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Save Our Heritage Organization: Penning the Past Zoom Lecture – La Mesa

August 10 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Join the Save Our Heritage Organization to learn about the unique character of San Diego’s historic neighborhoods through the eyes of impassioned writers and historians. Brought to life by esteemed local authors, Penning the Past promises to be an enriching exploration of San Diego’s architectural legacy and historical tapestry.  The series is free for SOHO members, $10 per lecture for non-members. Your participation supports SOHO’s mission of education and advocacy to preserve the historic architecture, sites, and cultural landscapes that surround us and add meaning to our daily lives.

La Mesa by James Newland

On February 16, 1912, La Mesa Springs, a community of 700 citrus farmers, home seekers, developers, and businessmen, incorporated into the City of La Mesa. Located among the rolling hills and mesa lands between San Diego and El Cajon, today’s suburban city of over 56,000 is still renowned for its small-town character, featuring its historic village business district, family-friendly neighborhoods, good schools, and ample retail and recreational amenities. The area’s centuries-old prehistory and history can be traced to the natural springs that attracted stockman Robert Allison in 1869. Allison Springs, later renamed, prospered and grew after the arrival of the railroad in 1889. After incorporation, the young city grew steadily, reaching 3,925 residents by 1940. Post World War II La Mesa exemplified the exponential suburban growth of the region, expanding to the north and west of the old downtown to accommodate 50,000-plus residents by 1980—all were attracted, as today, to the “Jewel of the Hills.”

Author bio Historian and planner for the California State Parks Department, James Newland has been a stalwart in the field of historic preservation since 1991, and is past president of the La Mesa History Center. He has an MA in public history from San Diego State, has authored four insightful books on local history—Cleveland National Forest, Grossmont Hospital: A Legacy of Community Service, Around Mt. Helix, and La Mesa—and has made countless contributions to our community’s heritage.

This event is hosted by the Save Our Heritage Organization. For more information, questions, and registration, please contact the event organizer.


August 10
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Volunteers work in the Center’s Research Library, cataloguing materials and organizing on a computer-based system.

Marketing and Administrative Volunteers assist the Development Office or Administration Office with data entry, updating marketing materials and clerical tasks. Computer experience is a plus.

Docents welcome visitors and answer general questions regarding the Center and exhibits. Docents staff the gift shop and help out with administrative and curatorial tasks.

Volunteers support event activities at the Center, such as the Annual BBQ, lectures, workshops, and fundraising events. Be a part of the party!

Volunteer provide support for K-12 programs offered at the Center. These are fun, hands-on programs that kids really enjoy. Teaching experience is a plus, but not required. Background checks are required.


With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will use photogrammetry to prepare one or more archaeological collections for digital preservation, as well as create a virtual museum exhibit for our Public Archaeology department. Per approval, special projects of the intern’s choosing are also available. During the research and planning, the intern will receive guidance as appropriate to their selected project. Prospective interns should already be familiar with photogrammetric procedures, and Agisoft Metashape.

Collections Management

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will prepare one or more archaeological collections for curation. During the course of the internship, the intern will learn to identify artifacts and ecofacts common to the San Diego region, including lithics, ceramics, historical objects, and faunal, botanical, and mineral specimens. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological laboratory procedures such as basic artifact analysis, manual and computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and preventative conservation. In addition, the intern will become familiar with historical trends in archaeological practice in the San Diego area and will be introduced to current legal and ethical issues in archaeological curation as well as the concerns and rights of culturally affiliated groups with regard to archaeological materials.

Development and Marketing

Under the direction of Center staff, the intern will support the department in various activities, including, but not limited to, fundraising and grant research; e-newsletter development; social media marketing; and website maintenance. This internship will give the intern valuable, real-world experience in non-profit fundraising and marketing.

Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology

Prospective Interns must have completed three courses: Introduction to GIS, GIS Database Management, and Intermediate/Advanced Methods in GIS. The intern will be assigned a project where they will create shapefiles and maps for curated archaeological collections, museum exhibits, and/or public outreach using ArcGIS 10.6. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological GIS laboratory procedures such as computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and database management.

Library Science

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will arrange and catalog materials in the Center’s library. During the course of the internship, the intern will take a leading role in the cataloging, sorting and storing of research files and creating user guides for these collections. Center staff will instruct the intern on archival procedures, computer cataloging, storage requirements, and preventative conservation.

Public Archaeology

Harness your passion for Public Archaeology and gain hands-on experience with K-12 museum field trips, lectures, and public outreach. Additional projects may include creating virtual museum exhibits and activities, assisting in the development and implementation of K-12 curricula programs, planning and presenting public facing content, or educational field trip content of your own design. Must be able to pass a Live Scan.