Ocean Beach Historical Society LogoThe Ocean Beach Historical Society Statement:

OBHS preserves Ocean Beach’s history through the Sea Scrolls, program, postcards, archives, programs and public events. The OBHS Archive volunteers research, collect, preserve, and make available to the public information, artifacts, art and memorabilia related to the history of Ocean Beach. We have many FREE programs, but we encourage people to become members. The OCEAN BEACH HISTORICAL SOCIETY is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization DONATIONS MAY BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Join the fun and learn about Ocean Beach’s history! contact@obhistory.org

Ocean Beach Historical Society
GENERAL 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 programs are FREE, but a $5 dollar donation is suggested and appreciated. Any donations and memberships are very welcome! Most OBHS programs include feature guests, PowerPoint, video or photos. Guest signed books.

2021 December Board Get-together

2021 Ocean Beach Historical Society Board Members
Eric DuVall (President), Pat James (V.P.), Kitty McDaniel (Secretary), Ray Blavatt (IT), Stephanie Greenwald (Memberships), Kathy Blavatt (Creative Director), Susan James (Treasurer), Jane Gawronski (Correspondence Secretary), Bill Riley, Justin Reed (Photographer), Dedi Ridenour, Jonnie Wilson (Program Coordinator), Debbie Green, Terry Beddoes, Tom Gawronski.

Barbara Busch (Archivist)

2019 OBHS Board Members with Photo
Front Row: Kitty McDaniel (Secretary), Steve Rowell (former Brd. Mem.), Dedi Ridenour, Jonnie Wilson (Program Coordinator), Ray Blavatt (IT), Barbara Busch (Archivist), Stephanie Greenwald (Memberships), Staircase: Kathy Blavatt (Creative Director), Pat James (V.P.), Susan James (Treasurer), Bill Riley, Eric DuVall (President), Debbie Green, Terry Beddoes, Tom Gawronski, and Jane Gawronski (Correspondence Secretary).




March- The Wisteria Garden Fundraiser (every other year, but canceled due to COVID)
December (First Saturday)-The O.B. Christmas Parade – Starts at 5:05 on Newport Ave. and Sunset Cliffs) (Canceled due to COVID)

We have special O.B. events at: 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.

13 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello, good neighbors at OBHS.

    My twin sister, Kim Fahlen, and I have just completed an Images of America series book “Lighthouses of San Diego”. Is this a topic of which you would enjoy a presentation, and perhaps a book signing event? We have attended a couple meetings and I have actually presented there, with Mary Ellen Cortellini, “The Forgotten Soldiers of Fort Roscrans.”

    I think such an event would be perfect for your members, whose goal and interest are San Diego-related history.

    To whom shall I make contact with OBHS?

    Thank you very much.
    Karen Scanlon
    858 272-7357

    1. Hi Ms. Scanlon,

      I grew up in San Diego and lived most of my growing up years (1942-1960) in a small house on Tennyson Street near Point Loma High School. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse was a place I loved to visit and I’d often ride my bicycle from our house out to the lighthouse and spend time watching the ocean from the tower. Below is a poem I wrote about the lighthouse and my memories there.

      The Old Point Loma Lighthouse
      by Daniel Parks

      My childhood days in San Diego, California

      A point of land out on the coast
      above the rolling sea.
      A lighthouse stands, stark and white,
      above the harbor’s lee.
      A monument of days gone by,
      a beacon to the bay.
      Where ships were guided by her light
      to safely find their way.

      This sentinel of era past,
      of simpler times and ways.
      Of sailing ships and oil lamps
      and damp and foggy days.
      Her light doth beckon from afar
      and calls me back to home.
      Where as a child, I climbed her tower
      below her spired dome.

      A platform topped with balustrade
      surrounds her lighted tower.
      And from this vantage point aloft,
      I’d daydream by the hour.
      Of bygone days and ocean ways
      and ships far out to sea.
      These reminisces from my past
      keep flooding back to me.

      It’s nice to have this special place,
      a respite from life’s cares.
      Where I can go in memory
      and climb her spiral stairs.
      And look out to the sea once more
      above the ocean’s foam.
      The Old Point Loma Lighthouse,
      keeps calling me back home.

  2. As you see from my zip code, I live in Ocean Beach. Across W Pt Loma from my place, in Famosa Slough, is a remnant of the Ocean Beach Trolley. Many who see it do not know what it is, so It might be nice to have a sign identifying it.

  3. I am looking for Cordelia (DeDi) Ridenour. She used to be my favorite neighbor when I lived on Osprey St as a child. Could you please help me find her or her family. Thanks

    1. I’m sorry so much time has passed but could you still give her my information. I would like to know how her children are and update her on our family if she is interested.

  4. Mrs. Laura,

    Sadly, we (my wife and I) have found ourselves embroiled with matters that have restricted our ability to attend of late. We will not be able to attend this meeting, but it is of GREAT interest to us since the park area very much contributes to the beauty and walkability of the area. I know it is part of Loma Alta, but I would like to hear the history of how this land that was deeded as a park shrank to a mere shadow of what it was supposed to be. Could you please provide me away to contact and get a copy of the information that you will be presenting, or allow us to view it in some way?

    Thank you

    Daniel Bille
    owner of the Margaret Rankin House

    1. Due to permission, photos and docs loaned from other sources, copyright issues and the program being put on by others, the OBHS is limited to what we can give out or publish.
      Some of the info for this the program can be found on the OB RAG website and old issues of the printed OB Rag, a couple photos and docs are from the OBHS Archive collection and many of the new photos belong to Kathy Blavatt.

      1. Hi Daniel,
        There is a copy of Kathy’s talk at the archives if you would like to see it. We are there Fridays 10-12 or by appointment. Please give me a call and let me know if you are coming some time. I would like to talk to you about the aerial photo you donated. Mary 619-223-7784

  5. We are trying to figure out if there was a plunge in Ocean Beach. My mother said that she used to go to it as a kid with her brother back in the 30’s to early 40’s. Said it was huge and they filled it with salt water and craps used to be at the bottom of the pool. The only information we can find is on the Mission Beach Plunge. Can anyone help us out? Thanks.
    Kathy Lawrence

  6. Hi Kathy,

    The following was copied from Wikipedia and it mentions the Plunge being part of the Wonderland Amusement Park. But the years are earlier than the 30’s-40’s:

    Wonderland was a beachfront amusement park in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego, California from 1913 to 1916. It was the first amusement park in San Diego.

    The 8-acre amusement park was built on or near the Pacific Ocean beach by the Ocean Bay Beach Amusement Center, owned by Herbert P. Snow and managed by Bert Snow. It opened on July 4, 1913 to a crowd of more than 20,000. It featured the largest roller coaster on the West Coast, called the Blue Streak Racer, as well as a carousel, water slide, and carnival games.

    A menagerie featured “lions, bears, leopards, wolves, mountain lions, a hyena, and 56 varieties of monkeys”. Additional amusements were a dance hall, bowling alley, roller skating rink, and salt-water bathing plunge. Patrons were dazzled by the 22,000 tungsten lights which illuminated the park and by the entrance gate with its towering minarets.

    The amusement park helped to put the community of Ocean Beach on the map for San Diegans. The formerly 2 1/2 hour trip to the beach from central San Diego had been reduced to a 40-minute trolley ride in 1909 by the construction of the Point Loma Railroad by developer D. C. Collier.

    The park thrived for two seasons, but saw a massive drop-off in attendance in 1915 due to the opening of the Panama California Exposition in Balboa Park. The park fell into foreclosure and was sold at auction in March 1915. In January 1916, storm tides undermined the roller coaster, which had to be closed. It was dismantled and eventually shipped to Santa Monica’s Pleasure Pier. The rest of the park was also damaged by winter storms and was eventually demolished.

    Kathy, back when I was growing up I recall old-timers talking about the amusement park as if it had still been there when I was born in 1942. Perhaps the old Plunge and a few other things survived past 1916. It seems like there was a carousel in that location even into the early 1940’s but that may just be my imagination. Most of us remember the concession stands and blaring juke boxes even into the 50’s in that location. I still remember cuing up Bobby Darin’s “Rocking Robin,” tweet… tweet… tweet… (sorry, I got carried away for a minute) as I ate a delicious hamburger, fries and a coke. Ah, those were the days my friend and we all thought they’d never end.

    Daniel Parks

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