The La Mesa History Center Is
To promote, collect and educate on and about the history of Greater La Mesa area for the benefit of the community through the McKinney House Museum, Historical Archives and public programs.
The Greater La Mesa area includes the communities of Grossmont, Mt Helix, Casa de Oro, Spring Valley, Rancho San Diego and Fletcher Hills along with San Diego’s College Neighborhoods, Rolando, Del Cerro, and San Carlos, all of which share associated histories.
An organization actively engaged in preserving La Mesa’s unique heritage for future generations to see and enjoy.
Volunteers are an integral part of the Center. Opportunities include serving as a docent in the McKinney House Museum or on the Home Tour, archival and collection work, writing and graphics, video editing, fundraising, historic preservation, and facility maintenance. If you are interested in volunteering please call the archives at (619) 466-0197 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to join this enthusiastic group of people.
The McKinney House Museum is a period-furnished facility available for tours and special events. The McKinney House is open every Saturday from 1 to 4 pm (closed holiday weekends). Special, school and group tours can be arranged. Call (619) 466-0107 for further information. Rev. Henry A. McKinney built the home for his family in 1908. The McKinney’s were active in the cultural, educational, commercial and fraternal life of early La Mesa. The house is furnished in the 1908 – 1920 period. Interested in being a House Docent? Call us at (619) 466-0107 to sign up for training.
One of LMHC’s most active programs is its historical archives and Palermo Building Research Reading Room. LMHC’s Archival Collections include documents, records, newspapers, artifacts, photographs, video and oral history records focused on the history of La Mesa and its environs. LMHC Archives are open every Saturday from 1 to 4pm (excepting holidays*) or by appointment. Photocopies and photographic image reproductions are available for a fee. LMHC has also authored books, publications and CDs/DVDs and other items relative to the history of La Mesa.
* We will be closed on 9/2/23, 12/24/23 and 12/31/23.
One of LMHC’s most popular events is the Annual Historic Home Tour. Each year LMHC features 5 to 6 historic homes that illustrate the wonderful suburban landscape of La Mesa. Visitors are transported via buses to view these wonderfully restored and rehabilitated homes. The participant owners generously offer to share their homes for this marvelous example of Greater La Mesa community spirit. Check the Events section of the website for more details.
The Center’s educational mission is met through a variety of events and programs including roundtable lectures, “Meet Me at the McKinney House” family friendly programs, walking tours, historic plaques in La Mesa Village, traveling photo exhibits, and participation at community events such as the Rolando Street Fair and the La Mesa Flag Day Parade. This is an area we are constantly refining so check the Events tab above to see what is new on the horizon.
President – Veronica Martzahl
Vice President – Tracey Stotz
Membership Vice President – Steven Christiansen
Secretary – Kristine Alessio
Co-Treasurers – Spencer and Stephanie Peters
Past President – Jim Newland