Society holds annual meeting


The La Jolla Historical Society elected three new board members Monday during the group’s annual meeting at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church.

Christopher Albence will join the board for the 2009-11 term and Christina Freundt and Nell Waltz for the 2009-12 term.

F.H. “Trip” Bennett, Pat Dahlberg, Thomas Grunow, David Reynolds and Jeffrey Shorn were re-elected for the 2009-12 term, and Melesse Traylor was re-elected for the 2009-11 term.

Featured speaker for the night was Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who had been a longtime member of the board of the historical society before her election to the City Council.

She told the story of landscaping her first home in La Jolla, when she enrolled in a landscaping course at UCSD extension and another classmate recognized photos of her property and insisted it was a “tear-down house.”

“So that was my first introduction to the philosophy in La Jolla, which is you don’t really need to worry about finding a house. You just find where you want to be, and you tear down and start over again,” Lightner said. “And I never really bought into that theory. And that’s part of why I did volunteer work with the historical society, part of why I did get involved with land use and planning.”

Freundt, one of the new board members, explained a similar experience in why she became involved in the society. “About three years ago, I restored a 1925 home, and in the process, I got deeply into the history of La Jolla and the sense of what all these buildings mean to our community,” she said. “It just tugged at my heartstrings.”

Society President Ruth Covell said plans for the new year include continued upgrades to Wisteria Cottage, starting an oral history project, starting an educational program for children and continuing the secret garden tours.