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County of San Diego Historian

Lynne Christenson

Lynne Christenson gives a lecture at Rancho Guajome on the Stations of the Cross, 2003. Photo courtesy Ellen Sweet

After eight years as County Historian, Dr. Lynne Christenson has retired and moved to Ohio with her husband.

As County Historian, Lynne worked with numerous local groups to identify archeological sites at county parklands. She was instrumental in designating many of the parks facilities: Camp Lockett, Lindo Lake Boathouse, and Felicita Park, to name a few. In 2008, Lynne and her co-author, Ellen Sweet, published the widely acclaimed Ranchos of San Diego County.

As Historian for San Diego County Parks Lynn worked with many people including SOHO to preserve and protect San Diego's historic resources. The Whaley House, Heritage Park, Rancho Guajome, and Rancho Peñasquitos are familiar sites, but Lynne was also proud of her work with lesser known sites such as the remains of the first grist mill in northern San Diego County at Wilderness Gardens, a Quayle Brothers cottage at Live Oak Park, and a Victorian-era adobe built by Elisha Babcock at Lower Otay Park. A proficient grant writer, she was able to secure grants for the H.H. Bancroft Rock House, the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House, and the Whaley House. With Ellen and Melvin Sweet she established an extensive photo and document archive for these resources at the County Parks History Center. Lynne accomplished much more in her 8-year tenure, from writing management plans to preserve and interpret archaeological and historic sites, to establishing archeology field schools at Rancho Peñasquitos and the Whaley House, to coordinating SOHO's Adobe U at Vallecito.

In Lynne's own words from her acceptance speech at the 2010 SOHO PIP awards where she received the Outstanding Public Service award, she said, "As exciting and interesting as all of these wonderful resources are it is vital to share the history with the public and to educate young and old on the importance of caring for these resources. It was my privilege to be able to teach, inform, and share them in many different forums."

There is no question Lynne's absence will be felt. It is vital to have an advocate at the County to teach about our historic resources, to inform managers and the public about the care and treatment of these treasures, and to interpret the history for everyone. Please work with SOHO and your County Supervisor to assure that County Parks restores this position and hires someone else to continue where Lynne left off.

Currently, the position remains dangerously vacant.

Volume 41 - 2010


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From the Editor

The Cosmopolitan Hotel: A Resurrection of the Past

Most Endangered List of Historic Resources

Lead Paint: What's at Stake?

The California Theatre Under Siege

10-Year Anniversary at the Whaley House

Marston House - First Year Retrospective

People In Preservation Winners

An Evening Well Spent at PIP

Preservation Community


Book Review

Strength in Numbers

Donations 2010

Lost San Diego


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