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Encinitas Rotary Club helps build new exhibit at Heritage Museum

A nearly century-old postal wagon will be sheltered in a structure built by Encinitas Rotary Club members.
(Luke Harold)

The Encinitas Rotary Club made some sidewalk repairs and helped construct a new exhibit at the San Dieguito Heritage Museum on Aug. 29 for the club’s Rotarians at Work Day.

The new exhibit includes an approximately 100-year-old postal wagon that used to be carried by horse. The Rotary Club members built a small wooden enclosure where the wagon, which had been in storage for a long time, will be housed.

The project was originally scheduled to be completed in April, but it had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The museum’s new additions will complement the replica row of old fashioned storefronts that adorn the property.

Rotary Club members built a walkway at the Heritage Museum for the club's Rotarians at Work Day on Aug. 29.
(Luke Harold )

“Our vision for this is that this area here would be wonderful for family events and gatherings such as weddings,” said Kerry Witkin, a Rotary Club member, referring to the area by the museum’s general store replica.

About 15 Rotary Club members worked on the new sidewalk and exhibit from about 7:30 a.m. to noon. The club has more than 80 members total.

“For some of the people who have been in town for a long time, it’s a reflection of their childhood memories,” Witkin said about the various displays and artifacts at the museum. “They come in here and they see things that may have belonged to their grandparents or great grandparents.”

The display already in place at the Heritage Museum includes the facades of a barbershop, cafe, real estate office and fire station.

“People can come by here and they’ll recognize things from their past or from their ancestors’ past,” Witkin said. “And that’s just the modern era.”

The historic Teten House, for example, is located on the museum’s property. Named for Fred Teten, a blacksmith who bought the home in the 1890s, the house served as a school when it was built the decade prior. It was restored about five years ago by Dave Oakley, an Encinitas resident and Rotary Club member who died last October.

The Heritage Museum also has artifacts, including tools made from stones and bone, that date back to Native American inhabitants of the land.

One of the Rotary Club’s goals is to make sure local residents know about it and make a point to visit.

“We want the community to, No.1, know that it’s here, know that we’re here, and they can come by and tour the museum and discover something that’s been in their backyard for a long time,” Witkin said.

The Heritage Museum is located at 450 Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas. For more information, visit sdheritage.org. For more information about the Rotary Club, visit encinitasrotary.com.


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