origins in the late 1800s, its community beginnings and short period as a silent-movie mecca in the early 1900s, La Mesa has a rich and colorful past. The La Mesa Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the community’s heritage for future generations.

Working out of the Rev. Henry A. McKinney House Museum and Society Archives, a 1908-built historical landmark, the La Mesa Historical Society is reaching out to the community through a number of avenues – educational historical roundtables led by notable historians, walking tours to hosting and participating in special events including our Annual Historic Home Tour. Come investigate La Mesa’s history with us – we look forward to seeing you soon.

Donations & Memberships

Please visit the Memberships page to for details about LMHS memberships and included perks. Additional donations are welcomed and very appreciated. Donations help fund our events and La Mesa history preservation efforts. We thank you for your support!

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More Popular Views

Lost History – Helix Theater 1954

Rediscover lost, but not forgotten, places and stories from La Mesa’s past such as this warmly remembered movie-theater–opened in 1948 near the corner of La Mesa Blvd and University Avenue.

Murray Manor Kindergartners 1954

From one-room Allison School (opened in 1895) to Grossmont (1920) and Helix (1951) High Schools, churches and other government agencies and civic organizations, La Mesa boasts a proud tradition. Re-live these shared institutions.

Bank of Southern California Building 1927

La Mesa’s architectural heritage features both commercial and residential structures such as this distinctive building located at Palm and La Mesa Blvd. Research historical buildings and houses at our archives