*except for holiday weekends

McKinney House Museum and Archives are now OPEN every Sat 1-4 pm *

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Civic
Celebrations

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

Welcome to the La Mesa History Center!

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 History Center is dedicated to preserving the community’s heritage for future generations.

Working out of the Rev. Henry A. McKinney House Museum and Center Archives, a 1908-built historical landmark, the La Mesa History Center is reaching out to the community through a number of avenues ranging from educational, historical roundtables and walking tours to hosting and participating in special events including our Annual Home Tour. Come investigate La Mesa’s history with us – we look forward to seeing you soon. Stop by the McKinney House or the Archives Saturdays from 1 pm – 4 pm (except holidays) and see what the Center is all about.

Come Learn With Us

From its 19th century origins of cattle and sheep grazing to its period as a silent-movie mecca in 1911-12, La Mesa has a rich and colorful past. Find out more about the history of your community, neighborhood or house at one of our quarterly History Roundtable presentations or at the Research Archives.

Donations & Memberships

Please visit the Memberships page to for details about LMHC memberships and included perks.

Additional donations are welcomed and very appreciated. Donations help fund our events and La Mesa history preservation efforts. Currently we are seeking a donation of $500 to allow the Center to have 1000 archival images scanned into our collection. Call us for more information or make a gift now. 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