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The Man from 1926 Comes to Alpine! A Fathers’ Day Special for the Men in Your Lives – June 16, 2019

The Man from 1926 comes to Alpine! A Fathers’ Day Special for the Men in your Lives.

Sunday, June 16, 2019 at the Alpine Woman’s Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd. Potluck at 1:00 pm or program only at 1:45pm. James Train joins us as a time traveler with entertaining stories, photos, artifacts and a 1926 Model T. This is a FREE EVENT. Reservation: Tom Myers at 619-885-8063 or


Alpine Historical Society Museum OPEN HOUSE – April 27 & 28, 2019

Alpine Historical Society Open House this Weekend! The Alpine Historical Society’s John De Witt Museum at 2116 Tavern Road will be open this Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, 2019 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

The Dr. Nichols’ House displays Alpine’s early pioneer days to the 1930’s. The Adam Beaty House shows the contrasting “Then and Now” exhibit in artifacts and photos of the past and present.  Alpine’s beekeeping history is shown in the John Harbison room. Tour the yard with antique farm equipment, a working hand water pump and an herb garden around the buildings.

Private tours can be scheduled by contacting Carol Morrison at 619-445-2544. For more info please call Tom Myers at 619-885-8063 or email or visit

The Alpine Historical Museum is located at 2116 Tavern Rd, Alpine, CA 91901 (619) 659-8740


50 Years and Still Serving Our Community – Miss Alpine Pageant: Alpine Historical Society Special Program – April 14, 2019

The Alpine Historical Society salutes the Miss Alpine pageant with a special program and potluck on Sunday, April 14th at 1:00 pm at the Alpine Woman’s Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd.

Miss Alpine 1971, Celeste Irvine Damon, will be the guest speaker along with current Director, Kathy Foster. Stories will be told of these young women’s participation in the pageant program and thousands of volunteer hours in the community. During the years, new titles were added to the program with many advancing to the State level, including a Miss California, USA.

All are welcome.  Please bring a potluck item to share for the luncheon at 1:00 p.m. or arrive at 1:45 p.m. for the brief general membership meeting, immediately followed by the speaker at 2:00 p. m. Admission is FREE, but seating is limited, so please make a reservation by calling Tom Myers at (619) 885-8063 or send an email to


Women WARRIORS – A One Woman Performance By Annette Hubbell – February 17, 2019

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step. In this one woman performance, Annette Hubbell brings to life the extraordinary stories of some ordinary women who transformed themselves, paved the way for others, and left the world in a better place. They all had something in common. . .

Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Presented by the Alpine Historical Society at Alpine Woman’s Club • 2156 Alpine Blvd., Alpine. $10 Donation Per Person. Refreshments Served. Reservations to Tom Myers at 619.885.8063 or

“Rorie” Alpine’s Historic Gorilla Will Be Available for SELFIES at the Snow Festival on December 7, 2018

“Rorie” the famous Alpine Gorilla, a big fiberglass critter that hangs out at the Alpine Historical Society’s museum, will be available for selfie photos at the Snow Festival this year as part of the 23rd Annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Snow Festival  in Alpine! About 8 feet tall and weighing about 40 pounds, Rorie has been a popular local landmark for years.


Where’s Rorie? Alpine’s historic ‘gorilla’ is snow bound!

Once upon a time a big gorilla lived in the eucalyptus trees near a history museum in Alpine.

Now the eucalyptus trees are gone and Rorie the Gorilla, a huge Fiber glass creature, will be at the 23rd Alpine Village Parade of Lights & Snow Festival at 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening, Dec. 7.

Created in the 1960s and a long-time resident at the Alpine Historical Society’s museum, Rorie will be ready for selfie photos at the historical society’s booth during the Snow Festival in the Alpine Creek Town Center at 1347 Tavern Road. “We cut down six eucalyptus trees in early November,” Tom Myers, president of the Alpine Historical Society, said about Rorie’s current adventure. “We did that because they were a danger to the three historical houses on the site.”

In the past, Myers said, repairs have been required because of branches that fell on the John De Witt Historic Museum and Library at 2116 Tavern Road. He added that the wood from the tall trees was given away as free firewood. “We’re planning to replace the eucalyptus trees with some native oak trees,” said Myers. “They should be lower water demand and they should become good shade —- habitat friendly.”

Meanwhile, people have been asking what happened to Rorie, an area landmark.   “That’s the mystery question of today —- ‘Where’s Rorie?’” Myers said. “We’re going to give him a bath, brush his teeth and give him some cosmetics, treatment for his hair.  He’ll be back.”

That’s only one of the changes happening at the museum. This year the historical society received a $15,000 grant from the County of San Diego to remove the eucalyptus trees, replace the concrete floor of the carriage house and install a shipping container to store documents and artifacts.

Known as a great place to explore the county’s pioneer history, the museum is also designing a new exhibit about the Willows Resort, one of the earliest ones here, Myers said. “The 1906 buggy that’s been restored will be in the Willows exhibit,” he said. “We’ll have information about the Willows Resort and the multi-generation family (that started and ran it).” Descendants of resort owners S.B. Walker and his wife, Bevie, still live in the area, Myers said. The family came to Alpine in the 1890s.

It’s making that kind of history relevant today that museum docent Carol Morrison, former historical society president, loves to share with tourists, area residents and schoolchildren. “What type of life people led when they first moved here, the local beekeeping history and the farming equipment and more,” Morrison explained. “There’s a bathtub with a hand pump that the children really like. That’s so much more interesting than video games!”

The museum is always in need of docents, volunteers, members and donations. “I think being a docent is exciting, because people don’t know much about our history,” said Morrison.


Submitted by: Jo Moreland, Communications, Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce.


FREE FIREWOOD Available at the Alpine Historical Society on November 15 & 16, 2018

Free Firewood!!!

FIREWOODAlpine Historical Society is offering FREE eucalyptus firewood to Alpine area residents at the John DeWitt Museum, 2116 Tavern Road in Alpine. We will have lots of freshly cut eucalyptus wood available free to the public on November 15 & 16, 2018, but you must register for a pick-up time. The wood is not cured or cut to fireplace sizes. Some will be very large trunk sections some will be large to medium sized limbs. You must load your own truck, trailer, or vehicle. To register, please call Tom at 619-885-8063 or send an email to Tell us if you prefer morning or afternoon pick-up. We will call you to confirm a time and date for pick-up. Due to space limitations, we will need to limit the number of participants and schedule the pick-up in shifts.

Alpine Historical Society Meeting: Alpine’s Most Famous Characters of the 1920’s – Bill Dalton & Julian Eltinge – October 21, 2018

Learn about Alpine’s Most Famous Characters of the 1920’s – Bill Dalton & Julian Eltinge at the next Alpine Historical Society Meeting & Potluck Lunch Program on October 21, 2018 at 1pm at the Alpine Woman’s Club (2156 Alpine Blvd.). Our guest speaker, Susan D. Walter will tell stories an share the history of Dalton & Eltinge – focusing on their fascinating life during and after their years in Alpine. He was the world’s most famous female impersonator and early star of vaudville stage and the silver screen who headlined on national and worldwide tours. Learn about his life in Alpine, Construction of his Adobe home and his grandiose plans for an Alpine destination hotel! Admission is FREE but donations are appreciated! Please RSVP as seating is limited. For more info please contact Tom Myers at (619)885-8063 or


“It’s After Five Somewhere” Alpine Chamber of Commerce Business Mixer – September 5, 2018

“It’s After Five Somewhere” Alpine Chamber of commerce Business Mixer on Sept. 5, 2018 at 5:30pm.

Come and Celebrate Alpine’s History at the Alpine Historical Museum!  Barons Market will be supplying hors-d’oeuvres and there will be a wine tasting of Rock Canyon Vineyards! Free to Chamber Members
$10 to non-members

Alpine Historical Society is located at 2116 Tavern Road, Alpine CA 91901. For more info please contact Lori Bledsoe at or visit our website at



Alpine Historical Society Presents “Kumeyaay Ethnobotany” – Shared Heritage of the California’s – August 19, 2018

The Alpine Historical Society Presents “Kumeyaay Ethnobotany” – Shared Heritage of the California’s on Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 2pm at the  Alpine Woman’s Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd., Alpine, Ca. 91901. Today, many Kumeyaay Indians in the far-flung ranches of Baja California still carry on the traditional knowledge and skills for transforming native plants into food, medicine, arts, tools, regalia, construction materials, and ceremonial items. Join anthropologist and author Michael Wilken-Robertson as he explores this remarkable interdependence between native peoples and native plants of Baja and Southern California.  Please bring a potluck item for the Luncheon at 1:00 p.m., or arrive at 1:45 p.m. for the Program. Admission is FREE (donations appreciated) but seating is limited, please make a reservation: call Tom Myers at (619) 885-8063 or send an email to

ALPINE’S “HONEY HISTORY” – Harbison’s Local Honey Business Made History

By The Alpine Chamber of Commerce
Struggling prospector John Harbison didn’t strike gold in California until he started raising bees in the Alpine / Harbison Canyon area! The man once known as the “King of the Beekeepers” will be celebrated during the 2nd Annual Queen Bee Brunch on Saturday, June 23, at the Alpine Community Center.
Featuring a fashion show, honey favors, vendors, entertainment and mimosas, the celebration of the area’s honey history will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce and the Community Center are presenting the event.
“John Harbison came to California looking for gold,” said President Tom Myers of the Alpine Historical Society. “He was a prospector. He had some limited success (in the Sacramento area). Then he found gold in a different way.” Harbison had learned about beekeeping from his father on the family farm near Freedom, PA. Invited to the San Diego area by R.G. Clark, who would become his business partner, Harbison flourished here as a beekeeper, inventor and businessman. Mr. Clark thought the honey (Harbison was producing) was superior to others here, Myers said. “San Diego honey was spicier because of the nectar from the local native plants.
Harbison developed a “section honey box” as part of his California Hive that was better for bees and easier to ship them long distances from Pennsylvania. His smaller hive was patented in 1859. Harbison’s gross sales from bees that year were nearly $30,000. Harbison’s success triggered the “greatest mass movement of honey bee colonies the world has ever seen,” according to the Alpine Historical Society. “The dramatic expansion in the 20 years from 1858, when Harbison developed his ‘California Hive’ (a standard setting bee hive box), to the record setting production of 2,075,000 pounds of honey produced out of San Diego County in 1878, speaks volumes about the impact that Harbison’s innovations had on beekeeping and California agriculture as a whole,” said Executive Director Jeff Morris of the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber.
Unfortunately, Myers said, the honey bees were blamed for some area crop damage. “It sort of became a range war about whether the bees were better or the crops,” he said, noting the bees were feasting on fruit already damaged. “I think a lot of settlers came here as a result of Harbison’s success with bees. They thought they could strike it rich.”
Richard Edwords of Kamps Propane, a beekeeper who will have a honey sales booth at the Queen Bee Brunch, described Harbison’s impact on beekeeping as huge. “When you think of what he did, it was amazing,” Edwords said. “His hive design has been changed slightly over the years, but it’s still basically his design.”
To learn more about the area’s honey history, tickets for limited Queen Bee Brunch seats are available now at $40 each at the Chamber, 1620 Alpine Blvd., Suite 208; the Alpine Community Center; Dana’s Boutique, 2271 Alpine Blvd.; Postal Annex, 2710 Alpine Blvd., Ste. K; at and; and at (619) 445-2722, (619) 445-7330, (619) 722-6785 and (619) 659-8082. Learn more about the Queen Bee Brunch HERE
(Photo and graphic courtesy of the Alpine Historical Society)