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Historical and Cultural

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Phone:    (858) 966-1305
Open:    Monday - Tuesday, 9am - 3pm, and by appointment
Volunteer Researchers:    Ellen Sweet & Gloria Hinkley

The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation supports a History Office that archives photographs, artifacts, and information related to all County parks, with extensive information on its historic parks. 

Download the Historic Treasures Brochure


Ranchos of San Diego Book:  The Mexican Ranchos of San Diego County were a colorful and vital part of early California history.  Daily life of the dons, doñas, and their families included the California traditions of family and religion, dancing and fiestas, roundups and rodeos, and generous hospitality.  Many of the ranchos no longer exist.  Those that are preserved provide windows in to California’s past.

Historic Stage Routes Book:  Stagecoaches and the routes they traveled capture our imagination because of the romance, excitement, danger, and new experiences they represent.  San Diego was part of one of the most significant stagecoach lines in history.  This is the story of the stage lines, stage stations, stage drivers, and the people who were born, married and died along these routes.

Both publications are available to buy at local retail stores, and at the History Center office located 5500 Overland Avenue, Ste. 410.



The Department of Parks and Recreations offers opportunities to work on cultural and historic interpretive programs.   To receive more information about these and other volunteer opportunities, please visit the Volunteer Opportunities web page.

Park Docent/Naturalist - This volunteer provides interpretive programs at the parks, historic sites, and open space areas, and may be involved in research and development as well as presentations. 

Volunteer Docents are being recruited for Rancho de los Peñasquitos Adobe and Rancho Guajome Adobe. Docents lead tours of the historic adobes, create public presentations, work with school children, and help coordinate special events. 

Volunteers in History - Volunteers are needed in the History Office to help manage and research park information, to assist with educational outreach, and to help develop interpretive programs.