Editor's Notebook: History is not bunk, Henry Ford! Ocean Beach Historical Society will mark its 25th anniversary with special events

Editor's Notebook:

The study of history is important because it tells us how we got to where we are now — and that is empowering. But don't take my word for it:

Theodore Roosevelt famously said: "I believe that the more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future."

Carl Sagan professed: "You have to know the past to understand the present."

And wise ol' Bob Marley insisted: "In this bright future, you can't forget your past."

That's why with great delight Point Loma -OB Monthly reports that the Ocean Beach Historical Society will mark its 25th anniversary in February and throughout 2019, the nonprofit will celebrate its founders, members and achievements with a variety of lectures and special events.

The first is a presentation by Eric DuVall, president of the Ocean Beach Historical Society, titled "Trolley to the Beach," 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at Water's Edge Faith Community, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

DuVall will tell the colorful story of how dependable electric streetcar service allowed people to live at the beach — Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Pacific Beach and La Jolla — and still be able to work downtown. Featured prominently in the tale are early civic leaders D.C. Collier and John D. Spreckels. DuVall will cover the 50-year period from the 1890s through the 1940s.

For the 25th anniversary program, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at Water's Edge, board members Kitty McDaniel, Dedi Ridenour and Jonnie Wilson will unearth fascinating finds from the OB archives.

Did you know, the Historical Society maintains an archive room on the top floor of the Water's Edge building? The collection contains photos, maps, books, newspapers, letters, artifacts and an extensive biography index with San Diego City Directories from 1926 to 1984. It lists people, their spouses and occupations. Dedicated volunteers assist with processing, and if you'd like an appointment to view items, call (619) 226-8125.

Membership in the Historical Society is $15 a year, obhistory.org has all the details on how to join.

Down the road in Point Loma ...

There are three other entities dedicated to preserving the area's history — The La Playa Trail Association (laplayatrail.org), The Portuguese Historical Center (phcsandiego.com) and The Cabrillo National Monument (nps.gov/cabr). If you consider the Theosophical Society story (1900 to 1942), then add Point Loma Nazarene University to this list.

As we work to bring you news and information to enrich your life in the peninsula in the new year, we'll also be publishing fun tidbits from the past and highlighting all the programs planned by local historians.

Scanning today's San Diego headlines, it appears we've come full circle; regional transportation issues are as critical to us today as they were to our predecessors!

Get the historical perspective from Eric DuVall on Jan. 21, 2019.

Editor Susan DeMaggio can be reached at (858) 875-5950 or e-mail: editor@lajollalight.com

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