The purpose of the Society is to promote civic welfare by artistic and cultural advancement of the community and to contribute to the education of the public through the support of historical material and other appropriate activities.
The Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society is actively involved in and financially supports programs in education, civic affairs and local history. Our Heritage Museum offers a hands-on journey back in time 100 years. Located in La Colonia Park, the Museum guides the visitor from the original community of Lockwood Mesa through it transformation into Solana Beach. Visitors begin in a circa 1900 kitchen and living room and, as they walk through the Museum, they see the lifestyle changes that came with the arrival of running water and electricity in the 1920s and 19302. A time-line photo exhibit traces the history of Solana Beach as it developed from the arrival of the Indians and the Spanish explorers into the community of today.
The Museum is open on the first and third Saturdays of each month or by appointment. Email to request a visit.
The Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society evolved from the well-established Solana Beach Women’s Civic Club, which was formed in 1953. The founding officers included Olive Smith, president; Blanche Kintz, vice president, Thelma Crawford, secretary; and Frances Cornwall, treasurer. The aim of the organization was the beautification of Solana Beach and the solution of problems confronting Solana Beach as a growing town — not yet a city. At that time there was no Interstate freeway, and Highway 101 through Solana Beach was a corridor of billboards and gas stations. The Women’s Civic Club was instrumental in the removal of these billboards and planting of trees and landscaping this corridor. Among their many accomplishments was the renovation of the central plaza and installation of the “Sunburst Fountain.” In March of 1989, the newly formed Solana Beach City Council asked the Women’s Civic Club to become custodians of the City’s history, and the Civic Club’s certificate of incorporation was modified to create the Solana Beach Civic & Historical Society.
What kinds of programs are offered for the community?
The SBC&HS is actively involved in and financially supports educational programs including our Heritage Museum, a Living History educational program for elementary school students, and annual college scholarships. Since its inception in 2014, our Scholarship Program has awarded more than $20,000 to help high school seniors and returning adult students attend college and technical schools. In 2023, our awards increased to $2,500 each. Click here for more information.
We also are active in civic affairs, beautification projects, and maintaining community gardens, as well as in historical research and preservation efforts.
We offer two books on the history of Solana Beach for sale at $10 each. Click here to buy Early Solana Beach: Recollections by George C. Wilkens & Robert “Chuckles” Hernandez. Click here to buy La Colonia & Solana Beach: Spring up from Colonel Ed Fletcher’s Running Water. With grant-funding support from the City of Solana Beach, we also have digitized seven decades of archival materials about the Society and our community. These materials include interviews with long-time and notable Solana Beach citizens, as well as videographies available online through our YouTube channel.
Our monthly membership meetings cover a wide range of topics — from the practical and educational to the purely entertaining. During the 2020-2022 Covid 19 pandemic, we pivoted to virtual meetings, which also are available through our YouTube channel. Social events are planned throughout the year.
Our Crafts Group meets regularly to create items for the Society’s annual Holiday Boutique — which in 2020 became for a virtual event and in 2021 was a hybrid online/outdoor shopping opportunity. During both years of the Covid 19 pandemic, the Boutique achieved record sales of about $11,000. The Holiday Boutique usually is held on the second Saturday in November at La Colonia Community Center.
SeaWeeders Garden Club members maintain the Solana Beach Post Office sculpture garden, El Viento park, and the native garden at the Fire Station. Visit seaweedersgardenclub.org for more information.
Does the SBC&HS need volunteers?
The SBC&HS always welcomes volunteers! We are seeking nominations for our 2022-23 Board of Directors, hosts for our twice-monthly Heritage Museum tours, artisans to help create treasures for our annual Holiday Crafts Boutique, and help with our SeaWeeders’ many community garden projects. Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.