Her-Story: Pioneers of San Diego

The Ladies Pioneer Society was composed of educated women who arrived in San Diego in the late 1800s from diverse places around the country. This exhibition looks at 6 of these intrepid women pioneers and, through their own writings, examines their perspectives of their new home in San Diego during the early days of American settlement in the area.

They recorded the stories of their journeys to the West and the challenges they encountered while traveling and settling into a new cultural environment. The women often describe their shock at arriving in a city they viewed as dirty, uncultured, and rough — quite a change after living in the more established cities on the East Coast or San Francisco. However, over time, most were able to find beauty and to create a new life.

Their accounts include stories of life in Old Town; parties at Horton House; visiting La Jolla Cove, the Hotel Del Coronado, and the Sweetwater River; and the new cultures and wildlife they encountered. These early female pioneers provide a glimpse into the small, dusty town San Diego once was and invite you to imagine their reality.

The Aaron Price Fellows Program

The Aaron Price Fellows Program prepares highly-motivated and diverse San Diego public high school students to be responsible, engaged, and caring members of their community. The goals of the program are to: foster friendships between Fellows from diverse ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds; teach Fellows about government, cultural, business and non-profit institutions to illustrate their significance and relevance in their lives; and expose Fellows to exciting career opportunities.

Carlos Aguirre (left) and Kisi Apaak (right) have had the privilege of working with the San Diego History Center on this exhibit thanks to the Aaron Price Fellows Program.