2020 Conference Canceled

A message from Congress of History President Christopher Milnes.
Based upon the Governor’s proclamation that all nonessential gatherings be postponed due to the state of emergency regarding this fast-spreading virus, the Congress of History is sad to announce that we must cancel the “Remarkable Women” conference schedule for March 13 and 14, 2020. We do not do this lightly. It is with deep regret that we have no choice. At this time we don’t know when this state of emergency will be lifted and if and when we can reschedule this conference. If we can’t reschedule, we will make a full refund to those who paid for the conference and for our generous sponsors and supporters of this event. We will decide possible next steps in the next few weeks as events unfold. We thank everyone for their understanding. Please stay healthy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Congress of History of San Diego and Imperial Counties 55th Annual History Conference • 2020

Friday, March 13 & Saturday, March 14, 2020
Conference Co-sponsor:
The Portuguese Historical Center

Register Now ( link )


Almost 100 years ago, on August 18, 1920, the passage of the 19th Amendment declared that citizens of the United States shall not be denied the right to vote on account of sex. In 2020, for the 100th anniversary of this milestone, the Congress of History again celebrates the deeds of women of the region. Who were these women, and what are their stories? What did they do that positively impacted the lives of others? Are there women who were trailblazers but have been forgotten by history? Is there a woman that we think we know, but we got it all wrong? This conference explores the many facets and impacts of remarkable women of the San Diego region. Save the dates. Bring a friend. Become a member of the Congress of History!

2-day Conference
Friday, March 13 & Saturday, March 14, 2020
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Portuguese Hall Point Loma
Open to everyone who loves history.
Location: the beautiful Portuguese Hall,
Point Loma, San Diego
(619) 469-7283
Register Here ( link )

Base logo of sponsors
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

President’s Column

Dianne P. Cowen, President
The Congress of History of
San Diego and Imperial Counties (CoH)

Local Fourth of July celebrations, held recently, reminded
me of the impact that the 200th anniversary of our nation
had on the development of local historical societies. It seemed that every community wanted to be a
part of the Bicentennial events.

Citizens began years in advance to learn more about
their own founding fathers and mothers. Historic locations
and museums were spruced-up. Organizations and
governments joined efforts to remember the linking of
13 newly-independent colonies into what would eventually
become the fifty United States of America. Fundraising, speeches,
exhibits, and dinners culminated on July 4, 1976 with the
national celebration of our nation in Washington, D.C. In San
Diego most of us saw the televised version from the
comfort of our homes even as we enjoyed the local
events before and during East Coast celebrations. . . .

This year the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum
( link ) is celebrating the centennial of the San Diego
and Arizona Railway with talks scheduled at many
locations throughout the year. Driving from my Los
Peñasquitos Ranch House Docents meeting directly to
the San Diego Archaeology Center ( link ) on June 8, I was able
to hear most of Reena Deutsch’s presentation on the
construction of the SD&A. What an amazing feat that
men of various ethnicities and backgrounds accomplished
as they tunneled, built bridges, and laid track
across the inhospitable lands from El Centro to National
City. The online San Diego and Arizona Railway
Centennial page lists the schedule of events which vary
in time of day, location, and cost, with many being free.

As Helen Halmay, editor of Adelante, noted in her
column, “Hue and Cry” (in the conference edition of
Adelante) many of our Congress of History organizations
have significant anniversaries this year. Check
current and past Adelante newsletters for information.
Even if specific events have already passed, individual
museums’ anniversary exhibits will continue for
months. . . .

I am looking forward to being in Lakeside on July
20 for the next Congress of History Board Meeting.
Our host, the Lakeside Historical Society, has the Olde
Community Church on the corner of Maine Ave. and
Parkdale. An E Clampus Vitus historical marker faces
Maine Ave. Limited off-street parking is available
on Parkdale between the Lakeside Museum and the
church. Street parking on Parkdale has some shade.
Join us for the meeting, museum tour, and lunch at a
local nearby eatery. I always bring a hat and wear sunscreen for the outdoors. . . .

Our family has had several gatherings over the
past few months as we said goodbye to our 98-year-old
mother, grandmother, and aunt. Mother loved history
and was a longtime member of the Lompoc Historical
Society in her community. When traveling, in years
past, she also enjoyed visiting local historical sites and
museums. Many family members continue to share her

I hope to have a little more time to visit more of the
Congress of History member locations this year. In the
meantime, our family has enjoyed celebrating our own
history and sharing memories and photos. May you
enjoy family and friends in your life.
Hope to see you soon,

Dianne P. Cowen, President

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July Meeting

Lakeside Historical Society (LHS)
Saturday, July 20
10 a.m.
Olde Community Church
9906 Maine Ave.
Lakeside, CA 92040 ( link to website )

The next board meeting of the Congress of History (CoH) will be held on Saturday, July 20 at the Lakeside Historical Society (LHS). Look for their colorful, new, red sign, created by society members. It’s hung outside the church (on the Maine Ave. side of the building).

Business conducted during this CoH meeting will include a report from the Planning Committee about the 2020 CoH History Conference, “Remarkable Women,” which will highlight the history and influence of local women.

Free, on-street parking is available; arrive early for closer parking. All are welcome to attend this CoH meeting and to join us for lunch afterward at a nearby restaurant. Bring a friend!

Following the meeting (and before lunch), those in attendance may tour the Lakeside Museum, located in the old, original “manse” parsonage. The museum is located at 12418 Parkside Ave., adjacent to the church.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2019-2020 Membership Renewal

Membership renewals are due in June, as the new membership year starts on July 1, 2018. We’re reminding you now, because the next Adelante will not reach you until after July 1. So, IF you have not recently renewed your CoHmembership, please do so before the end of June.

Link For Renewal Form

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OBHS – Event

Tonight – June 20, 2019 7 pm

Ocean Beach Historical Society presents Historian Nancy Carol Carter

WATER’S EDGE FAITH COMMUNITY, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B.

San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities in the U. S., due in large part to its abundance of exotic trees and plants— jacarandas, queen palms, Brazilian pepper trees, bougainvillea, Italian cypress, the bird of paradise, and the poinsettia.
Yet, surprisingly, none of these trees and plants—so identified with our image—are native to San Diego!

All of them—and many more—were introduced to our region by Kate Sessions, the pioneering women horticulturalist who came to San Diego in 1883, and who, over a period of several decades, transformed a semi-arid landscape into a lush paradise.

Historian Nancy Carol Carter is a retired professor of law at USD. She is a frequent lecturer in San Diego and has been published in Pacific Horticulture and The Journal of San Diego History, with articles on Kate Sessions, the San Diego olive industry, and renowned local botanists Katharine and T. S. Brandegee.
Join us on June 20.

This program is free!

Visit: obhistory.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

California Revealed Free Summer Workshop

The Congress of History is not sponsoring this event.
The San Diego History Center is hosting this event which does not appear on the SDHC website. The event is intended for historical museums and organizations only
While the California Revealed website does not list the June 14 event on their website, the free workshop is happening.

Dianne Cowen,
President of the Congress of History of San Diego and Imperial Counties

Hello San Diego Cultural Heritage Groups,

 California Revealed will have a workshop this Friday, June 14th, at the San Diego History Center, from 1:30-5:30pm, and we are hoping more people will attend. The workshop is free, and it’s an opportunity to learn about how to participate in California Revealed, a State Library initiative that provides FREE digitization, online access, and long-term preservation of your collections. We work with digitization vendors to digitize your archival materials related to California history – books, newspapers, photographs, audiovisual recordings, and more. We very much want to represent more history from the San Diego area.
Please consider attending!

RSVP herehttp://bit.ly/2019-CA-Rworkshops

Friday, June 14, 2019 | 1:30-5:30pm

San Diego History Center

1649 El Prado, Suite #3, San Diego, CA 92101

In the heart of Balboa Park
Please read our latest newsletter too; and keep in touch. We’d love to add you to our mailing list for future newsletters and other announcements.
If you have any questions about the workshop, or about participating in the California Revealed program, please feel free to call or email.
We look forward to working with you to save our state history!
my best,Pamela

Pamela VadakanCalifornia Revealed
900 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Great Meeting

Image of the Chula Vista Library showing the Heritage Museum

Our appreciation to Barbara Zaragoza of the South
Bay Historical Society (SBHS) for making the meeting
arrangements and to Harry Orgovan, SBHS president,
who gave us a tour of the Chula Vista Heritage Museum
exhibit located in the Chula Vista Library,
Civic Center Branch

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The President’s Column

Graphic of an old typewriter with the headline "The President's Column"

Dianne P. Cowen, President
The Congress of History of
San Diego and Imperial Counties (CoH)

Wow! I am still basking in the afterglow of the 2019
Congress of History Conference, Defining Moments
250 Years Extraordinary Events that Shaped the History
of the San Diego Region (1769-2019). We are so appreciative
of the sponsorship of the Portuguese History
Center and the Portuguese Hall for the use of their
convenient and comfortable venue for the conference.
Thank you Louise Torio for leading the 2019 Conference
Planning Committee.

Has it really been less than two months since we
listened to engaging speakers deliver interesting talks
that covered a range of topics over 250 years of history?
From those speakers and from member organizations
and our vendors, I am continuing to learn as I read
through my 2019 book purchases.

Every year I enjoy exploring histories of new and
familiar areas and people of the San Diego, Imperial,
and Riverside Counties and Baja California. I have already
passed-along one riveting read to a daughter-inlaw
who is an avid reader. Some of the talks also led me
to reread previous years’ purchases that are pertinent to
this year’s topics.

Our appreciation to the South Bay Historical Society
for hosting the upcoming May 18 Congress of History
Board Meeting. Harry Orgovan, SBHS President,
will lead a tour of the Chula Vista Heritage Museum
exhibit following the meeting.

I am excited for this opportunity to update my
knowledge of South Bay history. You are always welcome
to attend and join our meetings. That is how
I became involved in the Congress of History, after
attending a few conferences with a friend.

The Congress of History has greatly increased my
knowledge of local history. When I moved to San Diego
in 1975, I was in new territory far from my Santa
Barbara County home base. I am from that part of
California where the ocean is south of the roadways.

Hawaii’s directions of “makai” (toward the ocean)
or “mauka” (toward the mountain) make more sense
when the ocean and the sunset don’t line-up like they
do in all those gorgeous photos.

As a newcomer to San Diego, I read signs at the
intersection of Interstates 8 and 5 in San Diego that
gave me choices that I didn’t understand: “El Cajon
and Beaches.” I didn’t want to go to the beach and I
didn’t know where El Cajon was! There wasn’t GPS in
those days, and there wasn’t even the handy Thomas
Brothers map books.

Trying to both drive and read a foldout map with
small print (and it wasn’t as small to me then as it is
now) contributed to a lot of wrong turns or not turning
when I should have. I did, however, become familiar
with areas that were far from our rented house in
North Park.

Through attending Congress of History meetings
and conferences I have purposely explored east, west,
north, and south. Even with all the GPS I still sometimes
make wrong turns. However, now when I see
signs for Coronado, Lakeside, National City, Vista,
Fallbrook, Lemon Grove, Oceanside, Spring Valley,
Barona, Çamp Pendleton, Sycuan, Villa Montezuma,
Warner Springs, Tecate, Temecula, and many others,
I’m confident that I know where to recommend a great
museum or historic site in each community.

If I haven’t been to a place for a few years, I like to
return to see what has changed. If you have children or
grandchildren, you may have noticed that our member
organizations and museums have many activities
geared to children of various ages. Give it a go. You
might find yourself enjoying those “kid” activities too!

Our 2020 conference will focus on the history of
women in the San Diego Region. Co-chairs Rosanne
Goodwin and Helen Halmay are enthusiastic about
the topic. They are forming the committee and will set
meeting dates and places. You are welcome to join in
the fun and participate in preparing another first-rate
history conference.

The Vista Historical Society will host the September 21
CoH Board Meeting at their Rancho Minerva site.
On November 16 the Barona Cultural Center and Museum will
open their doors to us. A special thanks to these members
and to Lemon Grove Historical Society and the National
City Historical Society for providing free meeting
space and an opportunity to tour your museums. Each and every year six member organizations host the Congress of History Board Meetings.
If you feel slighted because we haven’t visited your site, please
contact me so that I can try to schedule you for 2020.

I invite you to commit to attend at least one event
promoted in Adelante by our member organizations and
museums. We are all busy with our own responsibilities
so it takes commitment to reach out and explore. You
will find some fun and interesting slants on history that
will add to your own enjoyment and knowledge. Then
tell me where you have been and one thing that you
took away with you.

Dianne P. Cowen,
Happy Spring!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reminder: COH Next Meeting

This Saturday (May 18 ) at 10 am.

We will be meeting at the:
Chula Vista Public Library – Civic Center Branch:

365 F Street
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 691-5069


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment