About Us

Our history

About South Bay Historical Society

The mission of the South Bay Historical Society is to preserve and promote the history of the region of San Diego from National City to the border. We plan to accomplish this mission in the following ways:

  • To form a nonprofit organization with bylaws and a board of directors that serve the needs of its membership.
  • To hold regular meetings that will allow all members to participate in historical discussions and in activities that promote the mission of the Society.
  • To publish a monthly Bulletin and maintain a database of resources useful to understanding the history of the region.
  • To act as a clearinghouse for the many organizations in the region that are involved in education and historic preservation, and to promote the sharing of information about historic sites, family artifacts and photographs, exhibits and oral histories.

We first met in August 2013 at the invitation of Susan Walter in her historic John Davidson home on Second Avenue in Chula Vista. After that exploratory meeting, Helen Halmay wrote an about the new Society for the Congress of History. Our small group represented the communities of National City, Chula Vista, Bonita and Lincoln Acres, and it was decided that a society was needed to represent all communities in the South Bay.

The first South Bay Historical Society was founded in 1958 by Irene Phillips who wrote a regular column in the National City Star-News and a series of nine books on the history of the National Ranch and the South Bay. It disbanded after her death in 1972.

John Rojas and Ruby Peters Machado founded the Chula Vista Historical Society in 1981 but it disbanded after the death of Rojas in 2000. The only other historical society in the area is the National City Historical Society that operates the Kimball Museum on Brick Row. We hope to continue the service and traditions of these societies that have come before us.

The Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and the membership dues of $20 per year are tax deductible.