Wisteria Cottage

Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees...until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children?

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis   Former First Lady, Editor and Historic Preservationist

About the La Jolla Historical Society

Our Story

The La Jolla Historical Society is a 501c3 nonprofit public benefit corporation whose mission is to inspire and empower the community to make La Jolla’s diverse past a relevant part of contemporary life.  The Society looks toward the future while celebrating the past,  preserves and shares La Jolla’s distinctive sense of place, and serves as a thriving community resource and gathering place where residents and visitors explore history, art, ideas and culture. 

Incorporated in 1964, the Society embarked on a program of practice that continues to the present-day: collecting historic photographs, public records, private documents, and newspaper archives reflecting La Jolla’s past, recording oral histories of those who have made significant contributions to the community, and serving as educator of La Jolla’s heritage.

The Society serves as community reviewer and advocate for the City of San Diego regarding the historic designation of properties located in La Jolla, and in 2014 was recognized with the preservation advancement award by the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board, and was named 2014 Preservationists of the Year by the Save Our Heritage Organisation.

The Society operates a campus of three historic buildings it owns and maintains within the Scripps/Gill cultural zone built in the early 1900s. The 1904 Wisteria Cottage, which was gifted to the Society in 2008 by Ellen Revelle, has been restored and rehabilitated with expanded, museum-standard gallery space for changing exhibitions and educational programs. The Society also operates a 1909 cottage serving as offices and providing public research space, and a 1916 Carriage House retrofitted for state-of-the-art storage of the Society’s archive and collection.

The Society continues to develop an expanding list of programs and collaborations to link today’s audiences with the rich history of La Jolla’s past. This includes exhibitions, lecture and panel series, education camps for youth, collaborative programs with educational and cultural institutions, oral history initiatives, and popular annual community events such as the Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla and the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance and Motor Car Classic.

Our Board of Directors

Judith Haxo, President

Laura DuCharme Conboy, AIA, Vice President

Elizabeth Barkett, Vice President

Nick Agelidis, Ph.D., Treasurer

Meg Davis, Secretary

Nell Waltz, Immediate Past President

Lisa Albanez

James Alcorn, AIA

Weston Anson

Ann Craig

Tony Crisafi, AIA


Ruth Covell, M.D.

Lucy Jackson

Diane Kane, Ph.D.

Jeffery Kirsch, Ph.D.

Seonaid McArthur, Ed.D.

Carol McCabe

Molly McClain, Ph.D.

Donna Medrea

John Peek

Suzanne Sette

Margie Warner

Our Staff

Heath Fox, Executive Director

Carol Olten, Historian

Michael Mishler, Archivist

William Carey, Business Assistant

Financial Statements