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Ocean Beach Historical Society
Most OBHS programs include feature guests, PowerPoint, video or photos. There is time to meet the guest or get books signed while enjoying snacks after the programs. The programs are on
 the 3rd Thursday of the each Month at 7pm. Other than Special Events, and there is no program in December.
Programs generally take place at Water’s Edge Faith Community (formally Point Loma United Methodist Church) at 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
Ocean Beach Historical Society meetings are FREE, but a $5 dollar donation is suggested and appreciated. Any donations and memberships are very welcome!

March- The Wisteria Garden Fundraiser (every other year)
O.B. Exposed! The Annual Photo Show and Contest (Date to be announced)
December (First Saturday)-The O.B. Christmas Parade – Starts at 5:05 on Newport Ave. and Sunset Cliffs)

We set up 
the OBHS booth at our special events, The O.B. Street Fair, Ocean Beach Crafts Fair at the Beach, and some other community events.
Items we sell include: Books, DVDs, T Shirts, Cards, Postcards, Photos and other historical gift items.

24 Responses

  1. Thought you might be interested in this:

    It’s info on the giant stained glass peace sign out at sunset cliffs

  2. The OB MainStreet Association, the OB Community Foundation and the OB Historical Society are working together on the upcoming OB Historic Plaque Project. We are looking for photos that are really clear with good contrast to use on the plaques. We could use photos of the Library, OB Elementary School, Newport Hotel (now OB Hostel), Strand Theater (now Wings), Pier,Silver Spray and the Bank of Italy (now Starbucks). If you have any great photos, please let us know at or call Denny Knox at OBMA 224-4906. We would love to hear from you.

  3. Thanks everyone at OBHS for keeping the spirit of OB alive! How about including us in your blogroll??? you are in ours. How about a trade? We have lots of OB history. Please let us know at

  4. 1940’s Big Band Swing Dance, Saturday, November 14, 2009, 7-11 P.M.
    14 piece live band.
    Fort Rosecrans Historic District, Naval Base Point Loma, Historic Argonaut Hall, Building 138
    Presented by the Fort Guijarros Museum Foundation.
    For tickets and reservations go to, or email

  5. I am looking for some information on the Polly Gas station that used to be on Vulcan st. in OB…. my father grew up there, him and his step father ran the station, and he attended Point Loma High, this would have been around 1940 — any info would be great…. he is in his 80’s, and we are trying to find some history……
    Mark Mekenas

    His name was Ernie Smid….

    • I vaguely remember a Polly Gas Station from when I was a kid back in the 40’s and 50’s, but the street name isn’t familiar to me. Are you sure about Vulcan, or could it have been Voltaire Street. Voltaire was and still is a main thoroughfare and down where it crosses Sunset Cliffs Blvd I remember several old gas stations there. I wish my brain was clearer so I could have a better memory of those things. There was a very worn gas station there that had some parrot cages in the sales area. I know, you’re going to think I’m keying on the station name, Polly, but I’m telling the truth. Could that have been your dad’s place?

  6. Pat-
    I am a bit dismayed that none of the Park&Rec people that I have spoken to know who Robb Field, Dusty Rhoades, or Bob Kenny Field (OB Elementary) are named after… Zippo on the historio dude…
    Perhaps the Beacon should run a story or two on who these (and other) dedications were named after and why ?
    Keep Those Marshmellows Flying !!!
    -Michael the Sandman

  7. Michael,
    As time marches on, less and less is known about our history.
    It is our mission as a Historical Society to keep our history alive.
    One way we do this is by our monthly programs.
    We have had programs on Robb Field and Bob Kenny Field.
    Dusty Rhodes is overdue.
    I wish Lois and Dusty where around today so I could get there take on whats going on today.
    Just this morning I heard there’s going to be a proposal for developing the Camp Holiday (Seaside Cottages) property.
    I’m very concerned.
    Good idea about articles in the Beacon. I’ll see if I can find someone who might be interested in writing about these folks.
    Good hearing from you.

  8. I would like to see photos. Is there a page of historic photos online?

    • Francesca, we do not currently have a on-line photo gallery. Our collection is available by appointment. You can make an appointment by calling our archivist Mary @ 619-223-7784. You can see historic photos online at or check out Steve Rowells work at .

  9. I am doing research on a Collier Park Hospital that was supposed to be in San Diego (maybe still is) from at least 1954-1960. Searched old phone books and photographs of hospitals at the Museum of Photographic Art in Balboa Park and came up empty. Originally assumed it was located in La Mesa, but appears it was in San Diego. Found 3 references to Collier Park Hospital in San Diego on Google… all happened to be adoptees born at College Park Hospital and looking for their birth parents. Do any of the long time residents of OB happen to know where this hospital was located? It may have been a clinic for destitute or unwed mothers rather than a hospital per se.

    • Hi Ed! Collier Park Hospital was where I was born, and as I was then adopted shortly thereafter, I also believe the place was a home or ward for destitute mothers. I researched CPH years ago, and think I at least might have found out its location. Let me revisit the subject and get back to you! Greetings from Caroline Simpson Timmerberg

    • Hey Ed,
      I may not be correct, but back in the 50’s there was a small hospital on either Midway Drive or perhaps on Frontier Blvd. My worn out brain is telling me it’s name started with a “C”, but not sure about that. I recall some kids on the beach digging a tunnel in the sand and it caved in on one of them and he was asphyxiated. The ambulance rushed him to one of the hospitals in San Diego and in the process, drove past the small hospital where life saving measures might have saved him.

      These are vague recollections.

      • I was born at Collier Park Hospital and my mother was an unwed mother but she kept me with support of my grandparents and aunt. The address on my birth certificate is 2301 Bolinas St. San Diego. No zip code just Zone 7. Googled the address but did not find the address but did find the street. Hope this helps if someone is looking.

      • What years are you referring to? Midway drive was called Causeway St. There’s Channel St, but that may have come later. Fun stuff!!! Thanks for your post.

    • Collier park hospital was operated by the Salvation Army’s Door of Hope. A place for unwed mothers to be cloistered away from society and have their children taken into adoption by coercion and manipulation in a time when being pregnant and single was considered aberrant behavior.

      • Hi Arlene, what is/are your source(s) that describe Collier Park Hospital as a manipulative, coercive, woman-shaming organization? My sources – my biological mother, who gave birth to me there in 1960 – tells quite a different story. Of course, the girls and women, who resided temporarily at the Booth Home for Unwed Mothers in Ocean Beach, were protected from daily society. Many of them by their own choice. Of course that time period was completely rigid and puritanical as far as accepting single mothers into society. The Booth Home, however, was a safe and protective environment for girls who were scared and unwontedly pregnant. Many of them had horrible family situations that included histories of parental sexual abuse. I can verify that the Booth Home provided care, love, friendship, learning and good medical care, as well as solid obstetrics. The Salvation Army has also kept immaculate records over decades of the residents of the Booth Homes. (I would post a picture here of the Ocean Beach house, but don’t the system will allow it.)

      • I looked at my birth certificate and spoke to my mom. I was born at Collier Park Hospital. My mom is from a family of immigrants who did the best they could. I was not adopted out and after I was born they helped her with my care. I applaud the resilience and strength she has always had and am grateful for the help they gave her so I could come into the world nourished and loved.

      • I was also born at Collier in 1953. I was given up for adoption after my birth mother could not care for me.

  10. I work for the San Diego Public Library as the Exhibit Assistant for the annual San Diego Local Authors Exhibit. I noticed you had a book at your booth at this year’s OB Street Fair and we would like to include it in the upcoming exhibit next year. I am interested in obtaining your contact information, particularly an e-mail address, to add to our database. You may contact either me or the Library Programming Director, Marc Chery, at 619.236.5817 or Also, please visit the San Diego Public Library’s Local Authors webpage at – thanks so much!

  11. At what time are the monthly meetings?

    ANY QA PLEASE TEXT ME 619 578 9910

  13. Hello,

    We’d love to include your events. You can submit an event here:

    Please include an image if you have one.

    You’ll then be in consideration for the highlights section:

    Thank you!
    San Diego Reader

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