La Jolla Historical Society seeks information on Balmer School


As the La Jolla Historical Society (LJHS) prepares to renovate exhibit space at Wisteria Cottage this spring, the society is seeking help answering questions about its iconic structure at 780 Prospect St.

LJHS’s Preservation Committee needs help answering the following questions about Wisteria Cottage during the period it was home to the Balmer School (which became La Jolla Country Day School):

• When was the front porch in-filled, and did it exist in 1942 when the school opened?

• How many grades and schoolrooms did the Balmer School include?

• Was the kitchen removed before the school opened, or was it still in use after it opened in 1942?

• Do any former students or teachers remember hot lunches being prepared on-site?

• Did the structure include a teacher’s room? If so, where was it located?

• How did the school use the porch and former maid’s quarters?

• Did the Balmer School have an administrative office? If so, where was it located?

• How was the attic used?

• Do any former students or teachers remember exterior doors added to the school?

Wisteria Cottage was built in 1904 and briefly occupied by the Seaman family before being sold to E. Virginia Scripps, half-sister of La Jolla philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps (it was bequeathed to the society by Ellen Revelle in 2008).

Anyone with information should contact the society at (858) 459-5335 or e-mail Diane Kane at