San Dieguito Heritage Museum receives grant


California Humanities has recently announced the 2016 Community Stories grant awardees. The San Dieguito Heritage Museum has been awarded $10,000 for its project titled “Families, Farms and Flowers.”

Community Stories is a competitive grant program of California Humanities. Grants are awarded to projects that give expression to the extraordinary variety of histories and experiences of California’s places and people to ensure that the stories can be shared widely. These narratives help us find our commonalities, appreciate our differences, and learn something new about how to live well together.

The once-thriving floriculture industry in North San Diego County has all but disappeared as farms and fields have been transformed into suburban housing tracts. Not that long ago, flower grower greenhouses dotted the landscape. Now houses grow where flowers once bloomed. The San Dieguito Heritage Museum believes that the stories behind the many flower and plant growers of both the past and the present are worth preserving. Thanks to the generous support of California Humanities, the Museum will be collecting and videotaping oral histories of past and present growers, laborers, plant scientists and other local residents who made this region the “Flower Capital of the World” in its heyday.

Under the direction of Professor Jeff Charles, along with support from other CSU San Marcos students and professors, the Museum will then produce and present a multi-media exhibit. The exhibit will be complemented by a public lecture series, a symposium, and the development of a flower and plant growing curriculum unit for local elementary schools.

The grant will also fund a “Story Recording Corner” at the Museum. Mark your calendars: This summer, as a part of the grant project, the Museum will be holding its first, “Sit, Chat and Remember,” an afternoon of memory gathering, on Sunday, June 26. All of those who have memories of the farms and flowers will have the opportunity to share their stories.

“California’s population has such a rich and varied story to tell—and we can all benefit from knowing more about each other,” noted Margaret Shelleda, chair of the board of California Humanities. “We are proud to award grants to those who find creative and effective ways of sharing our stories with new audiences and help connect Californians whose histories and experiences deserve greater and deeper appreciation.”

For more information on California Humanities, please visit