THE McKINNEY HOUSE IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED
The La Mesa Historical Society is having some renovations done to the interior of the McKinney House. The house will be closed to the public during the months of May and June. We will be announcing the reopenin g of the house. Check our website. Please come back and enjoy the improvements of the house.
The Palermo Building in back of the house is still open on Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.
Who are we?
The La Mesa Historical Society is an organization actively engaged in preserving La Mesa's unique heritage for future generations to see and enjoy. We are a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, funded by annual membership dues, contributions, bequests, memorials, grants and fund-raising events. We are entrusted with protecting La Mesa's past and guiding La Mesa's future by collecting, preserving, educating and inspiring both residents and visitors alike.
How we do it
The La Mesa Historical Society has been vigorously collecting, preserving and interpreting the documents, artifacts, photographs and oral records that portray La Mesa's history. The Society identifies and documents local historical structures and encourages their preservation and restoration. The Society publishes books and other printed material relative to the history of La Mesa. Promoting the preservation of history is also done by hosting walking tours and historic home tours, photographic presentations, exhibits at special events, hosting field trips for local schools and organizations and presenting history roundtables.
In addition to maintaining the Rev. Henry McKinney House and Museum, the Society is also home to the Palermo building. Here, guests will find a large selection of city directories, 1,500 photographs showing early La Mesa, photo reproduction information and information on tracing your home or your family's history.
Where to find us
The La Mesa Historical Society operates out of the Rev. Henry McKinney House and Museum. The McKinney House, which was built in 1908, is La Mesa's first historical landmark and is now a museum that interpreting early 20th century life in La Mesa.
Visit the McKinney House at 8369 University Ave. (at the corner of Pine) in La Mesa. Open 1 to 4 p.m. every 2nd and 4th Saturday. For more information, call (619) 466-0197.
La Mesa's First Mayor
Dr. Charles Samson, a medical doctor, thought he should serve his fellow townspeople. So, on Feb. 16, 1912, when La Mesa became a city, Samson accepted the office of chairman of the first city council. At that time, the city council was called the board of trustees, In 1912, there were 700 residents, there were only six city employees, and the city's budget was a whopping $2,360. Samson was mayor from 1912 until 1914.