Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Escondido History Center

  • Escondido, CA
  • www.escondidohistory.org

Mission Statement

The mission of the Escondido History Center is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit the history of our community. We also are the voice and steward of Grape Day Park.

Main Programs

  1. Museum
  2. Public History Programs
  3. Collections
  4. Revitalization of Grape Day Park
Service Areas

Self-reported

California

ruling year

1975

Principal Officer since 1998

Self-reported

Ms. Wendy Barker

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EIN

23-7363043

 Number

7851764332

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Accomplishments in 2013 include the installation of a new permanent exhibit, ""Farming in Escondido,"" in the Santa Fe Depot's freight room. Focusing on the important local industry, it is now the largest exhibit in our museum. Blacksmiths from our Bandy Blacksmith Shop are making all of the metalwork for the replica San Salvador ship being built by the Maritime Museum. The blacksmiths working on the project all learned blacksmithing at our facility. We are proud that our annual giving program has successfully replaced funding we used to receive from the City of Escondido and we are now completely donor supported. Our priorities continue to be:Priorities include: 1) Fundraising 2) Maximize staff time on projects and events with the biggest impact 3) Increase our membership base 4) Find and pursue avenues and programming to interest new generations 5) Strategically work on the long term development and revitalization of Grape Day Park

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Museum

The museum is our biggest focus. We have 6 historic buildings: city's first library, Victorian country home, barn, Bandy Blacksmith Shop, Santa Fe Depot and a railroad car. The complex also includes two windmills, an outhouse, tankhouse, and a 10-ton Native American metate (grinding rock). We tell Escondido's story through the examination of home life, agriculture, transportation and civic life. The museum is open 4 afternoons a week for the general public, with school tours typically taking place during morning hours. The library, our office, also has one changing exhibit space, and a photographic exhibit. The Santa Fe Depot, on the ground level, is a recreation of the building circa 1912. Permanent exhibits in the freight room include Native American life, ranch life when Escondido was a Mexican ranch called Rancho Rincon del Diablo, the era of gold and grapes, building the town, bringing water to the city and farming.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

--

Program 2

Public History Programs

We give group tours to all ages and school tours with an emphasis on 3rd grade. Students imagine life in 1900 in our home, view a demo emphasizing the importance of blacksmithing to an agriculture community, tour the depot to discuss transportation, watch an HO scale model train depicting the local route inside our railroad car, and play old fashioned games. We have 5 walking tour routes and offer 1 or 2 tours each month with a total of 16 per year. They highlight architecture and stories of the businesses and residents along each route. Historic photo presentations are regularly given to community groups and classes.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

--

Program 3

Collections

Our photographic collection of over 8,200 images is constantly expanding. It is well used by researchers and residents, in addition to our use for publications, social media, and exhibits. Artifacts include many types of objects. We have a fine collection of textiles, including many quilts and numerous items of antique clothing which we rotate and use seasonally in our Victorian home. Tools and artifacts relating to agriculture and local businesses are also well represented. High school yearbooks, and city directories dating back to 1888 are valuable resources that are well used.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

--

Program 4

Revitalization of Grape Day Park

Our goal, which we have been pursing for years, is the complete revitalization of our home, Grape Day Park. During Escondido's early decades it was the community's recreational and cultural heart. But as activities moved to newer parks, our downtown park declined. It garnered a wide spread reputation as being unsafe. After years of working on alone on this project, we were thrilled when the City formed the Grape Day Park Task Force in late 2012. Numerous City departments, businesses and non-profits are now working together to improve our park.

Category

Public, Society Benefit, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Adults

Budget

$5000

Service Areas

Self-reported

California

Funding Needs

Funding and volunteers continue to be our most pressing needs. We are proud to report that we have successfully transitioned away from City funding. But our budget has not yet recovered to earlier levels and we have not yet been able to restore previous staffing levels. Finding new volunteers, especially docents, continues to be a challenge.

Affiliations + Memberships

American Association for State and Local History

American Association of Museums - Member

Chamber of Commerce

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

ESCONDIDO HISTORY CENTER
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Escondido History Center

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone and website
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Ms. Wendy Barker

BIO

Executive Director Wendy Barker has a BA in American Studies from California State University Fullerton and a MA in History with an emphasis in Public History, also from California State University Fullerton. She was previously employed by Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles for several years.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The Escondido History Center has an outstanding local history museum. Our museum is larger, more professional, and open many more hours, than most historical societies. We are extremely active in our community, organizing and/or participating in numerous events and activities throughout the year. We partner with the City to work on historic preservation issues and in large part because of our efforts, the City has had a historic district and a Historic Preservation Commission for nearly two decades. Our work has clearly had a big impact on the look of downtown and our many historic homes and neighborhoods. Our dedication to the revitalization of Grape Day Park is an expansion of our mission. For many years we concentrated on what we do best: preserve and communicate Escondido's stories. But eventually we expanded our mission to include this historic site where our city's first elementary school was built and where Escondido has played and celebrated since 1886. Although it is a city owned and maintained park, it became clear that no one else - not the city, nor any other organization - is so impacted by the park's poor reputation. What was for decades our city's gathering place over time lost its central role as other parks were built and activities moved elsewhere. We were very glad to see the City finally recognize the park's needs, and we are very active on the Grape Day Park Task Force that was organized in late 2012. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Ernie Liebman

Community Volunteer

Term: July 2012 - June 2014

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?