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Fallbrook Historical Society worthy of visit during Avocado Festival - Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on festival day; parking and shuttle available to other sites


Last updated 4/18/2013 at Noon

Jack Story, president of the Fallbrook Historical Society, shows a Folding Brownie Camera, circa 1913, that is part of the museum collection.

The Fallbrook Historical Society, chartered in 1976, holds a wealth of information about Fallbrook, and it will be open to visitors during the Avocado Festival on Sunday, April 21.

The society has worked hard to maintain and preserve Fallbrook history over many years and members welcome visitors with enthusiasm.

“Every town needs a history, and even if you arrived yesterday, you should be interested in the town you are living in, and how the town evolved,” said Jack Story, president of the society. Volunteers take information from the donors of artifacts and if needed, do extra research on it.

“We also have a committee that decides if the artifact is pertinent to the relation of Fallbrook or not, and if it is interesting enough for the people of our town to come and see it,” said Story.

The three museum buildings that comprise the historical complex are managed and cared for by volunteers, and the charming compound exists amidst well-maintained grounds.

The William Pittenger House has been restored and decorated to the era of 1895, with vintage furnishings such as an Edison phonograph, a Crown pump organ, and many other artifacts donated by individuals and organizations such as the Questers. It was the former home of the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from the Civil War.

The Donald J. Rivers Interpretive Center (also called “The Barn”) has agricultural exhibits consisting of farm equipment, tool collections, quilt displays, and looms. From avocados to bee keeping, the early days of Fallbrook are well represented in this barn.

The main historical society museum itself has memorabilia which includes educational relics from the early days of Fallbrook, Native American culture and early Fallbrook settlers, model replicas of 12 historic buildings in Fallbrook, pieces from military and other organizations such as historical firefighting equipment, and an impressive research library. The lower level of the museum has a remarkable collection of rocks and minerals that can be found in this region.

The Ford Room, located in a lower part of the main museum building, has been renovated by the Fallbrook Vintage Car Club. Three antique Fords as well as historic Fallbrook Vintage Car Show posters are on display here.

The governing board of the Fallbrook Historical Society has a mid-summer community event planned called “A Salute to Firefighters: Past & Present” – slated for Saturday, July 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the museum complex and grounds. This program will honor and thank local firefighters (current and retired) for serving Fallbrook with a commitment to safety.

The idea for the event was brought forward by board vice president Dode Martin.

“Mr. Martin is an avid automobile enthusiast, and one year ago, the historical society held a special event to celebrate the history of the automobile,” said board member Anne Burdick. “He has quite a few firefighter friends who share the same interest, and he has kept in touch with them. Combining automobiles and firefighters together, was a way Mr. Martin thought would be a way to honor their service.”

An added attraction at the event will be a collection of antique fire trucks on display, as well as a modern truck which has the most up-to-date technology in firefighting. Active and retired personnel will be on hand to speak with visitors. Firefighting-related displays will be surrounded by an array of American flags.

An area in the Fallbrook Historical Society

At noon, the San Diego County Firefighters Pipes and Drums, and the Camp Pendleton Fire Department Honor Guard will open the program with a flag salute, which will be led by a very special firefighter and the singing of the National Anthem by Christa Noetzel. Following will be a short slide presentation entitled “The History of Firefighting in Fallbrook” as well as data from current North County Fire Protection District Fire Chief William Metcalf. Refreshments will be available, and there is no cost to attend this event.

Open during the Avocado Festival, Sunday, April 21, the Fallbrook Historical Society is conveniently located next to one of the bus stops that offers free shuttle service to downtown Fallbrook, making it a great opportunity to stop by and view the variety of relics and artifacts that are so visually well-presented. Docents will be available to guide visitors and answer questions.

The Fallbrook Historical Society and its museums are located at 1730 South Hill Avenue (at the corner of Rocky Crest). For more information, call (760) 723-4125. Normal museum hours are Thursdays and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. or by special appointment.


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